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I know they are entitled to what ever they decided on the SBP, spousal benefit plan and the medical benefits, but how does social security come into play, since once the veteran is gone, so is the veterans retirement pay. How does all this work?

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I was told that my mother has to already be in a home before VA assistance can happen. We are struggling trying to find monethe money to get her in so the VA benefits can be obtained. Doesn't sound right to me!
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No more options. Did the VA tell u why ur grandmother was turned down? You only get A & A if your care is more than your income. You can appeal within 30days.
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What if the veteran was in the national guard for many years but didn't see war are there any widowed spouses benefits in this situation. I've already tried to get my 92 year old grandmother aid and attendance but was shot down. Is she entitled to anything? She's got dementia although not yet diagnosed by a doctor I'm sure of it as it's all to clear to see her change having been around her my whole life and cared for her. My grandfather and grandmother met young but didn't marry until 2002 and since they were young my grandfathers daughters have hated my grandma. One daughter came the night my grandpa passed and was a very good actress and assured she'd make sure my grandma was taken care of which made me angry from the beginning because age made it seem as though I want caring for her properly. Got APS involved and even accused me of murdering my grandfather this woman us SICK I'm serious she got my grandma to sign POA. Not knowing what she was signing and has taken just about everything from my grandma so that she's now miserable and depressed and barely able to live and APS is so biased and isn't doing they're job correctly they just want my grandma in a home. I guess I went on this rant became I'm curios if there's any legal help the va may provide my grandma to make things right,Well as right as possible without actually having my grandpa here with her. I know she's depressed possibly Suicidal and scares me
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It would depend on what type of trust and how much money, but since you have a trust, I would start with the attorney who did that and see how VA knowledgeable/certified they are
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My father served during WWII, died about 6 years ago. My mother is 90, in relatively good health, but she has dementia and I am caring for her at home. My father had to be in a home for about a year before he died, but it was very expensive. My mother sold their home (their only asset), which is not making any money in interest at the bank. The money is in a revocable trust. She also gets social security (from my father). Would she qualify for any VA help, even though she has money from the sale of her house?
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Irish2010, we r from all over the country and overseas. You will need to call ur local VA and ask that question. We r a support group.
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was youthusband retired from military?
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I'm a recent widow of a veteran, and will lose Supplemental Insurance (I have Medicare) as of September. Who do I contact for Tricare for Life advice at the Veterans Administration in San Diego?
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your mom's caregiver should have been in the room with her
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*awake
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Mom had been on lisnoprill for bp for years and that nearly shut down her kidneys about 8 years ago. She came back from that pretty well though. Back in 2005 I had asked the dr not to put mom on the heart bypass machine while doing her 4x bypass because she already had signs of forgetting things and it has been written that oxygenating the blood with machine could harm memory, I feel it did because he used the machine.
She did have the bed alarm in the bed at the hospital and not the floor kind. Also they had used only 3 sides of the bedrails of her bed. Mom hod scooted down in the bed to get out. The hospital bed that I had purchased for her had one long rail that was the length of the bed on either side that she could not get out of at the AL home. For a week before I got that bed Mom was still walking herself to the bathroom at night with or with out he walker. The bed alarm would go off and by the time that the care giver got to her she was either already in the bathroom or at her doorway. Mom was exhausted during the day because she had been up all night due to the predizone. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but we just did not realize the downhill slide that Mom was on. The only hint of things to come was when the 1st hospital said that I was imperative that she not fall again, and they were right I just never thought that it be at a hospital.
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wow, not sure why it took so long to get your mom approved, although I've gotten the idea if it's a survivor or couple, takes longer; only took us 4 mos. for dad, good idea to gather everything ahead of time, seems like that would have helped; I made the mistake with hub's aunt and uncle of getting doc approval first, then it expired before I was able to all their other stuff together; they had monies saved as well, which they were also getting income from but had totally forgotten about since everything had been just set automatic and just rolled into their expense money, so that took a long time to get sorted out, where dad didn't have anything like that; both of them were still just at home, although dad talked about going into assisted living, but he "guilted" his grandson into coming and living with him.
