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Which is better, a third party organization where their lawyer steps in for a fee and supposedly speeds things up or go directly to veterans administration. I have contact numbers for both. The fee is supposed to be a flat fee of $750. 00, worth it or not? My mom is 93 with Parkinson's. I feel it is time for assisted living. I'm worn out and have no time for me or my family. I have neglected myself. I need to get my life back and I truly desire to be a daughter to my mom again, instead of her full time caregiver. I fully intend to be involved in her life while she is at the facility. I would never abandon her. I just need a healthy balance in my life. Please share your thoughts with me. Thanks. How long does it take to get this ball rolling? My dad was a world war II vet so she would qualify for spousal benefits.

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That itself is supposed to cost zero. However, if you need to set up an irrevocable trust to help get approved for Aid and Attendance, it will cost for the attorney to do this. Last I heard, there was a 4 to 6 month waiting period and the first check or auto deposit will be retroactive from when you start the process. Good luck and do not give up.
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case worker
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No, no, no, do not pay that $750!! I've read that some places that charge are scams! When I applied for benefits for dad I contacted the VA contact in my area. They were able to help me with the paperwork and they actually faxed everything to the VA. It didn't cost me a dime. Contact the VA hospital near you and they can give you a contact name in your area.
My dad also was denied because he has more than 2 acres of land!! It's a shame because he worked hard all his life for what little bit he has.
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There really is no rhyme or reason to how the VA determines eligibility for benefits. My dad served in Vietnam, suffered a few injuries and was in the Navy for 6-8 years and had no problem getting VA benefits. He gets a VA pension (pension may be the wrong word) and VA health care. My uncle only served a few months in Navy (didn’t go to Vietnam) before getting discharged-he couldn’t hack it I guess, couldn’t handle being until he service. And he gets the exact same benefits my dad does! And let me tell me, he is well off. Left the navy and went to UC Berkeley and got in to computer engineering. Made a great living and is now retired. Sold my grandmothers house when she died (which was totally paid off) and pocketed $500k. So.....yeah there’s no rhyme or reason here.
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Aid and attendance! Don't pay you can get the info on line or call VFW they have information.
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Yes, it seems like some had no problem and others did. I thought my Mom was going to have no problem. She only had 1700 a month coming in. I had every document that was needed. I had to prove a previous marriage for Mom that lasted a year. She was married to Dad for over 50. I got a letter saying something about she made too much money, what! She was under what they allow in assets that was being used for her care in an AL. All that paperwork had been filled out showing how much she paid a month. I chose not to pursue it because she was going on Medicaid. Can't have both.
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Do you have his military discharge papers? Last year I sent a request to the VA for my father’s WW2 records to research where he was while in Europe for 4 years. I was crushed when they told me my father’s records were destroyed in the 1973 fire in St Louis and was told the only way I could find out at least his rank (as my dad was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant) was to request his payroll records from the Library of Congress. Well, I gave up, but I didn’t need them to apply for VA benefits.

I did help one of my patient’s spouse but just printed out the ppwk for her. She filled it out and sent it in, was told (as another reader said as well) that she needed one more piece of paper to apply. She produced it. They were declined.

That man was in the Vietnam war and did see combat so I have no idea why they were rejected. I was so disappointed for them. He is 77 y/o and his wife is exhausted taking care of him. Their son stole their retirement money for drugs and they now have no assets except their house.

I don’t think it’s an easy process to apply for unless you have all the necessary ppwk and are essentially indigent. Shameful we treat our vets like this.

I sincerely hope you get the results you need for your mom via the VA.
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PJsummer Mar 2019
Be prepared for the VA to deny, deny, deny. We’ve been trying for 8 years to get my husband VA disability. They come up with the lamest excuses, like they can’t find his records, even though he gets medical benefits from them. My mother applied for spousal help when my dad passed (WW2 on VA disability) and was denied. We’re appealing that one, too. We’re starting to think that the VA keeps denying claims hoping the veteran gives up or dies.
Good luck.
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Please call Mr Drennan with Vet Assist. Let him know Vernita referred you. 713-315-0086
Wishing you well.
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Thanks!
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My dad was 100% service connected disabled....he was 50% for decades and in 2017, I had him upgraded to 100% via all medical drs evaluations(the difference in pension was 900 vs $3200...he should have been 100% from after Korean war but that's another story. He passed away in Aug 2019 and been trying to get spousal benefits for mom since then....it was rejected since he was 100% disabled for less than 1 yr and his death is not considered service connected(im arguing that)….im in the appeal process....I believe the max you get is $1200....I also tried to get aide and attendance for dad when he was alive but it was denied and complicated......I think they said its easier to get once you already have aides....I was getting different answers from different people......
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Every story is different, isn't it? It is a shame that your dad did not receive all of his benefits.
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You should only go to the local VA center. They help you for free and are very good. You don't need to pay a lawyer. I went to our local VA office and they helped me and mom got her benefits within 3 months.
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Good to know. Thanks. I think I have a card for one of the local VA groups. Maybe I will start there then.
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I applied for VA Pension benifits "Aid and Attendance", for my FIL (who lived with us for 13 years) through a 3rd party Lawyer group who did nothing but process VA Benifits, and I got the info packet about their services from the AL place that my FIL went to live at for a short time (long story, the AL place provided him excellent care, but unfortunately he developed lung cancer and we brought him Back home to us on Hospice, where her passed away 9 weeks later).

