My Story - Debbie Burak

Discussion in 'Share Your Personal Experience' started by vetadmin, Mar 5, 2007.

  1. Punka813

    Punka813 Newbie

    Hi Debbie, I, too, am so glad I found this site. It alleviates some of the frustration knowing I am not alone. I first filed for my mother in July 2009 through a local vet representative. We submitted every form possible - many times more than once - and went around and around getting nowhere. In April 2011 my representative "retired" and was going to pass along my claim to someone else. At this point (almost 2 YEARS after we filed) I did not want to continue on the same path. My frustration level was over the top. I was desperate and hired (what I've heard is a reputable) outside company to continue the quest. They filed another round of forms in August 2011 and I haven't heard anything other than a response in September 2011 that they received the claim and are working on it. Here we are almost 5 months from that correspondence and still NOTHING. In July it will be 3 years since I first filed. I think I'll take the several suggestions I've seen and contact the Senator and Congressman. I live in a different state than my mother. I assume I contact the Senator and Congressman from HER state? In everything I've read, I haven't ever heard of ANYONE'S claim going on for THIS long. It's pathetic.
    I appreciate any thoughts.
  2. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member


    You should make that call TODAY! You would contact the Senator or Congressperson of her state.

    There is zero excuse or reason for this simple application to still be pending 3 years out.

    Curious what state does your Mom live in, and would you email the name of the company you used, so that I will have some insights as to what may have gone on here.

  3. Punka813

    Punka813 Newbie

    Thank you so much for your prompt reply. I will make that call. And I will email you. Kudos to you for all of your efforts.
    Thanks again, Kelly
  4. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member


    Please see the email I sent you regarding your Mom's situation.
  5. epcraig

    epcraig Newbie

    Just found my way here. I hadn't heard of A&A before now.
    I live alone. I turned 61 on 7 November.
    I had my first stroke five years ago in the fall of 2006, the second was spring of 2010. Now I have retired. I expect a VA social worker to come visit on March 7 when I expect to find out more about my situation from her. I was referred to the Lane County Veterans Assistance because I claimed Veterans status. They wrote my forms out to apply for a basic pension because my first stroke took away my handwriting. That was approved. This has been an unexpected adventure in bureucracy. It's gone better than I expected so far.
  6. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Glad that things have gone well for you so far, and hope that continues to be your experience.

    Thank you for your service to our country!
  7. momof3

    momof3 Newbie

    Thank you for sharing. I am very relieved to have someone to relate to. I know it has been a long time since my father's death. Now that the VA said his death was service connected, I will continue to follow through with his claim. It's terribly bittersweet to finally have answers of his death but then to find out 16 years later after knowing my family and I would have been entitled to something. I hate that he passed so soon and while in the middle of it.You have inspired me to not give up. Thank you. =-)
  8. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    You are so welcome, and thank you for your kind words.
  9. MiataDriver

    MiataDriver Newbie

    I'm so glad I found your site today after a long frustration with the VA and their phone system with no answers. I started my Mom's claim with the aid of a man somewhat doing what you are doing, helping others free of charge because of an Uncle that didn't find help soon enough. Anyway...In Nov. 2010 I started this mess. Got the paperwork in, in March 2011, it was denied...they filed it wrong. They filed DIC rather than Aid with Assistance. My person helping told me what to put on the form, told them the VA made an error and they did not take Mom's expenses into account. It was reopened in May 2012. Now 17 phone calls later with two inquiries, one that had a call back and the other that did not...still's been 33 days since that, I have no answers. It's in the process which is supposed to take about 126 days on average...well, I'm way beyond that! Mom is 90 and she very shortly may have to go into assisted living. She has dementia and her funds are getting lower, when she moves they will be going faster as many of you know.

    I did contact our senator but they got no answer. I'm not sure what to do now. I feel like the VA is sitting on this. The call center is really a waste of time & the VA's money because they are only giving answers that they've been told to give. No supervisor is around to ask questions. They have been very friendly but really no help. I don't understand why any of this process should take so long. All my paperwork was complete with the first filing, she qualifies and should get it.

    Any suggestions?

    Mary Beth
  10. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Mary Beth,

    If it were me, I would contact the Senator again and let them know there has been no progess made, and that you need them to intervene again, and push for an answer. Stress the amount of time and your Mom's advanced age, along with all the details you have posted.

