Use of Retroactive Funds

Discussion in 'Fiduciary questions' started by Maven, Jul 29, 2017.

  1. Maven

    Maven Jr. Member

    My husband as fiduciary has finally received the retroactive benefits due his mother for over 1 year.We have heard that one is not allowed to withdraw these funds with an ATM card or write a check for cash, yet have not received any guidelines on this from VA. Are they published anywhere? And can these funds be used to reimburse us the money we paid to the nursing home the past year when my MIL did not have sufficient money to cover her care?
  2. Honor First

    Honor First Newbie

    While I can't answer this question directly, I can say that I filed for my brother, and his first VA A&A pension check was direct deposited yesterday. It was deposited into an account that bears both of our names. I submitted a voided check with the A&A application, as instructed by the VA.

    I intend to pay my brother's rent at his senior care facility, in part, from those funds. I have a debit card for the account that I can use anywhere I like. I'm sure at some point the VA will request an acccounting of how the funds from the A&A were spent, and I will hinestly answer "for his rent."

    I do the very same with his monthly Social Security. I am the designated "payee," so once per year the SSA sends me a form requesting me to account for how his money was spent. I'll show rent for that as well, because it takes both the VA A&A and the social security funds to pay his rent.

    I do keep receipts from purchases I make for my brother, and pay for out of the account, including those things I pay for with the debit card. I guess I do this just in case someday they should call for an audit.

    I just began the process to become the fiduciary. The VA withheld a single months money. I expect those funds to be released when they appoint me the fiduciary.
    Kaylin likes this.
  3. magnumpi28

    magnumpi28 Jr. Member

    Regardless of the guidelines NEVER withdraw cash, it looks bad because you cant prove where cash goes. You could have used it to by a hooker for all anybody knows. Just spend the money for her benefit, write checks!.....its that simple. As far as reimbursement, if you can prove you paid money to the nursing home for her benefit out of your own pocket i see nothing wrong with reimbursement. Good rule of thumb, if you told 5 random people what you did with your moms money would they say you did the right thing by her? If you believe all 5 would say yes, then relax, you have nothing to worry about.
    Kaylin likes this.
  4. Honor First

    Honor First Newbie

    The debit card is the very same as a check. The money comes out of the checking account. The account is the record.
    Kaylin likes this.
  5. Matt375

    Matt375 Jr. Member

    I caution you on reimbursing yourself. When the application was sent to the VA I'm assuming that the nursing home was listed as an expense. The VA then assumes that they were paying for it. If you were paying the money the VA could consider that income for her as well as not count the expense since she was not paying for it (or all of it).

    I agree that you were just doing what most people would consider good and decent. I'm just telling you how I see the VA think all the time.
    Kaylin likes this.
  6. jscott

    jscott Jr. Member

    The VA Fiduciary's Handbook answers this question:
    "You must make all payments either by check or electronic bill payment from the fiduciary account. ATM withdrawals, counter withdrawals, and checks made payable to cash are not acceptable transactions."
    I'll post a link to the handbook in a separate post.
    Kaylin likes this.
  7. Honor First

    Honor First Newbie

    I applied to be the fiduciary back in early July. I recently called the VA fiduciary hub and inquired if they had received my brother's waiver of the 60 day determination period. They told me they had received the paperwork I sent. They said someone had been assigned to the case on August 1. This person is supposed to contact me for an interview.

    I guess from reading these posts that a separarte "fiduciary" bank account will be required. I have no problem with that, because my brother's expense for his senior care far exceeds the VA A&A amount. I'll simply write one check from that account, and another from the already established account I jointly hold with my brother.

    My accountability will simply show that every penney doled out by the VA will go to the senior care.

    I have been the "payee" on my brother's social security for many years. I receive an annual form from social security asking me to account for how the social security money was spent. I simply put down the monthly expense of the senior care rent.

    Before he was in senior care I kept all of the receipts for expenditures from my brother's bank account. His pharmacy bills were paid from the account and they came to thousands per year.
    Kaylin likes this.
  8. jscott

    jscott Jr. Member

    Honor First,
    Sorry about the late reply. What you plan to do is exactly what we are doing: We pay the senior care facility directly from the Fiduciary account and pay all other expenses from his mother's other (dwindling) checking account. This way the VA accounting is very clean and easy.
    Kaylin likes this.

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