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I am a surviving widow of My first class petty officer and receive social security
and va disability. I am 80 years old and want to know if they, the VA help me if I have to go to a independent care or assisted living condition?
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I was told that the maximum asset level was $80,000 to $120,000. This is from a VA office. They also said that the home isn't counted. Does anyone know the exact amt. of assets? My mom's falls somewhere in-between. And what assets do they count ? Also, some other post said his dad was receiving $2000/mo. or more from VA but I was told max amt. would be $1,149/mo. and that depends on how much income she has.....probably would be less.
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My dad who is deseased now was on active duty in WW11. My mom, 96, will need some help very soon, like at home help or AL. She lives in FL and I live in IA.We went to her local VA Office about 4 months ago when I was in town and laborously fillled out an application which required all kinds of documents. It took about 2 hours. The Rep. told us to check back if we had not heard anything in 3 months. So when I was there 3 months later, we went back to the VA office. He couldn't find her appplication, eith paper or online!!!!!! he gave me a VA number to call. They said they never received it! So I went back to the local office and the guy couldn't explain what happened....maybe she didn't qualify so he got rid of it? But no record online either? Also the guy on the VA 800 number asked me if she was already receiving a widows pension, which she wasn't because she's just now needed the extra help. Someone later told me that you don't need to be already receiving a pension from the VA to qualify for Aide and Attendance. So now, I'm not sure what to do since both the local VA office and the VA 800 # were incompetant. I can't apply in the state live in because you have to apply in the state the beneficiary lives in.
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One particular benefit that helps pay for assisted living is the Aid and Attendance benefit.
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SunshinerRain2 - your points are well taken, and you are absolutely correct that those who are under subsidized, or Medicaid programs, do not have to pay for all of the additional "services" (i.e., med administration, help with bathing, etc.) that private pay residents do. Re: meds......my mother's doctor had to write out scripts for every medication she takes, including ibuprofen, daily vitamins and calcium supplement. I am there frequently and see what the aides are giving her so between the script requirement(s) and that, I feel comfortable that she isn't being over medicated. Mom also seems better overall than when she was living "independently" in her apt., doling out her meds herself. I was frequently getting calls from the pharmacy that she either had tried to renew a script before it was due (so she was likely over medicating herself on this) or hadn't refilled one in too long (the opposite problem), even though I or one of the aides she had at that time had filled her dispenser and checked it multiple times during the week. She sometimes walked around with one of the meds in her walker and/or put them on the spice rack in a cabinet instead of the medicine cabinet. But, everyone's circumstances are somewhat different. It sounds like you were at peace with your decision to bring your mother home for her last years and hopefully were able to feel you could afford it as well. Hugs for a job well done!
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Most AL facilities charge at least $3000./month, adding additional charges for any services - such as delivery of meds (which they urge residents to allow them to do, which typically "justifies" an additional charge of $300.+/month), or bathing assistance - for another added charge. For those who pay the full charge, residents can quickly have charges of $4000. or $5,000./ month. Those benefiting from government-subsidized (taxpayer-subsidized) programs can quickly lose appreciation for what others HAVE to pay! These facilities also enhance their profits by having their own pharmaceutical supplier. Thus, when they provide meds for their residents, their company can charge inflated prices, which they then collect from Medicare, other tax-funded "insurance", or the resident. It is wise to support laws which require separation of pharmacies from these facilities. When connected, there is too much incentive to over medicate! Years ago, it was decided to have Doctors write prescriptions rather than allow them to SELL their own medicines: too tempting to OVER-prescribe, when a profit can be made!
After my mother was over-medicated at an AL facility, I quit trying to work, - and took her home, becoming her 24/7 caregiver. Under a different physician's understanding care, meds were reduced, her head cleared - and she became herself again. We enjoyed many special moments until she died at 99+!
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Yes, debdaughter, the first check after being appointed fiduciary was a check that I deposited into the new custodial account. The reason that SSI may come into play is that AL originally calculated her contribution to the fee based on both her $793 SS and $1,149 VA benefit. Once the VA benefit drops to the expected $90 she won't be able to keep the, I believe, mandated $109/month that NJ permits for personal needs. So, the drop in VA benefit may automatically kick in the SSI according to the Director of the AL. Frankly, it's all very convoluted to me and getting hold of the person at the SS office isn't easy as you might imagine. Once I know something more definitive, I'll try to update this thread. Good luck with all you are handling as well!
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Hi imb, guess your mom really was one of those that that $1149 did look good or at least to you; she was one of those really low income ones, wasn't she? wow - though I do know of others, my friend's mom, for one - the SS surviving spouse income is really low, isn't it, what has my hub's aunt concerned - but at that amount would have expected her to already been on Medicaid, at least by just income, maybe there were resources to begin with that disqualified her from that but not the A&A, which I know will allow you to have more. That's nice that your family is willing to pitch in the difference there; hadn't even thought about that; have another friend whose dad is in the assisted living, was gonna say was going to ask about him being in a private room but seems like he said that somehow they had one available they let him have for the price of a nonprivate somehow, hm...but that's good that she was able to get on the waiver program, though not really sure understand why had to be that way, with hub's aunt and uncle their income is such they don't even qualify for that, too bad it's all tied up, though. But that's what I'd understood, too, that if you went on Medicaid, the VA stopped their A&A benefit, not sure if they really actually use it to pay Medicaid or just don't feel right to be getting both; if we'd gotten my dad to go to AL, like he talked about doing we might have had the same situation. (I, too, had just gotten approved as his fiduciary by the VA and had just opened the custodial bank account for his money - did your/her first come in the form of a check, though?) but little confused, why would she need SSI if she's in AL living and it's already being taken care of?
