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

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

  1. sschramm

    sschramm Newbie

    Thanks for your quick response. The person at the VA told me I only needed to fill out a Statement in Support of Claim. Is there another form I should be using?
  2. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

  3. Kyle C

    Kyle C Newbie

    I have a question I am somewhat confused about...

    I am reading in some places that there is some kind of sharing with the IRS to "audit" applications, does this mean the years following approval they are basically "looking back" at any transfers, even though there is no actual "look-back" attached to the benefit?

    So if my grandfather had given money or cashed out investments that taxes were paid on, will they find those later down the road and penalize for it? And if so, do they ask for benefits to be returned that were paid out?
  4. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Kyle C,

    Currently there is not a "lookback" with the VA. Having said that, they are diligently working on trying to implement one that would not have a "grandfather" clause for going forward.

    Applications are made on current assets and expenses for care, but keep in mind the VA does work with both the IRS and SS to confirm information submitted.

    Given the current manner in which applications are processed, previous finances should not come into play unless something substantial gets flagged by the VA.
  5. Kyle C

    Kyle C Newbie

    Thank you for replying, I am glad I found this forum, I will give a little background perhaps to get a better idea of what to do.

    Grandparents went into ALF with dementia in 2013, and receive help washing/dressing, medications, and are provided meals. Grandmother has since passed away, and now grandfather's monthly expense is about $6500 with insurance. Their fairly substantial assets have been depleting fairly quickly, and we made some moves with their financial advisor. Most of their assets were in annuities, which we converted into income for monthly simplicity, so currently the monthly income payments are about $3700 in variable annuity payments (for the next 5 years), $1800 in social security, $900 in pension, and $133 for 10% VA disability. We also transferred the remaining value of another annuity out of his name and into mine and my mothers. So this annuity shows as being cashed out and we had taxes withheld on the interest gained over the long period it sat. So currently assets are only about $25,000 in the bank and the income each month.

    Representatives for the facility have mentioned this VA benefit he may qualify for, and we have spoke to 2 different attorneys who charge fees, one charges a flat $800 fee to apply, and the other a $15,000(!!) retainer to be your "attorney for life" in handling all VA affairs and also possibly Medicaid down the road. Both have mentioned that the transferred annuity payout has no affect on this benefit because there is no lookback period, we both (my mother and I) thought this didn't sound right, but my research has confirmed it. We decided we could just as easily process the application ourselves, and gathered the documentation. More reading, of course, uncovered the proposed lookback, etc.

    I guess we can simply apply and see what happens, we are certainly not trying to "cheat" anyone or anything, we have paid 100s of thousands of dollars so far in expenses and its a hard pill to swallow! My grandparents lived extremely frugal so they would have something to leave to their family and we are just looking at anything that they may have qualified for. My main concern would be applying and being approved then having something come up later on about the transferred assets and having to pay it back.

    Of course, as it sits right now, we have the expenses covered on a monthly basis, however, those expenses have grown exponentially and will continue to grow until the time comes to go into skilled nursing which is almost double the costs of what it is now.

    Any information found here and provided is greatly appreciated because I don't really trust the attorneys we spoke to.

    Thank you again!
    Kyle C
  6. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member


    You came to the right place! I'm glad this forum has been of help to you.

    First of all, NEVER let someone charge you, attorney or not, for help with filling out the Aid and Attendance application. It is actually illegal to charge in the help of the application, and it's downright dirty to charge in an underhand way, like for costs of moving around annuities so that a veteran can be eligible.

    As for the lookback period, it is not in affect as of right now. But there has been talk of it possibly coming into affect later this year. We do not have confirmation on when/if it will happen, but just know it's a possibility.

