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Seeing another question on here made me wonder about my mom's VA benefits as a widow. My stepfather died 15 years ago, but he was a WWII veteran and had been married to my mother for 30 years. My mother receives his railroad pension Medicare benefits, but no veteran benefits. Would she qualify?

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I just did all of this for my mother in law with the VA. If the person who served was not getting any disability checks each month you can still get a survivor benefit. He/she must of served overseas during war time. Any war. And the survivor cant make more than a certain amount each year. Our paperwork stated 8600.00 They do deduct for all medical paid out of pocket paid for deceased,and survivor., funeral expenses (if recent death) . They dont care if your in a million dollar home or apt. Taxes and other expenses dont count. For us 17,000 a year minus funeral & medical, my mil did qualify. BUT only for 1 year. They gave her 800.a month. If her income ever falls below 8600. A year she can submit her medical to them for reevaluation.
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Kathy, we pay out about 3,000.00 a month for my mom's care. The VA will reimburse us 1,000.00 a month.
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I think the question asked whether the wife of a deceased WW2 vet might be able to get some help from the VA somehow. That is NOT the same as if he was "retired military" or if had had been getting a service-connected disability check all his life. Railroad does pay continued pension amounts to surviving spouses, so I really don't see why there are red flags about the idea of fraud or thoughts that the death was not reported. Overall, I think the VA income limits are so low that the income she has per month from the railroad would disqualify her. Thats what she would have to check about with the VA, and its something a family member can help her do and should do as she ages now. If she got anything, it might be some help at home of some minimal type.
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My father worked for the railroad and died 10 years ago. My mother recieves his pension instead of her social security because it was larger. I don't think there's any fraud here at all. She is 91 and has dementia still living in her own house with 6 children caring for her and some outside help. My Dad was in the Navy and She is entitled to VA benefits for her care.
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Igloo572 said it best! Good accurate info here.
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is she actually already needing and/or getting assistance?
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I doubt there's any fraud. Many pensions have a POD option for spouse or children. My dad is a retired NYC CO and when he passes, I'll get a certain % (25 iirc) of the monthly payment but the spouse gets 50%.
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1RareFind: Good call on that one! Potential fraud? Quite possibly?
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DEFINITELY APPLY 4 VA benefits. You will need yout father's discharge papers and his death certificate...and income, assets, etc. it takes several months .for the VA to research and decide, but DO APPLY!
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If it were me, I would have a friend call RRRB and ask the hypothetical question...if such and such occurred with widow X, how would eligibility be affected? Military retirement has optional survivor benefit, so it may be that she's still entitled if he selected a similar option for the RRRB. He wouldn't get a retirement pension from the military if he didn't do at least 20 years or medically retired. However, she could meet the requirements for the VA A&A, but that depends on age, income and assets as well. If income is less than medical expenses and she has no assets to speak of, she very well could qualify. Before you hire an attorney, I would go talk to your city's VA benefits counselor...they will give you free advice and support. It's important to do so ASAP, because if she is eligible and you file a letter of intent, you'll get retroactive pay back to the date of the intent letter. Good luck!
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Was her husband receiving Compensation (For In-service Injury) or was he receiving a Pension? A pension is Needs Based and with the other benefits, she may not qualify. If he was receiving Compensation, She does, qualify, need, is not a factor for Compensation.
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I respect those suggesting that the RRR be contacted about this benefit. However, she risks disclosure because she will have to identify herself or her father to obtain the advice she wants. As someone mentioned, there might be fraud involved. Also Igloo573 discussed the difficulty of navingating RRRB and the implications for Medicare. A very complicated path based Igloo572's personal experience.
If I were facing this dilemma, I would engage an eldercare attorney knowledgeable about RRR benefits and RRRB procedures. One may have to search for an attorney with this specific knowledge. A Certified Elder Law attorney or CELA would be a good option. A list of CELAs exists on NELF.org.
Good luck and keep us posted
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We have RRR in our family and it's quite the different system to navigate. What you will be asking about with RRRB is that IF your mom qualifies for VA benefits (like getting Aid & Attendance) how this will affect (like possibly reduce) her Tier 1 RRR benefits. Its a "Tier 1" question - you need to tell them that as most ? coming into a RRRB railhead office are about Tier 2 questions (qualify for RRB but still working). I've found the RRRB staff to be very very helpful. RRRB is incredibly well funded so staff at the railhead cities offices seem to be content employees & RRR can seem like a happy & helpful family.

I will say that based on my experience RRR pays really REALLY well and provides for a significantly higher amount of retirement income than SS (as a lot of folks on SS get under 1K a month). It often seems to be that RRR Tier 1 can often almost pay for the monthly room & board at a NH or AL so the facility will waive the extra cost as RRR pays a high amount & on time with no questions each month.

But that being said, it can be a problem for getting VA benefits as VA might view that if your getting a good amount from RRRB that your income is too high to also warrant VA paying A&A. VA will require all the $ info from RRRB to make the determination.

In the past retirees could double or triple dip on retirements like get SS, civil service annuity, RRRB, VA, union pensions. Not so anymore as they all seem to require reprting on all other sources of income, or have caps in place or make 1 the priority payee.

Also I'd ask if RRR is still using a Medicare coding unique for RRRB with all bills going to Palmetto in GA. Btw my experience with RRRb was several years ago. This was an item that I was unaware of (it causes issues with bills being paid as they will get kicked back from CMS as ineligible or nonexistent individual like 3-6 months later so the providers are not happy...) & if RRRB is still doing this it is something to be aware of & clearly tell your moms providers it must go to Palmetto with the RRRB coding.

Good luck & let us know what happens.
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*she didn't say he was
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he didn't say he was a retired veteran; don't believe that's what he's talking about
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Check with the VA to see if your Mom was suppose to receive his VA pension. If your Dad was retired military there should have been surivor benefits paid to your Mom upon his death. My Mom recieves my step-dad's benefits every month. If she remarried those benefits may go away.
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Retirement pensions can be sent to a spouse upon death. My mom's retirement plan gave her the option of receiving a slightly larger payment if there was not a survivor to collect the benefit in the event of her death. She had two choices for payment on retirement. She chose the larger benefit instead of having a benefit paid to a survivor.
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I'm You'll definitely want to do your homework on this one, definitely call that person who sends out the money to see whether or not your mom is qualified or entitled to the money. rrbgov. There are survivor benefits but definitely check with the person sending out the money to make sure your mom is rightfully taking these benefits because I would hate to see her get in trouble if for some reason she's not entitled to it.

Getting survivor benefits is one thing, but getting his benefits is questionable if those benefits were uniquely for him while he was living. This may need to be adjusted since he's gone and she might have to repay the money if she didn't report his death to them. I also question whether or not she's entitled to his Medicare, also check this out for sure to make sure proper adjustments are made accordingly
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Hmmmm..... It makes me wonder if your mom ever reported his death to the source of this income. Usually when someone dies, their pensions normally stop. I personally would call the source that sends out his railroad benefits and inquire about this. If this is something you just found out about her getting his benefits, explain how you discovered it. If they didn't know about this and ask for a copy of your dad's death certificate so they can check into this from there and to see if your mom is entitled to any of the money.

If not, she has committed fraud and then we'll go after her for all the money she wasn't entitled to because she wrongfully took the money, and she can get in very serious trouble if she's in the wrong.

If she is entitled, they might have a survivors benefit but you'll definitely want to check into this and find out either way.
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