Dad also had stage 4 kidney disease, that they didn't know why; his levels just a month before he collapsed and wound up in the hospital were fine so really concerned the kidney doc, who was also one of the icu docs; he did put him on epogen while he was in the hospital - a blood builder but maybe also a blood thinner? hm, not sure that makes sense, but know that when he got to the floor and his regular doc there took a long-planned vacation the doc on call, who was older, saw he was bleeding through the place, took him off - the blood thinner, anyway, which may have been different, but they didn't keep him on the blood builder after he got out of the hospital (glad for the reminder, explains some things) no wonder his hemoglobin went down to 6.5; he was supposed to have an appointment with the doc they called in that ran those tests but turned out they - the hospital - didn't contact him about it - or at least they didn't tell us - think we found out through the home health they did send him home with - so, yes, communication among all these people is a real issue; as in, they thought he was still on it, since it was the kidney doc who'd put him on it; now why they didn't question that when his hemo went down so, hm...but he was sent to ER and given, not infusions of any chemical - and I thought your mom just got blood - but just the 2 units of blood, but, yes, it did take around at least 6 hrs. but at least at first his grandson - who he'd had move in with him to take care of him - stayed with him, because, yes, with his dementia, he couldn't have done it by himself, as was proved later when, as it turned out, he did leave him there by himself, and he pulled the iv out and spewed blood all over the room, which not sure that's actually what they called me about or the fact that he stopped breathing - or, no, maybe that was another time - anyway, we had to decide what to do about that but anyway, after that, which, yes, it continued, somebody stayed with him all the time. We finally did get something else tried just to see about not doing those blood infusions; not sure about those people but didn't seem to be working with dad anyway, but it wasn't more infusions, just shots, but he may have had a stroke anyway; that was what the medication that he was supposed to be taking for his counts being too high was supposed to prevent but if you keeping going around and around, up and down, I supposed anything could happen; he fell, who knows, maybe that way why, by then it didn't matter; they didn't test for it, pretty sure.
I'm not sure mom's bed had full siderails, but then your mom got out anyway, so maybe it did. The icu doc told us they had inpatient hospice at the hospital, too, till we got to where they sent us, so just more communication issues; you can't depend on anything; have to verify everything. With dad, nobody was keeping up with how many times he'd been there for those blood things; when I wound up staying with him and he was having problems and I'd been told about what happened was the first time a port was mentioned. Are you talking about the floor mat alarms? I agree, but at least somebody would be notified at that point, but I've since learned they have actual bed alarms that as soon as their weight is no longer on the bed, they go off, so hopefully that would catch them before they can get up and standing. Mom had not been diagnosed with dementia - or, wait, maybe she had, she'd already been put on Aricept, but she hadn't been actually tested; just her regular primary doc had just put her on it based on dad's request but he did tell me she at least had Sundowner's; she was definitely paranoid when the sun went down, at least the first night; actually she had seemed to be better the night she got up and even when she did, it didn't seem to be anything like that, just that she was trying to go to the bathroom and just that she wasn't supposed to be up, but I had not heard that about that they were supposed to have somebody with them - key word there -being "awake"; I'd been the only one with mom for at least, if not over, 36 hrs. - I just couldn't stay away any longer. - gotta go
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In my mom's case with getting A&A it took 11 months to get approved. I had records of all of her expenses and I did start gathering the paperwork over a year before we applied. She was fortunate to have been given a large amount of money from a cousin which she had purchased annuities with. We blew through those annuities pretty quickly just keeping her in the family style assisted living home that she was in. Paying nearly $3500 a month for her care was far cheaper than a nursing home at $12,000 a month!
Mom was diagnosed with TTP at the end of January this year. The doctors considered her case as being idiopathic, meaning they don't know why she has it. However, with all of moms other health issues mainly stage 4 kidney disease, all of the treatments available were not for her. Mom had dementia also, so there was no way that she could have sat in a infusion center for 6 hours to receive poisons they would be giving her. I literally had to tell the Hemotologist that the drug he had said that he was going to try had not even been tested on people older than 65 years old. There was one study posted on the Internet about 2 men in Kuwait ages 75 and 78 who had the treatments. Both were kept in the hospital for 4-6 months while being treated. One man stroked out, the other I assume still gets treatment. Johns Hopkins hospital wrote in their discharge paperwork that other than offering predizone mom was not a canidate for treatments. While on predizone her count did get as high as 28. The assisted living home kept mom safe for 5 weeks and free from falling but mom did not tolerate the predizone at all. Her blood sugars went through the roof, she was paranoid when it got dark, and she refused to stay in bed a night so we paid for overnight wake staff to sit with her. I ordered a hospital bed with full sides and she made the transition to using diapers a night. Mom still walked with her walker with the caregiver with her.