    Based on what you've shown with his monthly expenses and his current assets and monthly income, I would say go ahead and apply for the benefit. Especially if his expenses are only going to increase with time.
  7. toxdoc49

    toxdoc49 Jr. Member

    I'm not sure where to post this question, and the answer might be obvious anyway, but I am compelled to ask. An entire industry has sprung up to lend money while waiting for the VA to approve the benefit. I can appreciate that, but there are certain risks. There is no guarantee that the full A&A level will be awarded. If you borrowed money to bridge the gap while waiting for the approval, but you either do not get the full A&A level, or, God forbid, the person passes on, I think you are on the hook for repayment of the money. I don't know if I am missing something as to how the funding gap can be addressed when there are no resources to cover the increased cost of assisted living while waiting for the benefit. I know some places will work with you on this, but most do not. And Medicaid slots are few, and that usually happens only after being on a waiting list, or, transitioning from a nursing care facility to assisted living. I'm not trying to complain, I just wondered about others' experiences. I wish there was a better understanding between assisted living facilities and the VA regarding the time it takes to have the benefit approved. But it might just be wishful thinking. Thank you.
  8. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member


    You are bringing up a good point. And this is why we try to explain to people to do their research and make sure the people they are working with to help them either obtain the A&A benefit or even loan them money in order to bridge that gap are credible sources and you're not going to be backed into a wall later. Definitely something I've heard of before on the forums!
  9. toxdoc49

    toxdoc49 Jr. Member

    Thank you Kaylin. It does cause me much anxiety. Elder Life financial did not have a definite answer to this issue. I think I am going to have to negotiate with assisted living facilities and see how it turns out. I only ran across one facility that would have accepted my mother in law while we wait for the VA benefit, thus not to worry about loans. But it was not a facility that we liked. I will keep trying. Thank you.
  10. Good Day to all of us""!!
    Sir my question are this what benefit for survivor son of wwII after the veteran dei in 1985 the spouses dei in 2002 but never to enjoyed any benefit from usva manila? Services related compensation /pension life insurance،healthcare home loan and other benefit from va manila under xc17315982?I apply DIC،COMPENSATION/PENSION DEATH GRATUITY INCLUDING ONE SUM SSABENEFIT this claim of my was pending to uscourt of appeals for veteran claim this year va Manila send me va form 21-534EZ to apply me again benefit
    Sir،I am asking you what happen if I re apply again the said benefit?what happen my case at the court?what is the effect of case at court?what is the benefit for survivorson I am now 50 years old?if we back in 1980 the first admission of veteran for surffering of my illnesses I am meet all creteria of child I am 16 years old ،attending in school up to 1987-88 at age of 23 years old I am unmerried from 1980 up to 2012 at age of 47 years old due none information to va we can not claim the said benefit this benefit are pending to uscourt of appeals
    Sir I am asking you what happen to my case at uscvc? If I file up the va form 21-534EZ? Aside from this case I am asking your can I received lumpsum benefit under AmericsnRecovery act of 2009? Inbehalf of my late Dad who alread applied for EQUALIZATION PAY in 1954 at the cheif Military pay claim division،they forward my Dad claim to General Accounting Office washington Dc in 1975 they inform my Dad if they have a law passe in u.s.congress benefited to Filipino veteran ofwwII living in the philippine claim of my Dad be consider،in 1988 up to 1998 my mom claim this benefit at the cheif of Military pay division indiana indianapolis the same reason if they have a law passe in u.s congress benefited to Filipino veteran living in the philippine our claim be consider.in 2010 I apply for EQUALIZATION PAY at cheif Military pay claim division indiana indianapolis they forward our claim at GAO washington Dc for consideration،they forward our case to claim pay Division DHA Mr.Beasley Arlington they reply to us to derict to va Manila for consideration I forward to ssid office to consider my claim EQUSLIZATION PAY but until now I did not received any notice of my claim.
    Sir،I am asking you what benefit for equalization pay that I received from va manila? Can I received lump sum benefit on my Dad after my Dad and I applied this EQUALIZATION PAY? AMERICAN RECOVERY ACT of 2009?
    Pease advise
  11. toxdoc49

