I process claims for pension benefits at the VA. Ask me anything.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Max, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. Hale

    Hale Newbie

    I am aware the maximum amount of assets is $80k but I have read that amount reduces as the veteran's age increases. What is the maximum for a 90 year old?

    Thank you.
  2. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    The figure you have to look at is how much is being spent for care each month. The VA is not going to be generous in their allowance for someone 90.

    Look here on the forums under Resources for the formula for "countable income."
  3. mikeandsue40

    mikeandsue40 Newbie

    My parents are going to move to assisted living center this weekend. I met with a guy who was familiar with VA benefits, and after showing him their income, their expenses, and assets, he said that my parents could have about $40,000 and the rest should be put into an annuity (of course, he would get paid by them.)

    If I do the VA paperwork myself, would they NOT quality for VA benefits because they have $80,000 in assets (after selling their mobile home)?

    I'm so new to this and any help you could give me would be wonderful!

    Dad was a WWII vet and has dementia, mom was married to him at that time and now had a stroke 3 weeks ago.

    Thanks so much for your help!

    Susan (daughter)
  4. Tami

    Tami Newbie

    VA Application-does it reset 1st of each month / Allowable assets for 90 yr old

    I have been reading through these posts off and on for several weeks, and I haven't found these questions answered (but I'm also in a hurry too). My father is 90 and, after a surgery mishap in February, now requires 24/7 in-home care. Since May, we have paid for in-home caregivers and family is taking their turn as well, unpaid. These in-home care expenses are now taking up more than his monthly income which is $1,800 so it seems his income less expenses makes him eligible. I am going to file the informal application by end of October. We are also working with our attorney who is an expert at asset planning for nursing home care and medicaid planning, applications and appeals. Although they told us of the VA benefit option and we chose to go that route to keep my father in his home as long as we can, they don't offer help with the VA application and do not claim to be VA experts. I understand that with a medicaid application, it is monthly application and if applied for, for example, on 9/20, it would be effective October 1, the beginning of the next month. Also, if a medicaid application is turned down the first time, you have to wait a year before applying again.

    My question are: Is the VA application the same - does the application process reset the first of each month and if the applicant's income is found to be too high the first time, do you have to wait another year, until the first of the next month? Or can you resubmit an adjustment immediately as soon as the asset level is down, on any date?

    Also, does anyone have even a quasi-formula for knowing what the income threshold might be for a man my father's age? I am trying to keep enough in his accounts to cover about 18 months since we are going to ask for an expedited claim.
  5. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Try going on ebenefits.
  6. Stephen58

    Stephen58 Newbie

    Ok, great news. After resubmitting in June, mom received initial award . Initial award meaning, they are still reviewing for and it may change?? This was about half of what we were expecting, but we are happy with any award from VA. My question is, if her recurring expenses start to increase this year , will resubmitting increased expenses stop monthly A&A until it is reviewed or how does that work? Specifically, her home healthcare expense each month will increase by a few hundred .
    The original income and expenses submitted left her with only about $388 left and her monthly award is $543 which we thought would have been closer top $700. Guess there is some formula we dont understand...

  7. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    You can send in VA form 21-4138 to inform the VA of the increase if her monthly expenses go up enough to make a difference in her award.
  8. So never in a million years would I think that I was going to be Hurt and actually consider benefits. I am currently deployed to Afghanistan (second tour, prior Iraq) and I injured my right hand and elbow while in the gunners turret. I banged my elbow so hard that it nearly brought me to tears. I went to the French hospital because the u.s. hospital was closed and got x rays of my hand but not my elbow. I have a small lump on my hand that gets sensitive on certain movements and my elbow stings when I place it down on a arm rest or such. The French said it was probably soft tissue damage and when I finally went to the u.s. hospital to bring them my x rays they gave me a documentation of the injury and possible tissue damage for when I get home. My first question is, is this something that can be claimed? Also what do I need to do to ensure that if I do claim it that I get a percentage? My elbow has something seriously wrong and considering my job my unit frowns upon people getting injured and going to sick call so I haven't been back. Any suggestions? I plan on getting out when I return because my 6 year contract it over. Thanks in advance for any help!
  9. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    First, we'd like to say "thank-you" for your service to our country!

    This website and forums is dedicated to a non-service connected VA pension benefit, and we do not deal in "compensation", which is what you have.