You asked why didn't we stay that night with. Well we never thought that we had to because she was in a bed with full siderails. ER told us that once she was moved to a room they would be nurses to watch her. We had explained everything to them about her recent health history. It was not until after the last fall that we found out that the upstairs nurses didn't get the write up from the ER. Using alarms would not have helped either, by the time they go off the patient is already standing and most likely starting to walk. The second night they had a person with her. The state department of health said that dementia patients are always supposed to have an awake person with them at night. I consulted a lawyer about wrongful death, or the hospital being at fault and he said considering her health and age a judge would be miffed over bring the case to court. For as much as it is sad for us having her gone I fully believe that she is finally back with dad whom she has been looking for and waiting for to come home from work.
We were able to use the back benefits for her funeral, the cemetery and the hospital bills.
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oh, bls, I'm so sorry; sounds like your situation drastically changed from your original question - but have a question, was there a reason you all didn't have anyone staying with your mom yourself(ves) knowing she was a fall risk; when my mom went in the hospital we - mostly me - had someone staying with her all the time, even though the hospital didn't like it, and sure glad because she, too, well, did get out of bed, but I was able to get a nurse in before she fell - did they not even put alarms out for your mom; they didn't them for mine before because they didn't expect it but they sure did afterward; she was still out of it from the anesthesia from her surgery the day before; so glad she'd told me how bad she is/was with it, even though the last time she'd had it had been years - like 50 - before, but probably with being older didn't help any, said it took her that long then, too - so she wasn't able to call for help, but she wasn't supposed to be able to get up anyway; she'd just had a hip replacement. Were they not giving your mom blood before with her count that low? We went through that with my dad, although I wish I knew what it was when it started going low; his original condition was it was too high and he was on medication for that that all I remember now is the concern was what had started happening was his hemoglobin started running low - where it's supposed to be in the neighborhood of, say, 12-15, his got down to 6.5, but they gave him packed red blood cells, so maybe not quite the same as the platelet issue, 2 units. They did tell us later after something - well, after he fell and hit his head - that we could have called hospice in just somewhat over that before that ever happened but nothing was said at the time; when they were called they did give him morphine and he died 3 days later at 95 years old. But that is so sad about how things went with your mom at the hospital but, again, had we not stayed with her ourselves, I'm fairly confident the same thing would have happened; as it was, when we got through that and she ended up going back in, after having collapsed, not sure if she hit anything, but something happened because she wasn't right when I got there but she had a same CNA she'd had before who was not happy with her being back and was more worried about my dad getting something to eat than her so while she was trying to see about him - being between me and mom and mom having been given her food and put back in bed after having been left sitting up, which she couldn't really do or really feed herself, she was trying and she choked - basically, I would say - to death...so, yea, understand
just to clarify, it's A&A, and to make sure understand, she'd only been getting it for 2 mos.? but you all had been being able to pay it before while waiting on it? how long was that? it took us 4 mos. for dad's; didn't know then we could have been getting it for mom, sure wish I had. Retroactive means just that; it is for expenses you been paying out of pocket; dad had a caregiver for those 4 mos.
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Debdaughter, my mother went into the hospital because of low blood sugar. They got her sugar level up to normal but wanted to keep her overnight. They knew that she was a fall risk, they saw the horrible bruising that she had on her face that was going away and they asked about it. Mom had TTP, very low platelet count about 20 when it should be 150. Long story short 3 x they caught her trying to get out of bed that night, she didn't remember to call the nurse to go to the bathroom. The 4th time they found her on the floor, she had hit her head. The next morning her platelet count was 4, too low to survive with they gave her 2 units of whole blood. We had her taken back to her assisted living home the next day. Hospice was called and they directed her to have morphine. Mom passed away 2 days later at 86 years old. Sure mom had many health concerns and we thought that her time was limited but I never thought that her demise would be because the hospital did not give her the care she needed. Sure, after she had fallen the hospital had an over night person in her room but that was too late........
Mom had just received retro active A&D payment 2 months before she died and I called them to ask if it needed to be returned and I was told to keep it towards her past expenses we had paid. It is a benefit to have but a shame that it takes so long to receive it.
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Cissorhand, you can start here, by reading other posts on VA assistance for widowers:

https://www.agingcare.com/search.aspx?searchterm=VA+assistance+for+widowed+spouses

Other actions are to research the CA website to determine if there's a CA veterans agency which offers advice and/or help; do a similar search for your county. Our county office was quite helpful with information as well as assistance in document preparation and submission.

In past years I picked up a very thorough and helpful book on benefits, distributed through local VA reps at Area Agency on Aging caregiver expos held in the fall. It's published by the Government Printing Office and is available for $8.00. (I got it for free at the expo.) Or you could call your legislative reps; sometimes they distribute them at conferences as well.

Should you wish to order the booklet:

https://bookstore.gpo.gov/catalog/health-benefits/federal-benefits-entitlement-programs/veterans-benefits-health-issues. It's the first booklet, with the iconic photo of Uncle Sam and his "I want you" pose.

I spent considerable time trying to navigate the VA qualification criteria, but eventually decided to let the pros handle the application. Our county VA service office did that for us.
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Does anyone have any tips for me... My dad was a disabled vet and passed 4 years ago. He served in the Navy during the Korean War. I have had both of my parents living with me for over 10 years. I have been the sole caretaker and I am so frustrated and at my wits end with care taking and need help.I has been jepardizing my marriage and my well being. Where do I find VA housing that my mom can live in. She has no savings and her social security is so small she could never afford a facility. I do not know anything about this and I do not know where to turn. Please...any advice is greatly appreciated!
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For a Veteran A&A pays $1,788 a month; it is different from the 2 hour caretaker provided by the VA.
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My dad also had the 5 day/wk/2 hrs./day caretaker for bathing, dressing and grooming without being on hospice
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Aid and Attendance IS INDEED AVAILABLE for Assisted Living and PRIVATE pay Nursing Home, Home Care , but (has nothing to do with rank), [only serving active] DURING a Wartime ERA ; VETS: WWII, Korea, Vietnam and Current "Gulf War."

Those having Assets should consult before going to VA Expenses must exceed income, and family member except Spouse can be paid caregiver.
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My father was a WW2 vet. He had Alzheimers diagnosed in 2011. In 2014 the disease became too much for my step mom to handle and I then asked for him
to be accepted into Hospice care. My dad had money and although he could not qualify for A&A, he did qualified for their benefits. They provided 5 day week caretaker to come and bathe, dress, groom him, etc. for a couple of hours each morning. A nurse came weekly to check on him. If he got sick or fell, they were to be called. They provide a 5 day caretaker's respite every 6 months.
My father was placed in a memory care facility in Feb. 2016 and hospice continued their care at that facility. He died May 2016 under hospice care.
It is a great service to aid anyone who is taking care of an Alheimer's patient. Of course, a doctor's referral is needed to apply for hospice. Just thought many of you could utilize this help.
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bls, your mom's house wouldn't have counted against her for A&A anyway but in selling it, yes, the VA should be told but it might not be an issue, anyway, especially if, as you say, with the condition it's in, that it might not bring that much anyway; how much savings did she have to begin with when she began getting the A&A and is 2001 when she began getting that? if so, then that's been 15 yrs. so she would have been allowed to have more back then and obviously it didn't disqualify her from getting it, so would you get more from the house than that? and how old is she now; VA still allows quite a bit more than, say, Medicaid, although they do take your age into consideration but also I'm assuming in order to have gotten the A&A to begin you counted the cost of her assisted living, which you would just continue to do with the increased cost but what is your concern with telling them? is she already getting the max? I'm assuming since you're saying you're already running short; if so, she won't get anymore anyway but if they see that and that it will be even more so now, I don't really see where there'd be a problem, unless you're not wanting to use the money for that but I thought that was what you were wanting to sell the house for - I guess I could ask why has nobody been trying to get the house in better condition, because, in that sense, I have the same situation, just, thankfully, we managed to get by without getting into your situation but I still wish, in some ways, dad had just gone ahead and sold his house and gone into assisted living
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I think everyones situation is different. The best thing is to make an appointment with the Va and see what u r entitled to. All depends on time served and what rank u were. Aids and assistance is only received if ur on homecare, in a NH or an AL. And u need to show need. Can't have more than a certain amount of money.
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My mothers house was put into a family trust back in 2001. The house did not count as her asset when she qualified for A&A. Between moms SS check and her A&A check we were still about $500 short each month on her assisted living rent and drugs, we were using up what little savings she had left to make up the difference. All of her annuities have long been cashed in. Recently the cost for her care has doubled because we have to pay for overnight wake staff that is not provided at the home where she lives. As POA in want to sell the house in order to have the funds. The house appraises very low because of the condition that it is in, so the money will be spent down pretty quickly. I have been told differently by people in the VA whether or not they are to be told that the house has been sold. With having to spend the extra $3000 a month amount the proceeds from the house will not last long. Who do I ask?
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there are also state Veterans homes, which don't have as strict a criteria I believe but do often have a long waiting list, since they don't but depending on your area but are often nicer, but are typically more geared toward an actual veteran, so are usually more for men - dare I say that, yes, for that age bracket, yes, probably will change over time, but for now....don't see how the local aging thing would apply, since you have to be an actual veteran to get the VA health benefits the home-based primary falls under
Kudos to your mom for being able to fill out the A&A app, which can be quite intimidating but I think it's easier to do for a single person/widow or widower/veteran than for a couple, like I've been trying to do for hub's aunt and uncle, still haven't gotten through it, even with VFW help, just can't get the documents together
But got a call from the local aging, maybe about the Medicaid waiver, but since can't seem to get that worked out either, just at an impasse, but that's a whole different thing than Medicaid for a nursing home anyway but I'm not sure how the A&A thing would work for nursing homes, anyway - know it can be used for assisted living but they have those for people with dementia in Maine? know they're different in different states
A&A's typically, at least outside of ALF's, designed for in-home care, or at least most people that's when they get it, otherwise you would have to have a lot of expenses, which, her not being an actual veteran, she might.
Hope things go well
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Hi Littlemisskitty, the VA told us that our vet (Grandpa) would not be eligible for a nursing bed at the VA hospital because those beds were only for veterans whose injuries were sustained while in the service. That is different from the VA-contracted nursing homes though, which we have not looked at. There are some assisted living places that offer special rates to people who receive VA benefits, and we just found out our local aging program will chip in a little toward assisted living if a veteran qualifies for the VA's Home Based Primary Care program. I don't know if that benefit would apply to spouses.

