I need a lot of help

Discussion in 'How to Apply Questions' started by Amy, Mar 23, 2017.

  1. Amy

    Amy Newbie

    I need to apply for my mom, who has dementia/ALZ and is currently living in a memory care facility. We have ripped through her savings in the 2 years she has been there and I am now in panic mode. My dad(deceased) was a veteran of the korean conflict. I do have some of the info I need to file the application gathered together but am afraid of screwing it up. I suffer from severe anxiety and this has me at an 11 on a scale of 1-10. I am overwhelmed and have no one to help me (only child) so I am going to ask a lot of questions and hope you are patient and can help em get through this step by step.

    My first question is, can I fill this out for my mom or is there something I need to do since I am filing on her behalf as she is unable to do any of this herself due to her dementia?

    Thank you in advance for your guidance!
    Kaylin likes this.
  2. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    We are here to help you with any questions you may have, Amy. And happy to help! Yes, you may certainly fill out the forms for your mother. I would recommend making sure to include the 21-0845 Authorization to Disclose Personal Information to Third Party form in your complete application as well since your mother has dementia and you will most likely be handling her financial affairs in the case of the A&A benefit.
    Amy likes this.
  3. Amy

    Amy Newbie

    Okay, when filling out the 21-0845, please tell me if the following is correct:

    Line 1) Name of veteran is my dad.
    2) Name of beneficiary/claimant is my mom.
    3) my mom's address...but can I put my address instead? My address is her legal mailing address even though her physical address is in assisted living.
    4)VA file number? Just leave this blank?
    5) SSN...would this be my mom's (claimant's) SSN?
    6) Contact info...can I put MY phone number and email here?
    7) I'm selecting "any information"
    9) I'm selecting "ongoing until written notice is given to VA to terminate
    10) My name and address
    12) signature...I do need to have my mom actually sign this, right?

    And I should just include this form when I mail the application form 21-534EZ, correct?

    Thank you so much!
  4. Jandy

    Jandy Jr. Member

    Hi Amy,
    Welcome! Kaylin is right--we are happy to help you. I know how overwhelmed I was when filing for my father (he also has dementia and lives in in an ALF memory care unit). This forum was a lifeline to me, so I want to pay it forward if I can.

    There is a more recent version of 21-0845. It's actually a better form--it makes it clear whose Social Security # is being asked for (it's the veteran's). That answers your question 5).

    As for your other questions, yes to all of it--you're on the right track on each count. A couple notes:

    --Re the VA File Number: if your father ever filed for VA benefits in the past, it will be the same VA File number. If you're not sure if he ever filed or you can't find the #, don't worry. Just leave it blank.

    --With respect to contact information, just an FYI--I put my contact info on all forms I filed. I would put "c/o (my address)" and wrote "mailing address" beside it to make it clear. I seem to recall that on a couple other forms, it asked for "home address." I didn't want to cause any confusion that perhaps my father lived with me, so I wrote in my address and put "mailing address" beside it; and then underneath in smaller letters, I wrote my father's ALF address and wrote "physical address" beside it.

    My advice would be to file both the 21-0845 AND and the Intent to File (VA Form 21-0966) at the same time. The Intent to File form will give you the earliest possible effective date in the event you are approved for benefits. Benefits will be paid retroactively to the date you sent in the Intent to File; otherwise, they will be paid retroactively to the date you sent in the full application. If you are ready to send in the full application soon, then you can skip the Intent to File, but if you think it's going to take you a bit longer to pull everything together, I would file it (and the 21-0845) ASAP.

    Finally, do you have your father's military discharge papers/DD-214? If not, you need to get them. Here's a link to a helpful page on veteranaid.org that tells you how to get these papers; it also gives you a list of the documents you will need to file with your mother's application.

    Good luck and let us know if you need more guidance!
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017
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  5. Amy

    Amy Newbie

    Jandy, thank you so much for the link to the newer version of 21-0845! This one is much easier to understand and I would hate to send in an old version and end up holding up the process. Do you know where I would find the newest versions of ALL the forms I'll be filling out? The 21-534EZ form I have is dated Jun 2014....a link to the most current and correct form for the full application would be GREATLY appreciated!

    I do have my dad's discharge papers, thankfully. I am going to file the 21-0845 Authorization to Disclose and the 21-0966 Intent to File as soon as possible as I'm sure it will take a little bit of time to get the full application done (although hopefully not too long!).

    Question about the Intent to File form 21-0966:
    Line 13 - "I intend to file for the general benefit(s) checked below"
    The choices are compensation, pension, and Survivors pension and/or dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC). I want to check "Survivors pensions and/or dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC), correct?

    Final question (I think) for this post....Where do I find the address to send these two forms to? (Authorization to Disclose and Intent to File)

    Thank you SO MUCH for your help!!
  6. Jandy

    Jandy Jr. Member

    Hi Amy,
    I don't know that using a slightly older form would hold up the process, but in the case of that 21-0845, sometimes they've been refined for clarity. I would think (hope?) that the VA site would have the latest forms. Here's a link to their forms page.

