do we qualify?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Pamellag, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. Pamellag

    Pamellag Newbie

    I quit my job on December 1 2010 to take care of my husband who has alzheimers. He couldn't communicate on the phone so I couldn't even check on him. My husband should not be left alone so I stay with him 24/7. He is unable to prepare meals and needs assistance in dressing and bathing. He can't communicate verberly. He does not drive. He is confused most of the time. We don't have any huge medical bill at the moment. He is being treated with namanda and the doctor said to make an appt in May and to call her if there is anything he needs.

    I am almost of of money and I just learned about this prorgram and wonder if you think we would qualify for some assistance.

    My husband turns 65 on January and does get social security just over 1,100.00 month

    Based on this information would it make sense for me to start the process for aid and assistance? Thank you in advace for any information you can tell me...Pam
     
  2. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Pam,

    You would have to using outside services and incurring expenses for his care. As the spouse. it is expected that one would take care of the other, and based on what you have said, you are the only one providing care, and no one is being paid or compensated for services.

    This pension is to offset cost for care and services that are being provided and paid for. It does not sound as though this is currently your situation.

    I would also suggest you go back and visit the site and look at the approved period of war to confirm his service dates qualify him and you for this beneift. 65 sounds as though close to Vietnam conflict, and there are some sticky timeframes for Vietnam, where if the vet was not in-country, they are not eligible.
     
  3. Pamellag

    Pamellag Newbie

    Thank you for your quick reply. I had a feeling it was to good to be true. I quit my job because he is not able to stay home by himself for saftey reasons. Any suggestions? I am lost as to what to do. What do people do? When I loose my house because I can't pay my mortgage where do I live, how do we eat? I am beyond depressed. Dear God, what am I going to do?

    Pam
     
  4. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Pam,

    If his period of service qualifies, you might want to consider having outside services come in allowing you to return to work, make application for the pension so you would have the funds to pay for the care.

    It is a tough situation, and if his service dates do qualify, then you may need to find a way to take advantage of this benefit. If his condition worsens and becomes too much for you to keep him at home, at least you would have this resource in place to be able to move him.

    I know there may not be a perfect solution, but suggest you think long-term as to how you can handle this going forward and being able to meet his needs.

    I hope you can find a solution that will work for you.
     
  5. Marp

    Marp Jr. Member

    Hi Pam,

    I apologize in advance for the length of this post, but my father has Alzheimer's and we just recently went through the process of applying for this benefit.

    I don't have the many years of experience Deb has in dealing with this benefit & the VA, but I think I have some additional points to consider:

    1. Have you contacted the Alzheimer's Association? They have a lot of information on services and programs that may be helpful to you. Their website is http://www.alz.org/. Their toll-free phone number is 1-800-272-3900.

    2. Also consider contacting your local Area Agency on Aging (or Commission on Aging, Council on Aging, whatever it's called in your area). They also have information on services and programs in your area.

    3. Have you talked with your children about the situation? I told my mom and dad that they have 5 children, thus, my parents should NEVER lack help when they need it.

    4. As a last resort, you could always call Adult Protective Services (APS) and tell them that, due to financial concerns two elderly adults, one of whom has cognitive impairments, could become homeless. APS can be scary to deal with and may not be much help, but you never know.
     
  6. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Marp,

    Thanks for jumping in here and making suggestions on other resources outside the VA that will hopefully help!

    Happy New Year!
     
  7. Pamellag

    Pamellag Newbie

    Thank you for your reply to my post. I am not dealing with this very well at the moment but hear my mother in my head from heaven saying when your less upset you will be able to regroup and figure something out. Somehow I don't get comfort in that as of now. I do however feel that someone cares. I will look into all suggestions.

    I don't want 2012 to start like this...I was looking forward to something better.

    Thank you!!
     
  8. Marp

    Marp Jr. Member

    ....Continued

    5. As I mentioned before, Deb has many more years of experience working with this benefit than do I, but, based on information on the VAs own website, I believe you may be eligible for this benefit, if your husband's service time and discharge status qualify him:

    http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/pension/vetpen.htm#7

    Aid and Attendance is part of the VA non-service connected disability pension. This pension has three levels: Basic Pension, Housebound, and Aid and Attendance.

