Informal Claim Question

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by sharonbb, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. sharonbb

    sharonbb Newbie

    If I file my informal claim to begin the process, does the financial information on the application go back to the date of the informal claim date or the date of the actual application? I ask this because my mother has a 95,000 annuity that has not annuitized yet but it is scheduled to annuitize this year. I have looked all over the forum for answers to questions about annuities, but can't get a straight answer. One answer said VA does count annuities as assets and another answer said it counted the annuity less fees and taxes. Until I know how the annuity will be treated, I am worried about starting the clock on the Informal Claim...if that is the date that I must account for assets and income.
    1. Does the asset information on the application need to be completed as of the Informal Claim date or the actual application date
    2. How do I account for an annuity that has not annuitized yet?
    3. It will annuitize within the first 12 months, so do I have to account for it in the income information also?

    Thanks for your help!
  2. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Finances go to the date of application.

    Annuities don't count as an asset. Once income is available from it, you would have to disclose that.
  3. Max

    Max Hero Member

    Annuities count as assets if there is a cash value.
  4. alamo54us

    alamo54us Newbie

    Sorry, but I'm still a little unclear. Are the claimant's assets counted only from the time of the formal application? Should I file an informal app before the applicant has her financial house in order?

    Also, I understand that, in general, an estate (not counting a residence and vehicles) must be valued at no more than $80K in order to qualify. Does that figure decrease if the applicant is over 90 years of age? If so, by how much?

  5. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Assets are counted at the time of submitting a completed application.

    Yes age is a factor in allowing assets, but you need to look under the Tips and Resource section here on the forums for "Countable Income" to arrive at what that figure is for your loved one.

    The 80K is NOT set in stone. It is just an average figure. Each circumstance is different.
  6. Hermit

    Hermit Newbie

    I'm new to this process, but had to put my mother into an assisted living facility this month. I'm seeing conflicting answers regarding annuities.

    She and my dad (deceased) were both wartime veterans. My mom's financial advisor states that her annuity is not counted toward the asset limit. The VA administrator believes that the annuity may count since the money will be available to pay for my mother's care - at some point in the future.

    Without the annuity, she qualifies. She doesn't have enough cash to tide her over for long, but does have annuities in excess of $90K. With the anticipated time lag for her A & A application approval, she will be out of funds before the maturity date of the annuity. That will be a problem since I can't cover her $5k monthly costs.

    Any suggestions or specific references I can point the VA administrator to so he can begin procesing her application so it will begin paying something prior to her running out of cash and being evicted from her care facility?

    Thanks in advance,

  7. VA Legal Team

    VA Legal Team Full Member

    There are two basic types of annuities. SPIA's and tax-deferred. SPIA's are counted as income. Tax-deferred are counted as net worth assuming the annuity has market value.

    If the annuity has a market value, it's net worth. If you can sell the annuity on the open market, it's net worth. Do you know what the cash value of the annuity is?

    Also, I'd suggest mailing your application to one of the three regional Pension Maintenance Centers that processes A&A. You are better off doing that then having a local VA employee taking the reigns.
  8. Hermit

    Hermit Newbie

    Financial advisor (?) states that the proceeds can be paid either lump sum or monthly payments. I'm still waiting on him to tell me the maturity dates and cash values (I just recently found out that my mother had done this). Based on Mom's comments, she did this to avoid taxes, so I'm guessing they are a tax deferred product and have a market value of a little over $100K.

    I'm glad you mentioned the Regional Processing Centers. The VA in her town is a one-man operation.

    BTW, I really appreciate this helpful information. I wish I had known about this forum and been able to educate myself long before this process began.
  9. Mpars

    Mpars Newbie

    Question. When you filed the informal claim did the clock start at that time, or did the VA start the clock when you sent in the completed package?
  10. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    The clock starts once the VA receives it, so it is critical that you mail Return Receipt for proof of delivery, and that you mail to the correction Pension Center for the state the applicant lives in.

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