Can A&A benefits be back-dated up to one year from file date?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Belvedere, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. Belvedere

    Belvedere Newbie

    I have heard, but have no solid proof, that a vet/surviving spouse can request that his/her accrued benefits be paid retroactively up to one year prior to the file date of their initial A&A claim

    Can anyone shed light on this?

    Of course, one must prove that the conditions that exist at the time that the claimant was approved for an A&A pension existed up to one year, or part of one year, prior to the initial filing of the claim.

    If that can be proven, I have heard that the VA can/must/will pay for those months prior to the initial filing where conditions existed that would otherwise qualify the claimant for payment.

    My case is that, like nearly everyone else, my mother (as a 96 year old surviving spouse) never knew about the A&A. She dwindled down all her assets in an assisted living facility only to find out when she was down to her last $20,000. It took an astonishing 10 months, and congressional intervention, to have her claim approved. Note that there was never any objection to any info on her claim,,,the VA just did not act

    Anyway, the conditions that resulted in her being awarded the pension existed over one year prior to the initial filing. I understand Congress passed something that would entitle her to retroactive up to one year. Anyone know if that is the case.?

    Yes, I have asked VA reps but they are either totally oblivious or tell me that this pertains only to Agent Orange
  2. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    The 12 month prior applies to Veterans who were 65 or disabled as of Sept 17, 2001 and it must be an Initial Award for Improved Pension not for an increase for the special monthly pension.

    When they apply for the improved pension for the very 1st time and were age 65 or disabled in 2001, they are entitled to get 12 months prior if they meet medical and financial requirements.

    Based on what you have shared, you should file for the prior 12 months.
  3. janah

    janah Newbie

    My VA Mom is 93 and has never applied for any Vet benefits. She has been house bound for several years now and we are currently awaiting her discharge paper before filing for A & A. We would like to recoup expenses for the previous year. Since VA benefits can be back dated is it still necessary, or perhaps a good idea to file the VA Form 21-4138 ?
  4. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    This should not be on your radar at the moment. You need to make application and get through the process first.

    You can send in the 21-4138 making an informal claim to start the clock on the application. You can find the wording for this on the site in the FAQ section.

    If you get it mailed and delivered before July 1st, you will gain 30 days on the award.
  5. Belvedere

    Belvedere Newbie

    I'm referencing admins reply #1.

    Just to be sure this is the widowed spouse. not the vet that I speak of...That' still valid?

    Am I correct that the request for retroactive one year prior to filing is made on the 21-438?

    That would be submitted with all docs supporting the request, of course.

    We;re slogging through appointment of fiduciary now (senile dementia) which, I understand, can go on for many months as field interview(s) need to be scheduled. Think I should not "stir the pot" till a fiduciary is appointed, probably me, or should I just go for it all now?

    Incidentally I was on the phone today with VA rep and asked why my mother at 96 never benefited from expedited processing at age 96 given that there is a directive to expedite any claimant over 70. The rep stated quite matter-of-factly that the VA decided not to expedite claims based on age as everyone that applies for A&A is over 70 anyway and that would mean all would be expedited.

    Honest...the rep actually uttered those words.
  6. vetwife

    vetwife Full Member

    I think I read somewhere in the older posts that the retro pay is only for the veteran.
    I could easily be mistaken. I have read so many posts that they may get jumbled in my brain.
    That must have stung when they said about expediting, there is a big difference between 70 and 96.
    Good luck to you and your mom.

Share This Page