A and A awarded but only half benefit?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by eifan115, Oct 3, 2016.

  1. eifan115

    eifan115 Newbie

    I applied in May 2016 for my mom and just received notice today that they approved her for the aid and attendance benefit but at only $554 per month. I don't understand why she didn't receive the entire amount. They said in the letter that the income we reported did not match her tax statement from last year. I think the problem may be that she had some stocks last year that provided some income but they were sold this year to pay off a mortgage when we sold her home at a loss of around $10,000. They have her countable assets at this time as around $7000 and monthly income of $2200 from a pension and social security.

    Should I call and try to talk to someone to get more information? I have the form on file for them to talk to me but don't know if this is a discussion they will have over the phone. I'll need to know what further information to send them.

    Also no surprise they want a fiduciary appointed which will be my sister. I believe you can only have one person on file as a contact. Should I pursue the fiduciary issue first and then have my sister continue the issue of increased benefits or should we wait on the fiduciary part until the benefit amount is straightened out?

    I'm grateful for the award but dreading more paperwork! Nothing is ever easy.
  2. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    You can always call to ask for clarification, but no guarantee they will be able to help. Couldn't hurt! It sounds like your mother is receiving $2200/mo. in total income already - is she paying at least that amount in care expenses per month? It's all based on what her income is per month vs. her payments on care. That's how the VA determines the A&A amount that will be awarded to help with the shortfall.

    The fiduciary appointment can take up to a year to occur, so I would go ahead and investigate more into her benefit amount. You can submit a Statement in Support of Claim form 21-4138 with any supporting documents (like bank statements) if you want to provide more evidence as to why her benefit amount she be higher per month.
  3. eifan115

    eifan115 Newbie

    Thank you Kaylin. Her expenses for the home are $2000 per month. She has the $200 extra for doctor copays, prescriptions, phone and cable fees, personal care items, clothing etc. Do you think they will not award the full amount because she is not in a deficit? I did call the VA and he emailed me the info for the fiduciary process but couldn't really tell me much about the amount of the award. He also sent me paperwork to file asking for an increase in the award based on her having less income this year than she did last year. I have to get my hands on her 2015 tax return.
  4. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    When you say for her home, do you mean an assisted living facility or senior housing? The reason I ask is because the VA will only consider it a care expense if it is actually an assisted living facility of some sort. Where she gets daily assistance.

    It sounds like you're going down the right path to make sure you can get her award amount increased if she is paying a lot for care each month and it is depleting her total monthly income.

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