Follow
Share

Has anyone ever applied for va Aid and Attendance for a surviving spouse with dementia and actually been successful in getting benefits for their loved one?

My almost 91 yr. old mother suffers from dementia and has really gone down since January. Up until then, she was living in her home but now she's in a rehab facility and she has to leave there on Thursday after less than 30 days because her rehabilitation has reached a plateau. She was supposed to leave last Thursday, but she paid out of pocket for another week since Medicare won't pay after a plateau.

We're looking for an assisted living facility with a memory unit and we heard Mother might be able to get some VA Aid and Attendance benefits since my father served in the navy during WWII. BUT, I've been researching it, and it sounds like it's not even worth trying. It can take almost a year to get the application processed and that's not even taking into consideration someone like my mother who has dementia and will need the VA to appoint a fiduciary.

I don't even know how to get the process started - the application seems to be for someone without dementia and I don't even know how to get the VA to start the process of appointing a fiduciary.

I'm so frustrated and this thing with the VA makes me so angry. My father served his country well and now he's dead and my mother needs those benefits for her care and it seems impossible to get them. I've read from different sources that the VA frequently "loses" the applications.

I hope someone can offer such suggestions, advice or encouragement. And if not, thanks for letting me vent.

I want to give up so badly, but I can't.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
Thank you all so much!! Each and every reply gives me new information, new insights into the process, and much-needed encouragement. I appreciate it so much!!

akdaughter, I checked and the county my mother lives in does have a Veterans Service Office - I had no idea - many thanks!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I have not yet applied for the A & A for my mother because her assets currently exceed the limit. However, I was told to call the county Veterans Service office in my county for information. I called and spoke to a man who explained the program, told me what monthly benefit my mother will qualify for, advised me when to apply, and offered to help with the application process when the time comes. It is my understanding that these county offices are not part of the VA system, and exist to help veterans understand and receive their benefits. This is the same office that helped me get the flag holder and service marker that is attached to my father's headstone. I don't know if every county has a service office, but if so, they could be a great help.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Don't give up!!!!! Your Dad earned those benefits and they now belong to your Mom!!! Keep up the fight!! Please don't give up, that is what is expected of you, once they think they wear you down you will just give up!! It took me a while but I stuck with it and finally it all came thru!! I applied directly to the Veterans Administration for my Mom's share of Dad's VA Benefits, it was almost the same as applying for Mom's Share of Dad's Social Security Benefits. I went threw so many people and each time I had to start over with everything, but I did not give up or give in. At one point I had to put the leaf in our dinning room table to keep the stacks o paper work with sticky notes on who I last talked to and what they said and so on. So you Keep It Up!!!!! In the end you will win!!! I hope these word of encouragement have helped you in some small way.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

My Mom has dementia..I filled out all the forms for her and was able to get them online as well. The whole process took 8 months to get approved (we were denied the first time but they had not counted some of her expenses) so I appealed and she now receives the benefit. I was appointed as her fiduciary as I stay at her home and care for her 24/7. It is time consuming, but it has been very helpful since we began receiving the A & A benefit.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Yes, it's so complicated and confusing. Like trying to figure out the Medicare donut hole once you're in it.... Moms SS and pension were considered assets because these will continue. You should consult with an elder care attorney in your state to be sure.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thanks for the info. My sister and I were saying just today that we probably shouldn't even apply for the A&A for Mother since it will probably "mess up" her being eligible for Medicaid after she spends down her assets. Depending on how much A&A she would receive, she might make a little too much money per month to qualify for Medicaid. But if Medicaid doesn't count it as a monthly asset and if Medicaid replaces it, then maybe it wouldn't be a problem and maybe we should go ahead and apply for it. We just don't want Mother to spend down her life's savings and then get kicked out of the assisted living memory unit because she makes too much monthly income for Medicaid eligibility. She only get about $1300 a month between my father's retirement and social security, but if she got A&A and they did count it as a monthly asset, then she wouldn't be able to get Medicaid. All this is so hard to learn - they should teach all this stuff in school.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

You just have to use your common sense on this stuff. My sister's been trying to get the VA to stop the A&A now that Mom's on Medicaid. We were told that it would take some time and that they would continue to make the monthly deposits until they had the paperwork done. One of the VA folks told my sister that Mom will get to keep any and all monies deposited since Dec. 1. But we were also told by another VA person. that they would be expecting full reimbursement for all funds since Dec.1. Since Medicaid is picking up the tab, I don't see that A&A is needed so we're putting the money aside each month in anticipation of writing them a big check. Those of you dealing with Medicaid (spendown, rules, fear of having over $2000) will understand my panic when my sister told me there could be this windfall.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thank you all so much. It's good to know it's possible and that it may not always take almost a year as we were told. It's also good to know that A&A is not classified as an asset for the total monthly income. It's kind of sad the Medicaid lady didn't know that, but I'm getting used to people not knowing a lot about the jobs they're supposed to be doing. It's frustrating, but it just seems to be part of the world we live in now.

Thanks again to everyone!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Just a tip if you need to go to Medicaid later - A&A is NOT classified as an asset for the total monthly income. A&A is replaced by Medicaid. The Medicaid lady I dealt with didn't know this and I was grateful that our elder attorney had clued me in. Probably the funniest glitch was them putting the application on hold because they needed a form having to do with my dad being killed in combat... Dad was 80 when he passed and the guy at the VA laughed, said he'd clear it up and it was done within the next month.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

It took over six months to get Mom's Aid and Attendence. After 4 months, they determined that she needed a more recent doctor's form so we had to get another appointment for him to fill it out. They paid $1,100 a month toward her AL charge. My sister did all the paperwork herself, using info from the various veterans websites to guide her. She called regularly for status updates, which helped when there were a few little glitches to be sorted out. The VA can be a bit frustration to deal with but it's worth it.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

My mother received her first check and back payment in three month's time. You just have to follow the instructions carefully. A financial planner helped me fill out the paperwork for free. (It is against the law for anyone to charge you to fill out the paperwork.)
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Yes, it's possible, but it does take awhile. My brother very carefully filled out the VA application that he got online. The doctor wrote a supporting letter (a requirement) based on a template that I sent him. My mother now receives $555 a month from the VA, and she got $555 for each month of waiting, starting with the date the application was submitted, in a lump sum. It isn't an overnight solution but it works, if the applicant qualifies and you have all the documentation.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thanks you!!! :)
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

If she is over 90 VA puts her at the front of the line. We used ERBC and there was no fee and good service. A good ALF will refer you to a painless benefits consultant.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.