Appointment of Fiduciary

Discussion in 'Share Your Personal Experience' started by Joycet, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. Joycet

    Joycet Newbie

    Hello to all my fellow caregivers,
    I applied for A&A benefits for my mom in January. We received notice in May that she was eligible for death benefits from the month following my dad's death (last April) ongoing, but due to some encephalopathy from an infection she was determined to be incompetent. I returned the forms telling the VA that we did not contest their decision and that my mom requested that I be appointed as her fiduciary. I have called the VA admin in Philadelphia and I understand that I must now wait for a field representative to come out and meet with me and my mom to make the deterimination and recommendation. I am thrilled that she is eligible but am concerned about the length of time it will take to make this all happen. The VA rep made it sound like it would be a long time - many months. Of course like many of you this is a great concern as my Mom get less than $900 from Social Security and her rent is > $2000/mo. My siblings and I are taking this money from our own savings which are quickly dwindling. Does anyone have recent experience with the Philadelphia VA office on this and do you have any advice for me?
    Thanks : ???
  2. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member


    As frustrating as this is, you do have an option that might help expedite things for you.

    Once you receive notification from the VA that they find it necessary for a fiduciary to be appointed you should submit Form 21-4138 and include the following statement:

    Please be advised that my (parent) 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 and, to that end, have enclosed VA Form 21-592. I understand that I must be interviewed prior to that appointment and would appreciate such an interview be scheduled as
    soon as possible.

    At this point both (whoever is asking to be appointed) and the applicant will have to be interviewed by a VA Field Agent who will determine if you are an appropriate person to assign fiduciary to.

    Note: Due to the overwhelming needs for interviews such as this, it can take months before you are contacted to schedule an appointment. You may need to be proactive in calling and “requesting” that an appointment be scheduled. You should allow at least 30 days before following up with contact.

    If your situation is one that the delay in payments will create an extreme financial hardship, you can include the following statement as a way of expediting payment:

    I respectfully question the withholding of my (parent’s) benefits, pending the appointment of a fiduciary. Referencing a VA policy: Pursuant to VA Manual M21-1, Section 17.15: Procedure Upon Receipt of Evidence of Incompetency, your manual states "Do not routinely suspend direct payments to a beneficiary pending development of an issue of incompetency or certification of a fiduciary." The manual further states: "If entitlement to benefits has been established but no payment has been made or if increased benefits are payable, make a determination as to whether or not benefits should be paid directly pending certification. The determination should consider if delaying the payment of the benefits would cause undue hardship for the beneficiary. If the evidence of record shows that delaying payment would create a hardship, properly annotate the award, referencing the evidence reviewed and the justification for paying benefits directly to the beneficiary." I think if you reference my (parent’s) claim, you will see that withholding his/her payment does constitute a hardship for him/her. I would like to request that he/she receive payments during the fiduciary appointment process.
  3. Joycet

    Joycet Newbie

    Thank you, I have completed and sent the forms and wording similar to your suggestion. I will continue to call about the field rep appt. Is it true that there is some benefit in asking your state's senator to intervene? Also can our local VA rep be of any assistance?

    My mom is right when she says if my dad and the other men who fought in WWII has waited this long to report to duty, we would surely have lost the war!
  4. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member


    You are welcome and some folks have had success with involving their Senator or Congressperson - not so much your VA rep.

    Tell your mom she is right on point. Classic quote, and I may need to borrow it sometime in the future.

    Keep us posted as to how things go.
  5. hlsjmc1

    hlsjmc1 Newbie

    I to am in the same situation.

    AA was awarded yet the VA is withholding payment of benefits based on finding my father incompetent and appointing a fiduciary.

    we sent a statement of claim and letter waiving his right to appeal the decision and requested that I (his son) be appointed fiduciary, we have heard nothing from the VA.

    the letter/statement was received by the VA June 9th

    i want to call and inquire where they are in the you have a phone number?


  6. Joycet

    Joycet Newbie

    Since I sent Mom's application into Philadelphia I called them at 1-800-829-4833, but in order for them to discuss his claim with you, your father must be present for them to speak with him first or you need to fill out and have your dad sign a form#21-22a.  You should also have his file number when you call.  I must say that everyone that I spoke with at the VA were very helpful and kind in answering my questions.  But sometimes they just had nothing new to tell me.

    However, I can report progress, I have a meeting arranged with a field representative.  He sounded very nice on the phone, seemed like he was happy to give me the news. 

    This is such a blessing, I know my dad would be very pleased that his service during WWII is now going to make Mom's life easier.

    I wish you and your dad the best of luck.  I sincerely believe that these men sacrificed so much when they were young that they more than deserve this benefit now.
  7. tomevgas

    tomevgas Newbie

    Dear Joycet,

    If I am reading your postings correctly, you applied for fiduciary in July and an appointment has been set up in August. Would you might telling us what state you are from?

  8. Joycet

    Joycet Newbie

    I actually applied for fiduciary status in May, however great news, after meeting with the field rep last week I received the letter from the VA to officially appoint me as my mom's fiduciary, today.

    I did call the VA in June and was told that they do not touch the claims for 60 days after they declare the applicant incompetent. They wait because the person has 60 days to provide proof of competency.

    I am in PA.
    Hope this helps.

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