Discussion in 'Share Your Personal Experience' started by MARYINVIRGINIA, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. First of all let me thank you for the great service you are doing by your web-site. I am just getting started on applying for this pension for my 83 year old mother who has Parkinson's and broke her hip a couple of years ago and requires home caregivers at this time. In the two years that she has needed caregivers she has almost gone through her savings and I was so happy to learn of this VA pension (wish I had learned of it two years ago!) that she probably could have been receiving all along. The paperwork seems overwhelming at this time but I am sure it will be worth it in the long run. I just have a couple of things that I am not quite sure about at this point and thought you could help. My mother is spending around $1600 a month on caregivers and her monthly income is $1134 (social security $834 and $300 from a $25000 annuity in a montly payment). Her rent and living expenses take up all of the $1134 and them some and the $1600 for the caregivers is coming from her savings (the annuity). Would she only be eligible for the difference in these amounts? She has around $5500 in checking that I use for her caregivers and needs. I know some would say at least you have money but as you can see she is spending more than is coming in and at a very rapid pace and I am afraid for the future for her and her continued health care needs and at this rate it won't last long. I need to help her get the full benefits amounts. We have not paid for her final burial expenses and I was wondering if we should do that before we apply? I have been told to set this money up in a burial trust as soon as possible. When I apply do I include a copy of her rental contract to show her rent and electric bill etc to show her expenses? What about the cost for the private caregivers? I write a check each month (from her checking account which I am on and wondering if that would be an obstacle ). Do I include the documentation for her expenses with the application? There are very small amounts for medical expenses since she has Medicare and Tricare for Life. So many qustions, and I don't know who to turn to at this point. I am going to start the process and hopefully get everything sent off to the VA and be as persistent as I can so my mother can stay at home (where she wants to be). I wish more veterans and spouces were informed about this benefit but as I said you are doing a wonderful service and honoring your parents. Thank you!
  2. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member


    Thank you for your very kind words about our efforts to make a difference for others. We hope that you will find not only information but encouragement here to help you through this process.

    Regarding her financials, with:

    $1134 (social security $834 and $300 from a $25000 annuity in a monthly payment)
    $1600 a month on caregivers
    She certainly meets the monthly test - nobody at the VA cares about her rent and electric - medical expenses only please - include a signed statement from each of the caregivers stating that they are providing $x per month in care.

    Assuming there are no other assets beside the $5,000 in cash we would think there would be no problem on the asset test.

    As far as taking care of funeral arrangements prior to and setting up a trust, that is something you really should investigate, but suggest you do so with an Elder Law Attorney to make sure that you have everything in proper order.

    Getting the paperwork right from the beginning is critical so that the VA can not come back and ask for additional documentation, or question expenses.

    We wish you the best of luck, and please keep us posted as to how things go for you and your mom.
  3. Thank you for your reply. My brother seems to think that we do not have to include the $300 in monthly income because that is part of the $25,000 annuity (when she receives this payment monthly it decreases the amount of the annuity so he thinks that would be counting it twice once as income and once as an asset)?? I am not sure and want to do the right thing. Also, I am on my mother's checking account as I take care of all her finances do I need to include the POA for this? What about me filling out the application for her? She doesn't have demitia but does have Parkinson's disease. I just want to make sure that everything (probably not possible from what I have been reading from others) is in order before I send off the application so that there will be no delays. Is there a list of everthing you need to include with the application?
  4. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member


    We really cannot advise as to how this would come into accounting, but any funds she has access to have to be disclosed. Please try to get with an Elder Law Attorney who could best guide you on this issue.

    As for the documents that need to be included, please see this link from the website:

    The VA will not recognize a POA so it will do little good to include it. The biggest thing for now is getting the application submitted so that it is a matter of record and her effective date will reflect that. You can fill out the application for her, but have her sign it. We also strongly suggest that you send it "registered mail" so that someone will have to sign for it and you will have proof of receipt. Applications that are mailed registered have a much higher percentage of not getting lost, or a VA claim that it was never received.

Share This Page