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Is there any help for my parents who "make too much"? He is a WWII veteran with Alzheimer's'. She is a retired teacher who has compromised logic from a stroke 10 years ago. He and Mom married last year, after reconnecting from 45 years ago, and even though I love them both with all my heart, I am overwhelmed with caring for both of them. I thought I had round-the-clock care for them three weeks ago (after they both got out of the hospital) for a few weeks until a live-in caregiver could be found, but the caregiver didn't work out and now money is tight. As long as I have the strength, I am not sending either of my parents to a nursing home. They just would not be happy there. I have some type of undiagnosed illness that is sapping my strength so I don't know how long I can keep them out of a home. I have been the primary caregiver for Mom for 9 and a half years, and the primary caregiver for my new dad for two years. I need live-in care for them... the person can even hold a part time job or go to school. They can have two days off per week, but they must also pass a background check. All living expenses can provided, but I can't pay them even close to 2,000+ a month which seems to be the going rate for a professional... any suggestions??

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Does not have to be active duty, only serve during wartime, which is defined on the VA website.
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Can a spouse also get VA benefits if you own property? My stepfather was in service only about 3 months the day he was headed to fight the war he was called off. He was never in active duty SSO would the spouse qualify?
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I wish I could get them to understand some of this or could have because I'm continually going through them admitting - maybe kinda like your dad with the assisted living - that they even have the IRA; it was just somewhat of a slip up that I even found out about it to begin with, right when I thought I had everything done and ready - then find out about that but oh, they don't really have it, because it's for their burial - well, the VA doesn't care what it's for; they just will know you have it, so you better tell them; anything else you're hiding? guess in a way I am glad they've drawn it down since otherwise they would have too much but don't believe they would now. Maybe I misunderstood if your dad's not the veteran, but in our case uncle is but problem is does he understand enough to sign - not even sure he does for sure remember that they have an IRA even though he's the one who drew it down. Neither of them is in a facility but if we don't get some help for them soon they may very well be before long. They're not quite to your mom's point but just wondering what is going on. Been working on this for around 3 yrs. now - since they've not really been able to go anywhere - since right after I got it for my dad, but his wasn't nearly so complicated; he didn't have any IRA's or anything - they'd actually drawn down the IRA in the preceding 3 yrs. but they seemingly either hadn't really realized just how much they had or they had forgotten by the time we started on this. Wait, he's getting spousal benefits now? Is your mom still living? that's one of the things that's hung us up, is they wanted to get everything about her done now for her future spousal benefits for when he's gone but she's been married before but doesn't know any of the information or seemingly didn't; she was either telling me or I was misunderstanding that it was all out of state but she's told me recently no, that the main piece we need is actually local - I've meant to check on it - but the VA lady that was such a help but who also reminded us of the IRA mandatory distribution that we had to get that worked with us on that, letting us just sign a statement saying what she did and didn't remember, retired so nobody else will do that and they also won't take the statement we got from the bank about the IRA; they want the official paperwork that not sure how well we can get at this point, at least not by phone but been supposed to see about that as well but she has to call and not easy getting her to do it. She's been doing the same thing as you; she's been through a lot as well - we had been getting them some help but now they're saying they're going to cut that down just as he's needing more unless she gets some help from outside the VA; otherwise they're going to consider her able enough to just take care of things herself, even though she's telling them she's not but she won't tell her own doctor but she's going back soon and says she will this time - will see. yea, probably should message this but I get lost in how to do this - maybe it will help somebody else, though - I think it's begun to be considered quite easy, when it isn't always
