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Go on the web to file for VA benefits.
It took almost a year for mom to receive her aid, and my mom was prioritized bc of her age, then 92. But the payments when approved were retroactive to the date of my filing a form—I will look it up—which staked our claim even tho filing was not complete.
Go to your local VA office.
After a year of this nonsense, I'm waving the white flag and trying to enlist help. The VA has a list of "accredited" people - attorneys, claims agents etc. who supposedly can help.
It took my daughter unscrambling the folder online to open it up for me to read. They actually had the list in alphabetical instead of by State. Unreal.
Anyway, I now have a list of VA "accredited" claims agents. Hopefully one of them can help.
eventually approved , more forms , Later, VA saw her medical dx of anxiety.. I had to set up judiciary accounts… more forms, more tracking .. sure don’t miss it !
That being said, there are so many benefits that I was not aware until I became involved in a non-VA support group with other caregivers and some were veteran families. VA benefits obviously vary depending on each individual's situation, but there are some that may be available to all vets. Sharing with other veteran caregivers in the support group was huge in becoming aware of items the VA provides and once I asked my husband's VA providers for what we needed we began getting them!
Incontinent supplies... pads/guards for underwear, briefs, pads for the bed.
Nutrition supplies... Ensure, Boost, etc.
Durable Medical Equipment... wheelchairs, bedside commode, etc.
Hearing Aids and eyeglasses
Respite Care... I get 16 hours a week where he gets help with showers, help to the bathroom and someone to stay with him while I run errands or even just to take a long undisturbed nap.
Renovations... make bathroom more accessible
Basically anything you need, before you spend money ask the VA if it is something you are eligible. Once you are in the health care system you will have a social worker assigned to you that can be your go between to help you. So while you may be looking for financial assistance... consider all the caregiver products you are already using or may need. We still haven't received "financial" assistance per se but the value of all we have received has been a huge savings for us. Again... you need to request whatever you need as often many providers were not aware of all the available items until I asked if it was something I could get for my husband and they checked for me. If you are currently spending money on something used in caregiving... it may be something the VA will provide.
This process is quite lengthy and you may consider using a third party to help you navigate the process. I used American Veteran's Aid. It was recommended by the facility where dad's apartment was on a senior community campus.
Get all the information you have and contact your local Veterans Assistance Commission. There is one in every County.
Set up an appointment, if you can bring dad that would be good if not no worries. They will help you fill out any papers that need to be completed. They can help determine if there is what is called a "Service Connected Disability" and what the % is. A lot will depend on that.
This service is FREE!!!
You can also get the same FREE help going through "Your State" Department of Veterans Affairs.
There are Lawyers and other "Services" that will do the same thing but they will charge you for the service.
One good thing is that once you file the paperwork necessary benefits received will be RETROACTIVE to the date that you filed.
If you have a VA near you they can also help fill out any paperwork needed. But I would start locally and contact the Department of Veteran Affairs or the Veterans Assistance Commission. Make a call and see who you can get into see first.
You might be able to start much of the paperwork on line right now. The problems might be if you do not have all the paperwork necessary, you might have to contact one of the offices mentioned to get the papers you might need.
Good Luck, don't give up. There are great advantages to getting into the VA system.
If you served during wartime, you may be able to receive Aid and Attendance for care needs you may have.