I filed the A&A application for my Dad, a 95 year old WWII veteran who has dementia, on November 28, 2016, and received the award letter via his Senator on May 19, 2017. Thanks to your excellent advice on many occasions, the latest being contacting the Senator's office, my brother received the award letter via email even before it's delivered by the Post Office. In the award letter, it states the monthly entitlement amount, the effective date, and the Reason for Change. The effective date for the monthly amount is May 1, 2017, and the Reason for Change is Benefits Released. The letter specifically said that "you will receive your first check on or around June 1." Earlier in the same paragraph, the letter states "We have withheld your benefits pending a formal determination of competency to handle your VA benefits." What should I believe?! Then I noticed that the Retroactive Benefits were effective December 1, 2016, but the amount was equal to only 1 month, not 5 months, December to April. The Reason for Change was "Original Award; Retroactive Benefits Withheld." Should I question this amount, which is short by 4 months to the VA? In addition to the Award letter, there is a letter marked Important - reply needed: this is the letter proposing rating our Dad "incompetent for VA purposes." It references a Rating Decision attachment which we didn't see because we only received the VA letters via email. I expect that my brother will receive the entire packet including attachments in the mail. The Rating Decision provides an explanation about the VA's proposal, the reason for it, and the evidence considered. The rating of incompetence is why the retroactive benefits were withheld, which was expected. My brother didn't know what the next step should be, but thanks to your forum, I knew what to do! I sent him the wording for waiving the 60-day period to contest an incompetency rating, which you provide on your website. I also suggested additional wording that waiting for the retroactive pay during the fiduciary process would cause financial hardship for our Dad and to please schedule a fiduciary appointment as soon as possible. However, although the letter said to mail the reply to the address "at the top of the letter," there was no address, just the header "Department of Veterans Affairs/Regional Office." Should we send the reply on Form 21-4138 Statement in Support of Claim (as you advised in your website) to the Claims Intake Center to which we sent the application? Also, should our Dad sign the Form 21-4138? We are also including a copy of the Form 21-0845 (Authorization to Disclose Personal Information to a Third Party) which was sent with the original application. I think the documents that may have helped were: a cover letter introducing my father as a WWII veteran, age 94, with dementia, and living in an assisted living facility; a numbered list of the forms and documents included in the application (VA forms first, then discharge papers, then supporting documentation); and requesting expedited processing. The VA acknowledged the application in about 1 month. About 1 month after that (2 months since filing), the VA requested more information. I was crushed because I did everything I could to file a fully developed claim, and now it didn't qualify for expedited processing. The VA requested a detailed income and expense statement for 2 years for our Dad's rental property, which was his residence before he entered the ALF. Even though in the original application, we wrote in the annual rental income in section VIII, and expected income, section IX, they wanted more detail. Fortunately my brother kept excellent records and he filled that part out quickly. They also requested an appraisal of the home. That would cost hundreds of dollars and would take several weeks. Instead I went online to a real estate website and printed out the home's estimated value which the VA seemed to accept. I didn't realize the VA would want that information because my understanding was that the VA would not count the first house, whether the applicant lived there or not. After waiting 2 more months for a decision, we contacted our Dad's Senator and within 2 weeks got a response (not a decision) from the VA. The VA's response was that they were in the "final stages" of working on our Dad's claim and would give an answer in "2-3 weeks." So after 3 weeks to the day, my brother called the Senator's office and requested an update. In 1 more week (last week) the Senator's office emailed my brother the award letter from the VA! I am including so much detail because I want to help others navigate dealing with the VA (and I'm not done yet; there's still actually getting the monies and getting my brother appointed fiduciary). Thank you, thank you, thank you for your help and encouragement!