Form 21-0845 Catch-22?

Discussion in 'Tips and Resources' started by Wendy, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. Wendy

    Wendy Newbie

    I’ve never participated in an online forum before so please bear with me. Here is a little background…My 76 year old mother has been in an assisted living facility in Kansas since August 2010 due to pronounced dementia. I have had DPOA for her since 2006. I am in the beginning stages of filing for Aid & Attendance for her as the spouse of a deceased WWII veteran.
    When filling out VA form 21-0845, Authorization to Disclose Personal Information to a Third Party, I noticed that it cannot be accepted from a beneficiary recognized as incompetent, which she is. It is my understanding that I must have authorization in order to deal with the VA directly as they do not recognize DPOA. It is also my understanding that further into the process a fiduciary will be appointed for her, hopefully myself. In the meantime, how do I deal with this apparent Catch-22 in order to get the process started?
    I will most appreciate any advice or direction.

    Thanks so much.
  2. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member


    Glad you found us, and hope we can help.

    It is true that the VA does not recognize POA or DPAO, so that is not going to help in this situation. If she is approved, you can file to be appointed as her Fiduciary once you get through the application process.

    Have someone at the facility hold her hand and let her either sign her name or mark with an "X", which should be witnessed by two people. You can also get an ink pad and have her do a thumb imprint.

    You need to let the VA rule her incompetent when the review her Dr's evaluation, and not address this going in with the application.
  3. Wendy

    Wendy Newbie

    Thank you so much for the quick reply.

    When filling out the form do I include any and/or all of her contact information? Would it be better to give the phone # of the ALF director as speaking to my mom would be futile?
    I will mail the application certified return receipt. Do I wait for a reply from the VA before proceeding with form #21-4138?
    I also have questions about that form…I assume that I provide Mom’s deceased husband, Tony, information on the top lines. From there do I write the letter in the first person, myself, and sign my name and contact information?

    Again, many heartfelt thanks. I don’t know that I can do this whole process properly without your help.

  4. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    You need to show the address of her residence, but you can also include your mailing address for correspondence to be sent to as well as your phone number since she would not be able to speak with anyone.

    Yes, write it in her person, and yes, you put the veteran's information at the top, and your mom needs to make her mark or thumbprint witnessed on all forms that require the applicant's signature.

    Not sure I understand your question about the 21-4138. Are you looking to send that in as an "informal" claim to start the clock on the application, and gather all the documents to follow later with a complete application?
  5. Wendy

    Wendy Newbie

    Good Morning,

    Thank you again for your immediate response. The information is quite helpful as it is more clear to me how to file both forms, 21-0845 and 21-4138.

    After carefully rereading the instructions found in your FAQ section for filing form 21-4138, I understand that I write a brief statement that Mom, as a surviving spouse, is applying for A & A, and should quote the statute 38 CFR 3.155 Informal Claims verbatim. I will have her sign the form and give my contact information, both my address and phone number. I will be able to follow up shortly with form 21-534 once I have the necessary statements from her doctor and ALF, the only documents I lack.

    I have 2 questions:
    Do I mail the 2 forms, 21-0845 and 21-4138, separately?
    Will the VA send acknowledgement of form 21-0845?
    Please let me know if it appears I have any misunderstandings.

    Thank you for all your help. I feel a new sense of confidence.
    I’ll keep you in the loop with our progress.
  6. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    You send them together. You keep copies of everything for your own records. You always mail Return Receipt, and you need to make sure you send it to the proper Pension Center that handles her state.

    The VA generally only acknowledges receipt of the application, which is in part why you always need/want proof of delivery.

    If you can get the informal claim done and mailed this month, you will gain a month for the effective date rather than mailing in July, which will push that out another 30 days.

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