Aid and Attendance - Where Do I Start?

Discussion in 'Share Your Personal Experience' started by Mpars, Apr 6, 2014.

  1. Mpars

    Mpars Newbie

    I'm new on this board and looking for some information. I have a long story but I have the proper documentation now and people are cooperating now.

    My father is in a nursing home currently getting therapy on his leg. They tell me he is doing very well and should be transferred to an Assisted Living Facility after his stay in the nursing home. My father and the doctors agree.

    My question is where do I start in getting his Veterans Aid and Attendance benefit started? I want to make sure I go through the proper procedures.

  2. I would recommend spending 5 or 6 hours reading this website and the experiences of others on this forum. The necessary forms are on this website and the necessary information to determine if your father qualifies is also here. The site also has the information on the documentation you need to assemble to make application. There are many rules and requirements that must be met, but the information and experiences of others will tell you what you need to know.
    Once you know what you need to know, then you can start collecting documentation and filling out forms and you will know how to put them together and where to send them.
  3. Mpars

    Mpars Newbie

    Thanks for information. I've learned a lot since I wrote the initial post. I know my father is eligible and just got back from visiting him. I've gathered all the documents needed and have everything filled out except the form from a VA doctor. I had to register him with the VA since he was not registered with him. Everything has gone well but now waiting for the VA to call to see my father. I wish that his personal doctor was able to fill out this form.

    How long is the wait now for payments? I Googled this information but haven't gotten any new wait times for the past year. Anyone have information on this? I'm moving my father to assisted living on Thursday and not sure if I have enough funds to pay for his care past six months.
  4. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Take your Dad to his Primary Doctor and do not wait on the VA any longer!

    His pension won't start until his application has been processed and approved. This is not a fast process - sorry.
  5. Mpars

    Mpars Newbie

    Thanks! Working on that now!
  6. suse

    suse Jr. Member

    I actually filled out most of the form for the doctor since I was more aware of his day to day needs. The doctor was fine with me doing that & even encouraged me to do so. It is important to be very specific about the veterans needs and medical issues. By doing it myself I was able to elaborate more than a physician might have time for...just an FYI.
  7. Mpars

    Mpars Newbie

    Update. My father is now in assisted living and his stay is being paid by personal funds at this time. I had him seen by a VA doctor on May 22nd and finally got that last piece of paperwork today. I added it to his application package and overnighted it, return receipt this afternoon. His application went to the Philadelphia Center. I checked around and found many good reviews on this center - I hope they were correct! :)

    Now I wait. I'll keep the board updated throughout my process.
  8. dahueter

    dahueter Newbie

    As someone who has gone through this and is continuing to go through this it is worth the wait. The Philadelphia center is very good. They called my Mom several times to walk her through the process. They were polite and genuinely wanted to help. Good luck!
  9. Mpars

    Mpars Newbie

    Thanks Dahueter. I read online that the Philadelphia Center had received numerous awards for customer service and rapid processing. I hope that's true. I'm also counting on the National VA Scandal to keep them on their toes as well.

    I received confirmation this morning that my package made it to Philadelphia but it's Saturday. Facility closed. Looks like the post office owes me a refund. I sent it Express Mail with Return Receipt and was told that it was "guaranteed" there on Friday by noon or they would refund my money!

    The note on the USPS tracking site states they have five days to pick up the package or it will be returned to me. I sure hope the post office will try to deliver on Monday, or the Processing Center has a mail clerk who picks up mail at the post office after the weekends. Doesn't the application have to be "acknowledged" by the VA by the 4th of the month before that month counts in the retroactive payments? Another question, "acknowledgement" by the VA has to do with when they "time stamp in" the application at the VA, and not the time and date on the Return Receipt, correct?

