newbie question

Discussion in 'Share Your Personal Experience' started by ccp, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. ccp

    ccp Newbie

    my husband's parents have both just moved into an ALF. He is a Korean vet, he cannot take care of her, pay bills, cook or clean for them. He is also losing his eyesight and by June will likely lose his drivers lic. They lived far out of town with a well that was going bad, so when she developed double pneumonia and a compression fracture from a fall we moved them to a ALF. We had done some research last summer and found out about the A & A program and that there was a guy that could fill out the paperwork and it would go thru much faster than if we did it. He sells annuities. We just saw him now that we are in the ALF and he changed all the figures from last summer. He says $15000 in liquid assets and I saw $80000 on your sight. I am confused. Also, he is able to ask questions but not retain answers, which I feel is dementia and prevents him from taking care of himself too. Is there a line that has to be crossed to say what is dementia or not? Is this going to be a problem? He is pretty healthy other than the eyesight (Mac. degeneration) and some GERD. Scary territory! Not sure I can do this. HELP
  2. Feynmanfan

    Feynmanfan Newbie

    I too am looking into the A&A benefit for my 90-year-old father and he was also approached by a company that made similar claims to the ones you mention in your story; the paperwork is more likely to be approved if they fill it out, etc. With regard to assets, the person mentioned a limit of around 35K in liquid assets in order to qualify.

    I live a thousand miles away from my father and the company, ***** and based upon my conversation with the representative there are some yellow flags that have me concerned. First, the rep was not forthcoming in explaining the revenue model for WarEraVetrans Alliance. It was only after questioning that she divulged that they are investment advisers. Also of concern was her request for me to travel down there to have the paperwork filled out. Finally, she did not send me further information as promised. My gut tells me to steer clear of this outfit.

    That said, I'm glad to have found and all the information it contains. I will be interested to see if anyone replies to this thread with specifics about liquid asset limits, etc.


  3. pattyclarke

    pattyclarke Newbie

    I too am just starting this process for my 91 year-old mother-in-law. I also read the $80,000 "rule-of thumb" for assets, but it also said that the amount is reduced for age. Gerry, I'm curious if the person who told you $35,000 for assets explained to you that the low figure was based on his 90 years of age?

    This is definitely a daunting process and I appreciate the things I have already learned from reading through the forum posts. Thank you Debbie for starting this website.

  4. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Age is a factor that the VA uses in the calculations, however, from the standpoint of qualifying for the pension, what you need to determine is what the "Countable" income is for the veteran or surviving spouse. The rule of thumb is $80K but it is a variable not just based on age.

    These groups take a piece of the equation and use it to their advantage and have one goal in mind, which is to either sell a product or move money around to benefit from your situation. They claim 100% approval rates and that they can get a claim through faster, which is just part of the sales pitch. If you use the step-by-step directions on the website and follow all the suggestions, you will get through this.

    I removed the reference to the company listed in this posting as well as the individual (SB) who obviously is on their payroll. This person has made the same posting word for word on other forums regarding A&A. It infuriates me that these groups have found a way to "Monitze" seniors and target their families, and I take exception to this exploitation.

    Thank you for your kinds words, and hope we can help get you through this process.
  5. pattyclarke

    pattyclarke Newbie

    I had my "business hat" on when I was lucky to find this site and learn so much. But, when I'm just me, a loving family member, this process is highly emotional. We have convinced this lovely 91 year-old woman to sell her house of 35+ years in northern California and move to southern California to be by us and live in an ALF. She's leaving a place where she can look out the window and see deer and pine trees to a facility. It's going to be a tough transition.

    Okay, "business hat" back on. I've already done rough calculations for the "Countable Income." Total annual income is $11,000. Projected ALF etc. costs per year $57,000. Negative per year of ($46,000). No problem there. My concern is her net worth after selling the house will be around $120,000—well over the $80,000. My thought was to have her gift money to family members that we would then payback and put in a bank account to pay for her care. Then I read a thread about net worth and "hiding assets, moving money" etc. being "greedy."

    Bottom line—we don't want our loved one to outlive her money and end up in a state facility where you wouldn't want your dog to stay. We will continue to contribute as a small family, but receiving the $1,000 per month A&A pension would be a huge help.

    Should we do something to move money so at the time of application her net worth falls below the $80,000, or be comfortable that the VA will do the math and not deny her application.

    Thank you,

  6. pologal1979

    pologal1979 Guest

    if you want to move money around to get mom qualified for a benefit, then that is your business. In my opinion,she should use her net worth for her care first. Then apply after the net worth decreases to around $80K or so. And this is assuming the veteran served during war time and his service was other than dishonorable (to be entitled to pension).
  7. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member


    Given the real estate market and expecially in CA, the house may sit on the market for some time, and until it actually sold, you would not have to count that as part of her assets.

    However, When you sell a house, the payment you receive is counted as income by the VA, if that payment puts you above the pension limit, you will be kicked out of the program for at least one year…I say at least because, after the 12 months, when it no longer falls in your income (because you are in the next year) your remaining assets may or may not be too high because of the money left over from the sale.

    e.g. 2000 per month income, 80K in assets

    4000 ALF fee


    Sell house for 200,000 – oops too much income for one year, 12 months later, have 150K in assets, now the assets keep you out.
  8. pattyclarke

    pattyclarke Newbie

    The house has already sold, so we have basically two months to clear out the house and facilitate her move to the ALF. I'm confused by what you said that the VA will consider the sale proceeds as income. On the vet assist website in the FAQ section it stated this.

    Q. If my mother sells her house before moving into Assisted Living, does she have to count that money as income?

    A. No, it does not count as income, but as soon as she puts it in the bank, it will become part of her net worth. If you mother has plans to sell her house, then it is always best to take care of these issues before applying for A&A. How she disperses the money from the sale is between her and her financial advisor, but any money she retains in savings accounts, CDs, IRAs etc. will be considered part of her net worth. As previously noted, there is no “look back” on Aid & Attendance.

    The VA’s goal with this program is to help those in financial need. Their operating manual states that: “The VA’s income-based programs are intended to give beneficiaries a minimum level of financial security. They are not intended to protect substantial assets or build up the beneficiary’s estate for the benefit of the heirs.”

    We are not wanting her money to last for us to inherit it, we just want her to spend the rest of her years in a nice place.


  9. pattyclarke

    pattyclarke Newbie

    One more question. on the VA site it describes net worth as follows:

    What about net worth?
    Net worth means the net value of the assets of the surviving spouse and his or her children. It includes such assets as bank accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds and any property other than the surviving spouse's residence and a reasonable lot area. There is no set limit on how much net worth a surviving spouse and his or her children can have, but net worth cannot be excessive. The decision as to whether a claimant's net worth is excessive depends on the facts of each individual case. All net worth should be reported and VA will determine if a claimant's assets are sufficiently large that the claimant could live off these assets for a reasonable period of time. VA's needs-based programs are not intended to protect substantial assets or build up an estate for the benefit of heirs.

    When it says "assets of the surviving spouse and his or her children", does the term children refer to minor children or does it include adult children that do not live with the surviving spouse?

    Thank you,
  10. magnumpi28

    magnumpi28 Jr. Member

    Patty writes: When it says "assets of the surviving spouse and his or her children", does the term children refer to minor children or does it include adult children that do not live with the surviving spouse?

    Hi Patty, I helped my mother apply for A&A and im her adult child. No where on the app did i report my income or assets. I only reported hers.

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