Depending on your grandma's financial situation, she could be eligible for the Aid and Attendance or Homebound benefits from the VA. The Aid and Attendance application is intimidating but my mom filled out the application herself, and a man at the VFW helped her when she had questions. For a surviving spouse the max. benefit is about $1100/month. But you can use that money for your grandma's housing or care, including having her pay you for some of the help you provide her.

That benefit is in addition to SS and Medicare, and will not impact them. The grey area is if she qualifies for a Medicaid waiver program to help her stay at home. Then that could affect her VA Aid and Attendance benefit.

If she does qualify for Aid and Attendance, she will need a fiduciary or representative payee since she has dementia. That can be you or someone else. In our case it is my mom. It is a responsibility because you have to keep track of her payments and expenditures. It gets reviewed annually, so if you don't feel like you are up dealing with the VA and the extra paperwork, then maybe your dad or another family member who is trustworthy but less entrenched could handle it.

I know from reading your other posts you've had a difficult year with a lot of change. I hope your move goes smoothly and that you find some more help for your grandma. Let us know what Maine is like!
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or is the home health aide already from VA, which still doesn't mean she'd be able to keep that if you move; those benefits come from the local VA Medical Center; is there one of those near you? and does it a "home"; most of them have gone to just being rehabs and/or just contract with the local ones
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littlemisskitty, First, If the home health aid is paid for by Medicaid waiver, that stops as soon as she leaves the state she is in. You need to check the rules for Maine and establish residence there and reapply for Medicaid.
Second, VA homes are for veterans and there is a severe shortage of available beds. Some State Veterans Homes may admit non-Veteran spouses and gold star parents while others may admit only Veterans. I repeat, there is a shortage of available beds.
Third: When you say give up benefits, what happens is ALL her income goes to pay the nursing home, but she gets a Personal Needs Allowance (PNA) of $70 per month (Maine 2016) if she is approved for Maine Medicaid.
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My question is this, I have my grandma living with me. Her husband served in WWII and Vietnam. She is currently collecting social security and is on medicare. We are moving to Maine which has a VA office in town. I was wondering how the whole benefits thing works and if she was eligible to be placed in the VA home if I ever get to the point of where I can no longer care for her. Does she give up medicare or social security benefits to be placed in a home? She has severe dementia and diabetes and is homebound meaning she is completely dependent on me unable to drive or care for herself. I have a home health aid coming in to give her baths and make sure she has her lunch so that I can leave the house for 3 hours each morning or so I can pack (that's what I'm using the time for right now) so she would need definite nursing home care not assistant living.

Is she eligible for benefits and to be placed in a VA home if needed?
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sorry - uncle's discharge papers
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