    Just a little concerned because I've done all this preparation and work and I only have Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for them to acknowledge the application if the deadline is the 4th .....
  10. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    We will keep our fingers crossed for you on this, but given how mail gets sorted at the VA, you may need to send again, so best to be prepared for that just in case.
  11. VA Legal Team

    VA Legal Team Full Member

    A VA employee actually told me the following over the phone last week, and with no shame: "Given the amount of paperwork we receive, it's not uncommon to put documents into the wrong file. At that point, it's lost forever."
  12. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    No question about it, which is why I ALWAYS say to mail Return Receipt, and keep a copy of everything for your own records.
  13. Mpars

    Mpars Newbie

    I received a letter from the VA dated June 6th acknowledging my father's application. This is good and I also have a "Return Receipt" signed by their personnel on June 3rd. Somewhere I read that they needed to receive these applications by the 4th before they would count that month in the retroactive payments. Can anyone shed some light on this for me? Does the VA acknowledge the Post Office's return receipt or count on their own accounting system?

  14. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Not sure on that one. Sorry. That would be a call made by the VA, and what their process is for acknowledging receipt.
  15. Mpars

    Mpars Newbie

    I'm almost at the two month mark so I called VA crossing my fingers. I spoke to a nice young lady who informed me that my father's application was "decided on July 8th"; and although she couldn't tell me the decision, she could tell me it was in the "authentication phase" and that we should get a letter sometime in the future. She warned me it could take four more months depending on the VA's workload. Hopefully all the paperwork I submitted is acceptable to them and they can verify it accordingly.

    It took VA a month to render a decision so I can't complain about that. I just hope the rest of the process goes without a problem. I'll keep you posted.
  16. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    You should be hearing something anytime now, and I would be surprised if it goes 4 months.

    Good Luck, and will look for the update.
  17. Mpars

    Mpars Newbie

    UPDATE: Received a letter from the Philadelphia VA dated August 7th, stating that the maximum award was given to my father. The decision date for the award was June 3rd, the effective date for payment was July 1st. Funds are being withheld due to a possibility of incompetency.

    My timeline:

    Filed application on May 24th.
    VA received on June 2nd.
    Decision made on June 3rd to award my father the Aid & Attendance.
    June 6th, acknowledgement letter from VA.
    August 7th, letter that an award has been officially decided.

    No money has been released for the current month. Maybe it'll start next month. I do realize past payments are held until a fiduciary has been established. In the letter it stated, "Incompetency Proposed, Funds Released" and has a payment date of August 1, 2014. No money has been deposited to date.

    I'm going to call the VA tomorrow to talk to someone but have the VA Form 21-4138, Statement of Support of Claim ready to go. Now my situation is that I live in Texas and my father lives in Maryland where he is in assisted living. I'm taking care of everything from here as far as paying his assisted living, etc. I do have a family member on the ground in Maryland to assist me locally. This person is elderly and cannot take on this entire burden herself so I wish to be appointed the fiduciary. Is there going to be a problem as far as the VA is concerned regarding my distance from my father? My city has a large VA Administration due to the large military population here and I could be interviewed locally where I'm at, and my father can be interviewed in his town. Did you see an issue here? I have flown back to Maryland at times to take care of business for my dad and that wouldn't stop in the future. Thanks.
  18. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Congratulations on getting through the process to award.

    You can request being appointed as Fiduciary. You do not need to ask the VA for form 21-4138. You can print that off from our site and include the following:

    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.
  19. Mpars

    Mpars Newbie

    Sent in the Statement of Claim and waiting on that.

    Today the VA deposited his full monthly benefit into the bank account we requested it to be deposited in. Everything has gone according to plan and it's going to help a lot with his assisted living conditions. I think we're only allowed one month of back pay so I'll wait for the fiduciary meeting, etc. on that. More importantly, my father's future expenses should be taken care of. I also sent in an SSI application to see if he could get anything else. I was told maybe a medical card but he has the VA now. I don't think the VA and SSI will interfere with each other.

    Thanks again for all the information on this site. I'll keep posting back anything I think will help other readers! :)
  20. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Glad you made it to the Finish Line!

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