    According to the information in the link I included, a veteran and spouse could qualify for the Basic Pension if their annual countable income* is less than $16051, the veteran is 65 or totally disabled, and the veteran meets the other requirements (service time, discharge status....).

    For the Aid and Attendance level for this pension, a veteran with a spouse could be eligible if their annual countable income is less than $24,239 and the veteran requires the aid and attendance of another person. The information on the website doesn't say the veteran has to be paying someone to take care of him/her; he just has to need the care. Perhaps one of the people here who work for the VA can chime in on how that works; I'm just reading the website and sometimes the information on the website is vague.

    *Countable income for VA purposes is detailed here: http://www.veteranaid.org/forums/index.php/topic,1313.0.html

    And here is where your children could come in. They may not have the financial resources to help you that way, but they could help with some of the research. For example, they could make phone calls to find someone in your area (a Veterans Organization with a Veteran Service Officer or a County VA office) who can help you complete the paperwork. They could also stay with your husband when you go to the appointments so he doesn't have to sit through them if he won't understand anyway.

    I agree with Deb, it might be in your best interest to apply for this benefit. You might qualify. If paying for care becoames necessary to qualify, you could pay one of your children to help with your husband a few hours each week. That would establish a care expense. Your children would have to claim what you pay them as income and pay taxes on it, but maybe that's worth it.

    Good luck to you!
     
  9. Marp

    Marp Jr. Member

    No problem, Deb. Many tears have been shed in my family over my father's illness; I'm glad to help when I can to lessen the burden other families have.
     
  10. Pamellag

    Pamellag Newbie

    Thank you all for your input. I will be checking in throught out the day to see if anyone else has any words of wisdon. Tears...oh boy your not kidding. I have to keep up a brave front in front of my husband. He is such a wonderful person and would do all of this if he only could. These posts have helped me keep it together.

    Thank you for all you are doing. It is all so confusing for me. HUGS

    I will make a promise right hear right now that when all is said and done I will learn this information in hopes to help others...pay it forward. It would have to feel good if only you help one person feel better :)
     
  11. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Paying it forward is what everyone here does. It started with my story and what lead me to start this mission 6 years ago, and today we have 2200 registered forum members all sharing the journey. So when your time comes to pay it forward, I know you will.

    Marp, on the VA's website, what they don't spell out in plain and simple terms is that you have to finacially qualify for this pension - there is a means test which has to be met on all three levels of this pension, the only difference being for the Basic level, you do need to require the assistance of someone else for your day-to-day living.

    Without knowing the financial situation Pam, we cannot really comment. The VA looks at what the allowable medical expenses are and where the veteran stands finacially at the end of the month. Do they have enough to pay for care and services? If someone has money left over after paying all allowable expenses, the VA will either deny or award on a partial amount.

    Being that he is still at home, you cannot claim mortgage or rent, utilites, phone, gorceries, etc. All you can claim are expenses attached to care and services. If you look at the link Marp put up on Countable income, you will have a better understanding.

    We are here to help however we can. Sometimes it helps just knowing someone else understands.
     
  12. Pamellag

    Pamellag Newbie

    In a nut shell. My husband has no retirement (long story). He gets $1,100.00 a month social security. I am not old enough for social security yet I am 56. I quit my job to care for my husband and it was not totally thought out before I did it but it is what it is.

    I have aprox. $2,000.00 left in the bank. I have a mortgage and everything just like anyone else. I was stupid to listen to other people when I was told my husband would qualify for this benifit when he turned 65. I have no medical expenses for him right now other than the doctors visits. I am on a patient assistance program to pay for his medication. He will start getting medicare but I could not sign up for supliment insurance do to the money situation. I was also told that with my husbands age (65) it is possible that the time he was in the service would not qualify him as well. I did check on that. He was in the service from 1966 to 1970.

    Thank you for you interest in my post.