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Before we ever applied for benefits we got rid of all Ira's, proceeds from sale of house, stocks, etc. and put into a trust. Attny worked with us and walked us all through this so we would have the right amount at the time of application. The benefits were not for him though. It was for my mom in a facility. So he did need to sign for her (hence POA since she couldn't even hold a pencil let alone know what it was for). Like I said it's been almost 6 years ago and MY mind has slipped a bit :) but I do remember them trying to tell him that he lived in assisted living himself (which he fought because it's his own apt but it is considered that because it has emergency pull cords, 2 meals a day and transportation to and from drs. appts. and security locked doors even though a lot still drive) (ohhh, how he hated that having to admit that he lived in assisted living). Anyway, that's about it. The rest is history. He's receiving spousal benefits. Sorry, that's about all I can remember about it unless something else comes to mind. My husband could probably remember more about it. I've been through a lot since then and I just push a lot to the back of my mind so I have room for new emergencies and information. :)) Probably should have messaged you on this. Don't know if anyone else is interested. :)
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pargirl, are you making a distinction between checking and savings? as in earlier you said they could have $20,000 total assets checking/savings and now you're saying also including IRA's and stocks, but now you're also saying only $10,000 in savings. Also, I was actually addressing OP's question making difference between assets and income. Husband's aunt and uncle aren't necessarily making anything off their IRA, just that the mandatory distribution has to be counted as income, as I understand; did you not do it that way? or just count the IRA itself as an asset? that's supposed to be for their funeral so she has a hard time considering it as an asset for any other purpose; she'd like to go ahead and do their pre-planning and paying but because of things that have happened here, she can't get him to do it, but then at this point he's not concerned about any of it anyway, as long as he things she can still take care of him, which is where the issue's coming. It's taken a while to find an attorney for them who understands this but even he didn't fully understand the caregiver aspect, but I'm not sure I fully do in your situation; do you have one for your parents? and not really sure what you were actually trying to do; your dad was the actual veteran, as I understand, correct? so don't see where POA even comes in, even if you were trying to get the help, in that sense for your mom; it's still his benefit so of course he would have to be the one to sign; what would be dealing with in hub's aunt and uncle's situation, but now they - she - are not even sure they won't a caregiver, but if she gets out and gets on that ladder anymore and falls like she did tonight she/they may not have a choice much longer. She's still considered primary on his case and don't think that can be officially changed without him doing it but as things are going they sure don't have to acknowledge it anymore than just the bare minimum, like as long as she doesn't call and wants me to call for her they don't have to do anything or call her and the number she's to call has disappeared, as in where she had it posted so she'd know what it was. They did seem to have tightened up regarding POA, though, if the veteran isn't able to sign, which may be where the issue was coming; can't remember if it was this issue or something else but as long as I'd been taking care of dad's business with the VA there came a time when they had to send me a POA form for dad to sign making me his but don't think hub's uncle has done that yet, at least as far as wife knows; concern is she may not know everything. She just keeps saying she hasn't signed anything but not sure she fully realizes she doesn't have to. No danger, I don't think, of them going over their assets; problem they're having it's taking all their "too much" income to cover their expenses now
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I was calling IRA's, Stocks, etc. assets. They weren't really making anything off of them since rates were almost nil. We did sell there house which was an asset but all of that income went into the trust. Other than that I didn't quite understand all of your post to address it.....sorry. If we hadn't had the attny we had I don't think it would have gone as smoothly for us as it did with all the hoops you have to jump through. Bis0901, my dad was POA and signed all paper work. It might be different if you are a child of the person or designated
Guardian. My mother didn't have to sign a thing. But as I stated before, it was almost 6 years ago so things and rules could have changed. Also, I DO remember that he could only have 10,000 in a savings acct. so we really watch that it doesn't go over that. Sometimes he slips up and puts money/income in that acct. instead of checking and then I catch it later. Anyway, Good Luck everyone with the VA.
