My Mom's totally dependent on someone to stay with her at home and her money is running out. What do we do?

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My mom is totally dependent on someone to stay with her, so my sisters and I, with the help of a day sitter four days a week, are taking turns staying with her. I applied for Aid & Attendance through the VA because her funds are getting depleted and she missed the qualifying mark by about $10. We could claim the sitter's pay, but my sisters are worried about giving them W2s or 1099s and all the associated paperwork. Mom hasn't had to file a 1040 in several years and they don't want to start that back up. I feel this is a needless worry, that the IRS won't bother about a 90 year old's tax return, or making her pay employee withholdings, which we don't deduct from their pay. What say any of you?

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daughter 4, my heart goes out to you, NO sympathy, just recognition and empathy. I got assistance to help with my Dad's Aid and Attendance and am glad I did. But you must find a reputable service. Not sure if I can/want to recommend the one I'm using (they have been very helpful, but, through no fault of theirs, just the VA's sluggishness, Dad's A & A pension has not come in yet - it takes from 4 - 7 months!). The service charged $850 one - time fee, but ONLY after an hour long FREE phone consultation which both my husband and I were on, and we grilled the agent with every possible question we could think of . The one -time fee was ONLY paid IF my Dad absolutely qualified for A & A; once we knew he did, then and only then did we pay the fee. The people helping are afinancial service which is VA certified (but they don't work for the VA) and they specialize only in Aid and Attendance and other VA pensions. What I have found them most helpful for : they did the legwork to check if Dad even qualified. They obtained all the military records needed and they mailed/faxed them to appropriate places. They are always available from now on to answer questions, by phone or email (they are in another state then I am and not the state my dad lives in either). The service calculated exactly the amount my Dad would need to charge caregivers so that the VA sees he is in financial need. (whoever told you Aid and Attendance has no financial limitations is WRONG about that. It absolutely does. My dad must spend most of his income on caregivers to qualify. You or your parent will still need to fille out the forms and do some work, but they made it a lot easier for me in my busy life.

Given all that, my 93 yr old dad who gets care at home will run out of money to pay his house bills, Medicare premiums, etc in about a month. The A &A claim was filed in April but the VA's mills grind exceedingly slow. The service I am using suggested I file a Congressional Inquiry with my Dad's local congressman who specializes in VA claims, so I did. This may help to speed up processessing. If he runs out of money before the VA pension arrives, I don't know what I will do. He needs some funds to tide him over till the $ arrives. I can't help him and noone in family will and there are short term loans that you can take out (try Elderlife). This didn't work for my Dad because he doesn't have enough credit so I would have to co-sign. But I am not willing to go into debt even for my Dad, and jeopordize the little my husband and I have saved for our old age (we have no family to help us when we get old - we're both onlies and have no kids). If all else fails, Dad will have to file for Medicaid and that will disqualify him for Aid and Attendance. I sometimes despair and think I'll go crazy, but I am holding out hope and learning to take it one step at a time. I wish you the best.
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And my mother doesn't qualify for Medicaid yet. But when she does, and it will be soon, we will certainly apply for it.
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These replies about being willing to do all the paperwork must be coming from people who have nothing else to do. My sisters and I all have families, grandchildren, jobs, personal bills, etc. to deal with and adding more to our plates is not an answer. The VA and the IRS do not want anyone to get the benefits and so they make it as hard as possible. I know, because I've already been through all the rigamarole involved for my mother, and am still going through it. Not to whine, but just to put it in perspective: my daughter, who is going through a contentious divorce, and my grandson are staying, temporarily, with me until she can find a home she can afford. I take care of my 16 month old grandson 4 evenings a week, 2:30pm to 12:30am, so that she can work. I go into my job every day, Monday through Friday and sometimes Saturday, 10am-2:30pm, and drive 30 miles and back each Wednesday and Sunday to stay with my mother overnight. In between, I have to manage our (my husband and my) personal bills, taxes, etc. and the business accounts, go to the market, buy the groceries and lug them into my home and put them away, usually alone. I have to clean the house and usually am the only one maintaining the yard. This is just a snapshot of my life and I want NO sympathy. Just saying that additional tax and paperwork is not something I want to embrace. The situation is similar for my middle aged sisters, just different responsibilities, such as ailing husbands, etc. We're tired, my mother is 90 years old, and physically strong, so we're looking at years more of responsibility with her and all that entails. And, btw, we're not trying to avoid giving to the IRS their due, or future recipients their due, by trying to avoid additional paperwork. We're just darn tired and trying to do the best we can.
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What I say is that it is penny-wise and pound-foolish (or should that be dollar-foolish here in the US?) to deprive Mom of the benefits she would otherwise be entitled to in order to avoid doing the required paperwork for having an employee.

Are you looking in to Medicaid as well as Aid and Attendance?
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Thanks for all your replies.
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Try VA again, do claim the sitter's pay, and do go through the inconvinience of taxes. Remember these taxes are funding the future benefits for which the caregiver will be eligible, that is why the IRS will not look the other way on it.
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No one can charge you to fill out the forms — not a lawyer, an insurance company, or anyone else — if they do then run the other way!
The FTC correctly states:
It is free to apply for veterans’ benefits. If you’re completing the application yourself, don’t pay for forms. If someone is helping you, know that the people who are accredited through the VA are not allowed to charge you to help you complete and submit VA paperwork
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There are definitely income and asset limitations on Aid and Attendance. We had help when we applied last year and it was well worth the $ spent to handle all the documentation that was required. I still had to do a lot but am not sure I would have been able to do it all myself.
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When we did the Aid and Attendance there wasn't any dollar limit. Please check online as suggested. Just be sure to certify the package you mail because they do go by posted date. You will receive the funds, even if the elder dies after the posted date, to be used for burial expenses. There is no reason to pay anyone to complete the package. Good luck!
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Handsome Pilot - Good for you and your mom that you made a difficult decision and have not regretted it. Not all of us can - or are willing to - do that. Your response makes a lot of assumptions that aren't true for most people.
Daughter4 - Good luck to you. I didn't choose Pilot's path either and know that I've done everything within my power to take care of my mom in the best way possible. I don't regret my decisions either.
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