Eligibility for WASP's Womens's Air Service Pilots WW II

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by janah, Jul 6, 2013.

  1. janah

    janah Newbie

    My 94 year mother is a surviving spouse of a World War II Vet as well as a former World War II WASP - Women's Air Corp Service Pilot http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_Airforce_Service_Pilots . The WASP's were the first female military pilots, but were privately contracted by the Army Air Corp in WW II. We were told that as a former WASP that she was NOT eligible for the Aid and Attendance Benefit. Because of this we have applied for her A&A as a surviving spouse of a World War II Vet and submitted her application to the VA two weeks ago.

    My question is two fold: 1) Is it correct that as a former WASP (Women Air Service Pilot) that she is not eligible for this benefit?
    2) We have already submitted (two weeks ago) the A&A application for her to receive benefits as a surviving spouse. Can we submit another claim for her to receive A&A as a world war II VET and see if it goes through? We have her discharge papers.
     
  2. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Actually,

    WASP does qualify for this pension, and it would be quite a difference in award amount if approved.

    This is a bit of a sticky situation since you already have an application sent it. I would do a 21-4138 Statement in Support of Claim informing the VA that the wrong application was submitted and to not process as you are correcting by completing the 21-526 since Mom is actually the veteran and not surviving spouse.

    Complete the 21-526, include all the documentation as you did with the other. I would include a note with the new one that given her status as "veteran" and her advanced age, you are requesting the application be expedited.

    Don't be surprised if communications get crossed on the two applications. Just be sure to note which one replies are in reference of.

    Just curious as to who told you she was not eligible as a WASP?
     
  3. janah

    janah Newbie

    Actually I started this process a over a year ago and intended to use my mother as the Veteran. I filed a form 21-438 in July of 2012 stating that we were in the process of getting her paperwork. I tried to get her honorable discharge papers from the Army and was not sure that we would ever get them. After waiting a year for her papers and learning from 2 sources that she would not be eligible I gave up. I decided the safe bet would be to apply for her benefits as a surviving spouse. LO and BEHOLD two days ago her DD 215 arrived -- Now I guess I have quite a mess on my hands.

    Two sources told be that WASPS were not eligible.

    1) A former WASP that is in charge of verifying WASP participation

    She said that the only benefits WASPS were entitled to were a Flag for burial


    2) I emailed the curator of the main website for WASP History.

    My email:
    The Women's Air corp Service Pilots were granted Veteran Status. Did that make them eligible to receive the same Veteran's Benefits - such as Aid & Attendance, Medical etc.--as the male Air corp WWII Vets?


    and below was her reply.

    The WASP did NOT receive the same benefits-- but they did get the right to have a flag on their coffins. WASP who want to apply for VA benefits for health reasons have to prove they are without any other means-- even then, it is miles of red tape. However, there are WASP who have been able to ask for help--and receive it.
     
  4. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Misinformation is rampant within agencies that should have all the answers.

    Yes, you do have a bit of a mess, so again be mindful that it may take some to get it all straightened out since there will be two applications being processed.

    You might want to shoot an email to the Curator and tell them to look at section 401 of Pub. L. 95-202 - Such service if certified by the Secretary of Defense as active military service and if a discharge under honorable conditions is issued by the Secretary.

    (1) On that list is Women's Air Forces Services Pilots (WASP).
     
  5. suse

    suse Jr. Member

    In light if the incorrect information you received, vital information at that, I would contact the senator's office where your mother lives. To me both her age and the circumstances warrant doing so. For it to take that long to receive her dd214 is beyond ridiculous. Just my opinion. Our senator was crucial to getting things going & approved. Good luck!

    Suse
     
  6. janah

    janah Newbie

    Thanks for the advice about contacting our senator. However, I am concerned that if I pursue her benefits as a WASP it may be more time consuming -- with all the red tape -- than pursuing her benefits as a surviving spouse. If my mother should pass away while we are dealing with the system, we would not receive any reimbursement for the money that we have already spent. Her home care has been quite costly and the money is sorely needed.
     
  7. suse

    suse Jr. Member

    In either case I think it would help to contact her senator. Just make sure you decide which way you are going to proceed before talking to her senator.

    Suse
     
  8. janah

    janah Newbie

    Before I make a decision as to whether to pursue my Mothers benefits as a vet or her benefits as a surviving spouse I have a question on which I am confused: I submitted a form 21-4138 as a surviving spouse in APRIL 2013. If approved, can we collect benefits dating back one year prior which would mean benefits would begin APRIL 2012. Or if approved can we only collect benefits beginning in April 2013 ?

    April 2012 -- Her at home Care taking began

    JULY 2012 -- After learning about aid and attendance I filed a form 21-4138 with my mother as the vet

    APRIL 2013 -- Still had not received my mother's WASP discharge papers. So I decided to file a form 21- 4138 for my mother to claim benefits as a surviving spouse.

    MAY 2013 -- Submitted the 21- 534 application as a surviving spouse.

    JUNE 2013 -- My mother's discharge papers finally arrive.

    JULY 2013 -- Trying to decide whether to pursue my mother's benefits as Vet or as a surviving spouse of a Vet.
     
  9. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Hate to say it, but you have created a bit of a mess for yourself by submitting two applications, and I doubt that this is going to be easy to sort out.

    There is quite a difference between $1,113.00 and $1732.00, which is the difference between a surviving spouse and the vet.

    Obviously you/she is better off being awarded as the vet. It is a year on her application, and for a veteran, this should not be at this stage.

    Have you called the VA to inquire on the status of her application? If not you need to.

    Regarding, the 12 months prior, there is no guarantee on this, and generally part of that equation is that the vet would have qualified both physically and financially the 12 months prior.
     
  10. janah

    janah Newbie

    "Obviously you/she is better off being awarded as the vet. It is a year on her application, and for a veteran, this should not be at this stage."

    A Year ago I just submitted a support of claim to get her file started, I never submitted the completed application. The VA could not find her SS # in their files and asked me to show provide her dd 214.


    " Have you called the VA to inquire on the status of her application? If not you need to."

    Yes, I did call about the form 21- 534 that I submitted for her as a surviving spouse of a Vet in May 2013. They said that the status was pending and it may take up to a year for approval.


    "Regarding, the 12 months prior, there is no guarantee on this, and generally part of that equation is that the vet would have qualified both physically and financially the 12 months prior."

    Yes, there is no problem proving that she would qualify both physically and financially. So it is true that if I submitted a form 21-4138
    (support of claim) in April 2013 that I could be eligible (it may not be easy) to collect benefits starting from April 2012. Thank you, good to know.
     

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