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

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

  1. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Regardless of this Fast Letter, unless the applicant can show that Independent living is all they can afford and need to be in a modified environment there is going to be an issue.
  2. dgnyberg

    dgnyberg Newbie

    I just found out about this site and I wonder if my situation will allow me to receive this benefit.
    I am disabled, but not service related, and I receive Social Security Disability.
    I have difficulty moving around and I also have difficulty dressing, especially shoes and socks.
    I have other problems dealing with my feet, toe nails, etc.
    I served during the Iraq conflict (Desert Storm)
    My assets are well below the $80,000 level.

    Reading through the FAQ, it seems I qualify, but I have not yet reached 65 years old.
    I will be 53 this year.
    Would I qualify, or do I need to wait until I reach 65?

    Thank You for any assistance!!
  3. Vetkid

    Vetkid Newbie

    Thank you again for responding. I just have a few more quick questions. If she gets divorced, is she eligible for A&A from my dad? Does the fact that she got remarried, period, make her ineligible to receive A&A from my dad? Is this where the November 1990 date would come into play, even though she didn't get remarried until 1998? Like I said, the situation is a bit complicated. Thank you again for your help.

    This site is very good at responding to posts in a timely manner. I am re-posting because I'm not sure it was clear I had a few more questions. Please see above.
  4. VA Legal Team

    VA Legal Team Full Member

    How long did you serve active duty? Are you paying anyone for help with bathing, dressing, mobility issues? How much does SSDI pay per month?
  5. dgnyberg

    dgnyberg Newbie

    I served from 1981 to 1992.
    I don't pay anyone right now, but I really should be.
    Every time I try to do things, I end up in intense pain.
    The pain lasts for days sometimes.
    My wife does what she can, but she has the same problems I do.
    Sometimes my children will come help out, too.
    My Social Security is about $2000 a month.
    My medicare hasn't kicked in yet, but that starts this July.
    After rent and bills, I don't have much left and
    could use the assistance to hire someone to help out.

  6. VA Legal Team

    VA Legal Team Full Member

    At this point you aren't eligible for Aid and Attendance. You need to be pay someone other than your wife (could be your children) for assistance with what are called Activities of Daily Living.

    You aren't eligible for base pension because your income is too high for that benefit.

    Your age isn't the issue for base pension because you have been deemed "disabled" by the Social Security Administration.

    At some point you could be eligible for A&A because of your service history. But, like I said, you'll need to be paying someone other than your wife for assistance with activities like bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring.
  7. Wolfsmoon

    Wolfsmoon Newbie

    I'm new to these forums, but first wanted to thank you Debbie for your graciousness and selfless commitment to our beloved Vets. Through making this website, you've helped ease the process and understand a very complicated and difficult process in ensuring that our dear ones receive the benefits they're not only entitled to, but desperately need. Bless you!

    My question is for those who are well familiar with the approval process and/or those working directly for the VA in processing A&A claims.

    I called the number listed on our documentation to obtain a status update on the application we filed for my husband and were told by the representative that a decision had been reached on March 31st, but that it was going through a "final review" and we would be notified of the determination within two weeks. Yesterday, we received a letter in the mail informing us,

    "We are still processing your application for Pension. We apologize for the delay. You will be notified upon completion of processing..., if your mailing address is different than that shown above, please advise us of your new mailing address. You should notify us immediately of any changes in your mailing address."

    Now we're confused, as we were told there had already been a decision made one week prior to the date of April 7th that was on the letter we received yesterday (4/10). Should we be concerned, or is this a good sign?

    Thanks in advance for the response :)
  8. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Thank you for your kind words regarding my efforts here, and I truly hope they have been beneficial for you.

    Regarding the letter, I would wait a few more days to see if it arrives. If not, then contact them again.
  9. dmoore

    dmoore Newbie

    Thanks in advance for any assistance. I am new to the application process and this forum.

    My question concerns Form 21-4138.

