Competent or Incompetent

Discussion in 'Fiduciary questions' started by StlCards, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. StlCards

    StlCards Newbie

    Seven months after submitting an application for death pension with aid attendance for my mom, I received a decision letter.
    Part of the decision included a proposal to rate my mom incompetent and appoint a fiduciary.
    It seems my mom will receive a regular monthly benefit "until the VA does a final rating of incompetency".

    My sister currently assists my mom in paying her bills as she is forgetful and loses track.
    Should we go ahead with the proposal and appointment of a fiduciary, or would it be easier to ask for a rating of competent and have my sister continue helping with her finances? I've read about the process for appointing a fiduciary and it seems like it's an arduous process.

    Also, the letter included an "Incompetency Notice Response" and I understand what to do with that.
    But there is also a form 21-4138 Statement in Support of Claim. There is no mention of this form (i.e. directives on how to complete) in the letter.
    Can you please advise?

    I sincerely thank you for this site and all of your help and support, Debbie.
    There is no way I would've been successful in this process if I hadn't found this wealth of information.

  2. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member


    Congrats on getting through the application process to award, and thank you for your kind words. I'm glad to have shared in this journey with you.

    What you want to do is waive the 60-day window the VA gives you if you disagree with their findings. No point in doing that. It is darn near impossible to get the VA to reverse the decision of incompetency, and it will just add a lot more time to the process, in which they will more than likely stand by their original decision.

    Use VA form 21-4138 Statement in Support of Claim with the following statements:

    Please be advised that (parent's name) 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. I understand that I must be interviewed prior to that appointment and would appreciate such an interview be scheduled as soon as possible.
  3. toxdoc49

    toxdoc49 Jr. Member

    If the veteran and/or surviving spouse is in an assisted living facility, and part of the agreement is to have all their monthly income go toward the cost, can the POA still be the fiduciary under this process? I would assume so.
    Kaylin likes this.
  4. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    Yes, your mother-in-law's POA can be the fiduciary. But you don't need to start anything with the fiduciary process until the VA rules your MIL incompetent. Starting before then would be a waste as the VA won't care until they actually send you a letter letting you know the fiduciary process needs to start.
    toxdoc49 likes this.
  5. toxdoc49

    toxdoc49 Jr. Member

    Thanks Kaylin. We are going through another phase right now and your responses are very helpful. Thank you!
    Kaylin likes this.
  6. jscott

    jscott Jr. Member

    Hi Janice, A couple of tips from someone who's been thru the fiduciary process. (1) Along with the statement that Kaylin mentioned above to go on the Statement in Support of Claim, be sure to include the contact phone numbers and mailing address for the person you wish to be named fiduciary. This way that info will be handy for the examiner. (2) After you submit, follow up with them about every two months to find out the status. Don't let them tell you there's a backlog -- make them look it up on their computer. In our case, the application had fallen through the cracks, and it wasn't until my second phone call (at about the 8 month mark) that we found out -- despite waiving the 60 days -- that the fiduciary decision had not even been adjudicated. (3) When you call, have the VA put the expedite on the case. Based on my experience, your letter will not expedite the process, but when the VA did it, that sped things up.
    AghelpingMom and Kaylin like this.
  7. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    Thank you so much for your input, jscott.
  8. toxdoc49

    toxdoc49 Jr. Member

    So far, we have gotten three letters from the VA stating that they are still processing the application for pension, and we will be notified upon completion of processing. It has been about 7 months since the application was submitted. There is no mention of fiduciary to this point. It seems a little strange. But I am not questioning them at this point. I'm waiting to see what happens next.
    Kaylin likes this.
  9. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    Thank you for updating us, toxdoc49. Still hoping for the highest award amount for your mother-in-law.

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