Form 21-534 and Section III

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by jumboco, Apr 8, 2008.

  1. jumboco

    jumboco Newbie

    First off, let me tell you what a wonderful job all of the administrators have done in answering some of these questions I've read so far on this board.

    My siblings and I are about to apply for A&A for my mother who resides in a nursing home as soon as we get all the forms and all of the information we need to fill out these forms together. The part that stopped me in my tracks a few months ago from pursuing was the part on knowing my deceased father's pension and duty service periods, Section III. It seems I had to fill out yet another long form just to have access to this information.

    My father, who was a Korean Vet, retired after some 20+ years and (I assume) was receiving a pension up till the time of his death. I have no idea his time of entry and (exact) retirement date of his service. There could be documents, but they may or may not be located in my mother's home. Is this the form, which is called "Form 180, "Request for Military Service" that I will need to fill out just to obtain this information or can the VA supply it to one of the siblings that is designated as mom's PoA?

    Thank you so much for any help!
  2. veteranadvocate

    veteranadvocate Full Member

    As long as your Mother is filing for a non-service connected pension and not claiming that your Father’s death was caused by his military service, the VA should only need a copy of the final discharge (DD214). The final discharge will show that your Father received an ‘honorable condition’ discharge and that he had at least 90 days for service time with one day during a period of war.

    It could take months to get a reply from the National Personnel Records Center after submitting the SF180 form and then you will probably get a response that contains the following statement. ‘If your records were here during the 1973 fire, they may have been destroyed.’

    The VA has ways of verifying service dates and character of service so don’t delay in submitting your application. If you feel that your Mother meets the requirements and her income is below the income guidelines, you should apply before in order to protect that as her effective date. If you have everything together to file but will not be able to submit the application in time for the VA to receive it prior to May 1, 2008 you may want to call 1-800-827-1000 and tell the veteran rep that you want to submit an ‘informal claim’ to protect your Mother’s effective date of claim. Your Mother will have up to one year to submit her actual application and the effective date will be at though they received the application prior to May 1, 2008.

    Let me know if you have any additional questions. You may also want to consider submitting the 21-22a form to serve as her representative. This will give you the authority to obtain status of the claim, once it is filed and allow you to assist your Mother with her claim

    The Veteran Advocate
  3. jumboco

    jumboco Newbie

    Thank you for your wealth of knowledge on this subject. One can get overwhelmed and discouraged by going through such a process as this. Glad you have this forum to help us out here.

    I found most of my forms online but called the VA hotline just in case I may have missed any and they told me there is one to fill out that is not online and that one will be sent to me. I am hoping we can locate our father's documents without having to request this information pertaining to his service.

    What, may I ask, is the deadline of May 1, 2008 you are referring too?

  4. veteranadvocate

    veteranadvocate Full Member

    Will you let us know what form the VA is sending you? If it is one that is required, we want to make sure that we have it available to everyone.

    Until your Mother file her application and the form 21-22a to appoint someone to represent her, she can call the toll-free number and ask if your Father's service dates and character of service been confirmed. Your Mother can authorize you to speak on her behalf after the VA Service Rep confirm that your Mother is the widow and gives the VA authorization to discuss her case with you. If the dates have been confirmed then you do not need to submit them again. Even if they have not been confirmed but are available in their data base, they should be able to provide those dates to you.

    Do not hold up submitting your Mother's claim because that his costing her money. You can sumbit an informal claim per phone, on-line or my mail. This will protect her effective date of claim. The VA must receive some sort of communication that she intend to make an application for that benefit. The VA must receive the informal claim prior to the beginning of the next full month in order to preserve the effective date. If the VA receives some form of communication before May 1, 2008 then that will give her one year to submit her official application and the VA will assign May 1, 2008 as the effective date of claim.

    Let me know if you have any questions on this issue

    The Veteran Advocate
  5. jumboco

    jumboco Newbie

    Thank you Advocate!

    I understand now about the deadline other words....initiate ASAP.