    My father is the deceased veteran. I am applying for assistance for my 84 year-old mom who has dementia and is currently in Assisted Living. I have a power of attorney for my mom and have managed her affairs for the past four years.

    Do I fill in my father's name/social or my mom's?

    My mom is able to sign her name; am I correct in thinking that she should sign the form (even though she most likely would not remember or fully understand what she was signing)?

    Also, would I use my address, which is where all of mom's correspondence is directed, rather the the address of the facility where she lives? She does not receive any mail at the facility.

    There is so much information here; I am sure that this must be covered but I am not as proficient at searching as I would like. Thanks again.
  10. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Your Mom's name and her social.

    You can list your address for mailing.

    Mom has to sign all papers, and keep in mind that the VA does not recognize POA. If they rule her mentally incompetent, you will have to go through the Fiduciary process one that ruling has been made by them.
  11. dmoore

    dmoore Newbie

    Thank you.
  12. dgnyberg

    dgnyberg Newbie

    Thanks for the help!! I'll pass this info on to other Vets I know!!!
  13. Melody361

    Melody361 Newbie

    Good morning! Thanks so much for all the valuable information you are providing. It is such a help through this maze!
    I am filling out an application for my 89-year old mom who has dementia and is in assisted living. I have a question about first marriages: are divorce decrees from 1st marriages required? My mother & father were both married before they married each other. I have marriage & divorce dates, but not divorce decrees. Is that ok?

    Thanks again and bless you for helping so many people!
  14. InTheWoods

    InTheWoods Newbie

    I have a question regarding loans/assets. My brother-in-law is repaying a loan to my 92 yr old father-in-law (claimant), which will be repaid in a little over 2 yrs. The outstanding balance is about $47,000 and my father-in-law has about $13,000 in the bank. His assisted living/medical expenses are about $49,000 per year. His Social Security income is $21,000. The loan payments to him total $23,000 per year. Is it possible to count the loan payment as income instead of an asset? We spoke about this with our local VSO who suggested including a statement that it is not possible for the son to repay the loan in full. Any opinions on how to deal with this?
  15. VA Legal Team

    VA Legal Team Full Member

    The question you need to answer is whether the loan has a "market value". If the loan has a market value, it should be counted as net worth. According to the VA, net worth means the market value of all real and personal property. If the loan doesn't have a market value, I would just count it as regular income.

    The VA being the VA, they will get you both ways. Not only might you have to count the loan as net worth, they may want you to count the $2000 monthly payments as income as well. For example, when you list an IRA as net worth, the VA requires you list the Required Minimum Distribution as income.
  16. Vetkid

    Vetkid Newbie

    This site is very good at responding to posts in a timely manner. I am re-posting because I'm not sure it was clear I had a few more questions. Please see above.
  17. InTheWoods

    InTheWoods Newbie

    The loan agreement contains wording "This note may not be assigned to any other entity without the mutual agreement of both parties." Is that relevant? There is zero chance the loan will be sold. There is no collateral.
  18. VA Legal Team

    VA Legal Team Full Member

    If the loan can't be sold and has no market value, I would count it as income. Be prepared for the possibility that the VA will ask you about the income and its source. They may ask you if you've tried to sell the loan to a third party.
  19. InTheWoods

    InTheWoods Newbie

    I planned on explaining the loan income in the "remarks" and will include a copy of the one paragraph loan agreement they signed in 2011. I guess we'll just have to see how the VA deals with it. Thank you for the info!
  20. Need date verification

    My uncle has been placed in an assisted living center and being the only family he has left, I am trying to get him financial assistance. The director at the facility told us about Aid and Attendance and that we should apply. My issue is that I'm really confused on the dates for the Vietnam war eligibility. He served from 4/9/59 to 3/21/61 in the US at a firing range for the Army. He was never actually in Vietnam. He was honorably discharged. Do these dates qualify him for A&A? If not, is there any other assistance available to him? Thank you so much for your help! This is totally confusing.

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