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My mother is in a private home ALF. I moved her there last year after the Drs. all said it was time. She has dementia, diabetes, and heart disease. SSA does not recognize POA so they told me to apply to be the SS payee for my mother so that I can change her address and request 1099's for her. I am trying to apply for Aid for Spouse and dependents for her. I have been told that the VA does not count her house as an asset (we are trying to clear it out then sell it) and as POA I have cashed in her last annuity. She has about $35,000 left. We are running about $1800 over her SS check every month if she does not go into the hospital. Will SSA have me account for all of the monies spent on her? Do they require an expense account report or will they? Her ALF alone is over $3000 a month. How should I prepare ahead of time if they ask? Right now I have all paid bills in folders, and carbon copies of all checks that I write. Do I need to keep track of every thing that I buy for her from the store? Clothes, drinks she likes favorite foods, and yarn for her to crochet with. I also pay out property taxes, home owners insurance, and to have yard work done on occasion from her checking account on her house which is in a Trust. She is not on Medicaid.

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Dustyrose, no they will not compensate you for that. You'd be far better off renting to someone who can pay you, and getting all the benefits you can for your parents. In fact, if your parents live rent-free it could potentially hurt their chances of qualifying for benefits. Once your parents have spent down their assets, they should potentially be eligible for medicaid. You really need to talk with the VA benefits advisor nearest you asap!
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I own a rental home, that is part of my income as I am on SSI, if I let my parents live in it for nothing will the VA compensate me for that?
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The letter of intent is exactly what it sounds like...a notification to the VA that you intend to file for benefits. It's critically important that you submit that letter (your local VA office can do it for you and it's free---don't pay anyone to do the paperwork for you!). The sooner you get it in the better, because once her claim is approved, you'll receive payment retroactive to the date the letter of intent was submitted. It's kind of a pain, but we sent everything in together, and had the claim processed in about 4 months. @Dustyrose1, talk to your local VA office and make an appointment to chat with them immediately, and start gathering documents: DD-214 discharge paper, copies of doctors' assessment, and a list of ALL medical expenses for 1 year, and bank and investment account statements. The med expenses are deducted from his allowable income so that will help increase his allowable benefit. Mileage to doctor visits, etc is also an allowable expense, they will tell you the cost per mile just like on taxes. To help me figure that out, I went through the calendar and made a list of all doctor visits, and googled the distance to each one. I doubled it (mileage there and back) and tallied up the total for all visits. Good documentation to have if they require proof of how you figured it. Best of luck!
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my husband's father and mother (92 & 86) are needing help. She has dementia and he is ok but really unable to care for her without assistance. He is a vet of WWII, 30K in assets, honorable discharge. He receives a combined total of $19K annually in SSI. He is not disabled but is barely capable of taking care of himself, let alone his wife with worsening dementia. I have read sooooo much that I don't know where to start or even if we qualify for help. Any advise as to where to start would be helpful. Thank you
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What you pay for every prescription, mileage traveled for medical care, durable medical equipment, maintenance items (vitamins, depends, etc.) There are instructions that come with the forms that tell you what you can count. PLEASE do go see a VA benefits counselor in your area. Go to www.va.gov and there should be a link to find one in your area. BTW, the VA has it's own POA form, doesn't have to be notarized, but someone must be authorized to contact the VA on behalf of the claimant due to the sensitive nature of the information involved.
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I am in the process of becoming the "payee". The SS person faxed a form for my mother's Dr. to fill out and said that once the form is faxed back to him he will call me for a telephone interview to complete the process. I have already been told that my mother should qualify for &1170 a month from the VA. I will be using the 40k to pay towards the difference in her bills and her benefit payments.
I was sent a check list of all of the paperwork that is needed in order to apply for the VA benefit. I have most of the required things like death certificate, discharge papers for my dad, my mother's signature of a certain form, marriage license. I still need mom to have a physical at her doctor and have him complete another health form. I have been advised to send everything overnight mail with signature requested when received at the VA. What is a letter of intent to file for benefits, to be sent to the VA? Someone on this forum mentioned it?
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... except for $250/day is rather huge depending on her stay at the hospital. RX at $250/month is something the VA will cover if her $40K is legally protected for her benefit "with morals" as per a VA-approved trust. As for her SS 1099, register with SS, that as well as history from the pre-1980s is available online. Post office WILL deliver to a vacant house if there is a "current" forwarding address on file (go to the po, or online and make the order current). If you are a SS "Payee", that means you applied for it. That doesn't happen without your application and signature.
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I cashed in her last annuity this year. She has about $40k left. I have been told not to sell the house (needs tons of repairs) I am in the process of filling "ez" form, different from what things used to be from what I have been told. What detailed medical expenses are you referring to? She usually goes into the hospital 1xor 2x times a year for something but Medicare pays that except for $250 a day. Her Rx bill is about $150 a month, her ALF is $3000, her SSI is $1700 a month. Taxes on her house are about $300 a month, electric bill $10 and water bill $27 a quarter and we pay that out of her account.
Right now I am stuck getting a 1099 from SS for last year. They can't give it to me, won't tell me what address they have on file for her, post office won't deliver mail to a vacant house although they said they would start delivering again and SS folded and put into an envelope a copy of the 1099 in front of me and told me that it went out in the mail! Aaaaahhhhh! I am in the process of becoming the "payee" on her SS account but that will take awhile. SS does not recognize POA!
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Amicable describes a typical "outreach" that is done by annuity "experts" who often pose as VA-affiliated saints. They may or may not be affiliated with elder care attorneys. Their offices often have lots of patriotic decor. My Dad was so touched that they asked for his 20-something portrait in uniform, and hung in on their "wall of honor." To this day, that was such a memorable experience for him (as I bite and re-bite my lip and cry privately away from him knowing they sucked his life's blood and he and I trusted them). Were I to start over, I would have scoured my city, county, state and federal VA government benefits web sites. If I had done so, I would have been referred to our County's office of human resources, veterans support services. There were three fully-certified VA benefit counselors there, didn't cost a dime and they would have told us what to do with Dad's $50K. As it turns out, we are ok for now, because Dad's trust allows my sister and I to withdrawn his money for ourselves as beneficiaries. As the VA-certified lawyer said, it is our own moral and ethical decision what to do with that money. We are luckily able to give it all back to Dad by buying services for him. Not all are so lucky. And we can withdraw 10% per year without penalty, or convert the annuity to immediate lifetime payments. So all was not lost. But we could have saved $2500 if ... we began with VA-certified benefit's counselors who were employed by government, not in private practice.
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Omigosh…forgot about that part! After getting a referral from an elder community rep, we contacted a supposed "expert" elder-care planner who wanted us to put Mom's assets in an annuity or an irrevocable trust in order to get them to a level where she'd qualify. Would have made her funds inaccessible, an annuity income would have disqualified her for medicaid if the pension didn't come through, and she never would have been able to undo it if she needed it. Oh, and would have earned him a big fat commission. Be very very careful…BTW his name was Steven Stone of veteransangels.com DO NOT let this guy talk you into that! Thieves, con artists posing as charitable people. Burns me up.
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When I applied for VA Aid & Attendance (A&A) for my Dad in 2011, they did carefully and nit-pickingly review all bank statements for three months prior to the application date. Prior to the application, a VA-certified benefits representative told us that in order to qualify, Dad had to be spending at least 105% of his monthly income on his care, and have no more than approximately $8000 in total assets (excluding home, car). Dad was 90 at that time. It took nearly two years for the A&A to begin at 100%, because during the process Dad was declared "incompetent," which delayed things because a VA field examiner to personally visit Dad's home and interview Dad and I to determine whether I could be appointed Dad's VA Custodian (involved a background check, and nit-picking review of financials as well). My sister and I had to help Dad out financially, as he was completely wiped out for about a year before the benefit came through. The retroactive pay was a godsend though. Again, I highly advise finding a VA benefits expert, which are free if you use a Veterans Service Organization (VSO). I found out after spending about $2500 on VA-certified elder planning attorney, that a free VA benefits expert could have done the same thing. We already had Dad's life savings in a VA-approved trust, so I never had the chance to find out what "free" meant. It's worth checking out though. FYI, my Dad had about $50K in savings which was all put into a VA-approved elder planning trust before the A&A application date. Dad had no other assets, except his home and car, which were excluded.
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Generally, if your mom doesn't have over about 80K in assets, and is otherwise eligible, she should be fine to get the VA pension. There is no real set number, but it depends on the life expectancy (the longer you have, the more you can have in assets and still qualify). With her being in ALF, her countable income should be in the negative, so you should qualify easily. Note: that was qualify EASILY, not QUICKLY! I agree, don't sell the house or car yet, as they don't count against you. There is currently no look back for the VA pension like there is with Medicaid. We just applied for my mom, and were very careful about filling in all the paperwork, and believe you me, it is a heap. The better track you keep of her DETAILED medical expenses, the easier it will be to fill out the forms. It's been about 3 months for us, and we haven't heard anything yet, but I expect fully at least 6 to 9 months. DO file a letter of intent to claim if you are going to apply, because when it finally comes in, you will get paid retroactive to the date you sent that letter. They give you up to a year to get all the paperwork in, but of course the sooner the better. Good luck and God bless!
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The VA uses a formula when reviewing each application, and will look at "total countable income," as well as other factors. See http://www.benefits.va.gov/pension/ -- there they list basic requirements, including that the applicant must be on either SSDI or SSI.