    I will post you the form description and number as soon as it arrives from the VA. The rep could have been mistaken about it not being online for download.......we'll see when it arrives.
  6. jumboco

    jumboco Newbie

    I did receive a form from the VA on Friday that they had told me was not available online. It is called "Physician's Statement for Consideration of Aid and Attendance". I had found one similar to it, though on the VA website that was called 21-2680, but it seemed to be from what I'm reading from its header that it is for VA use only. This form I received states no such thing. I will email Debbie a copy.
  7. veteranadvocate

    veteranadvocate Full Member

    I did receive a form from the VA on Friday that they had told me was not available online. It is called "Physician's Statement for Consideration of Aid and Attendance". I had found one similar to it, though on the VA website that was called 21-2680, but it seemed to be from what I'm reading from its header that it is for VA use only. This form I received states no such thing. I will email Debbie a copy.

    Thank you for sharing this information with us. I would like to share some personal comments regarding this subject. I feel this is one of the major problems with the VA system, “They are not consistent in what they require to support a claim.” This makes it very difficult for us to provide a direct response to some of the questions we are presented.

    * The VA form 21-2680 is an internal form but some VA Regional Offices will accept it from a private doctor. I am in favor with this.

    * We have seen several different versions of the form that was provided to you. It is not an official VA Form because it does not have a VA Form number assigned to it. VA official forms must also contain additional information. I feel the VA Regional Offices are trying to obtain the needed information to process the application but they should address this problem with one standard form that all VA Regional Offices can and will accept. Some VA Regional Office will only accept the form that they constructed even though they all contain the same information.

    * Some VA Regional Offices that will not require a ‘physician statement’ when the veteran/widow submits a statement from the facility, on their letterhead that includes the date of entry; monthly cost and states the veteran/widow is a patient at their facility.

    Within reason, it is usually quicker and easier to submit what they are requesting, even if you know it was previously submitted. It will save time in the long run.

    The Veteran Advocate
  8. jumboco

    jumboco Newbie

    Thank you Advocate for your comments.

    The number I had called for the form request for my region (Winston-Salem office) was a generic 800 number, 1 800 827 1000. If each region's forms are unique, the way to get in touch with each one is not. What does one have to do? to their individual regional office and request a form directly?

    We will use this form for now and see where it gets us.

    Thanks again!
  9. veteranadvocate

    veteranadvocate Full Member

    The 1-800 number for the VA will connect you to your local VA Regional Office unless all lines are busy and then it will roll-over to the nearest VA Regional Office that can accept the call. Chances are good that you did talk to someone from your local Regional Office.

    I agree with your decision to go ahead and submit the application and the ‘physician statement’ to your local VA Regional Office. My response was for the purpose of giving others a heads-up that they may not all receive the same info from the VA. This problem needs to be dealt with by the VA. Until that happens we must all continue to help others by sharing our experiences, good and bad.

    Thanks again for sharing your info with us. Keep us posted on the progress of the claim and let us know if we can be of any assistance.

    The Veteran Advocate
  10. jumboco

    jumboco Newbie

    Maybe next time when I call the 800 number, I'll ask the person on the other end, where they are physically located.

    I'll try and keep everyone informed on our progress.
  11. SCD

    SCD Newbie

    Just reading your questions.....(I got mine approved in 8 weeks posted SCD).....I found these websites, Veteranaid and, more accurate and helpful then the VA. It took me longer to get ONE form filled in by the VA (10months!!!!) then to get the claim approved. I needed to have the VA doctor my Dad sees fill in the Physicaians form......thats all.......first time they filled in it, and told me they'd mail it (boy was I stupid) and it ended up going to the wrong regional office, then lost after that...tried to get them to fill in another to replace it, "Oh No, we don't initiate that" after calling, yup everyday, and every person in charge, (over 100 calls)I found out that yes they do initiate it,and then found the form (21-2680 online) and sent it to EVERYONE in the VA clinic he goes to! Finally got it done. Lesson learned, do all the leg work yourself, do not wait for them to initiate any info. You really can (in my case) do it all with info from these two sites. Got the DD-214 on line (VA website), all forms, how to fill in all forms ( and all documents needed. HINT: when I was told by the VA (main # 827-1000) that they couldn't discuss my fathers info...I would call back the next day, get someone else who would give me info....
    Good luck to you, and another HUGE Thanks to VeteranAid!!!!!!
  12. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Thank you for sharing your experience. So many are of the opinion that whatever the VA says is the gospel and not to be questioned. Your experience is more reflective of what most encounter, and gives reason for pressing on and not taking NO for an answer.