    I may need an "amen" on your other 2 questions. Do a search here on the forums. Or perhaps someone else will chime in:

    --Re Intent to File, line 13: I think(????) you are right. I filed for my father, the veteran, so I didn't encounter this.

    --Re: where to send: I understand the VA has been in a transition process with their mailing addresses. I assume this page on veteranaid.org has the most up to date information. If you are concerned, you could give them a call (877-294-6380; you may be on hold awhile)......In any event, be sure and send certified mail, return receipt requested and keep a copy of everything. In light of the address transition situation, I would give them a call after a month or so if you haven't received any acknowledgement.

    Hope this helps!
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
  7. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    Thank you for that advice, Jandy!

    Amy, re: intent to file you are filing for pension. The Aid and Attendance benefit is a pension benefit. DIC is for compensation.

    Yes, we have the most updated addresses to send the forms on our How to Apply page that Jandy linked for you.

    Best of luck!
  8. Jandy

    Jandy Jr. Member

    Oh man, I'm getting confused! OK, regarding that question: what benefit are you filing for on the Intent to File (line 13), the choices are:

    [ ] Compensation
    [ ] Pension
    (then a note that says the following option is ONLY for surviving dependents)
    [ ] Survivor's Pension and/or DIC

    Obviously, the veteran claimant checks "Pension" (blank 2) when filing for A&A. But does the the surviving spouse check the Pension in blank 2 or 3??

    Sorry, if this is obvious--it's a Monday....;)
    MichaelPitts likes this.
  9. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    Good question! In the Intent to File form I believe it states just above the checkbox for Survivor's Pension and/or DIC:
    NOTE: Only check the box below if you are a surviving dependent of the veteran

    Therefore the Pension box is what one would check if they are filing for the A&A benefit unless they are a surviving dependent of the veteran.
  10. cindyc

    cindyc Newbie

    I made the mistake of checking the wrong box and they sent it all back. Still not sure as my mother is the surviving spouse of a veteran. I checked pension and was wrong.
  11. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    I am sorry to hear that, cindyc. And my apologies if this is not what the VA was looking for for your mother's situation. I suggest you try the survivors pension box this time and hopefully they'll understand what your mother is looking for. That was my mistake in giving you that advice previously - I apologize.
  12. MoogMan

    MoogMan Newbie

    Hi Amy - I am no expert on this, as many people here are. Like you I have no siblings, my dad was in Korea as well and even though I'm an IT Engineer and had a lot of help with this process, it drove me crazy. My mom has been in the dementia care facility for 16 months and we are also watching funds evaporate. You have my sympathy. One thing I wanted to mention is that when you fill out the 21-0845 form make sure you pick a security question (Q #11) that is easy for you to remember as you will probably be calling the VA from time to time for updates. I think the other important thing that I learned through all of this is that submitting a fully developed claim (all paperwork at once) is the best method. Good Luck and have patience. We started the process last February and just received approval last week. There were some errors we made along the way that delayed all of this for us. If your mom is over 90 there are ways to expedite everything faster...other kind people here can speak to that.
    Kaylin likes this.
  13. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    Thank you so much for the advice, MoogMan.
  14. Liz B

    Liz B Newbie

    Not sure if this was ever answered clearly. On the Intent to File form, line 13, if I'm applying for A&A for my mother, who is the widow of a veteran, would I only check Survivor's Pension OR do I check boxes Pension and Survivor's Pension?
    Thanks in advance for any answers!
  15. Liz (and Jandy), I hesitate to respond because our application has been so long in the making.
    However, if it helps and I hope it does, I was advised by our Veterans' representative, to check both. The reasoning is that it would give us
    the broadest consideration.

    All the BEST to you and, hopefully, your wait period will be considerably less than ours. ; )
    Kaylin and Liz B like this.
  16. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    @Liz B from my understanding I believe you just check Pension on that part of the application if it is just the spouse of the veteran you are applying for. I believe the Survivor's Pension option is for surviving dependents of the veteran/spouse of veteran...that is what I have heard before.
    Liz B likes this.
  17. MichaelPitts

    MichaelPitts Newbie

    also agree with him
  18. SickofVA

    SickofVA Newbie

    I have been in your same situation unfortunately. It took me over one year to get my father (a WW2 vet) approved. It after submitting all the required documents, you do not receive approval from the VA in a timely manner, contact your Senator's office for help. There is a staff person to help with issues with federal agencies. The VA is required to respond within 30 days to a Senator's inquiry. This was the ONLY way I was able to get A&A for my father and I wish I had know sooner to do this. Best of luck. It is outrageous that our vets are treated with such carelessness by the VA.
    Kaylin likes this.

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