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I tried to get the VA aid for my mom. Dad was in WW11 on the battlefield and his only spouse should get it. I got her into assisted living (which I was told must be done before applying) then called the VA. They told me she didn't qualify because after dad died in 1988 she remarried to a non-veteran. He had died before she went into assisted living. They said she STILL can't get it. (she could draw dads S.S. if it was more than hers, but not his VA benefits.?). Doesn't make sense, does it?
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My husband died in February 2009, waiting for his aid and attendance, well, any help from the VA. We applied for service connected disability August of 1999, finally it was approved in July of 2008, but they rated him at 10 % and he died from his disability just 7 months later. I had to appeal both the A&A and the 10% rating decision, first in my husband's name, now in my name on his behalf. I am still waiting even with a couple of lawyers in D.C.
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And yes, the VA hopes my husband dies before he receives his Aid and Attendance pension. It has now been 6 months and waiting. I contacted Sen. John McCain (AZ), and his office called with all kinds of errors, one of which my husband's misspelled last name, and it said the DAV had POA. I never contacted the DAV. I have done all the work myself. Also, NO ONE can prove or disprove that dementia was "caused" by his Agent Orange, Radiation (A-Bomb) and Asbestos exposure). Since this is a Catch 22, the VA will just keep stalling until he dies and then will say, "Sorry". I am not relying on the VA.
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The question regards nursing home care. Yes, spouse's of veterans may use the benefit of the VA's nursing home. Contact the VA or go to va.gov. Since I am a spouse of a veteran, I will be entitled to 55% of his current pay, based on SBP (survivor benefit plan) which the veteran had to have paid into for decades.
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I have been working with an elder care attorney, attempting to secure VA benefits for my parent. The process is ridiculously time consuming and you have to expose every detail of your finances. But I am sure it is worth it to many veterans once approved. To some it would make a huge financial difference, my friend's mother for example. I finally threw in the towel, I was never given the encouragement I wanted to keep fighting the system. Many veterans expire before they are ever approved. No one asked for my opinion but I think it is absurd to ask a veteran who has served his country to expose every detail of their personal life and submit themself to a panel of judges. The wait now is longer for the reasons mentioned above. Another reason to loathe the government! Old age is not for sissies. It is a battle of some sort every day.
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My husband has applied for the VA assistance for his mother, a widow of a WW2 veteran over a year ago and we have not heard one word yet. She is going downhill faster than expected and she is basically impoverished---not one asset or any money to her name. Basically, I think the VA just hopes you or the loved one expires because they certainly are not in a hurry to help you out.
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I cannot speak to the exact details, but I do understand that spouses are entitled to a % of what their veteran's spouse was entitled to. For my Mom....I've been told that she will be entitled to between $800 and $1100/mo towards her long term care....either in home or in facility. The actual amount is not determined until the gov't looks at the application and the veteran's service record etc. My mom is also eligible to be buried in a veteran's cemetery as well. I caution you though....that it is ridiculously time consuming to apply and then WAIT for the approval. My Dad is almost 92....and we started his application back in January. Initially we were told it would take 5 months to get approved, and then they would 'back pay', then a few months later, even after getting him on the fast track list because of his age and his admission into a dementia unit...so not at home anymore, we were told it would take 6-9 months, so we decided to apply for Medicaid while waiting. NOW, since August, we've been told it could take well over a year of waiting due to the cutbacks in WA/gov't and also due to the numbers of vets returning from active duty now, that need VA assistance....so we've basically given up on getting any aid for my Dad before he dies, though even if he dies, or he doesn't use his, I'm told Mom is still eligible, BUT....spousal assistance comes after everything else. There is a 'pecking order' that starts with active duty vets, and then former vets, in order of age, with older ones at the top of the list, and then spousal coverages. So....we're putting together a plan for Mom that is not banking on her getting this coverage either....it will just be considered frosting on the cake if it should happen! And one really cannot 'start early' because if you turn in the application while there is still money in the bank, you'll get turned down anyhow....so you really can't turn in the application until the money is about gone....and in the meantime, you have to pay yourself and hope it gets approved and back paid before the veteran dies.
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