Should I pursue my dad's existing claim

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by KathyAH, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. KathyAH

    KathyAH Newbie

    My dad is 88 and Korean War veteran. I have applied for the A & A with a help of VA representative, and after three tries appear to be getting closer. After 3 hospital stays within 2 months, he entered a memory care unit Sept. 2017 because his wife, age 84, could no longer care for him. His monthly income due to a teachers pension and dual s.s. falls short about $3000 month , since his care is $7600. In addition, within 2 months his wife will have to move into an independent living facility due to her isolation and assistance for medication management. Her total room and board will be $2000 month, so they will be spending about $5000 more a month than their income and that doesn't include any other medical or daily living expenses.

    The latest denial recognized that he met the income guidelines, but ASSET evaluation was incorrect since they double counted his spouse's IRA. If that correction is appealed and recognized, they are still above the ASSET cutoff, but within a few months their assets will fall within the guidelines due to their net deficit each month.

    Should I file an appeal to correct the incorrect information on the denial or do I wait a month when the ASSETS are within guideline and apply again?

    Finally, they have a home, and will have to sell in order to pay for their care, room and board and medical expenses. Our housing market is flat, and I don't anticipate a quick sale, at least 6 months and then after that their ASSETS will again be above the guidelines.

    Is it worth pursuing the Aid & Attendance pension given the circumstances above before the house is sold when they meet the ASSET guidelines or should I hold off until their assets fall below the guidelines most likely within 3 years based on their care, room and board and daily living expenses?

    I feel very blessed that they have ASSET and Income to meet their immediate needs, but foresee a dire future.

    Has any other veteran or family member have a similar circumstance and be willing to give advice or point me toward a resource?

    With blessings,
  2. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    @KathyAH I recommend that you do not file an appeal. The appeal process can take up to 2 years and can drag out unreasonably. Instead, I recommend you do what you mentioned as the alternative and wait until their asset levels fall below the level. You need not reapply completely with the entire application, simply send in what needs to be updated. For instance, you wouldn't need to go get a new physician's statement from his doctor to apply for the A&A again if his assets are the only thing changing.

    Once the home sells, if the money is made available to them and they are currently getting the A&A benefit then you will have to update the VA to let them know how much money they received from the sale and they will have to spend down that money to get the A&A benefit again. At that time, you'd simply update the VA once again that they have used all of their assets to pay for care and now need the benefit to be reinstalled.

    I definitely think this situation could go either way and it is entirely up to you and your family as to whether you want to apply now or wait until the home sells and they spend down that money as well. But since you've already started you may just want to go ahead and finish up getting the A&A benefit awarded to them initially and then simply update the VA when the time comes after the sell of their home.

    I hope that helps!

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