Do I still need an elder law attorney if Mom's broke, living me with, but is probably entitled to Medicaid and VA spousal benefits?

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Married to Dad (WW2 vet) for almost 50 yrs, divorced about 20 yrs ago, neither remarried. I've been told that she MAY be entitled to something called Spousal Impoverishment benefits. She still gets a couple hundred $$ in alimony plus about $850 in SS. Meanwhile, he's living at a beautiful, new VA facility (free of charge, I might add). He was mean, abusive (in every sense of the word), explosive, distant and probably hid (still hiding) lots of $$ somewhere, with the help of my brother (who ISN'T helping Mom or me, by the way).

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She gets $250/mo in alimony, which she hands over to me for rent. I pay the rest of the bills. I was told that she MAY qualify for LTC benefits from the VA for when she moves out of my house and into a facility. We're still going thru testing, etc that will be required by NH, but as of NOW, she's functioning at a basic level but can't live alone b/c of the dementia, and I can't take care of her anymore because of MY health. So, to clarify (I can't believe I wasn't clear...that NEVER happens!), we're looking for long-term care benefits, which a couple of different social workers at the Alz Assn and/or Council on Aging told me about.

I'm actually in the middle of an on-line chat right now with an "e-how" attorney from SFO (only $9.95, 100% money back guarantee), which might save about $200! I'll let you know.
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VA Aid & Attendance is based on income and needed assistance. You don't say whether she needs help for ADL's (activities of daily living) such as bathing, dressing, ambulation, medication management or finances. These would factor in to Aid & Attendance. If she is getting $1100 a month, she also has to show where it went. Since she is living with you, there's no rent or utilities, but she would have expenses for food, meds and transportation.
For Medicaid, the entire household income is factored in.
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It sounds like you need to talk to the VA to get the best answer. I have no idea. My dad was career military and retired from the Air Force. When he died, his AF retirement payments stopped. But your dad is still alive, so it may be different.
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I have a DPOA for medical only. I'll deal with finances later... one battle at a time. Yes, she gets SS, which must be based on his earnings because she never worked (he never allowed her to work). The thing is, he took her back to court several yrs ago to reduce alimony to $250 because he claims his company was going under; however, I think he sold it to another corporation (I was living 1000 miles away at the time...for obvious reasons and don't have all the facts). Now Dad is living in Vets NH (for free) and my brother--who worked for Dad--is supposedly "managing" his money. Mom's always been obsessed with money so I just blew it off, but I'm really starting to wonder if there's some $$ stashed somewhere.

As far as the VA, I think that the only criteria that won't be met will be the length of his service and whether he technically "resigned."
This is from the VA website:
"...some former military spouses are entitled to benefits even after the marriage ends. Federal laws provide some protections to former spouses of service members regarding retirement pay..."
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Is she getting the Social Security based on your dad's earnings? Looks like she may be entitled to that: http://www.ssa.gov/survivorplan/onyourown3.htm

From what I'm reading, I don't think your mom (as a divorced spouse) can get VA benefits for your dad, but I'd contact the VA at this toll-free number to inquire to get the right answer for sure: 1-800-827-1000.
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Have you applied for the benefits for your mom? I would think you could apply first and maybe get an attorney if you run into trouble. Do you have Power of Attorney for healthcare for your mom? You definitely need one of those if you don't. It enables you to make healthcare decisions for her. I had an attorney draw those up for both my mom and dad. You can get forms from the internet or at office supply stores (I think) but I'd feel better having an attorney doing it.
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