Follow
Share

If so, how did you apply? Did you use an attorney? Did you buy a book to help with the process? I want to apply, but an attorney wanted to charge $10,000 to help. Another attorney told me that in insane and that he wouldn't help me apply because I can buy books on the application process and do it myself because attorneys charge to much for this help. I know if you don't get the application perfect then you have to start the process all over. I know the process takes 6 - 12 months even if you get it right, let alone get it wrong and have to start over. I need input, advice, maybe people in Texas to contact to consult with. Any help will be taken.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Contact your local Veterans Administration and ask who the Veterans Advocates are onsite at your nearest facility. The chapter of Disabled Veterans of America (DAV), Paralyzed Veterans (PV), Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) to name a few are excellent FREE resources that help veterans submit the right forms with the right preexisting records AND they will do this for FREE. It isn't difficult to apply but you must meet very specific criteria as far as ratings, already entitled to pension benefits, and certain losses. Check out this site for info on the process and requirements (http://www.veteranaid.org/apply.php) and links to government forms required to file. When you compile your claim for submittal ****NEVER, EVER*** submit your only/original documents to the VA -- make them a COPY and KEEP the originals for yourself -- if you have to resubmit 20 times to get them to acknowledge it, all you will have to do is recopy your original packet and send them yet another copy! Also, FedEx or certify mail your claim so you have tracking. There is also a website for veterans called 'eBenefits.VA.GOV' that allows veterans to create a profile and monitor their claim...occasionally the site even functions well enough to accept uploaded documents within the claim status links -- but I've heard the most reliable way to have your documents acknowledged by VA is tracked mail.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My brother applied for Veterans Aid and Attendance on our mother's behalf. He didn't use a lawyer or other intermediary, and he got the forms and information from the Veterans Administration. He filled out the forms very carefully, made sure all the required paperwork was there, and sent it in 9 months ago. It was approved this month. She got a retroactive lump sum payment for the nine months since the date of filing and will receive about $550/month. This is the state of Florida.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I did it myself for my Mama. Wonderful website for help.
www.veteranaid.org
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I am a caregiver i have a private patient veteran, i applied for aid and attendance home health care 3 months later 1 x per month a letter just stating pending these are generated letters from a computer , i contacted my local congressman office spoke to the case manager i got forms signed for them as a 3rd party to contact the va center and my clients wife withen 3 days got a call and they are sending a va social worker to the house to verify all info that was given contact your congress man and let them do the talking. his wife and i are in constant prayer and i know it will come through to many times agencies and va because vets are older with medical necessities are just set aside we need to be their voice for them and help the families..
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I used a Veterans Aid group locally in my Mom's town. She is 90 and it has been 5 months now. I call every couple of weeks but they just say "pending". I found all the info online. Suggestion! Read all the helpful posts from others. Just the right wording on the application can make the decision to give you benefits or NOT give you benefits. So still waiting!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

i went to the local veterans center in my city . they told me what i needed they filled out all the forms online or you can go to an american legion office and get help how to apply mine has been 4 months and i just contacted my district congress man office the caseworker now handeling it is a process however i will not except because of being old they get put under the pile i am his carEgiver and i want him to get what he is intitled too oh also alot of prayer too GOD IS AWESOME
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

@ ferris,
the va is probably stalling out hoping john mcsame will die. lol..
we applied for a and a thru an agency called aging avenues. no charge, they handled the va s usual stall-ery and we would have gotten our first check 4 months into the process. mom died a month before we became eligible. you definately want an advocate because they anticipate va demands and provide crucial evidence before the va can use it to stall you with.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

The $80k is not a hard and fast rule. Unfortunately, VA customer service (?) representatives will give you conflicting info every time you call, because I have called several times and never got the same info

A website mentioned earlier in this string, vetangels.org, helps free of charge and says that the "net worth cannot be excessive," each case is decided individually, and that consideration is given to life expectancy, available income, cost of unreimbursed medical and care.

An article about the book "Checks for Vets," which is referenced on this website (agingcare.com), says pretty much the same as the vetangels.org website and that is there is no net worth limit, but not excessive depending on individual cases. Though this article/book says that the $80K does not include a home and car of no maximum value. I think Medicaid has a max value of $500K on the house, but no max on a car.