    Any injury sustained while in service needs to be documented with your base and made part of your file. You would need to go through the VA's process to establish the injury as being "service connected" to be able to claim compensation for it.
  10. kalberto66

    kalberto66 Newbie

    I am VERY new to this as I am just starting the process for my mom, the surviving spouse, so I am wondering; we live in Texas so where do I send the form 21-4138? Thank you in advance!! :)
  11. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    St. Paul Pension Maintenance Center
    Veterans Administration
    1 Federal Drive, Fort Snelling
    St. Paul, MN 55111-4050
    Processes claims for the following states:
    AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, IA, ID, KS, MN, NM, MT, ND, NE, NV, OK, OR, SD, TX, UT, WA, WY.

    Be sure to keep a copy to mail Return Receipt.
  12. jag0521

    jag0521 Newbie

    help....one person indicates you can only use VZ21-534EZ if already receiving benefits and the other responder says not true...so please clarify. Also, if using the 21-534EZ form, what box do you select for Aide and Attendance? The only choices are DIC, Death Pension and Accrued Benefits and nothing mentioned about Aide and Attendance. Very frustrating and only starting on this long journey.
  13. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

  14. JeanMar

    JeanMar Newbie

    Thank you for being available to answer questions for family members trying to assist parents in their years of need.

    My Mother is 91 years of age. She was a Navy Wave, enlisting on 5/15/43, entered active service 6/1/43, end rating Y1c, service NTS Bronx, NY, NTS Cedar Falls, IA. RS NYD Washington D.C., NB Washington, D.C. She received an Honorable Discharge at the date of separation of 2/11/46.

    During a recent meeting with an Elder Law Attorney, I was told that my Mother may not be eligible for Aid & Attendance because a Wave may not qualify for the benefit. Other than the basic eligiblity under Wartime Periods "World War II (December 7, 1941 - December 31, 1946)" are ther addition eligibility requirements?

    Second, my Mother and Father have been legally separated (Superior Court) for 13 years. The separation took place in CA. My Mother now lives in FL and my Father lives in PA. My Mother's income is S.S. and the agreed upon separation allotment plus health insurance. Will the VA acknowledge the legal separation so that she can apply on her own? If yes, she definately qualifies for assistance as she is low income. If no, I'll need to contact my Father to obtain his financial information in order to make a determination of their combined income status. This was another area of concern from the Elder Law Attorney since FL does not recognize separations. According to FL law, you are either married or divorced.

    I will need clarification on these two topics before completing an A&A application.
  15. jag0521

    jag0521 Newbie

    which of the three answers do I choose for question #16 on the 21-534EZ form if we are applying for aide and attendance for surviving spouse? Is it the Death Pension or DIC or Accrued Benefits?
  16. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Death pension, but would try to put "Improved Pension" in there. DIC is a claim for a widow whose spouse died from service-connected injuries, and you are not filing for accrued benefits.
  17. Tami

    Tami Newbie

    Hi VSR,

    I am working on the informal claim for my father and was hoping you would look over my narrative below and let me know what you think? Thanks!

    "On February 4,2013 my father had an Embolization of the right kidney to cut off blood flow to a renal tumor, after which his right foot and leg were left numb, making it initially impossible for him to put weight on his right leg/foot. He was released from the hospital and admitted to a rehab center on February 16, 2013 where he received therapy for his right left/foot. On March 20, 2013, he had an Electromyogram (EMG), a nerve conduction test, and was found to have right leg/foot nerve damage. It is believed that the nerve damage was an unfortunate side effect of the February 4th, 2013 surgery.

    During his stay at the rehab center, it was determined that he was no longer benefiting from physical therapy and he was released from the Rehab Center on April 14, 2013. His desire was to try to live in his own home and we, his family, agreed to try to make this work.[/i]Because of the nerve damage to his right leg and foot, my father is no longer able to walk without a walker and/or wheelchair. Also since the February surgery, he has become incontinent. He now requires 24/7 in-home care."
  18. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member


    With an informal claim you do not provide this information as that is not the intention of an informal claim. It is strictly intended to start the clock on the effective date of the application.

    You would not be the person providing a physical narrative of his status and limitations. That information would be provided on the the Dr's evaluation VA form 21-2680. The VA is going to determine his physical condition based solely on the Dr's report.

    Get the informal claim sent off.
  19. jag0521

    jag0521 Newbie

    When completing the 21-534EZ form, under marriages and divorces do I list the marriage of the veteran and his now widow stating marriage ended in death or just list the prior two marriages they each had before marrying each other?
  20. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Sorry, I am a little confused. Is the veteran married now?

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