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Filled VA papers for Aid and Assistance, came back denied. Brother 55 tends to her every need, food prep, medications, cleaning, washing, any travel. Basically everything except putting food from plate to mouth. VA refused any financial assistance over the pittance of $237 normally received for Dad's service to country. Mother 92, blind, heavily medicated, housebound but mobile, brother attends her needs.

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GA, I agree, that's why I asked - or was going to, not sure I got that far - if she had someone willing to do a caregiver agreement; with my dad, his grandson was willing to do that and with my hub's aunt and uncle their grandson was going to do it but then it didn't work out and she's pretty much at that same point. What I was going to say later re coming to the house till realized she's probably not in the healthcare system is that if you are, like hub's uncle, and have a social worker, which he does, at least now they say they will and are going to come out to the house, so they must have the funding and probably do since they just built a new clinic here but that wouldn't help her as far as that, since she's not plus we also had a unique situation with my dad in that the VA service officer in his case did come out to his house as well but that was partially because he knew him personally and dad lived on his way home, which made it handy but that's probably not typically going to happen; certainly hasn't in the case of hub's aunt and uncle, but also even then it was the state VA officer, not somebody with the actual federal VA, which haven't gotten the idea she's talked to the state, which is really who she needs to be talking to because, in spite of what she thinks and whether it's right or not, the feds don't want to be too forthcoming with this info because they're just so overwhelmed, not really sure how nice you are to them how much difference it would make.
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Deb, I think Birdie's approach to the VA reflects a high level of frustration in her caregiving role, probably b/c of factors having nothing to do with the VA. I thought that before and still think it; she probably needs help at home and she's not getting it, and is burned out. It is hard to tolerate bureaucracy when someone's that burned out.
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Deb, you make a good point. But at some time anyone in the VA system had to get into it; there's always that entry point. Ours was more complicated this last time because we requested service connected disability designation. We had to jump through hoops too, but that's to be expected.

And even though we had help, I did a lot of research so I could have the necessary documents, and when the VA asked for more, I called and asked, very politely, about some of the documents so I could be sure they had what they needed.

Bad attitudes don't get anyone anywhere except to a higher level of frustration.
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GA, sounds like one difference is that seems like your dad was in the VA healthcare system while her mom isn't; believe she's trying to get survivor's benefits for her; believe that would be making a difference here
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You are right and it's not usually the individual VA help, it's the system designed to be difficult to approach regardless of all the websites and such, it still isn't easy for most of those who actually need the help. Like I said, if you are disabled, you better have a support group because the system isn't designed to be helpful, only responsive.
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I have to step in here and offer my support for the VA and its workers. I'm tired of hearing people complain about the VA. I won't deny that I had a problem with one doctor as well as with the pharmacy and withdrew my father from participation for a while. But the issues were worked out.

This time around I've met with nothing but support, help, pleasantries, assistance, and return phone calls. Cooperation, assistance and help ARE in the skill sets of VA workers. I rank them higher than some hospitals for support and assistance.

So I challenge the criticisms you've made of the VA. If you approach them with a chip on the shoulder, of course they're going to be resentful of a bad attitude; anyone would. Take a different approach and respect them, recognize that they're managing in an environment over which they have no funding control, but still trying to help the veterans.

As to someone coming to a veteran and/or spouse's home, where do you think the VA would find the time and funds for this? Their funding isn't limitless.