Several sources (I can't remember which ones), other than the VA, said that that the VA does not do a "look back" like Medicaid. Though Medicaid, at least in our state, allows spend down on home maintenance in their 5 year look back. So, my take away from this is that if you are going to spend down, do home improvements to boost its value, and possibly a newer more dependable car. However, on the Medicaid side you'd want to make sure the title of the home protects the surviving spouse's interest, if Medicaid tries to recoup from the estate. I have not been able to determine if the VA tries to recoup from the estate.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Just remember to keep a copy of everything you send to the VA - they have a tendency to lose things. And keep nagging them.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

If you have assets of over $80,000 (this does not include house or vehicle) you will most likely be denied if you don't spend down. It seems that they do not mind if it is under $80,000 but anything over will be looked at.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

In Texas, go to the Office of Veterans Affairs in the county seat where you live. My brother just received his, it only took about a month. The clerk did all the work and mailed it in. No need to go to a lawyer in any state. Check the Office of Veterans Affairs in your county/State.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I filed and no questions were asked about our finances. I have no idea what you are talking about, but I just sent a letter to Sen. John McCain to help and let's hope his office in Phoenix will respond.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

And again, attorneys CANNOT charge you to help fill out the VA forms, and any reputable attorney will tell you that. However, they may help you qualify for the benefit if that's the right course of action and you need to divest assets.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

For anyone who is waiting to qualify for this benefit, you may be able to put assets into annuities or trusts. The VA has no lookback period like Medicaid, so you can put assets away and qualify for the benefit. Attorneys can help you to qualify, and elder law attorneys will know the way to do this, by divesting your loved one of assets. However, the VA trusts are very restrictive. The elder cannot touch money in the trust at all, not even interest. So it's definitely a big decision to do something like that.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I am a caregiver and i have a private client, i went to the va center set up an appointment they walked me through the process of all the paper work needed and i also went to the american legion first is how i got to the va center they are their to help you will need dd2 form, all financial statements all med expences paid out it is a process however they must also have been set up with the va benefits and served the length of time required it can seem tedious however va center was great and 1 year waiting process. hope it all works out
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

You don't need a lawyer. Download the forms you need, fill them out and then have them faxed. Make phone calls to follow up. It took only five months for my mother to get her A & A. I was told by a VA employee to ask them to put my mother ahead of some of the others due to her age and health. I had no problems with them. I also went to a local VA Medical Clinic where they usually
do not help with this, but there was a lady that happen to give me some help.
Do not give up. Keep in contact with them. Do not wait for them to call, you call
them and keep asking them about the progress. Good Luck. I live in Ky.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Why is it that a illegal alien can get benefits more easier in this country than a veteran/wife of veteran can from the Veteran's Administration?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Ferris, one call to your Congressmans office and you'll get it. Write them a letter and call them, You'll get your reimbusement check within 1-2 weeks! Thats what the daycare tells their clients and it works every time. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Call you local VFW or American Legion, they will direct you in the proper direction you can usually file through them and they will stand as an advocate for you in helping you get the aid you need. That is how we did it. Took us from April until Sept. and dad started receiving his benefits. Good Luck and DO NOT HIRE AN ATTORNEY. :)
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

AlisonTexas - I hope everyone's advice assures you not to hire an attorney, and thanks to everyone for their stories. I am still waiting and agree the VA hopes my husband (87) dies before he gets the benefit It's good to know they pay even after the veteran's death. I'll be able to pay some credit cards off.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

veteransfinancial
elderbenefitsconsulting.
I used the second one here
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Sure, I filled out the forms on www.va.gov under compensations. They are pretty descriptive and the most important ingredient is doctor's verification your loved vet needs care 24/7 due to his/her condition. Include tests to verify, go to the local VA center and turn it in. Ours in Phoenix, AZ has someone available to help fill out the forms, but I did them myself. There is a special form which describes the vet's condition in detail, I filled it out, and my husband's neurologist agreed with what I wrote and signed it. There were two letters from VA stating I had to send the documents to states VA and then to WA, but our local office sent a letter stating they were working on our claim. Expect 6 months and one of the letters even has questions they ask and one of them is if you feel all the documents have been submitted, then process immediately. That's the box I checked. Do not be intimidated by anyone, and you do not need an attorney. The forms are quite readable, and the most important information they want is just the medical data to back up the claim. Of course, dementia is terminal and incurable, so it is a no-brainer. Good luck! (You also get paid from the date you submit).
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Sorry I also forget to clarify that the VA and VSOs (which are real veterans service organizations) are quite different than organizations that use an American flag logo and often include the word "veterans". Some of these are ok organizations, but some are taking advantage of people (see scam alerts on the Internet). Call the 1-800 VA number to get all local VA and VSO offices (or check the VA Web).
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

