A few Questions prior to filing for A & A

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Familyj, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. Familyj

    Familyj Newbie

    Hello, and thanks for this great resource you provide! I am in the process of completing and application for my mother and stepfather, and have a few questions:

    1. My parents just moved into a retirement community, and the pay monthly rent. Although their unit is not in the assisted living facility, they get meals; transportation to doctors, stores and church; on-site physical therapy; daily check-in; housekeeping service; etc. all of which they need. Their monthly "rent" is much higher than it would be for a comparable apartment without the extra services. Can we claim the excess cost as an allowable expense? If so, do you have any guidelines for how to determine that amount?

    2. My mother gifted some of her assets. I understand there is no look-back period, but the instructions for form 21-526 state that we must "disclose all financial transactions that involve a transfer of assets". Is this really required, and how would I disclose it on the form?

    3. Both parents qualify, although they manage fairly well by helping one-another. My stepfather's doctor indicated dementia on his 21-2680 - will that require a fiduciary, or should I just wait until the VA responds and deal with it then?

    4. Assuming they get the maximum benefit, will that have any impact on their Social Security?

    5. Form 21-526 Part X - Expenses - For what period do we list expenses? 1 year? Do repetitive expenses such as their excess rent or insurance need to be listed 12 times, or will one annual amount do?

    Many thanks for your great website. I appreciate any help you can provide.
  2. Max

    Max Hero Member

    1. In order for their rent to be considered as an expense, the facility must provide some kind of medical services (i.e. hygiene, medication management, on-staff nurses, etc)

    2. Gifting assets does not reduce net worth for VA purposes. You should disclose these transactions as they could cause problems in the future if they get approved. There is no look-back period in the same way as Medicaid because VA does not specifically request these documents, but that does not change the fact that the program is needs-based and is not intended to protect assets for heirs and family members.

    3. This is hard to say without seeing the 2680. 9 times out of 10, dementia will lead to a proposal to rate the claimant incompetent.

    4. Not unless they are on SSI.

    5. List monthly medical expenses (i.e. in-home care, private medical insurance, Medicare Part B premiums)
  3. Familyj

    Familyj Newbie

    Thanks for the reply - I have a couple of follow-up points and would appreciate some input:

    1. The facility does provide medical services on an as needed basis. While my parents currently don't need hygiene or in-home nursing, they have utilized the in-home physical therapy. Plus, there is a doctor who visits them in their home for routine visits, blood draw, etc.

    2. According to 38 CFR 3.276 certain transfers of property are disregarded for pension purposes, including those made to "someone other than a relative residing in the grantor's household if it is clear that the grantor has relinquished all rights of ownership including the right of control of the property". This would appear to cover the situation.

    5. How do we handle periodic expenses, such as dental care or medical equipment purchases?

    Thanks again
  4. Max

    Max Hero Member

    You can report the periodic expenses later on after the award is approved. Please note that VA's General Counsel has read the meaning of that CFR as that you simply cannot gift away your assets to qualify for a needs based benefit. It is much better to be up front about the assets from day one than to have VA find out about it later. This will greatly delay your claim.

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