Discussion in 'Share Your Personal Experience' started by NANAPATOK, Jul 23, 2015.


    NANAPATOK Newbie

    I found this site while looking for assistance for my sister who had moved in with my dad to be his full-time caregiver after he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. My dad is a WWII Navy Vet, and my sisters and I promised him he would never have to go to a nursing home. I cannot tell you how much you all have helped!!!
    I gathered information from this site, got all my paperwork together, completed the fillable forms online, made copies and saved a file to my computer, put everything into a small binder with tabs - this helped me stay organized - and mailed it "Certified Return Receipt". I wrote a Cover Letter and stated the items enclosed:
    VA Form 21-526 Application for Pension
    Copy of Discharge Documents (Notorized)
    VA Form 21-2680 Physicians Report
    Care Expense Statement
    VA Form 21-8416 Medical Expense Report
    Social Security Award Letter
    Retirement Statement
    6-17-2011 Mailed "Intent To File" Form
    8-02-2011 Mailed completed packet
    8-10-2011 Received notification that application was received at the St. Paul Pension Center on August 5th, 2011.
    8-16-2011 Received acknowledgement of receipt of application and informed that they were in the process of deciding whether additional evidence or information was needed and that it might take a long time because they were busy and had many applications.
    8-27-2011 Received Notification of Award of "Aid & Attendance"
    I can tell you there were tears and a Happy Dance when my sister and I opened the mail...after we got over the shock, of course, of being approved in only 11 days.
    There was an application and instructions to apply for 12 months retroactive pension, and I did that immediately. This actually took 9 months for approval because VA lost my dad in the system and had him filed under 2 different names?!?! I never understood why they didn't use his Military#, his SS#, or his case file # - all of which are totally unique. After Senator Tom Coburn filed an inquiry, the one-year prior was awarded.
    Sadly, my dad passed away June 13th, one day after his 90th birthday this year. Happily, because of Debbie and this wonderful site, he had 4 years of A&A Pension that enabled him to stay in his home with the full-time care of my sister, Mary, and some wonderful Home Healthcare professionals. My dad told me many times as we sat on his patio enjoying his beautiful yard that all he wanted was to be able to stay in his home and to pass in his sleep. I am so very happy to say that both his wishes came true. My dad only spent one day in bed and was able to live his life relatively normally with help from my sister and me until the very end. Parkinson's, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Dementia presented many problems to overcome; but my sister and I were with Dad 24/7 and did everything possible to make sure he was comfortable and felt safe and secure and happy. I watched many, many old westerns on TV with him, we cooked him all his favorite meals, and Mary and Dad wrote his Life Story - we found out Dad was on the U S American Legion that transported troops during WWII and he was such a good shot, one of his assignments was to watch for mines and shoot them so they would explode before the ship got close to them. I guess growing up in Oklahoma hunting his whole life paid off! We felt so blessed to really get to know my dad and for him to get to know us; we discovered so much about each other and grew so close on our journey. I truly believe that Debbie and this wonderful site enabled Dad to have the best quality of life possible for the last 4 years and will be eternally grateful for all the help and advice I received. Debbie, you are an angel and I can't even begin to thank you enough!!! Pat
  2. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member


    I have been traveling and recovering from a nasty fall, so I am late in responding to this heartfelt post.

    My condolences to you and your family on the loss of your Dad. I pray your memories of his incredible life will be a comfort to you as time goes on.

    I am truly honored and so deeply moved to know that I was able to help and honor his sacrifice of service to our country.

    What a blessing and a gift to you and your sister Mary, that you had the time you did and the opportunity to record his life in his own words. Certainly something to be treasured and handed down for many lifetimes to come.

    It is I Pat, who am so grateful for your kind words, and the chance to have made a difference for your Dad.

    God Bless!


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