How does the Fiduciary Process work?: Aid and Attendance Benefit FAQ
Question: How does the fiduciary process work for the Aid and Attendance veterans benefit?
First and foremost, the fiduciary and applicant (the veteran and/or veteran's spouse) do not start the fiduciary process until the VA has ruled the applicant needs to appoint a fiduciary to manage the Aid and Attendance application. Even if the veteran is completely unable to speak for themselves, the VA has to make the ruling for a fiduciary to be appointed before you can move on to the next steps.
The fiduciary must then appoint themselves and be approved by the VA.
Note: The person asking to be appointed as fiduciary needs to be aware that a felony conviction or a filing of bankruptcy will make you an unacceptable candidate to hold this position.
Once a fiduciary is deemed necessary by the VA, make sure to submit Form 21-4138 and include the following statement as soon as possible to waive the 60 days waiting period to disagree with the VA's findings:
"Please be advised that (parent's name) and I have no issue with the VA finding of incompetence and wish to proceed with the appointment of a fiduciary. We wish to appoint myself (her/his insert your relationship to the veteran) as fiduciary. I understand that I must be interviewed prior to that appointment and would appreciate such an interview be scheduled as soon as possible."
and be sure to include VA Form 21-0845 (Authorization to Disclose Personal Information to a Third Party) so that the fiduciary will be able to call the VA on behalf of the claimant.
The VA will have to approve the individual who acts as the fiduciary as someone reputable to handle the financial affairs according to their guidelines. This will require a meeting with a Field Agent if you request to be appointed. The fiduciary interview will occur at the residence of the applicant.
Due to a lack of Field Agents, the wait time for this meeting to be scheduled can be several months.
If the applicant can show a "financial hardship" because they are soon to be lacking in funds to pay for care, the applicant can try appealing from that standpoint to get an interview sooner. Use form 21-4138 to make this claim.
Once the fiduciary is approved, it should be noted that the fiduciary is the only one who can speak on behalf of the applicant. The applicant cannot call and inquire about their own application. The fiduciary must do so.