Award declared! Next steps??

Discussion in 'Share Your Personal Experience' started by lundfactor, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. lundfactor

    lundfactor Newbie

    After several months (4) just recieved notification that Dad was granted the maximum award! Thxs to this Web site and all of the contibutors in the forums, I was able to get this done for Dad. Followed all of the advice and was well organized. Definetly going to donate to this worthy web site and all of Debbies efforts and encourage all to do the same....

    I believe dad will be eligible to recieve the retroactive payments that go back another year from his effective date of the award. Questions:
    1) We are going to waive the right to a hearing and just go along with the incompetence rating as it appears as if it is the easiest move and quickest. Dad is not incompetent - he just has a hard time understanding all of the bureacracy associated with the VA...Dad lives in Illinois while I live in Colorado. Can I still be appointed fiduciary if I am across the country? Does it make it difiicult in terms of having a VA representative interview both my dad and myself if we are spreadout in different states?
    2)Looks like I still need to prove dad needed the assistance of others (he was in the AL facility for the entire 1 year look back period) - would a note from his doctor indicating that he was being treated for all of the same ailments he had when awarded the pension suffice? Is there a standard letter (or form) I can give to the doctor to fill out? I want to make it easy for his doctor...

    Thanks for any input you can give.....You rock Veteran!!!
  2. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    A big CONGRATULATIONS!! Love hearing this kind of news!

    Very fortunate to get through the process in 4 months, so much to be thankful for.

    The Field Agent will more than likely request you to be present at the interview, so be prepared to travel to IL. Maybe some others who live in different cities or states who have been through this can chime in here.

    A note from his Dr. stating his needs were the same the prior 12 months, and biggest thing is that he would have financially qualifed - meaning his expenses for the prior 12 months were pretty much the same.

    The VA should send you something on this, or if not, call them.

    I'm glad we "rock" thank you, and glad we could be here for you!
  3. lundfactor

    lundfactor Newbie

    Thxs for the quick reply Debbie....Would welcome others input into having the fiduciary be located across the country. It will be tough to coordinate a trip for me to coincide with the VA interview once it is set....I may just utilize a trusted family friend who handles some of dad's finances and lives in the same town as dad. Our Doctor is more than willing to provide the statement as you outlined Debbie. Thanks again for the advice....And yes, his expenses were the same for the prior 12 months as he was still in AL during that time period, so don't think there should be an issue with the financial qualification. The VA did send a bunch of forms with his approval of the pension award (the purple sheet, a "statement in support of claim", medical itemization expenses, income, etc...and they "hand filled in" some of the dates needed for the lookback period. I suspect that this is what you mean when you say "the VA should send you something on this". Any other ideas or comments are welcome as we move to this final phase.
  4. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Yes on the form for the prior twelve months.

    The VA Field Agent does have to interview the individual asking to be appointed. I would wait till you get to that point, and then ask how you can proceed if you were to assume this role, and what challenges would that present.

    Again, anyone here who has already dealt with this, jump in.
  5. Fillise

    Fillise Newbie

    I am interested in this as well. Dad has asked that I be appointed as his fiduciary. I live 500 miles away, but have been managing his finances since my mom passed away in october 2010. Really, I've been paying their bills for them since she got too sick to handle the duties. We sent Dad's agreement to the disposition and his request that I be appointed his fiduciary several weeks ago, so I'm hoping we can get an interview scheduled this fall.
  6. lundfactor

    lundfactor Newbie

    Since my last post in July when we filed for the back pay and previous 12 months, Dad was finally notified on 10/16/12 that he was incompetent and they were going to have a field agent come out and interview him as part of the whole process to assign a fiduciary for the prior 12 months back pay that he deserves. Lo and behold the field agent from the Fiduciary division finally showed up on 11/14/12 to conduct the interview. The interview went well with just a few basic questions asked ( dad said it was more of a chat then an interview). Dad reminded him that they needed to set up an interview with the appointed fiduciary (my brother will now be the fiduciary) who was located in Colorado and the agent said another representative would set that up. As of today, 12/18/12, they have yet to interview my Brother in Colorado. I called the 800 number the other day and actually got through to the "call back later" automated response system which they did in fact call back... and I actually talked to someone on the phone!. Good to see that system is up and running again.... They said "be patient, it may take longer than expected...." I said we filed for the back pay in July and yes, we will (have been) more than patient with the V.A. I then asked about the look back period and she indicated that she only shows the request on file was for the dollars owed from the original filing date of the pension (1/13/12). I said that I understood he was eligible for the money from the original filing date but he was also entitled to the 12 months prior as well. She said she did not show that we had filed for the "legislative review" which I suspect means the 12 month prior period. I told her we did indeed file all of the paper work for this "legislative review" which included the EVR form, medical history, assets and income, etc.... She said she would put a note in our file and gave me a reference number to use and to call back in 10 days to find out what the status is on our "legislative review". Anyway......still waiting this out to see if Dad will in fact get any of the "back Pay" owed to him from the original filing date as well as the 12 months prior. It took 6 months just to get the another 5 months and no answer on back pay. I suspect they are just waiting to see if this decorated veteran will pass quietly into the night........... :(
  7. lundfactor

