Thanks, success, and encouragment

Discussion in 'Share Your Personal Experience' started by gardener, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. gardener

    gardener Newbie

    I still can't believe I'm typing a message like this! But thanks to Debbie and this site, I am happy to post another success story. I will give some of the details so that they might encourage someone else.

    My mom is 87 years old and has vascular dementia, among other problems. She lives in an assisted living group home. Her income was only about 1,300 per month. Her savings and assets were down to about 7,000 when I applied. Her costs for care were much, much more than her social security every month, so my husband and I have been paying directly to the assisted living the part she couldn't pay. I wasn't sure if this would be a problem or not, since they might look at it as a source of income to her. Apparently, our support did not count as income. They calculated her income coming to zero because of her medical care costs, so she was awarded the full amount. I still can't believe it!! (This is such a huge relief, even if we still need to keep paying part of her bills).

    I was also worried because I didn't have a birth certificate for my mom or dad. They did not ask for either. My mom is a naturalized citizen of the US, but they didn't even ask for proof of citizenship on her part.

    Here is a list of what I sent back in July of 2012:

    1. VA Form 21-534
    2. Death Certificate for my dad
    3. Military Records for my dad
    4. Marriage Certificate
    5. VA Form 21-2680 - Physician Statement
    6. Bank and Financial Statements
    7. Statement of Occupancy from Assisted Living Facility
    8. Receipts for Caregiver Expenses
    9. VA Form 21-0845 – Authorization to Disclose Personal Information to a Third Party

    I sent everything return receipt.
    I kept getting form letters every three months or so, saying they were working on it.

    In May of 2013, I contacted my senator, who had a simple form for my mom to fill out so that they could make an inquiry.
    In June the VA asked for one additional item, a statement verifying that my parents never divorced or separated and were married when he died. I had my mom send that in, along with a copy of his obituary from the local newspaper. Then last week, I got a large envelope in the mail (that I was afraid to open), but that had the good news!

    They are withholding her back payments because of a finding of incompetency, which I was expecting. But her payments should start in August, which is just incredible to me.
    My dad would be so proud that his service still matters and that he is still able to help my mother, even though he is no longer with us.

    I am so grateful to you, Debbie. I could not have done it without you or this site. I have told the county social worker for our Department of Aging about this site (she has other cases of people who might be eligible) and I am telling anyone I know who has a similar situation.

    So take heart, if your loved one seems to fit all the requirements. File everything just as this site says. Wait a few months. Then get your senator involved. The system can work, it just seems to work slowly.
  2. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member


    It means so much to me to learn that what I do helped someone along the way of this process. Every time I learn of a positive outcome, it lessens the heaviness on my heart regarding my own parents, and in particular my Mom who died without ever seeing a penny from the VA. I love being able to take a negative and turn it around to a positive.

    Thanks for coming back and sharing and offering hope to those who are still waiting.

    Best wishes to you and your family!

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