Just Starting

Discussion in 'Share Your Personal Experience' started by LindaSue, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. LindaSue

    LindaSue Newbie


    Dear Folks,

    Thanks for all your hard work.

    My main question is: should we start to pay down my mother's assets by taking care of her legitimate needs? (Examples: lift for the stairs, upkeep of her home which has fallen into disrepair, ect.) We want to keep her in her home.

    I am just starting in this process and have known folks that really needed A and A that almost got them and then the Veteran died. They were frustrated and did not pursue help with burial expenses. And I have known two families that were getting A and A who did not need it and listed a person as caregiver that never received the money.

    I worked for an agency at that time and as an agency we reported what we thought were misuses of the system and asked them to investigate. I think it is really important for all of us to use any benefits fairly, so they will be there for people really needing them.

    Right now my mother (a widow of a wartime vet) is starting to get sicker with multiple problems and she has been losing her sight and is now almost totally blind. She can see light and shadows. She cannot read anything and only listens to the TV. But, she has high blood pressure, has had mini strokes and has heart problems and swelling in her legs and has COPD and uses oxygen at night. She essentially lives by herself. My brother is there at night, but he is not going to be able to deal with any intensive care she may need. My sister works and comes in the evening to cook for her. I live 700 miles away. If I did have her come to live with me, I'm not sure how long I could care for her. Right now it is hard for her to walk very far because of the breathing. At some point, she may no longer be ambulatory. I'm not sure I could do lifting or transfers, even if I learned how. I have my own health problems and I am 5' 1" and weigh about 95 pounds. My mom probably weighs about 115 pounds. I am 50 years old and she is 77.

    Also, I live in a southern state which is miserably hot and sometimes we lose our power (everything in our housing plan is electric).

    I do not want my mother to have to go to a nursing home. She is a private person. My sister and I want to find a way to keep her in her home. I don't know what her assests are besides the house. She does not own a vehicle.

    My sister was thinking of getting a lift for the stairs so she can get in and out of the house. The terrain of the land may be too steep for a ramp. My sister and mom were worried about the expense. I believe my mom has enough assets for her basic needs of food, etc. If she has over the $80,000 in assets, I think that the lift for the stairs would be a good use of the money and could help pay it down.

    From what I understand with applications to these programs, the person needs to pay down the money to the correct amount before they ever apply. Otherwise, there are massive delays. Is that correct?

    I suggested to my sister of the phone last night that our neighbor who is looking for work and has done work in a nursing home might be a good sitter for my mom. My mom has known this woman for years and would feel comfortable with her in her home. I don't know if we would need to try to start this right away (if my mom would agree) and I have no idea what the rates of pay are. She would not need a sitter for more that a few hours now. She might need her for about 8 hours later. My sister can be there in the evening and my brother is there overnight.

    This is frustrating for me because I was always the one who took care of everyone (although my sister has taken over that role and has done a great job). I just feel guilty that I moved. But we had few choices. My husband got downsized and had to invent a new career.

    Thanks for listening.

    God Bless,

    Linda Sue
  2. ST

    ST Newbie

    This is the advice of my county's Veteran Service Officer: "Make your application for VA pension (and A & A Benefits) as soon as possible. The earlier the Application Date, the more likely you will receive benefits starting from the time you qualify."

    In other words, apply even if you don't currently qualify...

    Good luck!

  3. pologal

    pologal Guest

    If a claimant has a high net worth, and the claimant is applying for pension, VA has to determine if the net worth is sufficient to care for the claimant's financial needs. pension is a supplemental income program. if the claimant has net worth of over 80 grand, spend it down before you apply.

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