benefits just denied

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Gerri, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. Gerri

    Gerri Newbie

    First of all - i'm new to this forum, but used this site go gather information to apply for A&A assistance benefit for my mom (90 yrs old and housebound). I applied for her in July 2008, and she just received a letter denying benefits, at this time; but information indicated she may appeal within one year. i will read the letter tomorrow for myself when i'm at her house to get details. However, am wondering what the bottom-line is for cash assets. Will the VA tell me?? i heard it's about $80,000 and my mom currently has about double that. but, as i saw noted here by other members, it's flying out the door at $4,000 per month for her live-in caregiver; plus expenses for maintaining her home (utilities, food, and the like). just curious about the asset amount and also as to about how much she might expect to be awarded as she nears the $80,000 threshhold. i told her it will never be enough to cover the caregiver fees, but would perhaps make her $$$ last a little longer. thanx for any information. and bless you all for being here.
     
  2. magnumpi28

    magnumpi28 Jr. Member

    Why would you even apply if she has over 80,000 in cash? You just wasted your time. Stocks, bonds, savings, cash, et all are assets and she has to have under 80,000 dollars. Its that simple when it comes to cash.
     
  3. magnumpi28

    magnumpi28 Jr. Member

    Forget what i said, let me just give you the official answer from a book about A&A, hope this helps you!

    As a general rule, assets cannot exceed $80,000. But there is no specific test in the regulations. Veterans service representatives are required to file paperwork justifying their decision if they allow assets greater than $80,000. Thus this amount has become a traditional ceiling. The service representative is encouraged to analyze the veteran's household needs for maintenance and weigh those needs against assets that can be readily converted to cash. In the end the decision as to allowable assets is a subjective decision made by a service representative. In certain cases a benefit award could be denied unless assets are below $20,000 or $10,000 or even zero dollars. There are ways to get around the asset test if assets are too high.
     
  4. Gerri

    Gerri Newbie

    I applied after meeting with a Veterans Service representative at a local senior center. I told him how much my mom had (all savings - no stocks, bonds, etc) and he told me to apply anyway to establish a file. he also told me that even though she might be denied initially, i could keep resubmitting (or appealing, if that's the process) as her funds dwindled. He gave me the application forms to complete. so, that's why i applied at the time. I did read on another page of this forum, that the V.A. doesn't actually have a specific dollar amount that makes one eligible for the pension. the wording was vague and basically said the determination of "need" is a V.A. decision. so, seems it's not a hard and fast sum. am i correct??
     
  5. nananorma

    nananorma Jr. Member

    I also understand that there is no "look back" period for the VA as with Medicaid. A friend applied after moving parent's money into his name just before filing, and his parents were approved for almost $2000 per month upon moving to assisted living. You probably could have done this prior to filing, just by moving into your or siblings name.
     
  6. Gerri

    Gerri Newbie

    hi, this is gerri - thanx for your responses and suggestions. i read the letter from VA today and spoke to a person in the los angeles office (i think!!). anyway, he was very helpful and explained the asset threshhold and the focus of this program being for pretty needy people. the only thing that upset me a bit, was that the denial letter referred to the DIC (dependance and indemnity compensation) denial, because my dad wasn't getting a disability award from the military. i never applied for that kind of program - our application was for A&A. i confirmed with the representative that i spoke that these are, indeed, two separate programs. he advised me to file a form that can be found on their web site to correct this error. so that when mom does deplete her savings, we can re-apply - under the correct program - and proceed from there. has anyone else experienced these kind of mix-ups/errors. kinda made me wonder who the heck is reading these applications and if they really are thorough in interpreting these various programs. just wanted to let the group know where things stand, as of now. mom seemed to accept the decision and the reasons - but we do want to correct the error on the request. will keep checking in to see what's new. everyone take care and thanks, again. gerri
     
  7. vbcoder

    vbcoder Jr. Member

    Gerri;

    Check your e-mail.
     
  8. Gerri

    Gerri Newbie

    just a response the the poster who suggested i transfer assets to my name (i have no siblings) - i believe that if my mom needed to be placed in a skilled nursing facility (nursing home) and applied for medicaid to cover expenses, the look-back period is now 5 years. if mom needed this program within 5 years, which is very possible since she's 90 years old, she/we would be penalized for trying to "hide" her assets from Medicaid/medical. so, for me, that doesn't seem like a very practical solution. any correction to my assumptions would be appreciated.
     
  9. magnumpi28

    magnumpi28 Jr. Member

    Geri, I pray you dont send your mother to a nursing home. Most nursing homes i would not even let my dog stay there overnight. Also once the funds are gone just because you get on medicaid does NOT mean you have to send your mother to a nursing home. What I did with my mother who has dementia is have her go to the day center which is a lot cheaper than a caregiver. Also now that my mother assets are depleted i got her on medicaid and they pay for the day center in full, it does not cost me a thing.
    The day center has a lic nurse on staff and my mother loves it there and then she comes home in the evening, she also gets her baths there for free. Then once your mother gets home medicaid also will pay for some assistance but not much. But with what they dont pay maybe with a&a you can have a caregiver and get reambursed for some of your expenses even while you are on medicaid in most states is my understanding.
    I would also sell her house and move her in with you, have her go to the daycenter in the daytime and use that money for a caregiver at night(aid and attendence will help also) before i would send her to a nursing home.
    Also keep in mind you can get hospice for FREE once she has been dignoised with a condition that will probably cause her to live 6 months or less. Most people dont know this but you can get the hospice benefit wether your mother is at home or is in a nursing home.
    One more thing, they also have a disabled lift bus here that is free so it does not even cost to transport her to the day center.
    PS. OF course if your mother is bedridden and requires a lot of care then I also understand sometimes people dont have a choice and a nursing home may be the only option, i hope that never happens..God bless you Gerri
     
  10. Gerri

    Gerri Newbie

    really appreciate your warm support. all your suggestions about day care and the help available are very interesting. i sure wish my mom could live w/me, and that i could arrange for her to get outside, to our local sr. center, which provides adult day care. since i'm in an area of orange county, ca., with many sr. facilities around me, there are many options for adult day care experiences. however, our relationship and history make our living together not an option. and, in her current circumstance (living in her own home with live-in caregiver), she absolutely refuses to leave the house, except to go to medical appointments and to the bank, when necessary. i've encouraged, cajoled and suggested she let me take her to visit friends, attend her old senior club group, or just let me take her and the caregiver out to lunch, to no avail. when we talked about her living w/me, i told her one condition would be her attending day care, at least 3 days/week, and she made it clear she would not go, and that i couldn't make her; we would both become prisoners in my home, were she to live w/me. so, her only option, should she outlive her savings, would be institutional. but, i do appreciate your input, and perhaps her attitude might change in the future. thanks, again. gerri
     

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