Questions about responding to VA on caregivers

Discussion in 'Share Your Personal Experience' started by lanya, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. lanya

    lanya Newbie

    Hello all,

    I submitted my mom's application the last week of Dec 2008, after reading and following advice on these forums. I collected all documents and a cover letter into a binder that ended up being about 100 pages long (lots of bills were included).

    My mom is 82 and receiving in-home health care to enable her to "age in place" without moving into assisted living. She should qualify medically with no problem -- she has multiple conditions which require daily medical help. Financially, she is low income but does have savings of about $25,000, which is rapidly declining.

    I got a response from the regional VA office in San Diego a week later saying they'd received it and assigning a case number. Then nothing until this week (first week of March 09) when we got a letter from MN saying that the application would be processed there and that they will decide our case w/in 30 day unless we ask for an extension to submit more documents. Is this unusual? It seems surprising that they are trying to decide so fast.

    The VA letter lists the documents they received from me, but it is not a complete list. Do you think it is important to reiterate or resend every single document they do not list?

    They acknowledge receiving the "appointment of individual as claimant's representative" (me) but all the correspondence when to my mom's address. Can I insist that future correspondence come to my address, which was listed on that form? (I live 500 miles from my mom, so it is a pain when they send it to her and it has to be remailed.)

    They also included 3 "care expense statements" for us to return -- presumably since my mom has 3 different caregivers from whom we were including medical expenses. Each has to include a statement of billing from the caregiver and be signed by them and my mom.

    Does anyone know if they wlll "count" the expenses of two different providers who are doing similar duties? I hope so -- in our case, one company helps my mom 5 days a week, and the other comes on weekends and as vacation backup for the first.

    Do they "count" the services of care managers, that is, nurses who accompany the elder to doctor's appointments and see to coordination of care issues and medical followup? Do they count folks who are helping provide transportation to doctor's appointments and grocery shopping?

    Any help with the above questions would be most appreciated. I'm glad I found this forum, which is a great service for those of us trying to do these applications.

  2. Fit2009

    Fit2009 Sr. Member

    I assume you received the VCAA (sp?) letter - this is good news, they are basically giving you a chance to make a mistake and have them change their minds. Include the signed and filled out caregivers forms, they count the expenses from different providers, no need to elaborate as to what is being provided beyond what is included in the care expense statement. I am unsure of the cost of care managers, but make a copy of the care expense statement and submit it. BTW, it would be great if you could scan that care expense statement and share it with Debbie.
  3. lanya

    lanya Newbie

    Yes, the letter was about 10 pages long, basically asking for the caregiver forms to be filled out and giving basic info on the process and how to contact a VSO if needed.

    The last page was the "VCAA Notice Response" asking use to reply and say if we had no additional evidence and they should "decide the claim as soon as possble" OR if we had more evidence and wanted them to wait "at least 30 days before deciding claim." We choose the later, since it will take a few weeks to get the caregiver statements mailed back and forth for signatures and signed.

    Interestingly, there is no where on the letter where it explains what VCAA is, and until you mentioned it I had no clue. Looked it up on the web and it is "Veterans Claims Adjustment Act" -- basically, a law that requires them to notify you of your rights, how they decide the case, etc.

    Yes, I will scan the caregiver form and either post here in a few days or give to Debbie. Thanks!
  4. Fit2009

    Fit2009 Sr. Member

    Did you keep a copy of the VCAA form? When you send in your next batch of stuff, you will need to provide a new one checking that you have no more information and hand write in "I hereby waive the one year waiting period". This is very good news, you should almost be there!
  5. lanya

    lanya Newbie

    Yes, I saved a copy but it is the one that is filled out and signed. Do you know where I can find this VCAA form unfilled out online? I tried the VA's site, but no luck so far. Thanks.
  6. lanya

    lanya Newbie

    I've given the 3 page "caregiver expense statement" from the VA to Debbie (site administrator), since it was too big for me to post directly. She gave me a blank copy of the VCAA response form. Hope this helps others.
  7. jamesb

    jamesb Newbie

  8. LisaPooh

    LisaPooh Newbie

    How can I obtain a sample of a "CAREGIVER EXPENSE STATEMENT?"
  9. CarolinaFran

    CarolinaFran Newbie

    I would like an answer to this question also. Any help would be appreciated!!
  10. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Here is what you should do and this should be ok...

    Write up a statement that says,

    I (name of care provider) received $ (total amount paid in 2013) from (name of claimant) in the year 2013. I assisted (name of claimant) in her activities of daily living, specifically (list bathing, dressing, etc.)

    I will continue to receive $____ per month for my care giving services in 2014.

    Signed by caregiver
    Signed by claimant


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