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Hi debdaughter - No, my stepfather was the veteran, not my mother. And, no...you're correct that it isn't enough for AL. But my mother is also on Medicaid now, so that plus her $793/month (less some small amount of personal allowance monies for stuff like hair appts., cable & phone in her room) is all she is allowed to keep. In order to get her into a private room (efficiency), the family is kicking in as a third party payor an additional $670/month at her AL, so total is around $3,670 for the room (the balance is paid for by the state under the MLTSS waiver program for AL). It's my understanding that the VA Aid & Assistance benefit will ultimately drop to just $90 (I was just approved as the fiduciary by the VA and had to open a custodial bank account for this money) so she may now need SSI from the state....working on that right now. Does this help clarify things a bit?
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I'm sorry, I picked up some outdated info; surviving spouse is what's $1149; I'm glad that was enough; we were told dad's at $1700 wouldn't be enough, why we were using a family member, but either way, it's not enough for the AL, is it?
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was your mother the actual veteran?
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You aren't kidding, SunshinerRain2! That $1,149 paid for the aides we had while mom was still living "independently" until her recent move to AL. I'm very aware that many folks aren't as low income as my mother but I have spoken to others who have also been awarded this amount and, of course, less based on income. But, your point is well taken - everyone's circumstances can vary.
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Hello Imb1234: Do you have any idea how many have monthly incomes of LESS than $1,000./month?! I hit the "helpful" button on your entry - when I actually was trying to find a way to respond. I think there is a lot of misperception about monthly incomes of Senior citizens, particularly women. When using and relying on "averages", please keep in mind this description: "If your head is in the freezer - and your feet are in the oven - on 'average' - you're just right!"?? Any 'average' does not necessarily represent any ACTUAL person or circumstance! To many $1149. a month would seem a God send!
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I was told by VA to write dad's age in the corner of the envelope containing the application for Aid And Attendance. The older veterans are given priority. I did this and received approval in two months. My dad was 86 when we he applied.
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My mother is receiving $1,149 a month in Aid & Assistance but she is very low income.
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you do realize the maximum benefit for a surviving spouse is $945, don't you? but did they even deduct her assisted living expense or is it considered medical where she lives?
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no, but she would be applying for Aid and Attendance as a veteran's surviving spouse, which would put her at a lower level than if she were the veteran himself and I believe her income is over the limit for a survivor; it's about what my dad's, as a veteran, was
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My father was in active duty in WWII, honorable discharge. He passed away in 1968 & my mother needed to go to work so she didn't collect VA spousal benefits. She is in AL due to dementia. Thanks for your responses.
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BAG331 - Check out Veterans Home Care for help.....
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was she the actual veteran or was she applying for survivor's benefits?
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My 88 y/o mom was recently declined Aid + Attendance benefits due to her social security and pension benefit being $13K a yr. However she has been in an Assisted Living for about a year paying $3700/mo. I am planning to appeal the VA decision and was wondering how difficult it is and if I should look for someone to assist with the process. As my mother has very limited funds, she cannot afford any expensive services. Thanks for any input.
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Also if they serve in Iraq or Afghanistan they can receive Caregiver Support income from the VA. This program is not based on income eligibility.
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Kashi, reason I asked if her dad goes to senior center, when I googled it saw where they're actually going out to them to help with this very thing - thought that was just wonderful
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@MamaVic...yes, Knoxville does have Veterans services...just google Knoxville and Veterans Benefits... I did and got a lot of contacts (I live in Knoxville).
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does he go to a senior center?
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but mamavic, that may not be the issue; I just realized you're not the same one who was asking about assisted living; is your dad needing help, other than financial or is he needing that to pay for help?
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designated period - being during WWII - he may just feel as if he doesn't deserve it but they set the rules - he was willing
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a veteran need not have served in a combat zone, but simply during one of these designated periods. All other times are considered peacetime.
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mamavic, are you talking about the actual federal regional office? because there should be a state VA office in every county - wish we were coming that way this year - like we normally do this time of year - I'd check real sure for you but make sure; otherwise understand; my dad didn't travel at that age, either, though he might not would have to anyway. Owning his own house, unless it's a real mansion wouldn't affect anything. I understand where your dad's coming from but pretty sure (I'll doublecheck but you can look all this stuff up online) that as long as you served in wartime - not war zone; situation with hub's uncle, though I keep forgetting it, so used to my dad actually going, that same thing - wait, was your dad never sent overseas at all? might have been different WWII, trying to remember, pretty sure dad ended up going to Japan and know hub's uncle as well even after ended but he's a Korean vet but let me check for sure myself
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I think my Dad qualifies for Aid as a WWII veteran but Clarity is needed on "Active dudy" He inlisted and was in gunner pilot training and had just finished when the war ended. I believe he was in for more that 2 years but never was in combat. He was at several different bases and earned his wings ect. He doesn't think he qualifies but I do. We live in East TN near Knoxville and the closest VA office is in Nashville 3 hours drive. He is 93 tomorrow and won't able to travel there. His income is very small from SS so I think he qualifies there but he owns his house. Is there any other income he can receive other than assisted living?
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