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My mother 93 is pretty much housebound with poor mobility and dementia. She is very low income receiving SS of around $600 and a spousal VA pension of around $200 monthly. I'm her caretaker and occasionally pay a sitter for a little break. Mother is in good physical health except for mobility issues. As her mobility decreases she is requiring more and more assistance with bathing and going to toilet etc. I feel like Aid and Attendance would really help her out as sitters are very expensive. How does it work? Would her regular $200 pension go away? Is Aid and Attendance solely to be used for someone coming in to help or can the money be used for supplies etc. Does the money have to be used up entirely every month? Would a certain amount of savings disqualify her, house, land or the fact that she lives with me? Sorry so many questions just overwhelmed by all of this. Also mother is not able to get out to go to VA office and probably not able to sign anything. If I could help get this going know would be a great help but just so overwhelmed by the process and plus all the other responsibilities I have. Hardly ever leave the house anymore.

gdaughter $750 is a drop in the bucket compared to $450/hr fees from elder care attorneys. I was quoted $18,000 to do same for my veteran hubby by private elder care attorney firm in Dallas. I'd gladly come up with $750 today if we could get 20 hours week home health care for life for my disabled spouse. Great investment!
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Reply to wnewton
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Hey Countrygal55
Just went thru this for my 89 year old mom last week. Pretty much same exact situation as yours! I went to VA and had them help with paperwork. There is a lot of questions and forms. You also will need husbands DD214, DOB, they're marriage cert. (if it's the spouse of Vet appling), bank statement for 1 month and blank checking account check. Call first to make sure you can go without her. They won't accept POA or DPOA so you will need something making you legal rep for her and able to sign that they will accept. But they will tell you what is needed. They are VERY nice and helpful with it all. Took a good hour to go thru all the papers and they will give you copies. You could do it online but if you mess up or forget anything it will get denied. Once you start it with VA that will be the date used if you are approved and payment will be retroactive from that day. It can take months to get approved also so don't expect anything quickly. This is in Florida so keep that in mind. Some of these others may be more helpful for your area. Hope it helps. Good Luck!
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Reply to dizzyd63
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I applied for the Aid and Attendance benefit for my mother & although it's a bit complicated in that you need to have specific information regarding her husband's military service, If you don't have that information, then you must obtain it because it is required in order to complete the application. I did not go through a 3rd party to do this. I did it myself because (Thank God) all the information was in Mom's safety deposit box. You can go to www.veteranaid.org/apply.php where you can access VA Form 21-0966, which will get the claim in the system prior to completing the application form. This site has all the information you need. It tells you what documents you need to have to complete the application as well as provides you with access to the forms you need.

If you intend to mail in this information, PLEASE SENT IT CERTIFIED RETURN RECEIPT so you have proof you actually mailed the application & all the documentation. KEEP A COPY OF WHAT YOU MAILED IN.

This site provides the mailing address you will need to mail the completed application & supporting documents. There's more than one address; so, make sure to use the correct one - it is dependent upon which state your mother resides.

If you are having trouble understanding any portion of the application procedure, it's possible your local VA Representative can help you. However, since at least in Indiana they are political appointees, they may not be aware of the process. Sometimes your local Veterans of Foreign Wars, Vietnam Veterans groups may have someone who can. If not, contact your state's main office of these organizations & they will have a list of members who can help you.

You will have to fill out a VA form & obtain the required signatures in order to be able to do this for your mother.

There also may be a fax number the paperwork can be faxed to - make certain you can get delivery confirmation; however, I strongly advise mailing hard copies as well - CERTIFIED RETURN RECEIPT - & be sure to following up every weeks by calling the center to which everything was sent.

When I did this for my mother, I included a cover letter in which I listed everything I sent in as well as the application & made sure everything was in the order I listed it.

Good luck.
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Reply to martha908
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I just had a Field Agent from the VA visit and go through our financials. It was actually easy and pleasant and the VA Agent was very helpful. I now am the appointed Fiduciary for my husband. Nothing else changed, I just take care of his/our bills. The paperwork specifically states that the money from the VA needs to be spend on living and expenses and not saved for an inheritance.
It took over 9 months to go through all the hoops needed to be done.
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Reply to Val3rie
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Your mother should qualify for Community Medicaid which would pay for IN HOME Aides, etc....if she is truly housebound and sick to the point of needing 24/7 care - they evaluate after she is approved (ie from a financial perspective) and then determine house...if you go to many health aide agencies for seniors, they fill out the paperwork for you...In terms of Aide and Attendance - I think its the most confusing program the VA has...ie my dad was 100% disabled and was getting a disability VA pension but was always rejected for Aide and Attendance......it wasn't clear why!
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martha908 Jun 2, 2019
You might want to check out the following website, which might provide the answer you need.

https://www.agingcare.com/topics/138/veterans-benefits/articles
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Sorry so long getting back with everyone. Been busy with caregiving. Thank you all for the suggestions. Will try to let you know later how things turn out. Of note, I do not have a POA.
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martha908 Jun 15, 2019
Even if you had been appointed as POA, they won't accept that. You will need to submit a specific form the VA requires - it's a Fiduciary form - Sorry, I don't remember the form #. Like I state previously, it's a complicated process, but well worth the time & energy required. For what it's worth, someone needs to be appointed POA & just for the record, Whatever You Do DO NOT Sign any Document Where You Take Fiscal Responsibility for Your Mother's Medical or In Facility Care. They may act as if you must BUT YOU DON'T. I had one Assisted Living facility try to pull that on me. Also, if it get to that point where she has to be in a Care Facility of any sort - READ ALL THE DOCUMENTS CAREFULLY. They will try to get you to agree to accept their Arbitration Agreement. Most reputable places have that as a separate document; HOWEVER, some have it hidden in the paperwork as part of the contract & only give you a very short period of time to repudiate it. Usually within a couple of days & it must be received within this time period. It's essential to follow what the document says you must do. If you don't . . . tough luck. There are a whole bunch of other things you need to know about these places but that has nothing to do with the information you're seeking
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So, your mother is already getting a VA surviving spouse pension? In that case, you should have paperwork that includes the file #, your father's social security number, your father's birth date, your father's branch of service, etc.

First: The VA has a form that may help you. In any event, it can't hurt you! It is called "Appointment of Individual As Claimant's Representative." Form # 21-22a, the current one I believe is from Feb 2019. This is for IF you want to represent your mother, instead of a veteran's services organization doing it.

The VA does not accept a POA. I tried that route. Failed. Something to do with having to declare my mother incompetent legally, and I did not want to do that.

So I found out about this form, which they actually tell you about if you call the VA; it's one of the voicemail choices: if you are an authorized representative.....blah blah blah......and if you don't have the form filed then they tell you how to get one.

I just mailed it May 2nd so I honestly cannot tell you if they paid attention to. it.

Generally, the VA looks at income and assets and medical expenses. If your mother is already getting $200/month, then she must have passed those eligibility tests. If you want to try to get more money per month, it is going to be hard work, and the VA is the most inefficient agency I have ever had to deal with. You cannot even get them to change the mailing address after several tries. Everything you send them, depending on the type of form, goes to a different person.

So, I sympathize with you.

Your mother lives with you? Have you tried applying for "at home" Medicaid? It won't give you much, maybe 6-18 hours a week home health care aides, and free incontinence supplies, but that's better than nothing.

Keep us posted okay?
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Reply to anonymous903302
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I tried to get this for my late mother many times and got a "No." My dad was a vet, serving in war time, but did not die in the line of duty. He died at age 50 of cardiac arrest. My mother took the "death benefit payout" when he died because she had no money to pay for his funeral, etc. I was told by the VA that #1 because he did not die in the line of duty and #2 because she had already taken the death benefit payout - were the reasons why. She really could have used it as she had SS income of $1,223/month, but it's a moot point now.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Mom and Dad's town has a Veteran's Agent. They can give you information on how to contact the VA. You will call the VA and they will explain quite a bit to you. The main thing I learned is that you can file something to show intent to apply. It acts as a marker, so that if your mom does quality for Aid and Attendance, she will be paid back to the date of the initial filing of intent. Very helpful.
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Reply to lynina2
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All good answers here, but you should not have to pay to get the information you need. Please remember that. My comments are just to help someone else. My husband qualified for very limited benefits and of course, they were happy to help us with a 100% VA loan to buy a house-they we're happy to let us owe money. The only other benefit we could get was lowing him to be buried in a Veteran's Cemetery and the 30-minutes allowed for the service-in and out quickly. This was because he did not serve the ONE DAY during a time of conflict required for any form of Aid and Assistance. And it took so long to get authorization for Medi-cal cover she beyond Meducare that it finally came thru 4 days before he passed away. Thank God I had already purchased the final plans for both of us.
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Reply to She1934
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Get the local number of the OFFICE on AGING. They deal with the elderly and problems and they certainly will walk you through the process and tell you what you need to know. There are certain restrictions and income (savings) limits but that is all within a reasonable area. I am no expert but I do think, not sure, that she must be in a personal care facility but perhaps there is help for home care. Talk to the aging office and they will most likely refer you to the local VA office for more information. I am sure things can be worked out in your favor.
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Reply to Riley2166
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worriedinCali May 19, 2019
she doesn’t have to be in a care facility in order to receive aid & attendance.
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I went through county VA commission. They were very helpful.
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Reply to Rutucker
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You need to talk with a VA certified attorney. I used the Veterans Benefit Aid Counsel. They're helping me get my Mom benefits from the VA and they charge $750 for their services. They're worth every penny. Their number is 931-650-3858. Ask for Carroll she leads the team.
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Reply to mmcmahon12000
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gdaughter May 19, 2019
Whoa....$750? I think I'd get in touch with a certified elder law attorney first to see how prices compare. Make sure they do not charge by the HOUR, but the task.
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I hired a local lawyer specializing in VA benefits. Paid him $195 and had the benefit for my Mom in two months time. Fixed rate for the spouse of the Vet at $1209 a month and it certainly helped out tremendously.
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Reply to Stanledm
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MammaMiaYMe1 May 22, 2019
Hi- do you know what is the maximum total income of social security and a pension?
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I was overwhelmed too. But I went to our local VA office and they walked me through it. It took several months and multiple visits to the VA office, but step by step we got there, I'm so grateful for the assistance they gave me.
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Reply to anereus
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I know for a fact that in the state of Pa we have a program called
“ VET ASSIST” it’s out there to help you get a caregiver set up to be brought in to your home to help you. In some cases you can be the paid caregiver if this is what you wanted. You would have contact this program if they have it find a homecare agency that would allow you to become the caregiver and go from here. The organization will walk you through everything. They are wonderful people to work with. They do ask about income and will need copies of all the military paper work. You also probably can get Medicade for your loved one. If you go through the state they will come in and talk to you and your loved one. They will access the situation and assign your family members hours then you will be able to use the hours ( for a caregiver)once you get approved for them. The state should recommend a homecare agency to you. This will help you get some respite time you need for yourself. Either way you go they are going to ask financial information. The Vet Assist program is very helpful in getting the process started. They are like a middle man per say. If you would go this route be prepared to have someone come into your home as well. Both ways they need to be able to access the situation and talk about the needs at hand.
The Vet Assist program will help you find a good homecare agency as well. Like I said they play middle man and get things moving faster. One thing though if you’re POA you will not be able to be a paid caregiver for your mom unless transfer it to someone else. I just wanted to let you know that.
Good luck to you!
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Reply to Caringangel
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Many counties, or combined rural counties, have county VA offices that assist with benefit counseling and preparation, free.

This website appears to provide a good overview of the process and the papers/copies you should get together: https://www.veteranaid.org/apply.php

I really relate to the feeling that it's hopeless. But it isn't. I found it helpful to contact a county office for local support first. Many of them have prepared checklists and can also recommend other programs (such as VA Home and Community Based Services that can more quickly step in to provide part-time home care).

I really feel your panic and anxiety, but reaching out and taking one day, one hour, one step at a time is the ladder to cling to. Once you have made contact with a legitimate, non-profit Veterans Service Organization (VSO) or VA-supported/certified office, you will start to feel sane and supported.

I don't want to add to being overwhelmed, but the VA also has a lot of information to digest at:
https://benefits.va.gov/PENSION/aid_attendance_housebound.asp and
https://www.va.gov/GERIATRICS/
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Reply to 50sChild
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My FIL was on Aid and Attendance and after he died my MIL applied but I do not think she qualifies yet. We have found that the best way to start this process is to call the VA and use THEIR PEOPLE to go ask questions and apply for the benefits. There are people out there who want to be paid to help you through this process. Do not use them! Call the VA and talk to their representstives. Some senators and congressmen will also help you through their office so you can call them, also.
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Reply to Monica19815
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Callnon-profit - "Patriot Angels".....they helped me apply for VA Aid & Attendance for my 91 yr old dad & mom in 2018.
I was "overwhelmed" caring daily for both my parents; was blessed when I was referred to "Patriot Angels" (844-757-3047 / www.patriotangels.com) - I honestly could not have done it alone. P.Angels answered ALL my questions; when other organiza-
tions could not. NOTE: I had to Re-apply for Spousal Aid & Attendance for my mom after my dad died Nov 2018 (sadly; my parents only collected for 4 mos) Mom/I are still waiting for VA approval....over 6 mos now.
Make sure VA claim is submitted with "expedited" status for any applicant over 85 yrs old.
Good Luck!
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Reply to YukiBob
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Vickier May 19, 2019
How much did they charge you?
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When my Father applied for Aid and Attendance he had all his paper work together. If you are over 90 they try to do it quicker. It took only two months before he was approved for the entire monthly amount. Recently there has been a 3 year look back put in place, not sure if anything else has changed. Best to contact the VA, Legion or VFW they usually have someone who can assist.
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Reply to kymkne
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Are u her POA? My Mom suffered from Dementia and I was allowed to apply for her.

A & A is for a Vet and spouse. The Vet must have served during wartime.
Get your Dads paperwork together. With my Dad it was a typed discharge and another paper saying he was entitled to benefits. The framable discharge doesn't count. Call ur local VA for an appt. Your questions should really be answered by someone who knows them. Be aware though, the more info you have the less research is needed. A&A does not happen overnight.
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