is this the "normal" way the VA handles A&A ?

Discussion in 'Share Your Personal Experience' started by james n, May 28, 2013.

  1. james n

    james n Newbie

    My sister requested A&A March 28,2011 for our 90 year old veteran father's care. After many inquiries a letter was rec'd dated March 28,2012(1 yr to the day) stated the award amount to be paid from the starting date on Apr.1,2011...letter states.."We granted disability pension benefits with aid and attendance effective March 28,2011." It stated the amount to be paid per month and the accured totals. Now the problem begins. The letter arrived March 31.2012 the same day our father passed away. I contacted VA and was informed the monies were sent as a direct deposit to our father's banking account that was setup for this purpose BUT returned because account had been closed do to inactivity! We were informed to file a 21-601 form and a "new" direct deposit form. Was also informed to use a 21-530 and would be eligible for burial expenses. So it was like starting all over again. Could not understand since decision was already reached to pay why the holdup?
    Well on March 30,2013(2 years from orig claim) my sister rec'd letter stating "Because you do not meet above criteria, we cannot pay you accured benefits on the basis of relationship." The criteria was based on the dependant being "not married..under the age of 18 or between 18-23 and enrolled in post-secondary institution or considered helpless before the age of 18" We "feel" the VA did not address the request of A&A accured benefits but a different request!! We have now requested help from a State Senator Apr.11,2013
  2. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    When you file the 21-601 it is for expenses that are out of your pocket or another family member who paid related expenses for care and services for the applicant.

    You can only file against benefits that were due up to the amount you actually paid on their behalf.

    You did not file as a widow or dependent child, so it sounds as though they messed this up big time, and you are wise to have involved your Senator.

    Let us know how things go and best of luck with getting it straightened out.
  3. james n

    james n Newbie

    so the senator's inquiry was submitted to VA which by the way only took 2 days for the VA to respond...and AGAIN denied!!!.. they informed us that NOW I must complete form 21-601...the same one we did 04/2012 for accrued benefits..BECAUSE and due to the fact I am executer of estate I must file it with my name not as I did with my sister's info...GEE I would have been glad to have done that had I been informed that 04/2012 !!!!!
    so the lady I am now dealing with at Senator Baldwin's office(person #3) seems nice and very willing to soon as I get any response I will call her and AGAIN they will do a congressional inquiry.......she said her "contact" at VA says monies are still available....
  4. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Just another "excuse", but at least now you know what you need to do, and have the Senator's office behind it with you. It really makes a big difference.

    Please let us know when you get it all settled.
  5. james n

    james n Newbie

    720 days since my dad and sister requested aid.....nothing but VA run arounds....THEN contacted my State Senator April 8 2013....After having 2 different caseworkers involved( after 30 days found out first one was on leave of absence and guessing second one passed it off to number three?) Then on June 19 2013 I received a caseworker who actually cared...several phone calls and emails and filling out forms and ONLY 47 days later WE received the VA monies my Dad was promised...hooray for State Senator Baldwin and case worker Hilary Cronon !!!!!
  6. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    So sorry that this was your experience, but certainly happy that you didn't give up, stuck with it, and found someone who cared enough to help.

    I hope that this means you will have the resources to meet all your Dad's care needs.
  7. Max

    Max Hero Member

    How many decisions did you receive? There aren't any pension claims w/ VA that take 720 days...

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