Application For My Mother (Surviving Spouse)

Discussion in 'Surviving Spouse Application' started by Steve Wilner, Aug 1, 2017.

  1. Steve Wilner

    Steve Wilner Newbie

    I just started reviewing the application for my mother who now is paying for a home health aid (6 hrs a day) and is costing her a small fortune. My father previously had the A&A benefit until he passed at the end of 2014.

    1) It seems that most of the secitions of teh form can be skipped because my father already was approved for benefits previously and I have the file #. So if I skip the sections like the Veterans Service Info - does that also mean they do not need me to send a copy of his discharge papers ?

    2) On the marriage section (they was only one for 60 years between them), my father was in an assisted living the last few years of his life and my mother lived with me. The question about did you live continuously with the veteran until his death - should I say yes or no ? My father's legal resident was still the same address as my mother's but he was in the assisted living home nearby ?

    3) Since my mother lives with me in my home she has no real property - but of course she has clothes - how do estimate the net worth of old clothing - or should I just state zero for real property.

    4) For expected income do you estimate the same amount for the 12 months upcoming based on the current gross monthly income or is this expected income any income above the current amount that is in addition to what she already gets monthly from social security and a pension ? Would this just be her mandatory IRA distribution amount that would be expected in the next year ?

    5) I know I need to send the death certificate, a copy of the marriage license and current income and IRA statements. Do I need her doctor to fill out the physicians form or is a letter on their letterhead enough ? What if I can not find the social security award letter that came at the end of last year ? Is there anything else I may be missing.

    Thanks, Steve
  2. Matt375

    Matt375 Jr. Member

    1) You are basically starting a new application for her. It is best to send everything they need along with it as you do not know what is in your father's electronic folder at the VA. You shouldn't skip any sections on the forms everything must be completed or lined out if is N/A. The only sections you wouldn't fill out are Sections V and VI.

    2) Just state yes, it keeps things simpler.

    3) Don't worry about personal effects, unless she is the proud owner of a few Monet's you do not need to list anything there. When did the marital home sell?

    4) Just list the monthly amount and the VA will annualize it. List SS, Pension and the IRA Distribution separately. I believe you are talking about Section IX. You can either list the IRA Distribution here or in Section VIII.

    5) You do not need to send any papers documenting her income (that is what the claim form is for). Yes, if you are claiming anything higher than the basic pension you will need to include a VA Form 21-2680. Again, don't worry about the SS Letter just list her gross amount on the application, VA will cross check it with them anyways.

    Anything else, continue the thread.
    Kaylin likes this.
  3. Steve Wilner

    Steve Wilner Newbie

    Thanks for your reply:
    1) I was only asking about sections like Section II. Veterans Service Information - it says to skip the section if the veteran was receiving pension benefits at the time of his death - and he was. I have the file # to provide. That is why I was wondering if they needed another copy of his discharge papers - if it says to skip the section. I will just send a copy anyway. It says to skip section IV also if there are no dependent children.
    2) I will just say yes !
    3) My parents sold their home in 2004 and moved in with me back then - so that was 13 years ago and should not matter. She has no real valuable assets.
    4) She only has the 3 items - SS, Pension and IRA distributions - so I will put the numbers where they belong.
    5) I will get her doctor to fill out and sign the medical form. I will keep looking for the SS Letter but if you think they do not need it - I will not tear the house apart looking for it !!

    Since she is getting home care from an agency (that is where the costs are coming from) - is there a form that needs to be included from the home health agency. I saw a form for an assisted living home but not one for home care. Right now the cost of her home care is slightly more than her monthly income - so she is draining out the savings slowly.

    Thanks, Steve
    Kaylin likes this.
  4. Steve Wilner

    Steve Wilner Newbie

    I should have added above - when I list medical expenses since the only ongoing costs she has is the cost of the home health aide each month - do I need to list other medical expenses from earlier in the year. She has medicare and a medicare supplement - so when her $2200 annual deductible is met - there are no additional medical expenses during the year. Do I go back and list the expenses from earlier in the year that she paid to reach her out of pocket max or does that matter ? Thanks !
  5. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    @Steve Wilner you can include a Caregiver Contract since she is getting home care. It's not required but a lot of people like to use it to show evidence that there is ongoing care being provided at home to the applicant. I will paste an example below. As for medical expenses, if you search on Google for "aid and attendance medical expenses" and click on the first link that comes up - it should say Deductible Expenses - Veterans Benefit Administration - that sheet that you download has section C where it lists allowable medical expenses.


    This CARE SERVICES AGREEMENT documents the prior verbal agreement and/or understanding made by and between the Client (the person requiring care services) and the Caregiver (the person providing care services) of said agreement.