VA offices and Veterans Service Organizations (sometimes one is geographically closer than the other) offer assistance applying for VA A&A. It is true that the paperwork requires especially vital documents (like birth, death, marriage, military discharge) and a doctors certification that the veteran is disabled. When I applied, you have to be spending 105% of your elder's income on their care, so we went into a hole and my sister and I kicked in. If you do not have the vital documents, start looking or applying for certified copies right away. JCValley is right that lawyers cannot charge for help they give in completing those forms -- but they often tie that help to the setting up of a trust, which requires the attorney to be "VA certified," meaning they took an additional credential from the VA. If they didn't watch out because any "trust" will not likely have been crafted to qualify your elder for VA A&A. I spent $5000 of my Dad's precious life savings to a non-VA certified attorney, only later to have a VA-certified attorney complete the whole process (including trust) for $1500. But you don't need a trust if there's no money or assets. The VA-endorsed trust puts your elder's money into a trust that a named beneficiary or beneficiaries manage. Morally you are supposed to use any withdrawals entirely for the care of the elder. And for us, the little trust (not much there) had to be in place at least three months prior to application, which is why Dad went to zero balances. If you think of the application like learning to play an instrument and take one day at a time, you will be fine. Do not let the overwhelming sense that it's too much defeat the help you intend to get for your loved one. Also be aware that if you elder is noted as "incompetent" by the physician, it can indeed delay the process even more. That happened with my Dad. In that case, the VA has to come to the elder's home for an in-person interview, and the person who will be appointed the federal fiduciary (i.e., manage everything) has to be there. I was appointed federal fiduciary, and I did have to answer some audit-type questions because the VA interviewer asked for receipts and explanations regarding Dad's bank statements, checks written, etc. Just follow the process and pretend you are playing a board game. The benefits are retrospective to the date your application was postmarked. So even though there is a delay, the retrospective benefit will be paid, even if after the elder's death. Our retrospective payment took over 20 months (and a lot of pestering on my part), but it was worth the wait. Another thing you might ask about when visiting the VA is what other options might be more readily available as you work through the VA A&A application. For example, I hear the VA has adult day care programs, etc. I hope this was helpful. I have found the VA and VSOs to be incredibly helpful and efficient.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

you can do it on your own if you want to but there are services out there to help you with the application process. Contact your local DAV or VFW or find a Veterans Service Officer. I applied for my husband (he has dementia with lewy bodies) with the help of a VSO in March 2011. It is still pending in appeals, so be patient.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I applied for the VA Aid and Attendance for my mother. I did it without an attorney. I had the FREE (and I mean totally FREE) assistance from the Veterans Financial, Inc. group. I completed the application and then faxed it to them to review. They then set up a phone meeting with me to go through the reviewed application and helped in the places I did not answer or may have answered incorrectly or was unclear. They were supportive through the entire process, telling what to expect next, what to do etc. My final application when sent to the VA was approved with no problems. Note that Veterans Financial, Inc. is a private financial services company that specializes in educating families about Veterans benefits, Medicaid planning, and Financial Planning as it relates to long term care expenses. They are not part of the Veterans Administration, but they offer free information about VA Benefits and will provide the necessary forms needed to apply as well as any help you need along the way to complete the forms. I highly recommend contacting them.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I did the paperwork myself for my mother. The paperwork seems daunting but, like anything else, just do a piece at a time or set aside a full day to work on it and it eventually gets done. Someone earlier said that you have to start over & that is not the case, the VA tells you what is missing and you provide it. The VA sent my mother a letter telling her she had to provide 3 witnesses to prove my father and her had lived together, as they showed they never had. My mom has Alzheimer Disease and the letter put her in a tailspin for three days, "going to hire a lawyer, how did I get 3 daughters?" It was a glitch in the computer system and we never had to answer the letter. Start early, it does take time. The entire process took 20 months, as sequestration has slowed the cogs in the giant wheels of the VA, especially the final interview, if your loved one has cognitive impairment and has a fiduciary (Power of Attorney) appointed. One worker had a case load of 100 people waiting for interviews. The Vet Center is very helpful, as is the VFW or any of the military service clubs. We were advised NOT to contact legislatures, as this can work against you in speeding up the process. My mother got her retro check last month, the start date is when your application is received. Make copies of EVERYTHING you provide, as things may have to be provided more than once. Get annual printouts from your medical supply provider, pharmacy, etc., easier than copies of individual receipts. Be patient, be organized, be persistent, and use your service organizations and the Veteran's Center (county organization which was not the actual VA). Good Luck!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Maryanne56, through the basic VA medical they cover vitamins, aspirin, etc., if the dr puts them in the Rx system. You'd think they'd cover supplies like wipes, diapers, etc. OR maybe they're covered through the home care services. It's worth asking. I've found that you have to ask for things. They don't seem volunteer info.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I did all the paperwork myself - just download it from the VA site. However the VA are experts at stalling and asking for more paperwork. Have patience and you will get the benefit but they are going to make you jump thru hoops with paperwork and doctors explanations. After over a year I sent them a letter stating my Mother was 90 and I was going to call my state senator if this was not resolved. All I got was a rejection with a hugh new mound of paperwork to fill out. They just hope that the veteran or spouse dies before the benefit has to be paid out. Thanks again Uncle Sam for all you do for us.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I did all of that and they kept asking for more info, and more and still. even more. After sending all of his important papers that they say right on their site they promise not to lose...they lost it. I sent 2 huge folders to them and they finally sent a note of rejection. several months later. my father is 90. they said I could re-apply but probably wouldn't help because he was smart and saved his money and even though its not even 100k, they claim it was enough for his needs for the next 25 years. are they nuts? I just wanted help with allhey deny it of the wipes, diapers, underpads, things that are costing a small fortune! Not to knock the VA, because theyre not all like that. Im just disgusted. copy your stuff.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.