Help with Accrued Benefits Mess

Discussion in 'Share Your Personal Experience' started by PattyW, Dec 24, 2015.

  1. PattyW

    PattyW Newbie

    Hi, I am back on the forum for more info regarding accrued benefits. My husband received a letter at the beginning of this year on Jan 2, 2015 stating that he was approved for Aid and Attendance which would include accrued benefits from back to January 1, 2014. He then died 4 days later on January 6, 2015. I filed form 21-534EZ and the VA received it on 2/23/15. I included my marriage certificate and the copies of the approval letters for my husbands aid and attendance and a copy of his death certificate.

    I then received a denial letter in March, 2015. The letter stated that it was denied because "the benefits may be paid based on relationship or reimbursement. To qualify as a relationship the veteran's child must be considered a dependent. To be a dependent for VA purposed a child must be the veteran's biological, adoptive, or stepchild and: not married, be under the age of 18 or be between the ages of 18 and 23 and enrolled in full time post secondary institution or be considered helpless. Because you do not meet the above criteria, we cannot pay you accrued benefits n the basis of relationship." It also stated "You did not report any expenses on your application. To claim an accrual based on reimbursement, the beneficiary must be someone who paid for all or part of the veteran's last illness and burial. In addition we would need proof of payment from you."

    When I got this letter I was confused as I was filing as his wife and had included our marriage certificate. I did not pay his expenses as we had no money to do that. My sister-in law paid them with the understanding that she would be paid back when we got the accrued money. After getting my denial letter, my sister in law filed form 21-601 and included copies of all checks that she wrote for 11 mos of his care, a copy of the statement of account from assisted living, his death certificate and copies of the approval letter stating the award amount and payment start date and also the accrued benefit start date from the previous year.

    I just received a letter from the VA (early November this year) telling me to disregard my denial letter that I received in May and then another one stating that I was now approved for the accrued benefit and would receive the total amount within 15 days of receiving the letter. My sister-in-law also received a letter stating that her claim was denied which said that "we can't approve your claim for accrued benefits because the evidence of record shows that the Veteran's spouse is the proper claimant."

    I have received nothing yet and it has been almost 2 mos since receiving the letter indicating they would be paying. I called the VA 2 weeks ago and the girl said she could see the approval letter that I was referring to and even though it said they would be paying in 15 days that didn't mean they would. I asked what should I do. She said just call back!!!!!! Three days later I got another letter that basically said don't contact us we're reviewing your file. We'll contact you! What should I do????? I feel that I should file an appeal to my first claim before March just to protect my right to have a claim. What do you think. Do they really purposefully wait for people to die and time expire on claims that people file so they don't have to pay?????????????
     
  2. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Patty,

    I am sending you a personal message.
     

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