    Services are to include the following itemized services and any others deemed necessary or desirable for the health and well being of the Client.
    · Monitoring health status to include physical and emotional condition. Coordination of doctors' appointments, transportation to appointments, consulting with doctors, keeping prescriptions up to date, picking up prescriptions, organizing and administering all medications.
    · Securing health care professionals, doctors, nurses, and home care providers as necessary.
    · Assistance with bathing, dressing, personal hygiene, grooming, and health care as needed.
    · Assessing personal needs and desires as to social, physical, entertainment, hobby, and personal pursuits as needed and or/requested by Client.
    · Assisting with instrumental daily activities to include care of pets and securing the home regarding "safety" measures as needed.
    · Financial management including weekly and monthly bill paying, daily money management, and taking care of other financial matters.
    · Dealing with other third parties to coordinate matters detailed herein.
    · Safeguarding client's rights with regard to benefits and other programs client is entitled to.
    · Manage and run home by providing all following services and any others necessary for a well-maintained home environment: planning, cooking, and serving all meals, cleaning, laundry, transportation, errands, shopping, lawn care, landscape maintenance, and minor home repairs.
    The weekly or monthly compensation paid to the Caregiver is subject to change at any time as agreed between the Client and the Caregiver. The initial arrangement is as follows.
    Hours/Days: Full time, seven days a week, 24 hours a day
    Compensation: $amount a month
    ____________________ ____________________
    Dated Client

    _______________________ __________________________
    Dated Caregiver
  6. Steve Wilner

    Steve Wilner Newbie

    Thanks Kaylin for the information.
    I may actually have a service contract with the home health care agency with their letterhead I can use that shows the services we are getting and the costs. If not I will create one that can be signed by the owner of the agency.
    My only question about other medical expenses was if I go back to expenses that were paid earlier in the year that were not covered by insurance. Between now and the end of the year my mother's medicare supplement will cover everything else except the home health aide which is private pay - and that is where the expenses all come from..

    Thanks, Steve
    Kaylin likes this.
  7. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    Steve, I would think that those past expenses would not be included. I have always been told it's kinda like how car insurance works. If you got into a wreck with your car before you had insurance, you can't then get insurance after the wreck and expect the damages of that wreck to be paid for. It has to be ongoing expenses that are currently depleting your mother's income that the VA will count towards the A&A benefit. I hope that helps! And you're welcome.
  8. Steve Wilner

    Steve Wilner Newbie

    Kaylin. Thnaks..

    This will be rather simple then - the only ongoing expense that is greater than my mother's monthly income is the cost for the home health agency (aides) she gets at home. Slowly she is draining out the little assets she has left to pay for the home health coverage. I assume if the monthly cost of the home health is greater than her monthly income - that should be all I have to document under medical expenses. In January she will be back to having more expenses until she meets her out of pocket max for her medicare supplement plan. Thanks, Steve
    Kaylin likes this.
  9. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    @Steve Wilner correct - the fact that she pays more for home healthy agency aides each month than she is currently getting for income puts her in a deficit which the VA will see once you put those monthly amounts on the application form.
  10. Steve Wilner

    Steve Wilner Newbie

    We pay the home care agency (bi-weekly - every 14 days). Should I list it that way on the expenses on the application form - or do I need to indicate a monthly amount ? It changes depending on the number of days in the month when you try to come up with a monthly amount ?

    One other question - should I include the statement for a Fully Developed Claim ? If so. what is the Claim # - do you leave that blank since I do not have a claim # yet ?

    Thanks again, Steve
  11. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    It is best to give a monthly amount on the application. What you can do it take the average monthly amount by taking the total amount of care costs so far and dividing it by the total months you've paid them. If you want to include an explanation of the bi-weekly payments vs. the monthly amount you can always include this on a cover letter with the application.

    As for the claim number you can leave it blank. Unless you've previously filed a claim with the VA and have that number on hand it's not necessary to put anything in that box.
  12. EvaM

    EvaM Newbie

    Re: the Claim Number

    If you first filed a Notice of Intent To File Claim, VA Form 21-0966, and got back from VA an Acknowledgment of Receipt Letter, at the top right of the first page of that letter it should hopefully show something like:

    VA FILE NUMBER: 111-22-3333

    [The VA File/Claim Number may very well be your Veteran's/deceased Veteran's social security number].

    As the Acknowledgment letter states within the text of the letter which we received, please use that VA File Number on all future correspondence or filings with the VA.

    Note: You indicated that your Father/Veteran previously had an A&A claim while he was living. If they used his social security number as the VA File/Claim Number for that claim, I am curious to know if they continue to use his SSN for your Mother's/Surviving Spouse's claim or if they assigned a completely different number.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2017
  13. Steve Wilner

    Steve Wilner Newbie

    I checked and the File # for my father was not his social security number - it was different but now I see that on the letter that we got back as an acknowledgement of the intent to claim for has that same file number now as what they had for my father. So I guess they keep it under the same file number now for my mother. I think that would only help make this go a bit faster since they already know my father met the eligibility criteria previously. I actually just mailed in the application and all of the paperwork yesterday. My mother's case should be simple - her home health costs via a licensed agency for the month is more than her income - and she is slowly draining out the little savings she has to pay for it. My sister & I are also helping out for now until she gets approved and hopefully gets back payments to the date we got from the intent to file form.
  14. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    That seems correct to me @Steve Wilner because the application for A&A is always tied back to the veteran. Thank you for your input @EvaM !

    Best of luck in your application! Please come back with any questions, insights, and advice you may have as you go through the process.

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