Liberalization Law and the VA

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Mpars, Jun 14, 2014.

  1. Mpars

    Mpars Newbie

    Question regarding "Liberalization Law and the VA". I've read a few posts that A & A awards were made and that the VA informed the claimants that they could be illegible to go back one year from the time they sent in their claim for retroactive payments.

    As I interpret the CFR regarding it, the veteran can only qualify to go back one year "if" they met the criteria for A & A one year prior; meaning, they had to be in Assisted Living, etc. Am I correct on this assumption?
     
  2. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Not quite. The applicant would have had to required care and been in pretty much the physical need for assistance, and have been spending close to the same amount on care.
     
  3. rapper

    rapper Newbie

    I am in the process of filing a liberalizing claim now since my Father was granted his award for aid and attendance on May 1, 2014. I waited to file his formal application when his net worth was approximately $40,000.00 on April 24, 2014. Both my parents have been in a nursing home for the past two (2) years and their Doctor's have verified their need for care going back to 2012. I will be able to show unreimbursed care and medical expenses of approximately $14,000.00 per month against monthly income of $4,000.00. The only hurdle I am worried of is the fact that on April 23,2013 (12 months preceding the award on May i, 2014) my parents net worth was approximately $180,000.00. I didn't file on April 23,2013 because of the so called $80,000.00 limit. I have been told my one poster on this site that I still have a chance of collecting that 12 month preceding period. The poster told me she knows of other similar liberalizing claims that were granted with net worth in the same ballpark as my parents. I guess the key maybe that you have to show the same level of expenses for the entire preceding year that you showed on the date of the formal application.
     
  4. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Have to be honest with you, I am not sure how they rule on the prior 12 months given the amount they had at that time. Their situation is not the normal.
     
  5. rapper

    rapper Newbie

    Well, who knows. I was completely honest about income, net worth and Doctor verified medical expenses through this whole process. I will share the VA's decision regarding this liberalizing law on this forum for future reference for other posters who are pursuing claims on behalf of loved ones. I would have never been able to get this far in the 1st place without all the help and knowledge I learned here over the past few years.
     
  6. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    I'm glad to know we helped along the way with this journey.

    Please, do come back and share how things go on the application.
     
  7. VA Legal Team

    VA Legal Team Full Member

    I hope this is helpful.

    You can break down A&A into 4 categories: 1) service; 2) health; 3) income; and 4) net worth.

    When you apply for lib law, the VA is asking about the year prior to submission date of the original application.

    This might lead you to believe that all four categories must be in compliance with regulations throughout the entire year, but that's not correct.

    Instead, only service and net worth must meet eligibility standards for the entire one year period. It's been my experience that if the applicant was over-resourced during any of that one year period, he or she won't be eligible.

    On the other hand, just because the applicant may not have had a medical need for A&A, or wasn't paying someone for care during that 12 month period, doesn't mean they aren't eligible for lib law.

    For example, say someone's annual income is $18000. But during the first three months of the lib law period they weren't paying for care. But then for the next 9 months they paid $3000 per month for home care. That 9 months of home care totaling $27000 would zero out their income, even though they didn't pay for care for the first three months.

    That person would be eligible for lib law benefits. This has been my experience anyway.

    I would also be interested to hear about how the VA decides your net worth situation. Certainly it's worth applying.
     
  8. rapper

    rapper Newbie

    Thank you for your thoughts on this matter. I always felt that I would not be able to qualify my parents because of their net worth back in April of 2013. But I took the time to fill everything out honestly and I figure I have nothing to lose by giving it a shot. I was happy to just receive the award within 43 days of filing. The VA sent me the forms for the liberalizing law claim which I knew nothing about. Once again a big thank you to all the people who contribute to this site. The info I gained here has always been helpful. I will report back to this thread once I receive a response from the VA.
     
  9. Mpars

    Mpars Newbie

    Will the VA send you the "liberalization paperwork" automatically to see if the vet qualifies or do you have to ask for it?

    I placed my father in assisted living in May 2014 due to an accident he had. He previously lived in a "shack", and his only income was his social security which was a little over $10,000.00 a year. He has no assets. He wasn't taking care of himself and indeed needed someone to care of him, but resisted all family attempts. Since no one "cared" for him and he was on his own I would assume the Liberalization Law would not apply to him. Am I correct?
     
  10. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Generally they send it along with the determination letter.
     
  11. VA Legal Team

    VA Legal Team Full Member

    Your father was actually eligible for "base pension" because his income is below the limit set by Congress. If he wasn't paying for care, he won't be eligible for A&A lib law, but he should be eligible for lib law for base pension.
     
  12. Mpars

    Mpars Newbie

    Base pension? I don't understand what that is.... (?) Can this be applied for now? How can I go find out more about this entitlement? I never heard of this before. Will the VA send me the base pension lib law application with the determination letter, or is this something different and unrelated to the A&A.

    I should also note he was not "retired" from the military. He never had a retirement income.

    UPDATE: I just found this page: http://benefits.va.gov/PENSION/pencalc.asp

    It would seem that if his income is below the amount set by Congress (still searching for that figure) he was eligible 10 years ago. Wow, 10 years of wasted benefits.... Now I need to know how to apply for them for him if I can...
     
  13. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Improved Pension is a 3-tier pension consisting of "Basic" "Housebound" and "Aid and Attendance"

    It is confusing as to how the VA writes things. The "Basic" level of the pension is income based only. It does not require that the applicant needs assistance with daily living.

    The Basic level is truly helpful to those low income vets whose monthly income is less than the pension. Currently the Basic level is rated at $1055.00. If the Veteran's income is below this amount, they can file for the Basic level of Improved Pension to be be brought up to that $1055.00 rate. As an example, if the only income is $700.00, they would be eligible for the $355.00 difference.

    If the veteran is married and combined incomes fall below $1380.00, the same applies.

    This level of the pension is critical for low income and homeless veterans and their widows.
     

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