    If they won't help, then contact your other Senator's office.

    Contact your local media, and ask them to do a story. Put pressure however you can. Not getting an answer is NOT an option.
  11. MiataDriver

    MiataDriver Newbie

    Thanks....You have fired me up again! I've got the last letter I wrote to the Senator that got no answer, filed out another one and will send both in the morning after Mom signs it for permission. This just seems ridiculous to me, nothing should take this long! I've listened to way too much "on hold" music from the VA! Appreciate you getting me going again. :D
  12. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Glad to be of help, and totally understand feeling frustrated and defeated. Can't let them (VA) win.

    Let me know how it goes. I personally would fax and call, and if all else fails, go to their office. Call their scheduler, and request an appointment.
  13. MiataDriver

    MiataDriver Newbie

    I finally got an are the basics again. Filed in Nov 2010 for A&A for my Mom. Denied in May, 2011 because they said she did not qualify. She had less than $50,000 at that point. Refiled because they filed it under the wrong thing and just got word a few weeks ago that she is denied again. They said she has enough money to live for 24 years with what he assets are! They took into account her real estate said it was worth $10,000. Shouldn't have done that. It is not rented, nor sold. She lives in Independent living with some assistance. She has dementia. She is 91 years old this month.

    The person helping me with this said to fill out another form a 21-4138 and said to put they need to reconsider my assets. They are down to $27,000 now due to lots of dental expenses, house upkeep / repairs, etc. Good news was...only good news....that asking our senator to get involved did get an answer FINALLY....took forever. On this form, I have put that please take her age into consideration by replying quickly.

    I guess my question is this....should I send in what she pays out of pocket for her is over $1,000 per year plus the insurance that keeps it that low? Any help would be appreciated. I don't understand how all these other people get approved so quickly and I'm stuck!
  14. sweetsooziep

    sweetsooziep Newbie

    How do I apply for Aid for my Mother? She was married to 2 Veterans. Now she needs homecare. Where do we newbies start the application process? If this info is already posted, forgive my ignorance and redirect me. smiles, sue
  15. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

  16. Lifer93

    Lifer93 Newbie

    Aid and Attendance Help

    My wife and I are caring for her mom who has ALZ. My father in law was a retired veteran serving in WWII, Korean< and Vietnam. We were awarded 25.00 a month based on her income from Social Security. This is her only source of income. We were not given any back any retro pay even though the pension request was in the VA's hands for over a year.
    Now my mother in law is house bound and has to have someone care for while my wife and I work. We pay a care giver 350 per week and now are applying for Aid and Attendance.
    Questions we have are:
    1. What expenses are deductible from her income?
    2. Do we need to let a Veteran rep file the paper work or is it better for us to do it ourselves? After the disappointment with the pension request we are not trusting anyone.
    3. What is the average time before we can expect some reply?
  17. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member


    Can you be more specific about what type of "pension" she is receiving?

    For purposes of A&A here is a link on the forums that will help you arrive at her countable income for VA purposes.,1313.0.html

    Yes, you can do it yourself, and no it is not a "fast" process, but given that she is already in the system, the hope is that will help in getting through faster.
  18. ellie29609

    ellie29609 Newbie

    Nothing can be said to take away the pain and tears shed by you and your family. But thank you for starting this site and sharing you knowledge and experience with us.
  19. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Thank you for your very kind words, and I hope the site and forums are helpful to you.
  20. Robinlbp

    Robinlbp Newbie

    I just found this site, husband was in 1980 to 1986 E5 Sgt. Airborne Army Ranger, has PTSD, on oxygen at night, on cardiac meds. Does he qualify for this benefit even though he was only in these years w/honorable d/c. He has to stay home , since 1986 has had over 50, have a list, public jobs. His mental status has been very bad at times. He had a very bad experience that and now finally being treated. Of course, records are missing. Last month he was accidentally "torn in the heart" by a doctor doing a cardiac cath at the VA in Salem,VA. It was horrible. In surgical ICU for 5 days. Now has to have some arteries I arm bypassed due to the blood clot that the cath caused and still might have to have open heart surgery. I am working, but sick w/lupus/rheumatoid arthritis/muscular dystrophy and epilepsy. We lost our house last month after living there since 1991. The VA would not pay for all of his meds. so I was paying out 600.00 to $900.00 a month for his meds. We are just so confused about what benefits he would qualify for. We need help really bad!

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