Aid and Attendance question

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ShellyMari, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. ShellyMari

    ShellyMari Newbie

    I just today learned about A&A and have some questions. I am the fiduciary for my room mate. I have been his fiduciary for about 3yr. He is rated at 100% andhas been for over 20 years due to PTSD. The last year he has been diagnosed with a few forms of mylasias and his VA doctor has given him morphine for it. He is basically housebound and I stay at home with him all the time. I cook, clean and take care of his finances. I can not leave him alone so I can not work. If I applied for the A&A would this be for him to pay me for the time I spend taking care of him?
    Also, he and his wife are seperated. She lives in another state and he recieves monies for her and their adult disabled son. He sends her money every month. This next question is not about A&A but maybe someone knows about this. I think his wife went and filed for divorce and the veteran might not know. I certainly do not know and I am responsiblefor his money. If the VA finds out that sh did in fact divorce him would he have to pay back the money sent to him for being married and would they take this all at once or a littleout of each check at a time? He is in total fear that she has done this and that he will be left with NO money until that is paid back. Could I just tell the VA they they are now divorced and to stop sending the money or will they want divorce papers? This whole situation has the veteran scared to death. Any help with this would be appreciated. Thanks!
  2. veteranadvocate

    veteranadvocate Full Member

    I can address most of your questions but I do not want to rush through the response and forget something. I will not be available this morning but I will respond back to you before the end of the day. Things are not as bad as they may appear.
  3. veteranadvocate

    veteranadvocate Full Member

    The ‘Aid & Attendance’ benefit that is addressed on this website relates to non-service connected pension. Pension is based on countable income and unreimbursed medical expenses. Based on the information that you provided in your inquiry, your room mate is rated 100% service connected. This is referred to as ‘compensation’ and it is not based on income. There is a form of A&A that is referred to as SMC (Special Monthly Compensation). There are different rates based on the severity of his disabilities. I might point out that if he has been rated at 100% for 20 years or more, his rating is protected. It cannot be reduced or taken away. Any additional amount paid for A&A is for the veteran to use as he wishes.

    If the veteran thinks that his wife had obtained a divorce, he should notify the VA Regional Office. This will prevent any possible overpayment. If there is already an overpayment created, he can establish a repayment plan so that the VA will not withhold his entire check. They will have to notify him of any overpayment amount and inform him of his options to repay. If the child became disabled before the age of 18 the veteran can continue to count him as a dependent.

    I hope this addresses your questions. This information is provided based on the information contained in your inquiry. Different facts can mean different response.
  4. ShellyMari

    ShellyMari Newbie

    Thanks for taking the time to reply. So the SMC that he could get would depend on his current disabilities that the VA uses as his rating? As I said before he is rated at 100% due to PTSD and is service connected. His current montly income from the VA is $2,711.00. He is under the impression that it is the maximum amount. He is more physically disabled now and needs help with just about everything. He can not afford to pay someone to do this so I have done this for him for several years. He is in fact pretty disabled physically as well as mentally but the VA has his rating at 100% due to the mental disabilities. Perhaps I am not understanding but could he get this SMC because his VA doctor is now treating him for fibromyalsia (sp), even though that is not considered part of his va rating? The PTSD meant that he needed a fiduciary, me, already but they never told him about any SMC or A&A that he would be entitled to. If he was entitled to more income that might help him out of the mess below.
    Re his wife...if they took more than 10% of his income he would be really financially strained. He is almost certain that they would take more than that and he doesn't know how to get out of the situation. I thought about calling the regional office and telling them to stop sending the money for his wife as they will be divorced in the near future and just hope they don't ask for divorce papers, which he doesn't even have nor remember signing (which isnt saying much, he forgets a lot of things). I don't know if they would just say ok and stop sending the money so he doesn't have to worry about any overpayment that may or may not exist. For all he knows she could have had the divorce done years ago. They have been seperated for 9 years. He is still honorable though and sends her more than her share every month. Thanks again for your time.
  5. veteranadvocate

    veteranadvocate Full Member

    First of all, if they take the spouse off the award and pay the veteran with just the one dependent child, his award will be reduced from $2,711 to $2,565 per month. This is based on the current rates. If he is sending her money each month, he should ask her about the divorce. If they are just separated and he is giving her money each month then he can still count her as a dependent and will not have to worry about an overpayment. No sense losing the extra money if it is not necessary.

    As far as the 100% rating, the veteran could be compensated for conditions that are considered secondary or caused by the PTSD. There are many possible conditions. You need to locate a local veteran's advocate or service officer to assist with the forms and write-ups for the additional benefits. If the wrong terms are used then it could cause a denial in the award of benefits.

    Hope this information is of assistance to the veteran. Thank you for looking after and assisting him.

    If he is in need of assistance due to safety issues caused by his service-connected PTSD, this could help qualify for the A&A (SMC).

    If an overpayment is created, the veteran can request the VA to withhold only a small portion of his money until the overpayment is repaid or he can request a waiver of the overpayment. I would not ask for the waiver until they inform him that there is an overpayment. To do so would look like and admission of quilt in creating the overpayment.

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