question about DIC and A&A

Discussion in 'Share Your Personal Experience' started by Vanessa Sunshine, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. I filed the paperwork for my mom in November for A&A. Two weeks ago I received a phone call from someone with the VA saying he just needed to talk to the facility manager where she lives and when I asked him he said she would probably get the full amount. She just called me and said she received a 12 page letter from the V A saying her claim for DIC was denied. As she was reading this to me on the phone I could tell from what they were saying about it, that something was very wrong because we never applied for DIC. In fact I had to look it up and saw that it had to so with dying or being disabled due to a military injury, which did not happen with my dad. My mom received this letter on Wednesday, but didn't want to tell me until my work week was over thinking she was helping me, but now I have to wait until Monday to get any info., and she really does believe that she won't get the benefit.

    Does DIC have anything at all to do with A&A? My mothers monthly income is less than $1,200 a month and she has around $40,000 in savings. Her rent is $2800 per month. Is it possible that she doesn't qualify? Aaaargh. :-\

  2. Fit2009

    Fit2009 Sr. Member

    Go get the letter - the first page aways denies DIC - they check to make sure the veteran did not die as a result of a service related injury and if they didn't they start the letter by denying that (perhaps hoping you have a heart attack before going to page two and seeing you got the pension?) ok, that was snarky :D
  3. You were right! Now why in the WORLD do they send a 24 page letter with the first 12 pages stating why they are denying DIC? Of course she was confused! At the end of the DIC denial letter (on approximately page 13) it states that she is approved for A&A, but it's just a bunch of text..not even written in letter format. Ugh! It's as if they intentionally make it confusing, which makes me livid! How dare they treat our elderly like that.

    Anyway, I'm still trying to convince her that she was approved. She hasn't received anything else from the VA yet (like a CHECK! ). When should she expect to hear something else? She received the letter around the March 1.

  4. Fit2009

    Fit2009 Sr. Member

    Hi Vanessa,
    You need to make sure it says that she was not just rated "aid and attendance" but that she will be receiving the award of $1,056 per month. If there is no table spelling out the award or income and expense used, there may be an issue that needs to be addressed.
  5. rockingma21

    rockingma21 Newbie

    Re: question about A&A

    My 83 yr old father was a WWI & Korean War Vet and he just passed away on 11/09/10, from a heart attack (non-service related). I filed an A&A surviving spouse pension claim on 12/15/10, with supporting documents from dr. showing her dementia and need for A&A. She is still living in their home and she is getting home health care Sun-Sat, with Medicaid & Medicare covering most of the cost. Her only income is $1,070/mo and she has no resources. Her medical out of pocket expenses are $2,000/mo. I just received a VA award notice dated 04/19/11, and the award amount and payment start date for monthly entitilement is:
    Total VA Benefit: Amount Withheld: Amount Paid: Effective Date: Reason for Change:
    $959 $959 $0 12/01/10 Original Award
    959 0 959 05/01/11 Other Withholding Adjustment
    132 0 132 12/01/11 Countable Income
    Adjustment, Net Worth Adjustment
    My questions are: What is the A&A amount for her financial situation and what amount does this notice award to her? Shouldn't the effective date be, 11/01/10 and not 12/01/10? My father died 11/09/10.
  6. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    The effective date has nothing to do with your dad's passing. You state that you filed in 12/10, and the effective date would be based on the date of your application for your mom.
  7. rockingma21

    rockingma21 Newbie

    Re: question about A&A

    1. In the award notice, it says that they granted death pension benefits effective 11/09/10 (date of my father's death) and that they approved an additional allowance for A&C effective 11/01/10, but in the chart that I sent in the prior blog it shows effective date as 12/01/10.
    2. Also, I read during my research in another article, that when a pension is approved, it's effective date is the first day of the month in which the vet died.
    3. Can you please interpret the chart for me and tell me what amount my mother was approved for and what does the $132 represent?
  8. Max

    Max Hero Member

    Actually the effective date of the award is the first of the month after the veteran's death assuming that the application is received within one year from the date of death. The effective date of the entitlement is the first of the month of the veteran's death. There is an odd and difficult to explain distinction in the law.

    Please also note that the application you submitted (VA Form 21-534) is actually an application for DIC, Death Pension, and Accrued benefits. While she may have only wanted to apply for death pension, the application is for all three benefits, so VA must make sure to address all three of them.

    Please let me know if you have any further questions.

    The $132.00 represents what her monthly entitlement is starting December 1, 2011. This was because her expenses decreased. My guess is that she reported funeral expenses of a few thousand dollars. The funeral expenses can only be considered for one year, so the award decreases to account for that. My guess is that they did not consider all of her expenses because they were either not completely reported or the information included with them was unclear. It is to her advantage for you to report her expenses quickly to account secure her an increase.

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