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I applied for veterans benefits for my parents last year, and Dad just received notification that he has been approved after a long battle. Now I am being told that we have to apply as fiduciary. We have not yet received the second letter instructing how to go about this, so I am curious if anyone knows about the process and how difficult it will be. My brother seems to think that Dad just has to sign a paper. However, someone else told me I have to go to a hearing before a judge to get appointed. Apparently power of attorney (POA) does not suffice for the Department of Veterans Affairs!

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you can call the VA hub at 888 407 0144 option 6  There a form for you to fill out plus has to be taken to the doctor to fill out then has to be faxed in or mailed.  It does take a lot of time before you get an answer then you have to wait until a field examiner comes out to talk to you. you will have to wait for a letter from VA. appoint you as a fiduciary.  I'm one over my mom.  It took about 2 months for me. You can also go on line and put in VA fiduciary and you should fine out what forms to fill out or type in VA fiduciary forms

Bonnie
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Reply to butterflybonnie
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Tooshort, the VA processes are often complex, and determining an amount (or award) is probably subject to a range of issues.

No one can really explain a particular amount without knowing more details about your father's situation, but I wouldn't consider sharing a lot of financial information on a public forum.

However, the first issue is what kind of award did he get? Is this for a service connected injury? Is it for some level of home care? Start with your father's team social worker at the VA and ask her to explain it to you. That's the best way.
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Reply to GardenArtist
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I take care of my dad who is a Veteran of the Korean War and the VA sent out a Field Representative to my home with the necessary paperwork that we sat down and filled out together. A few weeks later, I received a letter in the mail that I had been appointed for this. The problem I am having is trying to get more than 172$ monthly to care for my dad.
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I just read your question while searching for any more remedies which my family had been exausted reporting the abuse, crimes and frauds to almost every government agencies. At the end , this is what they say " the conservator has all the authority approved by the court" , consult your lawyer". For over two years, we have been unlayering the truth the connections of the VA Fiduciaries. My Father died in 2016 at the VA after over 10 months of involuntary confinement and after the Fid./Conservator transfered all the assets to his incapacitated wife.The VA Social workers, APS , Lawyers, Conservator(Fraudiciary) conspired to staged and made false statements in the court and Probate Court Judges favored the lies and deceit. Nobody would tell you anything. If your elderly parents have a house, money and pensions, it is confiscted, without court approval. It is shameful to use the word "Fiduciary". It is a Business, wider than you could imagine. Two lawyers we hired on 2 two different case breached their duty blatanly. State Bar , Consumer Affairs , banks and other are self policing. They just want you think that you are being protected but not. The VA pays them, the SSA pays them and your families estate pays them. And family have no right to ask or notifiedWe should get together for Congresssional unquiry or anything for the public to know and justice for our love ones. Thank you for your comment , although it is 4 years ago, it is very important subject that remains and no one cares about it. I have all the evidence, I provided but got thrown out. It is a corrupt system and a silent crime.
-Christine88
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Reply to christine88
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Your Dad is the beneficiary you are the fiduciary.

Title of account should be similar to:
"Son" fiduciary for Veteran.
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Reply to SwainNavy
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This process is within the VA system only. A judge has no control over the VA.
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Reply to SwainNavy
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Just went thru the process. Won't go into details now about the VA incompetance now, but here's the scoop. You may be able to send in the application, but in my case the VA was sending mail to where my dad USED to live in Idaho, so the first notice that I got was from a federal investigator to set up a date for an interview. This happens if they don't receive an application from the beneficiary. He was an a***e. He told me not to interrupt him 3 times. Whether it is intimidation or just rudeness, he was on the phone about shutting a facility if they didn't provide access and he told me he wasn't concerned about me, just my dad. Bring copies of bills and payments made from the beneficiary - in my case, I spend more on my dad than he gets from pension - on caregivers to be with him. He/she will tell you that only payments made for his well being (or whatever terms he uses) and can only be spent on things for the ben. - caregivers, cakes for bday, dinners, etc). He will probably ask several times if you want the VA to hand this for him. YOU cannot use the money for paying bills, etc. He/she will tell you that even if you pay caregivers $30/hr to be with your dad, YOUR time has no value. Still, I have an option to help those who need access to the beneficiary's money. I'll post it if there's enough interest. As a note, I previously set up a fidiciary account at BofA, and now WellsFargo, but WF set it up wrong - I am the benefiary and my dad is the fiduciary - going today to correct it.
As for the VA's incompetance, my Dad lived in Idaho before coming here, so all documentation was going to IDaho and the no good brother who stole everything from him, including the letter that informs me that I was appointed as a fiduciary. Now the thing is - you need this letter to open the fiduciary account, which I did not get for 2 months, during which time the VA stopped automatic deposits and sent checks which I could not cash or deposit without the aforementioned letter. But everything is settling down and I am going to take my dad and live in Thailand with my fiance, who I have not seen for 3 years, when all this started.
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Reply to happytravelling
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Where do I get a POA I need one for my Dad,
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Reply to jcdelp
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Mudkrutch, no one here can tell you specifically if your mother qualifies, as qualification requires provision of a lot of documentation to the VA. Posters can only give you general information. To determine if she qualifies, you're going to have to go through a higher level of analysis.