    toxdoc49 Jr. Member

    Am I more certain of getting the housebound benefit level for my mother in law, who I know does qualify for the VA benefit? My wife is her primary caregiver right now.
  12. Ok mr processing I ask you any thing and your process my claim at va،ok I am asking you can I apply for aid and attendances ?due to my situation is 52 years old have highblood presure can I apply this benefit due to our parent both dei both not to enjoyed any benefit،can I apply also health care،pension life insurances،?home loan? And other benefit that I am entitled to received?
    please advices
  13. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry, it is very difficult for me to understand your language. But yes, you should be able to apply for the Aid and Attendance benefit IF you served during one of the approved periods of war, which I will list below, and you require assistance with paying for care. If it was only your parents who served, it does not count. Either you or your spouse would have had to have served.

    • World War II: December 7, 1941, through December 31, 1946, extended to July 25, 1947, where continuous with active duty on or before December 31, 1946
    • Korean Conflict: June 27, 1950, through January 31, 1955.
    • Vietnam Era: August 5, 1964, through May 7, 1975.90 However, February 28, 1961, through May 7, 1975, for a veteran who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period.
    • Persian Gulf War: August 2, 1990, through a date to be prescribed by Presidential proclamation or law.
  14. Ah I thing I can apply that you mention because when I asking a question what benefit for survivorson to received benefit ? Your replied my ask anything I process our claim ،again what benefit I file for not affect our case at the uscourt of appeal for veterans claim or if I submitted again va form 21-534EZ at va Manila what is the effect of my case at the uscourt of appeal for veterans claim?
    Please advices
  15. HabsFan

    HabsFan Newbie

    I hope you still answer questions here. I’ve read through a few threads and haven’t seen this answered (hope I didn’t miss it). I’m trying to help a young Veteran who is 100% disabled due to a non-service connected disability and receives VA pension. He and a (female) friend are considering buying a home together and share living expenses. I’m don’t know their plans regarding who will be on the deed and mortgage.

    Even though the friend is a female, they aren’t an item. I’m told she makes an ok salary, but don’t know the amount. From reading Veterans’ sites, it seems that the $80,000 asset threshold isn’t set in stone. Other than sharing the bills, the rest of her income is off-limits to him.

    Could the VA argue that her income is available to him simply because they share the home (or *assume* they are dating/common law) and try to cut his pension? Is there a legal document they should draft stating that the money isn’t available to him and that the house is equally shared (or whatever they determine)? Thanks for any advice you can lend.
  16. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    This is definitely an interesting situation. If the veteran were to move forward with the application I would draft a legal document of some sort stating that the money she has is not available to him since they are living together and are not in a relationship. I would state that they are roommates. The $80000 is not a set in stone amount, it is an estimate of what the VA usually looks at for a level of assets.
  17. HabsFan

    HabsFan Newbie

    Thank you. Given that I'd read that the VA doesn't even honor prenuptial agreements, I wasn't sure if they would respect/honor any other kind of legal agreement. I'll still suggest to him to find a lawyer to draft the document and possibly offer more detailed advice.
    Kaylin likes this.
  18. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    That might be a good idea. However, please be careful with whichever lawyer he decides to go with as there are many lawyers out there that may try to take advantage of this situation by charging more for their help than needed. Never let anyone charge a veteran or spouse for help with the A&A application, is it illegal to do so and wrong. If a veteran or spouse does the application themselves, they can get it processed just as quickly as if they used another source like an elder lawyer or elder benefits counselor.
  19. HabsFan

    HabsFan Newbie

    Perhaps I'm not understanding the terminology well, but he already has pension/A&A. I thought there would be no need to do anything with that, just draft an additional agreements that he and the roommate would sign. Through some personal contacts I've been able to identify a lawyer who specializes in Veterans' estate planning. Am I misunderstanding what he needs to do?
    Kaylin likes this.
  20. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    Ah, yes you are correct. My mistake in that. You are not misunderstanding.

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