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Re: Veterans Affairs Resources - Are you aware of these great supports?

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If you are looking for Veteran affairs resources during COVID-19 times here is a helpful resource:

 

https://www.aarp.org/home-family/voices/veterans/info-2020/free-coronavirus-resources.html

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Re: Veterans Affairs Resources - Are you aware of these great supports?

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@rebeccah801143  I seconde @JaneCares comments! Especially about contacting senator or congressperson - I actually did do that - later for another issue with the VA and they were GREAT about helping me! 

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Re: Veterans Affairs Resources - Are you aware of these great supports?

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@rebeccah801143 wrote:

My brother and I have been trying to get the aid and attendance help for our Mother for over 2 years.  They keep sending the paperwork back saying it is not complete.  My brother and I both have gone over the paperwork and we do not see anything wrong or incomplete.  They actually sent the forms back to us that they said we did not send in and they were all filled out!

My Mother is now 89 years old as of April 9, 2020 and she is in assisted living.  She is running out of money and we desperately want to get this taken care of for her.  Any advise or help you can give us?

Thank you

Rebecca Harkins

rlharkins2011@gmail.com


Rebecca,

Amy has answered you with awesome advice. I want to add just two things to expand on her lived wisdom about the VA process, and planning for her needs down the road. Amy mentioned an attorney: if you all don't have one, you might consider finding one and hiring her or him, because you will want expert help in anticipating her physical needs and making sure she has every benefit she's entitled to to pay for what she needs. That includes Veteran's benefits but also Medicaid. 

 

If she has no assets to speak of, then a social worker who's part of the VA and/ or part of the long term care office in your county. Planning ahead makes so much sense, especially as you say her funds are limited.

 

The other idea i have used but sparingly is to call your congressperson or senator, i mean the federal folks who make laws in DC, because the VA is a federal institution and the Medicaid system is partially funded by the feds. Each representative and senator have local 'constituent services' staff who's sole job it is to untangle bureaucratic tangles. Use 'em. Your tax dollars at work. 

 

Keep writing here, we who signed upto be part of this community get email when someone has written. Lots of us have been through various hoops. You are an amazing person, just know that.

 

Jane

in oregon

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Re: Veterans Affairs Resources - Are you aware of these great supports?

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@rebeccah801143 Unfortunately this is an all too common problem. It's a very complicated process and the paperwork seems endless. I went through it with my own Dad, and had I not had help I might have given up. 

 

Has anyone been helping you with this process? My Dad's estate planning attorney had an attorney on staff who specialized in benefits and he walked us through the process - and even walked our paperwork over to the VA for submission for us. We went back and forth with at least 4 of 5 rounds of them asking for more information. So - if your mother has an estate planning attorney you can ask them for help - they generally do not charge extra for providing help like this (our attorney told me in our state they are not even allowed to charge for it). Even with their help it took us a year.

 

Another option is to get support from one of the verified Veterans Service Organizations (VSO's). (click on that link and it takes you to the VA site where they have a listing of VSOs). These organizations have volunteers who are well versed on getting through the Aid and Attendance process. VSOs in your area may include the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, VietNam Veterans of America, Paralyzed Veterans of America etc. Generally, your mother won't need a direct connection to that organization's focus (i.e. she probably doesn't need to be or be related to a Viet Nam veteran for that organization to help). Be aware that there may be waiting lists for some of these organizations, so you may want to try more than one (but if you land with one be sure to let the others know to remove you from their waiting lists). 

 

One more thought - is your mother enrolled in VA health care? If so, she can also get a social worker to help with this process. 

 

Those who can help know all of the ins and outs and how to get things done in the process. I hope this is helpful to you! Please keep us posted! It's an arduous process at best, but getting the financial support is so incredibly helpful it's worth it. 

 

Take care,

Amy Goyer, AARP Family & Caregiving Expert

Author, Juggling Life, Work and Caregiving

 

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Re: Veterans Affairs Resources - Are you aware of these great supports?

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My brother and I have been trying to get the aid and attendance help for our Mother for over 2 years.  They keep sending the paperwork back saying it is not complete.  My brother and I both have gone over the paperwork and we do not see anything wrong or incomplete.  They actually sent the forms back to us that they said we did not send in and they were all filled out!

My Mother is now 89 years old as of April 9, 2020 and she is in assisted living.  She is running out of money and we desperately want to get this taken care of for her.  Any advise or help you can give us?

Thank you

Rebecca Harkins

rlharkins2011@gmail.com

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Re: Veterans Affairs Resources - Are you aware of these great supports?

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agoyer asked

What has your experience with Veterans benefits been like? Any tips you can share with our fellow caregivers?

--------------------------------------------

The benefits which you mentioned are all income related.  However if you are a  low income Veteran, the easiest way to work through the system is to contact one of the APPROVED Veteran organizations ( Veteran Service Organization or VSO ) for help in application submission if they think you might have a chance of receiving it; they will work with you.

 

VA Accredited Representatives

 

 The income threshold changes by Congress but I don't know how often they do this because it is based on the Federal Poverty Level computation.

 

It also helps to have the military records for the veteran - anything which can be found but specifically things with dates and numbers or specific identifiers - DD214, commemoratives, commendation, etc.  The VA can look up the records most of the time but it takes longer and with shear time, numbers and even accidents can make finding them difficult.

 

 The VA benefits website can answer many questions about benefits and it is one of the government sites to navigate.  But the VA - VSO representative can remove a lot of stress during a hard time for a Veteran and their family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Veterans Affairs Resources - Are you aware of these great supports?

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My Dad (who is 93 and has Alzheimers) is a veteran of WWII and Korea, but he never used his Veterans benefits until several years ago when I applied for Veterans Aid and Attendance benefits for him, and then enrolled him in Veterans health care. Since then he gets medications with no copay, help with bathing, a little help with housekeeping, respite care, incontinence supplies - and all at no copay for him! It's a huge help and saves a lot of money too. But the VA can be complicated to navigate. I wrote this article, A Little Help from Veterans Affairs, with tips to help!

 

What has your experience with Veterans benefits been like?  Any tips you can share with our fellow caregivers?1140-dad-veterans-day-park-regency.imgcache.rev1478868570675.jpgVeterans Day 2011-472.jpg

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