Here’s a link to forms used: http://www.benefits.va.gov/BENEFITS/Applying.asp

For help options, see http://www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/dbq_disabilityexams.asp. You might want to call the 1-800-827-1000 number they list to ask questions, as it appears the VA has expanded help options. I’d also look around many of the other links they provide, it will help to know some of the options and terminology when you actually reach a VA representative. I have found local VSO’s to be most helpful for in-person help, and they are free.

You are wise to keep good records. I would definitely begin keeping receipts, but you will be absolutely required to once a VA benefit begins. I use Quicken, which allows me to scan receipts from my all-in-one printer with each transaction recorded (you don't have to, but it's a nice feature). I use Quicken's "Category" feature to tag VA-allowed expenses. All other non-medical expenses (such as groceries) are not paid for by the VA. So it is very possible that eventually you will run out of money, even with VA benefits. That is where an elder planning attorney can be very helpful, as not all trusts are VA-planning trusts.

VA applications can get frustrating and bog down. You just plug along and do what each step requires and reach out for help. How lucky your mother is to have you for her advocate!
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Yes your mother can have both Social Security and aid and attendance. Her house and car will not count against her as assets but if either is sold the cash will count against her. So do NOT sell the house yet. Selling a parents house too soon is a mistake that many people make that can be a disaster. I have just completed this process from my mother who is herself a veteran, and after much research, my best source of information was the local VA office.
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Yes you will need to keep an accurate accounting of how your mothers income and assets have been spent because as her rep payee for social security you will be required to complete a simple annual report. I believe your other question was whether or not she could receive aid and attendance, widowed spouse pension from the VA along with social security. The answer is yes as long as she is meeting the specific adjusted income, medical expenses and asset criteria to qualify. Please check careconnecthr for more info.
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yes, I am doing it
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