    lundfactor Newbie is a new update.....We decided to utilize my brother in Colorado as fiduciary. February, he was notified that they wanted to set up the interview. It was only by working through the Salt Lake City pension center that we were able to get this interview scheduled. We found out that this office handled the fiduciary interviews for Colorado and lo and behold, after a few phone calls, they set it up. This office was very helpful and everyone we talked to in this office seemed to have a high level of competency. Very organized; very thourough; and good follow up. My brothers interview went well and the local field agent was very helpful. He helped us to set up a fiduciary account through my dads bank, guided us through all of the paperwork, and approved my brother as a fiduciary. We finally recieved an award letter from the VA in late February indicating that dad was approved to recieve all the back pay money owed to him from the original file date as well as from the 1 year prior period review (knicknamed "legislative review" apparantely by the VA). Obviously great news! Here it is (3/24/13) and the money has yet to be distributed. Tried to get an answer on "when" and got the typical run around....2 questions....
    Anyone have experience / history in terms of how long it takes to get these retroactive payments actually paid to the veteran after he has been notified that he was approved for the reward?
    In addition, are there any restrictions in terms of how the veteran uses these retroactive payments? Dad is concerned that he can only use the funds for his assisted living expenses and medical expenses....
  8. lundfactor

    lundfactor Newbie

    Re: Award declared! Next steps?? Surety Bond?

    Update - just recieved another VA letter asking for a "Surety Bond". In our original letter from the VA on setting up the fiduciary account, there was a specific sentence that said "we did not/were not required to have to set up a surety bond". Now they say they need a surety bond in the amount of $47k???? Does anyone have a similar experience to this?
  9. lundfactor

    lundfactor Newbie

    New Update;

    So as it turns out...we did have to get a surety bond in order for the VA to consider making the back payments owed to our father. They have since reviewed the surety bond info (which cost us about $400 to obtain!), and have now approved Dad for his back payments. It has been quite the run around but after 1 year amd 5 months--- Dad is getting his regular monthly payments and has just recieved his back pay owed to him for the prior year!. He feels a sense of relief knowing that he can affors to stay in his assisted living facility. AGAIN - A HUGE "THANKYOU' GOES OUT TO THIS WEB SITE - TO DEBBIE - AND ALL OF THE CONTRIBUTORS FOR THIER EFFORTS. WE NEVER COULD HAVE DONE THIS WITHOUT THE HELP OF THIS WEB SITE"....

    Dad and I are sitting together now and he would like to say the following " My son has had to guide me through this whole process with the VA and he has told me how helpful this website has been. As a WWII veteran who loves his country, I will continue to support the VA in thier efforts to support our veterans and thier families. We have all given of ourselves to our country and all veterans deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. I am grateful for the help that this website has provided to us. My son has said he never could have done this without thier help. Thanks to Debbie and all!"

    On a side note...I am writing this update with my father as we sit in a hospital room after my father suffered a heart attack last night. He is doing fine and awaiting a procedure later today to correct some problems. We ask for all your prayers as we continue our journey of life.
  10. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    For the purpose of the boards here on the forums, I will say, I am left speechless and tearful from this post that has wrapped tightly around my heart.

    I responded to a personal email on this matter from Lundfactor, an hope I conveyed my appreciation.

    As you sit with your Dad, please tell him that this daughter of a WWII Veteran says "Thank-you" for your great service to our country, and I am honored to have been of assistance and able to make this difference.
  11. lundfactor

    lundfactor Newbie

    June 30th - Dad has passed away and a deep emptiness fills my heart. He was truly an amazing man/father/grandfather/vet. He was able to have some peace of mind in his last 6 months of life as a direct result of not having to worry anymore about his bills and making payments to the assisted living facility. All because of a little known benefit called "Aid and Attendance".....and a wonderful Web site called It was over a year and 1/2 journey but it was well worth it as he felt like his respect and dignity were returned to him. The joy on his face when he was able to send a $20 check to his grandson for his 15th birthday was well worth the many nights spent writting letters and copying files. I appreciate all the help and support that has been found on this wonderful web site. And I especially want to thank Debbie for all her kind words, thoughts, and prayers. Life goes on, and you can be sure that I will continue to check these forums and chime in when I can. In addition, I will continue to "spread the word" about and attempt to help other veterans and thier families until the day I die. God Bless....Lundfactor :D
  12. Red Headed Mommy

    Red Headed Mommy Jr. Member

    Lundfactor: So sorry for your loss...

    We are grateful for his service that allows us to continue our freedom as a nation that he fought to preserve....
  13. vetwife

    vetwife Full Member

    So sorry for your loss...bless you for all that you did for him.
  14. gardener

    gardener Newbie

    I hope you find peace in your heart.

    Your dad was lucky to have you as an advocate. I am sorry for your loss and hope the emptiness in time will fill with good memories of him.
  15. Twinstoo

    Twinstoo Newbie

    I just read all of the comments on here in relation to Lundfactor and losing his dad. It brought tears to my eyes. It's so unfair to veterans that they have to go through such a difficult and long process to get what they so rightly deserve. Prayers out to you and your family're a blessing to others. Thank you for being such a great advocate for your dad.

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