Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Max, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. Max

    Max Hero Member

    Hello everyone,

    I work at the VA and just wanted to give you all a PSA to save you time and effort.

    The IRS and SSA have started sharing data with VA in real time. What this means for you is that when you submit an application, VA will cross-check the information on your application with the information provided to IRS and SSA. This was done as a quality control measure to ensure that applicants who apply for needs-based programs actually need the benefit.

    Here's an example of how this could impact you:

    Your application shows:

    SSA: $1,290.90/mo
    Interest: $400/yr
    Other income: N/A

    IRS shows:

    SSA: $1,290.90
    Interest: $610.00
    IRA distributions: $10,000

    VA would delay your application to find out about the IRA distributions. If you can't explain the discrepancy, your application may be denied. The interest would not be an issue because it is a relatively small discrepancy. Because the IRA distributions are large, it raises questions regarding net worth reporting and income.

    VA has not yet instituted a look-back period (like Medicaid) in which a claimant will be penalized for misreporting income/assets, but there is a strong push in congress to create one. In the meantime, the match with IRS means that it is more important than ever to accurately report your income and assets on your application. Currently, only 40% of claimants accurately report their income on applications. These are the claimants whose claims get finished in a couple weeks.

    Keep in mind that VA employees have two bosses: The Veteran and The Taxpayer. As long as there is no evidence of misrepresentation, your claim will move as quickly as possible (I know, I know... we're still super slow... but we're working on it!)


    P.S. As always, feel free to message me with any questions. I am only on here in my free time and I am not acting on behalf of VA by posting or answering questions here, but I am more than happy to assist anyone with any questions I can answer.
  2. kiilutara

    kiilutara Newbie

    Trying to read through all this important information, as I try to navigate the application for my father, age 75. He has an annuity, is the total value of the annuity reported or just the distribution he receives once a year? Can you receive both VA and State benefits? I recall reading that he has to apply for all Veteran's Benefits before applying for ALTCS- (we live in Arizona)? Also, are there any other benefit options from the VA if he was denied?

    I am so confused...I have three small children and dad is staying with us short term, with his dementia it's really tough! I cannot afford to supplement the difference for a memory care facility.

    Any help is greatly appreciated!
  3. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    You only count the annual distribution to him.

    He has to be paying for care to show a financial need for the pension to help offset that cost. If he is not paying you to act as his caregiver and no other services are coming in for him, you won't be able to show a "need".
  4. david581

    david581 Newbie

    Thank you so much for this information. It will prove to be more than valuable in the future.
  5. cadmaster

    cadmaster Newbie

    Hello VSR,

    You seem to be knowledgeable and no one has answered my post yet.
    In Sept. 2013 my mom went into a Nursing Home. Just before that, she applied for Veteran Pension benefits. She has has Medicare, Medicaid for over 10 years already. During her first 90 days Medicare paid 100%. In December Medicaid took over the Nursing Home bill. Last week she was approved for a Pension with Aid & Attendance. The approval letter included a form to assign a Fiduciary who will be her other daughter. They also sent her a Liberalizing Law application for the 12 months prior to all of this. We want to complete that form, but I don't want the Nursing Home or Medicaid to just take all of her income. Now what do we do? We must inform the VA that she is now in a nursing home. We have considered taking her out of the Nursing Home for several months setting her up with an assisted living apartment and a 24 hour nurse. We don't know how to pay for all this yet, but just looking at options. Please help. Thanks you all for your service, bravery and dedication.
  6. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    It would be an issue if you go back and file for the Liberalizing Law, as the funds would exceed what she is allowed to have as long as she is on Medicaid.

    If you move her and opt to drop Medicaid, and provide care within a home of an Assisted Living facility, then you could go back after the full award of A&A at $1130.00 and file for the Liberalizing Law that would only be awarded if she can show that her physical and financial status are the same for the prior 12 months.
  7. Jeni

    Jeni Newbie

    I have a question on reporting my income on the Aid and Attendance application for my husband. I am a church employee and therefore have to report my income as self-employment. This means I pay the self-employment tax which includes the employer's portion of social security and no social security/medicare taxes are withheld from my pay. My W-2 has these fields left blank. Can I adjust my gross income amount on the VA application to exclude the employer's share of social security/medicare? This would seem appropriate and help my husband to qualify for the full benefit, however I don't want to cause a problem or delay with the approval of the application. My husband had to be placed in assisted living this week due to dementia and continuing to meet this expense indefinitely will be impossible without the aid of this benefit. Thank you.
  8. allieooop42

    allieooop42 Newbie

    in previous response:
    Insert Quote
    You only count the annual distribution to him.

    Am i correct in reading this as you only count the annual distribution on IRAs and Annunities, not the entire value of the IRA/Annuity on the "countable Income" worksheet?
    Do you place the total value of these items anywhere?
    Is there an official form you document these on or the "determining countable Income" form that is found on this website?

    DO you document any of thier additional costs like rent, utilities, clothing i.e non medical costs anywhere?

    Also i am filing for my mother who is spouse of Vet. She is in an assisted living facility, but needs total care with Activities of Daily living. Can I have the "nursing home status statement" filled out or do i need to take her to her md and have 21-2680 filled out?

    Any help would be appreciated.
  9. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    You report any monies that are distributed to them.