    We are glad that we were able to help and appreicate your kind words regarding our efforts.

    Thank you!
  13. jumboco

    jumboco Newbie

    Thanks for sharing SCD. I got all the forms I think we'll need. Just need to fill them out and hopefully find all the information I need going through our mom's records without having to request anything from the VA. I'm hoping that my sister can "walk-in" the application and deliver the forms since she lives in the same location as our regional office.

    I'll keep everyone posted on our progress!
  14. SCD

    SCD Newbie

    Thanks for the thanks! Please if you have any questions filling out the forms, go to and they have a VERY DETAILED guide on how to fill in the main form .......It seems that if (I'm using an example I read online) you fill in the wrong square the VA could spend weeks trying to find a non exsisting spouse who doesn't contribute any income...this after you have already checked that you have no spouse! These are the kind of problems that these wonderful vet help websites warn you about. I am now filing for fiduciary and have submitted letters stating we do not need have any problems with them find my father incompentant, and please go ahead with the process...if I don't they will wait 60 days to continue...also I summited a letter quoting their manual, that if it is a hardship they cannot withhold funds during this process (in my dads case it is a hardship).
    Another need to send in an original DD-214, they wont (I've read) accept a can get those online, or have an VA official make an official copy.....I'm sure when you are through you too will realize what a lifesaver these vet help websites are...I'm going to name my first born (ok I'm 56 and no children. it will have to be a puppy) after them!
  15. mjs

    mjs Newbie

    Can you tell me where I would do this informal application online?

    My sisters and I are applying for aid and assistance for my mother who is entering Assisted Living this week.

    Thanks for your help.
  16. SCD

    SCD Newbie

    Sorry, didn't know if you were asking me (SCD) or not....which application are you asking about?
  17. jumboco

    jumboco Newbie

    This is not a follow-up...but another question that just hit my email inbox.

    I subscribe to a ElderLaw firm's email newsletter and the latest issue has just came in. In this email he addresses Veteran's Aid and Attendance and mentioned the following:

    By law, the only people that can help compile an application for a veteran or a widow are:

    A licensed attorney
    A veterans service organization (such as the VFW, AmVets, American Legion), or
    A state Department of Veterans Affairs office.

    By law, it is illegal to charge a veteran for compiling and submitting an application.

    On the other hand, it is not illegal to charge a veteran for the planning involved in qualifying for the benefit and implementing that plan.

    Is this guy trying to drum up business in this area? I have never found anything that says such a thing so far in my searches.
  18. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    The way that Elder Law Attorneys and Financial Advisors get around this is to provide "other" services for which they get compensated for and do the filing of A&A for "Free". Some consider it trolling. They put on "helpful" seminars at ALF's for Family members who are struggling to find resources to pay for care, newsletters, OPEd's, and other means of distributing information. Many work directly in partnership with ALF corporations. Taking care of the elderly is BIG business in this country.

    I know of Financial Advisors who upon discovering that there was not enough money there to manage backed up from their assistance to do the "free" filing. It's like anything else in advertising. You identify your target market and go after it. Baby Boomers are a massive target for those who have goods and services to sell. As always a good train of thought would be;
    "Buyer Beware". Be an informed consumer.

    Interesting note: The VA has all these stipulations as to who cannot help file an application. Those who are "approved", more times than not don't know how to file, but you are free to get help from H&R Block or any other tax service provider to make sure your taxes are filed on time and that the government gets everything they are entitled to.

    One would think that our veterans would have already filled out their paperwork by virtue of their service.

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