The family applied for Aid & Attendance for Mom but were turned down because where she is living is considered Independent Living. It felt like the VA turned her down because of the use of "Independent Living" rather than Mom's physical condition. While Mom is still able to have her own apartment, many of her daily living needs she is unable to perform. She has scoliosis and while she is able to walk with the help of a walker, she is very unsteady on her feet (without the walker) so unable to prepare her food and clean her apartment. She still dresses and washes herself but our family is concerned about her hygiene as we know she is not taking baths. We've asked the facility where she lives to provide help in bathing but have been told it's Mom's decision, which so far she has refused to allow. Evidently Mom's condition is not so severe to qualify her for Aid & Attendance. I got the impression from the VA that Mom would only qualify if she is unable to feed herself, regardless that she can't fix her meals. Any advice on appealing this VA decision would be most appreciated.

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Nadeau, it might have had to do with the fact that your mom can afford independent living rather than her ability level. When we applied 3 years ago we were told the veteran or spouse had to demonstrate financial need as well as medical/physical need but when you look on the VA website's A&A page now it doesn't mention -- hopefully someone who's applied more recently will clarify. My grandpa can literally feed himself (utensil to mouth) but cannot prepare his own food. He has difficulty getting dressed, is very hard of hearing, mild dementia when we applied (now moderate), has difficulty with his motor skills, does not portion out his own meds, etc. He needs the assistance of another person for nearly all of his daily tasks. He also was living off social security with no pension, no assets, etc.

If you are doing the work of what home health care aides would normally do, make sure to include that in your application!
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