    It sounds like I should have not quit my job and paid people to care for him but even with a job I did not have the funds to do that.
     
  13. Pamellag

    Pamellag Newbie

    For the Aid and Attendance level for this pension, a veteran with a spouse could be eligible if their annual countable income is less than $24,239 and the veteran requires the aid and attendance of another person. The information on the website doesn't say the veteran has to be paying someone to take care of him/her; he just has to need the care. Perhaps one of the people here who work for the VA can chime in on how that works; I'm just reading the website and sometimes the information on the website is vague

    This is the wording that makes me wonder. Then, say I don't have to have expenses what about the years he was in the service between 1966-1970?

    Talk about stress! Again thank you everyone for your interest. Pam
     
  14. Marp

    Marp Jr. Member

    Here is a link to the information on the VA website regarding wartime service periods that qualify for this benefit: http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/pension/wartime.htm

    It looks to me like your husband's service period would qualify under the Vietnam era. You would need to have a copy of his DD214 when you apply for the benefit and I think the DD214 would give the VA the needed information to confirm he was on active duty during a period of war.
     
  15. Pamellag

    Pamellag Newbie

    I do believe I have the paper work that is needed. I will check in to the address you gave me as well. Keep your fingers crossed. Thank you.
     
  16. Pamellag

    Pamellag Newbie

    It does appear that my husbands service years do fall with in the guidelines. I will see and elder care attorney one day next week I just to take care of my husband in his own home as long as I can do it.

    Thank you again for all the information. you are a blessing to me.

    Have a good evening.
     
  17. vetwife

    vetwife Full Member

    Hello,
    I am new here...however I have reading this wonderful web site for a while now.
    My husband is a Korean war vet. He has had a stroke and needs assistance for all aspects of daily life.
    I am in a very similar situation. My husband's ss is around 1,200. and we have exhausted our savings, because
    I need to stay home and care for him. We have some medical deductions, his supplement, and some recurring rx.
    We have someone to help fill out the forms for aid and attendance and we will be trying to get this benefit.
    I was under the impression we have a chance, even though I am his caretaker.
    Thank god for Debbie and this website to bring comfort to those of us suffering....
    Good luck to you and to me too...sorry to be so long, thought it might help to know that someone else is going thru this too!
     
  18. Pamellag

    Pamellag Newbie

    yes, it does seem that we are looking for the same kind of help. I will keep you informed of anything I learn. I am going to see an elder care attorney one day next week armed with questions. I feel I am getting conflicting information or I am confused. Sometimes I read the same information twice and come up with 2 different things.

    Keep in touch.
     
  19. katy225

    katy225 Newbie

    I think your husband had to have served in Vietnam according to this.

    (f) Vietnam era. The period beginning on February 28, 1961, and ending on May 7, 1975, inclusive, in the case of a veteran who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period. The period beginning on August 5, 1964, and ending on May 7, 1975, inclusive, in all other cases. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 101(29))

    I'm pretty sure your husband must have gone to Vietnam at least once. What guy didn't back then? There was still the wonderful draft and they took them in like it was a cattle call to the slaughter. My husband went twice. The years you mentioned were the worst ones.
     
  20. vbcoder

    vbcoder Jr. Member

    Pamellag,

    The years he served does qualify him for time served.

    (f) Vietnam era. The period beginning on February 28, 1961, and ending on May 7, 1975, inclusive, in the case of a veteran who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period. The period beginning on August 5, 1964, and ending on May 7, 1975, inclusive, in all other cases. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 101(29))

    That means that from Feb. 28,1961 to Aug.5, 1964, he had to serve in Viet Nam, but from Aug. 5,1964 to May,7,1975 he did not have to be in Viet Nam. That's what inclusive, in all other cases means.

    I served from 1966 to 1968 and did not go to Viet Nam, but my time period qualified me.I am in an Assisted Living Facility drawing A&A to help me pay for my expenses here. Believe me, I do have some idea of what you are going through, but your husband does qualify for time served, so try to relax and listen to Debbie. She will give you good instructions on how to file.

    Best wishes.
     

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