Applying for Aid and Assistance and death of applicant

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Fred D, Oct 21, 2007.

  1. Fred D

    Fred D Newbie

    My father is a WWII veteran who is suffering from congestive heart failure and Lewy Bodies Dementia. He is living at home with medicad-funded support under a state-run program here in PA. Unfortunately, my mother who was his primary caregiver, had a stroke and Dad is beginning to decline. We are now rethinking how we can maintain him in his home. We have a limited number of hours of funded daily living care. A home care agency is encouraging us to apply for A and A to pay for the additional care and pay for the services needed now, with the expectation the costs will be refunded retrospectively.

    I think Dad will qualify, though there is the complication of a fundicary(sp) which may delay the application.

    His health is not good and he may not last the six to fourteen months the application process would take. Would the costs we accrue during the application process be refunded if he should die prior to being granted the pension?

    Many thanks for your good work
    Fred D
  2. veteranadvocate

    veteranadvocate Full Member

    You should proceed in applying for your Father's benefits. Even if his death comes before the approval of his benefits, the VA will have most of the documents in file for your Mother's benefits. You can also request that his claim be expedited due to hardship. (advanced age, declining health, financial hardship).
    This is another one of those benefits that the VA will not consider unless asked for.

    You may want to compelte the attached VA form 21-22a so that you can work directly with the VA on your Father's claim. These claims are not difficult for the VA to process, as long as everything is submitted to support the claim. We have seen claims approved in as little as 6 weeks. There are times that you have to give the VA a little nudge.

    Please keep us posted on your progress.
  3. Fred D

    Fred D Newbie

    Thanks for your reply. I could not see the attached form but found it at

    I have been crunching the numbers and the cost of adding the services would be over 2K a month. If we signed up for the additional services and applied for the Aid and Assistance, we would have bill which we would need to service. If Dad died in in two months time, prior to receiving approval, would those costs be covered?

    Funding the additional services will probably be done through a mixture of relatives and siblings. I need to know whether I can say to them, you WILL have this money back, or you MIGHT have this back. :) I don't want to mislead them.

    Ironically, if Dad went back into skilled nursing care in a nursing home, it would cost 8K a month
  4. veteranadvocate

    veteranadvocate Full Member

    There is no easy answer to your question. This is one of those areas that many individuals miss out on benefits because they do not file for the right benefit and use the correct wording. The VA tells a widow or family members that when the veteran dies, his claim dies. Technically that is correct BUT the widow has a right to file for any 'Accrued Benefits '. This is benefits that was due the veteran at the time of his/her death. Even if a claim was not finalized but there was enough information in the file to make a favorable decision, then the widow would be entitle to apply for those benefits. The VA usually don't explain this to the families.

    You should file an informal claim with the VA to protect November 1, 2007 as the effective date of the claim. The following VA regulation will give you some insight to this issue. The VA must receive the informal claim before November 1, 2007 to protect that date. If they receive it on Nov. 1 or later, then the effective date will go to the next full month.

    38 CFR ยง 3.155 Informal claims.

    (a) Any communication or action, indicating an intent to apply for one or more benefits under the laws administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, from a claimant, his or her duly authorized representative, a Member of Congress, or some person acting as next friend of a claimant who is not sui juris may be considered an informal claim. Such informal claim must identify the benefit sought. Upon receipt of an informal claim, if a formal claim has not been filed, an application form will be forwarded to the claimant for execution. If received within 1 year from the date it was sent to the claimant, it will be considered filed as of the date of receipt of the informal claim.

    There are a lot of additional issues that you should be aware of but space and time does not provide. You should locate someone near you to assist with the paperwork and guide you through the process.

    I am not trying to discourage you but I want to make sure your parents receive everything that they are entitled to.

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