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pargirl, assets is not income, so I'm not seeing where you've talked about the income they had, just the assets - I am also dealing with husband's aunt and uncle who truly do have too much income, not assets. When we first began to begin the process they may have had around $50,000 in assets but probably a year later they were probably down to around $36,000 and now I think they're down to around $23,000, so that's not an issue. However, this year the VA has gone to an official form - Intent to File - to be sent in - replacing the letter that we probably should have sent in but had not idea it was going to take as long as it has to gather all the papers, which has taken over a year, so in many ways I really wish I had not gotten the doctor's statement signed when I did because now we're having potential issues getting it redone and still don't necessarily have all the other paperwork. We haven't really gotten the help here that I did with my dad 3-1/2 yrs. ago with his local state VA rep; we had found somebody who was going to be a real help but they brought up some income that I had forgotten about that my dad didn't have that I had to go back and get, that they had even forgotten at the time that they even had because it was just being rolled right into their checking account while at the time they were telling me - or at least I was understanding - that it was being rolled right back into the funds it was coming out of, that they weren't even using it, it was just something they were having to do, so just things like that been dealing with, then by the time got that straightened out they had retired. Wonder now if should have had him sign it first as well but at the time was trying to get all the papers together first since he seemingly didn't have a clue about any of it but thought wife did at the time and if fiduciary required at the time just expected she would be but money has to be spent on medical expenses, which a caregiver is considered such.
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Things could have changed since I went through all of this 5 1/2 years ago. Back then it was 20 or 25 grand that they could be bringing in or income. That's why we put all assets into a trust. Man, the red tape.....Govt.....it's so hard. That's why I said use an attny that really knows his/her stuff.
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When I first inquired as to the amount of assets my mother was allowed to have I was advised by a woman from VA for her assets to be below $50,000. A year later when I started the process of applying she was at $36,000. She was just approved this past May and her assets had dropped to $26,000. The older the person is the less they are allowed to have. VA has some form of sliding scale for the amount of assets allowed depending on age, at least this is what I was told, but they don't reveal the amounts. Once approved VA will retroactively pay back to the date that you originally applied. If you are still in the process of gathering all of the necessary papers that they want you should send a "Letter on Intent to Apply" and the clock will start then on the retro active payback and you will receive a case # for your application. You have 1 year to send in all of the necessary information. Be sure to write the SS# and or case # in the upper right hand corner of EVERY page of the application. Your local VFW can help you with the paperwork. If you are filing on behalf of someone it is imperative that the person whom you are filing for sign their name to the application regardless if they have dementia or not. Once approved the VA will determine if your loved one is incompetent or not and at that time a "fiduciary" will be assigned. VA does not recognize POA just like SS has to qualify you to become the "payee" for your loved one. VA also in the future may ask for an accounting as to how the money is being spent so keep all receipts!
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Pargirl: I see where you said "they're allowed to have $20, 000.00.
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It is my understanding that if I (POA) sell my mother's house that is in a Family Trust I have to tell the VA and the proceeds count as my mother's asset. This amount will put her over the limit that she is allowed and they could ask for monies to be returned that have already been received through A&A. If this is not correct will someone please let me know. I am afraid to ask the VA myself for fear that they will take away her benefit. We will be running out of money already in a few years despite receiving the benefit unless the house gets sold. Mom is 86 and except for memory problems she is is ok health.
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Pargirl:: Okay, since they said "too much money, " I just changed the wording. Sorry. I guess I'm not seeing where they had $20, 000.00?
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llamalover.....it didn't say that they had a boatload of money. 20,000 is nothing when you are taking care of 2 people. It can be gone in a year with caregivers coming in. But if they do have any savings putting it in a trust can help. That way the daughter or who ever is in control can keep an eye out for all monies going out. Lady.....nursing homes today are not what they use to be. You just have to be very careful and mindful keeping an eye on your loved ones. They will be fine if they are together with some of their furniture. I took care of my IN laws and now my parents. I can tell you that my health has gone completely downhill and they are both in facilities. I am coming back and try8ing to get some of my life back. Please be careful and take care of yourself. You won't be any good to them if you are down and out. Please take care and God Bless....