They Lawyer service was Excellent, provided me with the list of nessasary documents to "fast track" his application, a 'fully developed claim"(not too difficult to locate and complete), we paid the 700 dollars (well worth it!), and 3 weeks later he was recieving his fill VA pension, just over 1700 per month, which went a long way towards paying for his AL expenses.

It was a very smooth, streamline process, and I highly reccomend it! My FIL passed away 1 1/2 years ago now and I have tossed out all of that information, but the AL place should be able to provide it for you. I can't think that going through the VA would be that difficult either, provided you have all of the documentation available, and be sure you tell them that you want to fast track her application, utilizing the "fully developed claim" process, just be sure you have ALL of the nessasary documents filed all at once, otherwise it does hold up the process.

Information is available through the VA website. I hope this helped!
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Thanks Staceyb,

Mom lost everything in Hurricane Katrina. I am concerned about that.
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I helped my uncle, age 83 get VA Aid and Attendance. We called ahead and had them email a list of paperwork to bring for the application. We went to our appointment at scheduled time, waited about 10 minutes. The woman who did the application with us was very helpful. We got a call back 2 weeks later for a piece of documentation that was missing. I took that to them. He was approved within three months and got paid from the date of application.

We’ve never had a problem with the VA. The VA hospital provided excellent care to my uncle from 2001 until his death in 2018. We never experienced long wait times for appointments. Always got prompt call backs.
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Thanks, glad it went so smoothly for you. Yeah, my uncle was in a veteran home before he died and received good care as well. They deserve the best care after putting their lives on the line for our freedom.
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Before you attempt to try and get A & A be aware that Mom will receive no more than about $1200 a month as a spouse. (this may have changed in the 3 years I filed) Its a long process. You will need all Military records. Showing from when to when Dad was in the service. Discharge papers. Must be honorably discharged. A & A is only for those Vets who were in during wartime. Divorced spouses are not entitled to any VA benefits.

I would first contact your local VA office. Usually located at the County Seat. I would apply through their rep. If turned down, then I would find a lawyer who is versed in VA rules. I would not go thru a third party. It has been said on this site, that they try to get you to invest money with them. I don't see what they could do that a good VA rep can't.
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Thanks for response.
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I have just gone through this ENTIRE thing, including back benefits and aid and attendance. Heads up, it is a HORRIBLE process. Everything about the VA is horrible, its a red tape paperwork jump through hoops NIGHTMARE.

Your Mom would be fast tracked given her age. Fast Tracked means...waiting a year or 2 instead of 3 or 4 YEARS. Usually you can get AnA in about a year from time you first applied.

What you need is an atty who specializes in VA benefits-not just Elder Law. DO NOT go the VSO route. Just don't do it. Skip the AmLegion and all those sorts of places, they want to drink and tell stories and not help your veteran or family.

I come from a long line of military people, that includes both parents and DH..and let me tell you this. The VA will make you ashamed that your loved ones ever served because their whole purpose in life is to kill your veteran (or spouse) and deny them benefits. They do do everything that they can do to kill them off quickly so they do not have to pay them anything. And this, sadly, verified by my own experience as well as much reading and attys telling us this...is the American way. :( I am happy to say we survived the biggest part of this battle though I am pretty sure I aged 100 years...but it is still ongoing and took MANY years to resolve WITH the help of an atty.

The VA is pure, sheer, raw, EVIL. No two people will EVER tell you the same thing, EVER.
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Thanks for response. Sorry you had such a nightmare.
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Your mom maybe eligible for Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits. To find out, contact your Regional Veteran Benefit office to file a request. You can locate your nearest VA office by using the VA Facility Locator online. Also, try contacting your local Area Agency on Aging and inquire about a respite grant or respite program to give you a break. I hope this helps.
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Thanks
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Thanks, I will email you soon. Appreciate the help.
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I would suggest another Elder Law attorney.

If you message me, I don't mind discussing further.

Kindly.
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vmetoyer,

Thanks, okay, one more question if you don't mind? When you say, Elder attorney team, would you recommend using a separate Elder attorney not affiliated with this 3rd party group that Brookdale Assisted Living Facility uses, it is called Patriot Angels. Do you prefer one of our local attorney teams in our area? I'm looking at three assisted living places, two are cooperate and the other is owned by independent investors. The other two gave me the numbers for local veterans organization.
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Vickier Mar 2019
Do the research on them....what I found out wasn't good!
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In my opinion, it is best to get the assistance from an Elder Care Lawyer team. So very worth the decreased stress and longevity of the VA process.

These lawyers can also be available to discuss all other eldercare situations you will encounter and will need to handle soon.
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