I can only repeat what I've written before when you were first criticizing the VA: look at the attitude you're presenting to them. Treat them with respect. Instead of finding fault, find praise. Try to understand the need for the documentation and find ways to cooperate, not criticize.
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Actually it's going to take some creative financing to show expendatures for caregiver expenses. A contract is required and documentation of payment/compensation to equal what is considered INCOME over VA benefit already received to persuade the VA to get off the purse strings.
Actually, you know, If the VA was actually a Veterans program to help Veterans and their families, why do they go to such drastic measures to make it so difficult to get the benefits you are due. A VA agent should come to the members home and present solutions to existing problems and not create barriers to getting them. All those websites with all that hiddent print, but what if you are blind, don't use computers, don't have anyone to count on? YOu are screwed. Bottom line. Even with help, you have a very difficult time getting what is due the Vet.
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birdie, they are being so overwhelmed by applicants they don't them to make it easier to get these benefits; that's why it works so much better to go through a state office or veterans service organization, which I had when I did this for my dad and why it's been so hard to get this done for my husband's uncle; I just found out about one yesterday; have an appointment for Tuesday to meet with him, but am somewhat concerned re the documentation Pam's talking about because he didn't seem as if he knew you had to have it; is supposed to call his head state officer who's the one who actually does it, what I ran into with the state VA office is he said the bank documents I had were not sufficient; they were called summaries and were just printout copies, where he said I had to have official statements that I'm not even sure they send out anymore, certainly seemingly not as often - as in monthly - as they used to, if at all, only quarterly and can't seem to get an actual copy any other time, so seems always have to wait for the next one, if they even come, like said, at all anymore, seemingly may only be digital and therefore not to them since they don't even have a computer or email and have someone else on their account, not me, so can't seem to get them but maybe it's being worked out somewhat, anyway, but yes, also, you have to have proof of the additional care expense, which they also don't have, since they say that's why they need this benefit, since they say they don't have the money to pay for care; so does your mom?
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Thanks Pam, and you are right. They have no need to HELP you with your task of getting the benefits due you.It's not in their agenda. If anything is out of order, everything fails. There is NO human assist within their organization. If you can't put everything in their lap perfectly, then a call to ask you for something, ...is out of the question. Customer Service is NOT a benefit or in the Skill set of the VA program worker. And That is sad.They should be asking us if we need anything. A secluded widow or Wonded Warrior usually has no idea of what's available, and how to get it....so they lose our on their benefits. No One cares!
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Filling in the application is not all it takes. There have to be documents attached including MD signed statements, Dad's discharge papers, proof of marriage, bank documents, and proof of additional expense for care. If the application is incomplete, it is rejected.
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If what you mean is " brother needs to be paid for caregiving" yes. Set up a care ginger contract and do it correctly, consult an eldercare attorney about this.
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You are indeed right. It's a B-29, the predecessor to the B-52. I stand corrected. What I'm determining is that I have to show an ample expenditure of Mom's income to count against her income from SS, actually cancel it out, and then the full benefit from VA becomes available. So here we go. Got to spend money to make money, right? Brother gets his due, and mom gets reimbursed.
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Appeal.
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could you just have the plane wrong - could it have been a B-29?
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Birdie, another option is to see if your county or state has a veterans service department that helps veterans. We found one at the county level and had them prepare the application for service connected disability. It was done quickly, with forms that I never knew had to be filed despite a lot of research.

It was then sent electronically to the American Legion, which handled everything from there.

I found this for you:

http://floridavets.org/benefits-services/ (Florida Dept. of Veterans Affairs)

Same, Claims: http://floridavets.org/benefits-services/. Note this:

"The Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs has Claim Examiners co-located with the VA Regional Office in Bay Pine, each VA Medical Center and many VA Outpatient Clinics. Assistance with claims is free and covers all state and federal veterans’ programs. For more information, call (727) 319- 7440"

Co-located probably means the Florida employees are located in one of the VA facilities, as the VFW and American Legion are in the Ann Arbor, MI VA facility to which we go.

Another state option is:

"Information on current federal, state and local veterans’ programs, entitlements and referral services is available in Florida through a network of County Veteran Service Offices. All services are provided free of charge. Click here to find a County Veteran Service Office in your area."

These are the kinds of offices you want to contact to get help. Stay away from any others that want to charge you a fee.

If you want to check out other hits, just google "Zellwood, FL veterans assistance department".

Good luck; I hope it works out for you this time around.
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Thanks again, I'll try to keep my cool and maybe someone will actually be of help.
Thanks again.
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And do contact one of the service organizations such as the American Legion or VFW. They have people who are experienced in filing apps for veterans and spouses and can more than likely appeal the VA's decision a lot easier than you can on your own.

They were wonderful and quick for us.
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Birdie, I must take issue with your conclusions. It's understandable that you're frustrated, but there could be legitimate reasons.

One issue might be that the B-52 was selected in 1946, after WWII was concluded. If the information in some of the forms you filled out had erroneous data on your father's service, that might be one reason the application was rejected. The VA would wonder how anyone could fly a B-52 in WWII when it wasn't even in production until years later. So that major error could be one of the reasons why they rejected the application.

And cut the "White female pure American" nonsense as well. Most of us aren't "pure Americans" and indigenous to America unless we're Native Americans or their predecessors. And the VA has no reason to discriminate against white females.

Take a more rational approach and find out why the application was rejected and what you need to do to correct it. Not all applications are accepted on the first try anyway.
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I certainly will. And yes my Dad's service during WWII flying in B52's was well documented. I really think it's a process of Deny everything possible unless they pressure you into providing the benefits they deserve. I believe bonuses are derived from this process. Just wish I could prove it.
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I just looked at the VA website. Your mom be automatically qualified (5/200 vision or worse) if she is blind. Are you sure the issue isn't that the dates of your dad's service don't qualify?

Please get in touch with the VA and find out what the issue is. And please come back and tell us what the result was. We learn from each other!
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What do you mean, 4 of 5 needs? Are you referring to her ADLs? I'm going to ignore the rest of what you wrote, as you are clearly distraught.

Have you applied for Medicaid on her behalf?
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I completed the forms. Required 4 of 5 needs which were all met. But she's a White female pure American and therefore not deserving of any special treatment I guess. Maybe should have considered that before submitting.
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As I recall from reading VA correspondence on acceptance or denial of benefits, the applicant can either call or write to the VA for explanations.

Who filed the application for you, i.e., who prepared and complete it? Sometimes it can be just an omission of necessary data that prompted a denial.

Just wondering though why is your mother so heavily medicated?
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