Any advice, anyone?

Discussion in 'Share Your Personal Experience' started by perky, Jun 8, 2012.

  1. perky

    perky Newbie

    My dad passed away from cancer in 1996. He completed service in the AF during the Korean War, so we are pretty sure mom qualifies for the A&A Pension. Mom has lived alone ever since my father’s death. In 2000 she had a debilitating stroke, went through extensive rehab and healed enough to retire at age 65 in 2002.
    Her health has slowly and steadily declined. Her driving license was revoked a couple of years ago (I think in 2009), so she has been homebound ever since. Her only income is her $950 Social Security, has had practically no money for the past 2 years and mortgaged her home in 2010 to have enough money to live on.
    In December 2011 we noticed that she was more feeble than ever. I came home from Italy (I am a permanent resident there) and arranged for a care giver to come in 5 days a week to help prepare meals, shop, run errands and check her medications daily. We wanted to put her into assisted living then, found out about the A&A but thought we should apply first and wait out the approval period, managing with the care giver which cost significantly less. I came back to Italy two weeks later, worked night and day on her application, sent in the Statement in Support of Claim (it was stamped February 9 on the back as the arrival date) which they sent back to me saying they needed more information. Three weeks later, my mom had a heart attack and very nearly died. She was recovered in three different hospitals. I came home, finished the application and sent in all remaining documents on March 24th following the advice I found in this website as carefully as possible. I stated in the cover letter that though we had found a care giver, she had just had a heart attack and we didn’t know if she would be able to return to her home. She then went through cardio-rehab and was recovered in a nursing home until we moved her into an assisted living facility on May 8th, after all her doctors, therapists and family members unanimously agreed that she could not live alone anymore and none of us had the resources available to care for her in our own homes.
    I have a few questions if anyone can be of help:
    1) Should I update her file again with the information of where she is being recovered now? Will this slow her application down?
    2) Since mom has been completely home bound since her license was revoked, is there any hope she would also be awarded money for the period when she was stranded out and living alone in 2009? She was not able to shop for food, and still has major communication problems from her stroke. We did not find out about the A&A until December.
    3) Does anyone her have any other advice for us?
    Thanks in advance for your help.
  2. takkaebby2003

    takkaebby2003 Newbie

    Hi Perky!

    I am in the same boat! My dad just had a stroke last week. I had to relocate him an hour away to be with me in Jacksonville. Tomorrow I'm packing up his house. We applied back in September 2011. We are in the decision rating phase and I am afraid to submit the new information because we've already waiting 9 months. We have about 10 more days to go in this phase "supposedly". I am hoping that once his claim is completed, we can come back and ask for reconsideration.....Good luck! I had to postpone my summer trip to London in 3 weeks to study though Florida State Univ. I paid $6000 for that trip and hopefully will get some or all of it refunded (that would help us tremendously!)

    Keeping you and your mom in my prayers,
  3. Jonw

    Jonw Newbie

    My mother has been waiting for a full year for her benefits to be increased because she was moved to assisted living with a significant increase in monthly rent. When I call they tell me they have all the correct paperwork and if they need anything else they will contact me. They say there are a lot of claims to process and they will get to it when they can. I am having to move her in with me at the end of the month because I can't afford to pay any more. She and my dad did not leave anything to help with this and when she moves in with me she won't have anyone to check on her or fix her meals while I am gone to work. She has severe dementia and has had several small strokes. I really don't know what to do. Three years ago when she first began to receive benefits it took about 9 months for the benefits to start. Now I really don't think it will happen anytime soon. They don't seem to be interested.
  4. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member


    Contact your Mom's state Senator on Monday, and ask them to do a Congressional inquiry on her behalf. You will need to sign a release form for them to communicate with the VA. Tell them she is out of money, you are out of money, and that this is an extreme financial hardship. Tell them you will have to move her in with you, and she will be without supervision.
  5. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member


    Send in a 21-4138 Statement of Support of Claim showing the increase in monthly expenses as well as provide the address of the facility. Keep a copy for yourself and mail Return Receipt.

    You also need to get a Statement of Occupancy from the facility to include.

    The VA is not going to go back to 2009, and you would have had to have expenses being paid out for 2011 to be considered for the previous 12 months.
  6. vetwife

    vetwife Full Member

    The last time I was speaking to a rep. I asked about hardship.
    Even though we are only in our third month, I thought I would inquire since we are out of savings.
    The rep. said since they recieve so many requests for hardship, you should be able to show something
    like an unpaid electric bill, etc. Pretty sad, you have to wait till the lights are going to be shut off.
    But I guess that is really hardship.
  7. perky

    perky Newbie

    Dear Debbie,
    Sorry if I’m working a bit backwards here! I forgot one of the… rather, THE most important thing…
    To THANK YOU for the incredible work you have done here!! I watched your video, read the heart wrenching story of your own personal experience with your mom and dad, and have seen how you tirelessly keep up with all the people who come here searching for advice and help. If we actually get the pension, it will ONLY be thanks to the information which you have so generously put together here. Whatever happens, I would like to send you the biggest, heart-felt hug of GRATITUDE. I am promptly on my way to make a donation to your website. CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR WORK… and again, THANKS.
  8. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member


    Thank you for your kind words, and appreciation of what I do, and why I do it.

    A very big "thank-you" for such a generous donation! That will help with the next trip to DC to argue the 3-look-back the Senate wants to impose on this pension. Greatly appreciated.

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