Got a call from VA about Mom's pension...

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Info for all regarding the aid and attendance pension.


I recieved a letter from the VA turning us down due to income but when I looked they had taken her IRA income which was listed at 1000 a year and treated it as 12000 a year which was sooo frustrating as the flipping IRA balance was only 2300. So, i calmly corrected them, called and followed the directions. She was then immediately approved. The good news is we submitted Oct 29 2014 so this all only took 5 mos and she will begin receiving her money in May. We were told a year. Here is where it gets weird and complicated and VERY frustrating.

When I was going through the process and speaking to pension specialists on the phone, I was told which forms to complete AND they were sent to me by mail. THEY sent them to me. Also, they told me to document, document, document. That it was better to overdocument because if anything was missing at all it would delay it, take it from the fast lane pile and go to the bottom of the pile of non fast lane files. This reiterated when I met with the COMMANDER at the DAV. So, what i sent was two inches thick and when reviewed by the DAV said to be correct and the DAV put it in order. It was more work than you can ever imagine.

But the agent working the case, while nice enough, and herself a vet, told me there was too much and no one would read it, it was useless. All they wanted was the info, NO DOCUMENTATION. I coukd have sent completed forms only weeks before. And, the one form detailing medical expense, including miles driven, sent to me by pension specialists to be completed, needed to be from the date submitted, not the year before. Huh? How in the heII us that possible? I have no idea what future expenses are, only past, and the EZ form askes for last year and next year. This all dies not jibe and why this is important is it is causing her monthly benefit to be half what it should be because we cannot show those expenses.

This makes no sense at all. Is this the same person who took an annual income and converted it to monthly while taking one beneath and above it entered the same, exactly, and used that number correctly? So, a word of caution.

Get good advice from a good agent. My confidence is shaky in this persons explanation right now as she is sending me the same flipping form for future medical expenses. I am so frustrated. Her explanations made no sense, I am sorry. There were too many conflicts regarding what I was told and what I am being told now. My mom gets 1240 a mo in soc sec and is paying 1400 to a caregiver, and that is not enough to get her the highest amount? Huh? Before medicare prem and medicine and dr costs, etc. also they told me prior that she could submit for prepaying her funeral expenses, hearing aids and so forth. This agent says no.

Frustrating. But i am getting back the cost of dads funeral and cemetary plots less small ins, policies. That helps. There was another form for that which I did not have but completed and faxed. So much confusion.
What a miserable experience. Our government at work or whatever. You have more patience than I. After my first 2 phone calls, I told my Mother it is just not worth it.
I think that they bank on that, or I am jaded somewhat. There is NO reason that the one number would be added in as a monthly amount and the other two as annual amounts and the bad part is one of the other amounts was $8, it was her annual interest from the bank. If they had added that by 12 the impact would have been negligible, but no, they added the 1000 by 12 and blew her income up. With a balance that in no way shape or form supported it. FRUSTRATING.
oh and to correct it, I wrote in on the form MONTHLY by each one and made sure that there was no misunderstanding.
I have been waiting since August 2014 to hear about my mother's application for Aid and attendance. I finally called after receiving 2 letters this year saying that they are still processing her claim. I was told by the young lady on the phone that the only action that had been taken so far was that Social Security did verify mom's income from them. Due to my mother's age (86) she told me to fax a letter asking for her claim to be expedited and to explain that she will be out of money this year. The Pension Management office does not take phone calls. I know that once approved the claim will be paid retroactive to the date filed, which will really help if true. Keep plugging away and don't give up! It is a benefit earned!
No, we are approved and moms money starts in May. And I think she will niw get the highest payout. For a baffling stupid reason, but whatev! However can i say that you have another recourse and that is contacting your state senator. They do not like to have that spotlight. Also, since you have the fax number to the office handling your case and a case number, I would fax them and bug them. Horrible. We are aporoved and done after five mos. How unacceptable for you.

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