My mother has been awarded a small amount by the VA for Aid and Attendance, and she has appointed me as her Fiduciary and as a result there is a meeting scheduled at our home. The list of items that are being requested is larger than that being requested by Medicaid. What should I expect in this meeting? How did you handle when some of the expenses came out of your own account, and do they expect these statements to reconcile to the Fund Usage Agreement, when in fact some items were paid with cash? Would appreciate all and any feedback and thanks!

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All of the prior posters' answers are essentially what I was going to say. My mother receives an Aid and Attendance benefit which goes into the separate account described by several others above, and I am her fiduciary. Using the same bank as where her social security check is direct deposited is also very helpful. Just be sure to keep accurate records of what you are spending the money on and, of course, it all has to be towards her costs at AL and/or any anciliary expenses such as phone, cable, personal items, hair, etc. The interview with the VA rep was very straightforward and uncomplicated. It sounds more daunting than it actually is, and as long as you have the paperwork they have sent you a listing of, you're probably good to go. Good luck!!
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Reply to lmb1234

I was fiduciary for both of my parents. The agent came to their house. I had all expenses, plus income coming in and bank statements. Caregiving alone was enough to put them over ratio. We received back pay. It truly was worth it. It stretched us for 3.5 years. I open their account s at the same bank as their SS and pension. No problems. I never mixed money from accounts. PNC, in Cleve, area.
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Reply to Ihave1now

I am a VA fiduciary, and my Mom gets about $1094 per month in that pension money. It has been a Godsend.

It was very hard to get, but I am happy that we got it.

The VA person I met with was just great -- at the time, my mom was still in something close to independent living but we needed to get her into assisted living, which she could not do with just social security income. The VA money has allowed Mom to be in assisted living without having to spend down her meager savings and go on Medicaid waiver (the places that take that are fewer and fewer, and miles away).

Before the meeting, I put things in a spreadsheet and made up a budget of her expenses based on where we wanted her to live, not based on her time in the independent apt. He had the forms with him, and he went over it all with me and he filled them out, too. I did talk about the extras we pay for -- and he did include some money for us for gas and driving her everywhere. They did not object to that.

Her expenses exceeded her income, at any rate, so no matter what, she would be spending down for when she needed to go into a higher level of care.

I do find the requirement that we have two separate accounts very confusing. I pay most of her expenses from the VA account -- transferring money from the account that her SS goes into as needed to make up the deficit each month. I think that's what they told me to do.

I do not know what happens to the money now that we have learned that Mom has moderate Alzeheimer's. It's time -- she needs to be in a nursing home level of care and our house is just not equipped to handle that, and neither am I. But, the pension is for assisted living and attendant care -- so I guess I can update this answer once we move her into a NH.

None of us likes this-- especially Mom -- but that's our next journey.
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Reply to BethandDan

I did this not that long ago, the hardest parts were a) getting the rep from the local veterans assistance office to actually file the paperwork (I knew Mom was entitled, he argued with me), and b) getting a bank to open an account that followed the VA guidelines for a fiduciary account - the rest was easy. The inspector was very nice and I'd been given a list of what was needed:

Character references for me (as fiduciary).
A list of Mom's expenses.
A list of Mom's income.
There was a doctor's form
And a few other things.
They also wanted to interview Mom, mostly to see she was being treated well and not abused.

The money - like I said, a pain to set up, but now she gets her DIC, with the A&A bump in one check, going into one fiduciary account. Because the money is monitored, and you have to be able to account for it whenever asked, you cannot transfer money from that account into another. You can, however, transfer monies in.

I use Mom's VA fiduciary account to pay for the smaller things that come up regularly: cable, credit card, etc. and use her regular account that has the bigger payments (pension, SS, etc.) for the big payments (rent at assisted living, etc.).

As long as you keep that money separate, and can account for how it's spent, you're okay. One the off chance I needed a little more than was in there (big credit card bill one month), I transferred the money from her regular checking into the fiduciary.

One thing I can say - having the fiduciary account at the same bank where the rest of her accounts are, made things much easier. And make sure to ask for a bank officer - regular customer reps have no idea how to set this account up. I used Chase, and even then, they had to call the central office to get it done properly.

Good luck
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Reply to jshdoff

It really isn't as difficult as they make it sound. I have been the fiduciary for my Dad for two years now. They send a list of paper work/information ahead of time, that they will need when they meet with you. I made sure to have all of the required information typed out and gave it to the lady when she arrived. Our visit was short because I had everything provided for her ahead of time.
One of the most important things to have ready is the bank account with only the recipients name on it. No other money can be deposited into the account, and no other name can be on the account, except for the person assigned as fiduciary. Once you have that, you give the account information to the VA representative.
It takes a little time to receive the letter from the VA stating that you are the fiduciary, but be patient. It will show up.
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Reply to Kindnessandlove

I went through this process with my mom about a year ago. I was asked a lot of question about her expenses and her income. They requested a separate bank account for the funds to go in if I was appointed as the fiduciary. They also run a credit check, wanted bank statements and my pay stubs. After all that, I was not appointed as the fiduciary (great, just one less thing I have to keep track of). The funds go towards day center cost.
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Reply to MsTtheDiva

I went through this process to become my husband's fiduciary. I went into the meeting with a list of all of the expenses that the monthly award would be used for, along with the other requested documentation. The representative said the list of expenses was the most important and helpful document to have. They are looking for expenses/award ratio (which should be the same or more expenses than award). We were eligible for retro pay so I had to also identify how that money would be used. Good luck and bless you for all of your hard work being a caregiver.
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Reply to Maddi656

Am I the only person that is going through this and that is the reason for no feedback? Since there is "Aide and Attendance" award, how does it affect the award if the amount supplied decreases and the rate for attendance is reduced?

Thank you freqflyer for your help!
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Reply to redroseman

Redrose, I am moving your question back closer to the front page. Hopefully a caregiver who is familiar with VA programs can give you an answer.
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Reply to freqflyer