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Be careful, though. They may want to feign pauper status, else they get bilked by untrustworthy caregivers.
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Since they have a boatload of income, it should be able to afford them care till the end.
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Forgive me for only reading a few of the answers but my dad who just turned 93 is also a WWII vet. We applied for VA benefits for my mom (alz/dem) 5 1/2 years ago. We went through an attny that only worked with vets getting their benefits. Yes, there is a monetary limit of how much income they can have but it's very easy to get around. It's called a Trust. It will be called the "Smith" family Trust with you or who ever is the POA/ trustee on it. It will still be their money but you will have control. They can have a checking and savings acct. as long as it's not over the $20,000 or whatever the limit is now. My dad get's full VA benefits since he saw action (around $2300 a month). Took about 3 to 4 mos. of processing but it is retro active from when you apply. I believe there is a rule for that too. I would talk with a veterans attny since they can walk you through the process. It cost us 2500 but well worth it since they knew all the ends and outs. Good Luck and God Bless.
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If the $ is there~USE IT.
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I am in the process of applying for the VA "Aid and Attendance", but there cannot be more than 25K in assets in order to apply. To get around this, access assets can be put in a trust.
I had an elder attorney help me with "estate planning". My mother had about 200K in assets, including stocks,annuities and CD's. I sold and cashed in those and bought two new bigger annuities which will pay out monthly to help pay for her monthly memory care facility bill and other medical expenses. These two large new annuities do not count toward her assets.
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Based on my experience on applying for Aid and Attendance (A&A) for my Mom, a widow of a WWII Sailor, I highly recommend seeing an Eldercare Attorney. It will cost for the appointment and it will be well worth it. There are income limits, above which you are not eligible to receive A&A from the Veteran's Administration. I believe that is what you mean by saying that they make too much money. The Eldercare Attorney will know all the rules and laws and be able to tell you what might be available or perhaps how to structure what funds and assets your Mom and Stepfather have in order to find you more assistance. Don't just look up someone in the phone book. Ask around if possible. Who is well known, who really got help. At a minimum you need someone coming in a few hours several days a week to handle specifics - cleaning, bathing parents, or just being there so you can get out of the house yet know everything is handled.
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Lady2T,
Can your parent afford $2,000.00 a month? You should not be paying that. Also, I wonder how you found someone for so little. A care agency for live-in help in my area would cost more than $12,000.00 a month. Even if room and board are considered a benefit, what dollar amount do you place on that? You may want to check with a CPA well versed in the responsibility of the elder as far as compensation. With a private caregiver, this person is considered an employee by the IRS and as such your parents become an employer, responsible for taxes, Social Security, workmen's comp, disability, etc.

When there are two in need of care, if you pay the going rate for home care, it is often cheaper to have them in a facility. And if you are worn out now? You need to research facilities to determine proper placement. And if Alzheimer's is an issue, the facility most likely would not allow them to share an apartment. Behaviors are very unpredictable and can be dangerous.

If the previous caregiver was $2,000.00 a month, it is no wonder this person did not work out. Contact the VA for assistance as well as the Area Agency on Aging. Both are valuable resources.
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If they make too much money for aid in attendance, you can reduce their net earnings with a salary to a caregiver if you can provide a statement that they are receiving such help. Your step dad may be able to qualify for up to $1800 per month if you can include this as part of their living expense. In order to qualify, they must be legally blind or housebound is my understanding. You may be able to offset his entire income with medical expenses (a caregiver) legally so that you can get the financial help you need. Get some help from an advocate through your local VA office. I live in Atlanta and my mother was in Chattanooga. We did not find the local VA offices in either city helpful so we went to Dalton GA where my cousin lives and recommended. She got her benefits in record time.
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Don't understand them "having too much income" but if they do have money, it should be spent on their care. I've looked into the VA Aid and Attendance programs and from what I read, you can't have more than $80,000 not counting house/cars. You can just google Aid and Attendance and you should find the forms online.
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Call Hospice. This is not just an end of life thing, They also have in-home help funded by medicare. It is needs based and there is no financial limitation on eligibility. My wife has ALZ and an aide comes three times per week for bathing, personal hygiene, etc. A nurse comes twice a week for a health check. They supply all needed materials (wipes, gloves, depends, meds, appliances like wheelchairs, etc.) There is no cost for this service to the patient or caregiver.
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Would it be possible for them to spend some of their money on caregivers instead of you having to pay it all which I assume you are doing? For one thing, you need to protect your own finances for when you will need them yourself.
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I did apply at the state home for VA. They were kind and helpful. But I did have to keep calling. I have a friend how told me to apply through the Disabled Veterans site. You have to go there to apply with all the correct papers, just as at the VA. I never went because it was a very long ride and I didn't want to do that with a very incontinent person in tow. It would have been really messy and unbearable to be in a car that long. He is in stage 7 now and impossible to drag along to faraway place. The first place I applied was at a local caregiver's daycare place. They had all the paperwork to apply for aid from the VA. They were my first step. But he hated daycare and we quickly moved along to the visiting caregiver, whom he also dislikes. He won't let her do anything for him. When she is here I run out and do my shopping and errands. Or take my dogs for a walk so I get a little exercise. That is my only time to get away and out of the house. 10 hours a week is not much!
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wamna, let's do give false hope, though; there's more to it than just serving during war time - and, yes, you can, in theory, apply through the VA, and maybe that's always the state, whether it's realized or not, because there aren't that many of the actual federal VAs around anyway but it's not the clinic, like a lot of people may thing, unless it's one that just happens to have a state officer in with it, which isn't typical and often the actual state ones aren't really even that familiar with it and especially don't forget it's still meansbased, which is why I asked why she thinks they have "too much income"; she must have heard something somewhere; many of the state officers are only familiar with the regular pension and not the A&A, especially if you do have "too much income", although some are and there are things you can do, but I was trying not to overwhelm over much to begin with - but it is more complicated than just serving in war time and often more than just applying through the VA, but not undoable, necessarily
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If he served during war time, you are in luck. He gets aid and attention check for that. You have to apply for it through the VA. Go today and apply. It takes about 6 months to get it. Also my husband is not a war vet, but still gets his VA benefits of 10 hours a week caregiving OR three days a week in Daycare facility. He has a nurse come to the house because he is so incontinent with Diarrhea. So he gets benefits of care, plus meds, plus any thing he needs like Depends, pity chair, wheelchair. Shower device. He can get benefits. Depends are really appreciated as he goes through them pretty fast! They are so expensive.You have to apply at the VA to get everything, and then you have to call a lot to get them moving on your case. Be diligent about calling and get them going. And the Aid and Attendance will be a huge help for you. Also if he is a vet there is the nursing home which is so much cheaper than a normal nursing home. Cost was about $4000 a month for my brother in law. He was self pay because he had some money in the bank. A regular nursing home could be over $8000 a day here in MD. More in other states.
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why do you say they "make too much"?
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Lady2T, my advice isn't anything to do with getting financial help for your parents. The comment about an unknown illness sapping your strength gave me pause. After caring for my parents for 3 years I found I had skipped important screenings, etc., too many times to count. I ended up with a serious illness that could have been caught much earlier. Take a few minutes, right now, if you haven't seen your doctor lately, and make an appointment for yourself.
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Home » Money & Legal » Paying for Care » Questions
Paying for Care Questions

For adult children that assume the role of caregiver, there are resources and options available for compensation. You may be able to create a personal care agreement, get paid for taking care of elderly parents, or receive government assistance.

Learn from other caregivers about their experiences with getting paid for providing care or, ask your question and get helpful answers.

View all support groups in the Caregiver Forum. https://www.agingcare.com/Paying-for-Care/Questions-1
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