Death Pension Award and Fiduciary Process

Discussion in 'Fiduciary questions' started by edwina10, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. edwina10

    edwina10 Newbie

    After my Senator's office became involved in October, my mother's claim for "Death Pension" has now been awarded.

    The VA sent a package of information to her at the ALF where she has been a resident. It included 3 separate documents:
    1. Rating Decision indicating entitlement to A&A established effective 6/25/15 (Date VA indicated they received the claim. However I sent a notice of "Intent to File" in April and received written confirmation from the VA dated 4/22/15 stating the "Intent to File" form could protect her entitlement compensation date to April if the application was subsequently filed within one year (which it was).

    2. Letter explaining Award Amount and Payment Start date of 6/25/15.

    3. Letter explaining VA's proposal to rate her incompetent.

    All of this correspondence is "date stamped" 11.19.15, but the envelope in which it was mailed from the VA was postmarked 12/18/15. By the time the ALF forwarded the packet of correspondence to me, I did not receive it until this past Saturday, 1/2/16.

    To further complicate matters, she fell on Oct 31 and broke her hip, was hospitalized for surgical replacement and subsequent stay in a rehab facility until 12/21/15 at which time she was discharged back to her ALF. However, because she was extremely over-medicated in the rehab facility and allowed to become severely dehydrated, she was acutely ill upon return to the ALF. 2 days later, on 12/23/15, she had to be hospitalized where she is still an in-patient, but I am hopeful for a discharged in the next few days.

    I plan to send VA form 21-4138 Statement in Support of Claim with the following statement(s) per your recommendation in another post: "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 daughter) 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.

    Here are my questions:
    1. Any point in pursuing an earlier entitlement date back to April?

    2. When I filed the original claim and sent all the supporting documentation, I included a Deposit Slip to effect Direct Deposit. However, the "Award" letter indicates that no banking information was included. Is this something I could/should address in the VA form 21-4138 or address this as a separate matter. Thus far, she has received only 1 check (Dec 1) and the VA sent that check to the SNF where my father was a former resident. Fortunately, the staff remembered me and called me to come pick up the check.

    3. Because of the extreme deterioration in her medical condition, the hospital is indicating that she will likely require skilled nursing care when/if she is discharged this week and will be unable to return to her former ALF.
    Shall I leave her address as the ALF since I don't yet know where she will be discharged to and worry about getting that updated later?

    Thank you more than I can express for your wonderful website and your continuing assistance and guidance.
  2. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member


    Since it is only a difference of two months, I don't know if I would push on it until you get through the Fiduciary process. You can speak with the Field Rep at the interview, and point out the intent to file back in April.

    If the VA says they don't have the banking info, no point in saying you sent it, just send another one using VA form 21-4138. They are going to require you to open another account once she is through Fiduciary process.

    Don't update a change in address until she is actually in a new location. Once again use 21-4138 and if she goes into nursing home care, then get a Statement of Occupancy from them to include with the update on her address.

    Sure hope your Mom starts doing better in the near future, and as always, glad to be here for you and her.

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