    Their tax return and other financial information should cover this.
  10. jbygott

    jbygott Newbie

    So glad I found this site. I have been given so many directions. Some have told me to only use a lawyer and I have talked to one...luckily he will not charge until he actually has to do paperwork so no charge as of yet. Then the VA social worker for my Dad told me to file by myself. Some told me that if I file myself that it will take longer, or he may be denied (?). I am very confused and could use some good advice. here is our situation:

    My Dad is a WWII vet, served in Europe. My Mom died 2 years ago and kept his dementia hidden well. I brought him to a wonderful small home assisted living set up for lock down residents. We sold his house so he has nothing but cash. he has $49,000 in his checking right now, and approx $40,000 in a Vanguard fund. That is all he owns. He gets $1466 in SS each month. Since he qualifies for free meds and medical through the VA he has the free medicare plan so no payment for that. His rent is $4700/month all inclusive.
    Would he qualify for A&A funds? Should we wait to apply?
    How much money are we talking about?
    Thank you in advance.
  11. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    You don't mention Dad's age, but putting him in the late 80's early 90 range, the VA is going to look at his age and what he is paying each month for care, and what shortfall there is. Based on the figures you gave, he is over 3K+ short each month. In 12 months he will have gone through 38,000+.

    The VA may feel he has more than enough to last for his anticipated lifetime at this rate of spending.

    You can make the application, and do not need an attorney to do it for you. If you do it correctly, mail it to the proper pension center, you can have just as much success as anyone else doing it.

    If he gets denied it will be due to being over the income threshold at this moment. You would have up to a year to go back on the application, and update his financial information as he spends down, and have the VA reconsider it based on the finances at that time.
  12. jbygott

    jbygott Newbie

    why doesn't anyone answer posts?
  13. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    We do answer posts, but can't always get to everyone here and respond to all the emails received daily.

    I think you will find that a reply was made a day after your post. Perhaps you may have missed that.

    In addition sometimes, questions are duplicate, and answers can be found using the search tool here on the forums.

    With the Holidays, a lot of folks are and have been traveling and spending time with families.

    We do our best to keep up, but with over 4500 members, and hundreds of weekly emails, there is only one Admin here, and some days there are just not enough hours. Sorry.
  14. Ssackin

    Ssackin Newbie


    My dad passed suddenly
    My mom needs to go into a memory care home.
    Do I need to count both of their IRAs as an asset?
    Anything that can be done with them short of cashing them in and paying large taxes?
  15. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member


    Our condolences on the loss of your Dad.

    IRA's are an asset, and if Mom's name is on all of them, then yes, you count all of them.

    We are unable to make suggestions on anything impacting taxes. We suggest you speak with a professional for the best advice.
  16. Marp

    Marp Jr. Member

    Agreed. Thank you so much for taking the time to post. I guess, then, last year's tax return is a good place to start to be sure income is accurately reported in the VA application.
  17. braydensnana

    braydensnana Newbie

    Please I need help! I am my mothers caregiver and do not work. I found out about the Aid and Attendance and she started paying me in September of 2015. The claim was not submitted till 12/30/2015. Should she have taken taxes out during September to submittal? What does she have to do as far as taxes. It will be me that takes care of this because she has dementia and I handle her finances. I have been living off my IRA for the last year and I am only 54, so penalties and its just about gone. I have read that some submit 1099s but what I have researched so far say W2s as nanny tax. I am going crazy trying to figure the tax end of this. With me not working, I do not even know how we are going to pay the taxes. Basically I just opened another checking account and put " my paycheck" in there and pay her bills. There is not much left over....Any help would be greatly appreciated
  18. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member


    I understand you are confused, but this forum is mostly pertaining to the Aid and Attendance application and help with how to file for it. The Aid and Attendance benefit is a tax free. As far as doing your taxes since you are your mother's caregiver--yes, the money she pays you monthly for care will need to be reported.

    We are not experts in the area of taxes, I would highly recommend speaking to someone who is more schooled in that area. Consult with a financial adviser or an accountant in your region.

    I do hope that helps and makes sense.
  19. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member


    Your Mom does not pay taxes on the A&A pension. You however do need to claim what she pays you as income and you are responsible for your personal taxes. The income you receive is the same as any other source of income you may earn. So you need to speak with an accountant and determine how to pay either quarterly or at the end of the year, and how much of the income you plan to claim.
  20. david7147

    david7147 Newbie

    Hello, I have a weird situation that has come up. I have been receiving Aid and attendance benefits for over 3 years now. Last year however I went with a friend to Foxwoods Resorts Casino 3 times and with their money. I hit 3 mini jackpots totaling $9140 which I handed back to my friend after each jackpot. There were documented losses off $13000 in that same time period of my friends money. The jackpots I hit were put in my name and I received tax forms for them. I received no monetary gain from the gambling. I have filed taxes now for year 2015, and I do have a concern now. The gambling winnings were placed under other income, but the gambling losses could only be placed under a schedule A under itemized deductions, which then showed me as having no taxable income. However, my adjusted gross income showed as $9140. The schedule A line of form 1040 does not show until after the line showing adjusted gross income.

    Did I do this right? Under the old system. I would have reported the other income to my VA officer under a certain form, but was told that would be only if I had winnings totaling more than my losses during any certain month.

    Thank you for helping me out with this question. I cannot afford to lose my Aid and attendance benefits.

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