Help to Reapply for Aid/Attend

Discussion in 'Share Your Personal Experience' started by Frau Leigh, Feb 2, 2008.

  1. Frau Leigh

    Frau Leigh Newbie

    I want to reapply for A&A as my mother was turned down. Before I do so (and get another turn down) I need to ask some questions:

    1. My mother has stage 6 Alzheimer's & requires bathing, feeding & dressing care. I have been the only family caregiver for 1 year & need to return to teaching as soon as possible & I have found a good place for her for only $2,080 a month. (A miracle in itself in this age of $6,000 retirement homes.)

    My mother receives $823 Social Security & $593 Army Widow's Survivour Benefits -- $1,416 total. The VA says she makes too much & has no medical expenses -- well, duh -- Medicare & Tri-Care for Life pay for all of her medical expenses & she gets all of her meds from the Navy free. So, no she has no medical expenses.

    Now she & I live on her $1416 a month & it's tighter than Rosie O'Donnell in a girdle!! I was told that if I pay myself out of her money this would qualify under the VA rules as "medical" expense & may possibly qualify her for A&A?

    2. It was also suggested to me that I could have the assisted living where I want to place her write a letter stating that she has been accepted into their facility & what the annual expenses would be. I should then include this in my A&A Resubmission. Has anyone had success with this? The VA rep here in Jacksonville, NC told me I'd have to have my mother in assisted living for a year before I can resubmit her package & then they would back pay. Gee, that's nice -- BUT I CAN'T GET HER INTO A HOME IF I CAN'T GET A&A CAN I? Arrrggghhh!

    3. I gave up teaching last year to take full-time care of my mother so the US Government has lost my taxable income for a year. Even if I go back to teaching tomorrow morning I still need to put my mother in a facility as she needs complete help with food preparation, dressing, bathing & in a locked facility as she wanders now.

    Medicare says she doesn't need skilled nursing yet; Medicaid says she makes too much in retirement income; the VA says she makes too much & has no medical expenses. Where in the USA can anyone get into an assisted living for $1416 a month? Please tell me because that's where she'll go if I can't get her on some assistance.

    My last resort is to go back to Social Security & see if I can apply for SSI for my mother. She's 80 & no longer understands any of what is happening around her. Plus, she's forgotten most of her English & reverted to her mother tongue German & even that isn't understandable. She's recently started talking of her husband again (who is buried at Arlington -- 2 Bronze Stars from WWII & Korea & wounded twice.) & thinks he's going to come soon!! No chance of that. My father gave his life to his country & I'm just sick about how we treat those in need.

    [So many Veterans & widow's of my mother's generation didn't have alot to begin with; didn't understand 401K's & spent most of their working lives living on an E-3 to E-7's pay, which in those day's wasn't very much at all. These days, anyone can run for Congress, spend 2 terms in office & qualify for retirement with the best health insurance!!! This is not the same country I came to in 1954!]

    Back to my questions: Any suggestions would be greatly appreciately. I thank you in advance. Frau Leigh @
  2. veteranadvocate

    veteranadvocate Full Member

    1.) If your Mother pays you for taking care of her and she has a record of payment then she can count that as a medical expense and use it to reduce her countable income for VA pension purposes.

    2.) I’ve not known the VA to consider this avenue unless the patient is actually in the ‘assisted care facility’. You can request that the VA consider the ‘on going’ cost of the assisted care cost to adjust the countable income. I’ve seen this approved many times. You will need a statement from the ‘assisted care facility’ stating that she is a patient and what her monthly charges will be.

    3.) If you go back to work and have to hire someone to come in to stay with your Mother while you are at work, this could also be used to reduce her countable income.

    I am not quite sure what the VA rep was talking about when he said you would have to wait a year. A veteran/widow can reapply when their situation changes. Without having more information, I would not want to comment more on this particular issue.

    Hope this info has been of some help to you. If you need copies of regulations just let me know.

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