Contact a local American Legion, VFW, or the VA directly to get information on how to start an application process. You might also be able to determine before providing the information whether or not the divorce would be a factor in qualification.

Situations are individual and need to be addressed that way, although there are certain parameters that generally apply.
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Reply to GardenArtist
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Does my mother qualify for this? My dad is deceased and they were divorced and never remarried. She has dementia.
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Reply to Mudcrutch2016
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How come the field officer make changes on a personal decision?
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Reply to Tntleg
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I agree there are many dedicated and knowledgeable VA employees. The issue is the amount of training most get in the Pension area. The Pension is a rounding error in the VA's budget so there is little time to devote to this benefit. I recommend that veterans use them for their service connected claims.
The other issue with Pension claims is the VA are not suppose to give advice on how to structure their assets, income or care needs. In addition any actions that are taken to qualify for Pension may negatively impact medicaid qualification or income taxes.
I see way too many families that have gone to the VA and (1) been told they do not qualify for Pension when they do or could; (2) have an informal claim submitted (which causes them to be dropped from the fully developed claim process), (3) file a claim for pension when their net worth is too high or medical expenses are too low, (3) file for service connected disability when pension may pay more, (4) be told there is no such benefit, and (5) be told there is now a 3 year lookback on asset transfers.
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Reply to SwainNavy
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Swain, I'm going to take issue with your statement that accredited attorneys are needed. I've found that reps at our county's VA office can be very helpful and knowledgeable, depending on the specific rep. However, I've found that a VFW rep at one of the local VA's was more knowledgeable than all of the county reps put together.

Like with any professional, whether engineer, plumber, contractor, attorney, accountant, or whatever, you have to do some research and interviewing before you find one who can adequately address your needs.

I've spoken with a number of helpful and knowledgeable VA employees; perhaps it's because of the area, as the caliber of staff and management at VAs varies, but I think these people are in fact knowledgeable and helpful, and really deserve respect for what they're doing.

And you don't have to have an attorney.

And without impugning KMCD's knowledge or integrity, learning to deal with and navigate the VA's sometimes labyrinthine processes and standards isn't easy for someone to be a caregiver and spend the time to research the processes. Someone who doesn't have a background in that kind of, or in legal research, might find it more difficult to do so.

What happened in her situation is unfortunate, but I don't think enough facts are present to condemn the VA staffers.

