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Found 4 results

  1. scottinmt

    SMC Questions

    Hello All, It's been a few years since I last signed on and it seems most of my data has been purged from my profile. I received my 100% P&T rating in the spring of 2016 backdated to the summer of 2015. My conditions have seemed to worsen over time and I am now considering applying for SMC for being both housebound and relying on my wife to care for me due to mental and physical issues. I do not have a service connected mental health diagnosis but have seen VA Psychiatrists since 2011. It appears that being housebound is a SMC S rating but I am unsure of where what I'm calling "aid and attendance" falls. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you!
  2. Many may not be aware that one can request that a Aid and Attendance claim CAN be expedited when showing that you have been diagnosed with a terminal illness when you file your Aid and Attendance claim. Long story, short version: I have been on the non-service connected pension which currently is $1,072.00 per month. In April of 2016 I was diagnosed with Stage III B terminal lung cancer. i then needed to file a claim for Aid and Attendance for help with my daily needs. Which is an additional $716.00 per month. I was worried about how long my claim would take to be approved/denied. After doing some research I learned that when filing a Aid and Attendance claim while having a terminal illness that one can request that your claim be expedited due to that terminal illness at the time of filing your claim. