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My mom is currently in a rehab facility for her 100 days covered by Medicare. She wants to apply for the benefits she's eligible for thru the VA. However, we have heard 2 different answers to the same question. That question is that if my mom does apply for those benefits, does that income go to the home as well? She's on MediCal when she goes permanent, so her income will drop to $35 a month due to high share of cost. We have been told that the home cannot touch that money and also that the home can take that money. She wants to apply for it so she has money while in the home. Does anyone know if they can or can't take VA income? If they can, then I'm not going to apply for it since they will be getting paid from her income and also MediCal.

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My mother was denied the first time she filed in Tennessee, but since she lives on the boarder, we went to the Dalton office and she was approved based on the fact that she is legally blind and house bound, a condition that was ignored when she filed in Tennessee. Be sure the one helping is on your side. Sometimes they seem to glee in turning down claims.
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Hope22---my Dad always used to tell me I should have been a lawyer with the mouthpiece I have! Believe me, I plan to use it very soon at the VA. Thanks for the good vibes. Take care.
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Good luck Princess....I know the first time we filed, they denied our claim and then we appealed, but by appealing, only had to submit additional information, not refile. I have not heard of anyone having to refile if they have already filled out the original info...perhaps just provide additional info...but not a total refile. I am sure there is a lot I do not know..especially about the mystery that is the VA but I don't think you have to refile...prayers for you both. Your MIL derserved that benefit, and yall as her caregiver do as well...good luck.
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Hope22---we have never paid anyone to help and my husband is still insisting that you have to refile. Well, when he gets back from his mother's burial , we are going down to the office together and I will be the one to ask questions. I do hope you are doing well and trying to give yourself some selfish time---you deserve it! Blessings upon you and I will be in touch to let you know what transpires with all this rigamarole at the place where he first went re: the benefits.
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I agree with sherry1anne, when assisted by someone who actually knows what they are doing, it SHOULD take about four months...that was what I have discovered through our local office where I should have applied. My sibling took it upon himself (against my begging NOT to do it) to involve a different office and that woman did not know all the ins and outs and therefore it took us almost a year to be approved. We were denied at first, but she had not told us some of the things we could count..especially the fact that my being my Mama's 24/7 caregiver could be counted at the hourly rate considered routine for our area (here $10/hour)...her mistake caused our ultimate approval to give us a lesser monthly and retro amount but I am appealing that as well, but I do NOT have to reapply to do any of this...if a VA rep is telling you that, you may want to check with a different VA office, you should NOT have to pay anyone to help you...it does not require an attorney....there are other va service agencies who know of this and can help you Princess...I hope you will inquire of those if someone is telling you you have to completely reapply...that is insane...bless your heart...but I do understand..it happens all the time to others out there...too many of them it seems give up...and sometimes I have to wonder if that is their hope....
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Sherry1anne---you do put forth a very good point. I think it does have a lot to do with the office you apply at. In our case, we are in the Charlotte NC area and had to deal with those folks. I have told my husband over again, based on a previous posters reply to me, that you don't have to re-apply for the benefit. He is adamant about that and says you do have to re-apply. It is very nervewracking to go through this abominable and very slow process to claim benefits for your loved one. Yes, you were very lucky and I can only hope we do get the benefits we do deserve.
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I was very lucky with the VA. I think that it depends a lot on the office that you are dealing with. We went to the Dalton, GA office personally and walked her (my Mother's) application in. We got benefits within 4 months.
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Thanks hope22 - yes the VA is the most horrible government agency to deal with. Such a pity as those veterans fought for our country. Also thanks for the info about the retro pay. You are right - that should go to my Mom and me as her caregiver. I will look into that....hugs.
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hadenough...from the time you first applied for the benefit, once a determination is made for your Mom to receive it, then as her 24./7 caregiver up to the time you placed her in AL, then THAT part of the retro pay would be due to her and you...not the AL..because you were caring for her during that time...it might be worth the extra aggravation to keep on them...God knows it is aggravating ...I am still dealing with them on the retro pay after over four months of being told it's been approved, I've dealt with the IRS before and honestly have never seen a group of folks so seemingly unorganized as the VA...what a pity.. i'd just hate to see you and your Mom miss out on that retro pay...it would not be due the AL...but to you and her and especially you as her caregiver...
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In California the assisted living will use that benefit to offset the cost of the AL. I too applied for my Mothers VA assistance about 2 years ago as I was her caregiver. The paperwork was long and involved and I just kept getting back requests for more information ect... Now that she is going into assisted living they can wrangle with the VA. If your Mother was a widow of a WW2 vet the benefit is there for her - you just have to jump thru many hoops. Now I am letting the AL do it.
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Princess7...I am so sorry for the passing of your Mom. If you have already filed for the benefits, it is my understanding that the benefits can still be paid to the estate of the deceased if the benefit was approved. That is what the information I read says and what I have been told. I do agree with you that the VA is a disgrace, especially at present, with the way they handle claims, and in particular, the time with which they take to make a determination and pay them. We do receive a very small monthy benefit for my Mama based on her being the surviving spouse of the veteran, but she is due for the retro payment and while they have been telling us for almost five months now it has been approved and ready to be deposited, they are just sitting on it...I call every week just to have it in the file that I have had to go through what we have to get this, but every week it is the same old song and dance, they are filing a note and I should hear something in a week to ten days..same thing every time I call and as you know, it takes forever just to get through the phone system..It is ridiculous...BUT,,,,if you filed and if she was approved (and even as far as I know if you filed, even if the determination had not yet been made) but it is approved, that retro payment is due to the estate STARTING FROM THE DATE YOU FILED THE ORIGINAL PAPERWORK...I am 99.99% positive of this....
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Brendalynn ---I am delighted for you that the VA gave your Mom the benefits to which she is entitled. My husband applied back in January of 2013 and then contacted them in August of the same year as we had never received any word or even a confirmation . All the necessary paperwork was completed properly but she was swept under the rug. Now, just on Monday of this week, she died. She was 90 years old and never got a darn thing from them. You were very fortunate and we did manage to get Medicaid for her which was a huge blessing. The VA is the most sorry government office in this United States. That is my opinion based on what was never given to my mother in law. At least she is at peace now.
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We originally sent in our application in November of 2013. I'm the daughter, and I was applying for the surviving spousal benefits for my mother I did it all on my own right down to printing out the application off of the internet. Mom had been living with me, and we were originally denied, but I sent in an appeal after my mother moved to assisted living in April. I received the award letter on July 8th, 2014. She received the maximum entitlement amount, and it says her effective date is November 25, 2013..and that she should receive her retroactive check within 15 days. This is so wonderful for mom, and will keep her in a private room a little longer. So..now on to your question. This would depend on the facility, the state you are in, how much/how long you will be private pay, etc. The money will go into your mom's account. This is how it was explained to me from the financial manager in the assisted living facility where my mother is. She is private pay for now, but if she outlives her money, we will be applying for Medicaid next year. Once she is out of money....let me put it like this...for instance....if the room mom was in was 5,000 per month...she is out of money..but gets social security, a pension...and VA aid and attendance. If social security payments are 1,000..the facility gets that...if the pension is 1,000..the facility gets that...if the VA benefits are 1,000...the facility gets that since we are still under the 5,000. I'm in Florida and what they have are Medicaid waivers that help to pick up the balance. Each person's circumstances will be different depending on the amount of income they receive.
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Billyjoeraybob- Trust me I do know how all of the agencies are out there just to rip off people and also to try to get caretakers like myself into trouble. I've been dealing with IHSS and APS for yrs cause they were believing my abusive brothers false stories n not mine. Finally, now that the cops have seen his temper, everyone is on my side.
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Sherryoneanne- no, my mom can't come home after rehab cause I had to move out due to physical abuse from my brother and mental abuse from her. I refuse to go back and put myself thru that. We are selling the home I grew up in just so I don't have to deal with my brother and ask him everytime I want to do an improvement or upgrade on the house. Currently I am looking at moving to Texas with my boyfriend so I won't even be in the state. I need the break from being so d*mn close to all of them.
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Be very careful everyone is trying to rip you
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I too, am amazed at how many stipulations they place on it...and how few people even know about it. The ONLY way I knew about it was when Mama first had her accident and I knew I was going to have to leave my job and move back to my hometown, I started checking around to see what assistance might be out there for her....Since my Dad was a WWII Vet, I googled VA Benefits and the trail led to the VA Aid and Attendance. I had to search and search for all the info as our area in particular seems void of much info and even those who are "here to assist" seem to have their own problem understanding how to fill out anything....But it finally got accomplished..but sad that once again it seems veterans and their spouses have to go through so much to get benefits that were earned through very difficult and dangerous times....
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I Inquired in Mo. For my mother and was told first that she had to already be admitted to assisted living when applying. That accomplished with my financial help, I contacted the VA and was shocked to learn she couldn't get it because she remarried someone who wasn't a Veteran. Period! Even tho he has passed away too. So basically they are punishing her for finding someone to help her survive after her veteran husband died. Who knew of this benefit and this rule in 1988 when dad died and that unless she married a veteran she couldn't get the help other veteran wives were entitled to, so best stay single and destitute??
That's just wrong! The gov. Promises soldiers they will help their spouses when they die, but have enough "conditions" that few women actually get it.
My husband and I are paying a chunk of our retirement money for long term health care, prepaid funerals, medical insurance, so our kids won't be in our position some day.
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I have a friend who is having a VA specialist file all of the paperwork. I asked her if he worked for the VA or if he was a lawyer and she was very vague, but said that there was no out of money expense for him to help her with the paperwork. Perhaps it comes out of the VA settlement for the back funds. Check out and see of there is a specialist with the VA, then perhaps in the private sector.
I filed all of my mother's paperwork myself and it was a real bear to do it. The key is to call her "housebound". (which she obviously is) and that will expedite things. I had a very helpful VA employee help me through all of the hurdles, but I understand that most VA offices are not great help. Mother had applied 2 years previous and been turned down. "housebound" is the key to an easier "yes" on her benefits.
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Can your mom not come home when she is done with rehab?
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With my mom, A&A helped defray the cost of an AL when she was private pay. Once she was Medicaid, we notified the VA of the change and the A&A will drop to $90/month since she no longer needs that additional assistance to pay the facility bill. I agree that the personal needs allowance is not much money, especially when you're looking at haircuts, clothing, phone bills etc. I imagine most families supplement this with their own funds.
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hadenough, your situation sounds so much like ours. Every time I called the VA, they would send more forms, then that would require several more weeks, then more forms. As I understand it though, if you have filed for the benefit, and they approve it, they still owe it to your Mom's estate. We finally got approved, but now are in the back and forth over the retro payment...And the initial person who assisted us at county agency told us incorrectly re the allowance you could count for what you are doing for your Mom. I was told we could only count a max of $400 a month...several of the VA personnel told me that was incorrect, that they will take into consideration what you would pay in your area if someone came to your home and you paid them...here it is $10/hour. I'm assuming that would be figured on a 40 hour work week, which of course you will never find someone who will be a caregiver 24/7 and pay them on a 40 hour week....so that is confusing...but nonetheless we did get the monthly benefit but I am still staying on them about the retro payment...It is so frustrating. I last called them the end of last week and was told they had in their file where I had called last month and I needed to give it at least 21 days for a response...that was 21 days ago at that time....I inquired about that and all I got was silence...it is a shame what they put folks through...but do stay on them...good luck to you....Lord knows i KNOW how aggravating the process is....
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I am in the same situation with my mother, needhelpasap. Much of the information already provided here is very helpful and I'm actually posting on this topic so I can be alerted to additional information. What a wonderful resource this site is, both from an educational AND encouragement perspective.....we truly can all relate to the various challenges and stressors that come with caregiving. Hugs to you as you continue to navigate these very difficult waters....
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I take care of my Mother in her home and applied for the VA benefit as she is a widow of a WW2 vet. This is how I understand it. You can use the benefit for assisted living or for the senior to stay in their own house with 24/7 care. I found the VA to be very unhelpful and just want to run you around until you give up or the person dies. I filled out the paperwork as I am a health care professional. It took about 3 weeks to get all the paperwork together and the note from the doctor. I sent them several request to expedite as my Mother is already 91. The last letter I sent I told them I was getting ready to talk to our congressman if something is not done. They sent me a ton of more forms to fill out. It is going on almost 3 years now and still no benefit.
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My only input is based on our personal situation. Mama just started receiving the Aid and Attendance benefit and she is at home, with me as her attending personal care giver 24/7. When she got hit hard by the Medicare Part B penalty, it substantially reduced her income and the other unreimbursed expenses, including an allowance for what I do for her all counts towards the determination as to what amount, if any, is due....also, there is a retro payment which can be made back to the date of the original application. We have been informed this is in the wings however have been waiting forever for that and still have not received it...It is a lengthy process, but I think worth it , especially if you are caring for a loved one at home..also, I did not require an attorney to receive this benefit. The local VA, (ours is at the county courthouse) can assist you..... good luck
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It's all so confusing. We tried to get Mom into assisted living, apllied for the VA benefit for her. Since it takes some time to get the benefit approved, we were encouraged to apply for a bridge loan. That loan was denied, leaving us dead in the water. I DO NOT understand why there is no one out there to walk us through this process with the right answers!! We desperately need someone to tell us our options and how to go to the right agencies. I have heard we should not have her apply for Medicaid; we should apply for Medicaid. We should not apply for the bridge loan; yes, we should. My Mom lives in New York State and I live in PA. We are seriously considering bringing her here so I can take care of her. But I'm not sure if I have the ability to care for her properly. It's all so overwhelming and frustrating.
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needhelpasap: Unfortunately, you are now on your own financially. Any aid or income that comes in has to go to her care at the Nursing Home. That means her house payments or utilities or insurance come from elsewhere. If children can't afford to cover them, turn them off.
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FYi- In North Carolina there is an agency that can expedite matters called Senior Veterans Council. It does a fabulous job ...
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You will be lucky to even hear from the VA---we applied for my mother in law for Aid and Attendance 18 months ago. They have not replied back at all and my husband filled out two sets of forms. We did finally get approved for Medicaid for her and she is in a memory care unit in our state of North Carolina. She is totally without funds and has no assets of any kind. Be prepared to fill out lots of paperwork for both VA and Medicaid. I actually read a post on here not long ago that widows of wartime Vets are the last on the list for help---not very encouraging to say the least and in our case, proves to be true.
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Massachusetts Medicaid (MASSHEALTH) requires that the applicant apply for VA Aid & Attendance benefits within 90 days of being approved for MASSHEALTH. Why? All income of the applicant is counted. However all of the income of a spouse who resides in the community (vs nursing home) is not countable. I recommend reading the Medicaid regulations in your State or consulting an elder law attorney in your State.
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