1:32 PM EST, 27 Aug. 2016.
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Reply to GardenArtist
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The main problem is the VA employees whether Federal or state (1) do not know the rules and (2) even if they know the rules they cannot give any advice. they can only work with teh facts you bring them. .Your situation is why Accredited Attorneys are needed. A knowledgeable attorney would have gotten her the full pension ($1,149 per month) in 3 months or less without all of the stress.
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Reply to SwainNavy
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I went through the local VA in Phoenix to get help for my mom from the VA. I spent months filling out paperwork and jumping through hoops. She, initially, got qualified to receive homebound care benefits/Aid and Assistance in 2011; however, I was not told about becoming a fiduciary...they only granted her $67 a month and she required around the clock care. I hired caregivers to be with her through the day while I worked, and, between my mom's Social Security and my income along with some assistance from a brother, we paid for caregivers. The VA kept asking for more and more paperwork, but I was never told about the fiduciary process. So, my mom passed away in 2014 without receiving the benefits that she deserved as the spouse of a WWII veteran. I am a single elementary school teacher, and between the grief process of watching my mom and best friend decline while struggling with keeping up my job responsibilities...being a full-time caregiver, paying for caregivers in my absence: it devastated me emotionally, physically and financially. Shame on the person in charge of my mom's claim and the people at the local veteran's office who didn't help us.
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Reply to kmcd147
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brown36, I don't know about the VA, but probate court would avoid appointing anyone with a bankruptcy to handle the money.
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Reply to pamstegma
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If a fiduciary does have a bankruptcy but dismissed can that person still be appointed?
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Reply to brown36
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Why appoint someone you want and trust? YOU are acting as the fiduciary. You just need them to make it official and legal.
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Reply to ThereIsNoTry
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Why would you want the VA to appoint a fiduicary? You can appoint someone you want and trust.
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Reply to SwainNavy
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I am a female vet. 70% 100% unemployable. I need to have the va to appoint me a fudicuary. I can figure out the process.
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Reply to TeresaRussell69
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You are welcome. If anyone is starting the process of applying for aid and attendance i wrote out the whole process we took step by step in hopes it might help others. For a link to it check my profile or send me a message, admin will remive it if I put it on the forum thread. Always happy to help and share what i know. Others here have been such a help to me.
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Reply to ramiller
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Thank you ramiller!
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Reply to ThereIsNoTry
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BTW the freemond letter is just the letter they send you to take to the bank to set up account. It comes like i said above about two weeks after your meeting with VA faduciary rep.
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Reply to ramiller
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The process is very easy and painless at least it was for us. A rep came out and met with my mother and sister who is the faduciary. She asked questions of mom to determine her state of mind ( all the usual ones) then she filled out a bunch of paperwork. My sister had to provide proof of moms income and funds on hand. She also had to give two references as to her honesty. About two weeks later my sister rec the letter to take to the bank to set up the account and that as we say is history. Nothing to it. Now the only snag i could forsee for someone is if the person requesting to be faduciary had ever filed bankruptcy. That is not allowed by the VA so problems may arise then. Otherwise it was very smooth and easy for us.
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Reply to ramiller
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I googled Freeman letter and got your question LOL. Also an obscure case cited in a NYT article about someone being jerked around by the VA along the lines of having the fiduciary appointed. It may refer to someone being appointed by the VA when there is no next of kin? But if that is your Dad, I can't imagine needing a letter. Stick to it, dot your eyes and cross your t's, It will be worth it.
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Reply to ThereIsNoTry
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I agree that the fiduciary process is said to be not that difficult, and one doesn't need to be incompetent, or if so, the alternative is to set up a joint account with the vet and make it possible for either or both of you to withdraw money. I have never heard of posting a bond, but I have heard there is an annual report that may be required.

I do not think that anything unusual is going on, and if it takes a while to become fiduciary, all money will be paid based on when the decision was made, not from when they figured how to pay it. I hope you can wait without a problem.
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Reply to ThereIsNoTry
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I have been appointed as my Dad's fiduciary. The letter states that I should that the Freeman letter to set up a bank account but I can find no information. What is a Freeman letter?
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Reply to MAFlatt
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The fiduciary process is not difficult but it can take a while. No court is involved with the VA. Your father had 60 days from the date of the VA letter to appeal the VAs decision to declare him incompetent. Once that time has run the Fiduciary department will schedule an appointment with your father and the person he has designated as his representative. This can take up to 3 months.
The VA will schedule an appointment and you generally have no say in the date or time. It will be where your father is living.
If the VA finds the representative to be trustworthy they will appoint them the fiduciary. The VA will require they follow the budget they set out, and open a separate account for the VA check, and they can require the fiduciary to post a bond and file annual reports.
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Reply to SwainNavy
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If someone retired from national guards and go into a nursing home can he get more than $30.00 pr month personal needs money each month. How much is he entitled to receive.
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Reply to Fbarron5
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The VA and Military are notorious for not paying claims promptly and having to jump through hoops.
Also, if you, another family member, or a friend is your father's caregiver, than can also get paid for it. Don't know if you are aware of this.
Hope it helps! Camille
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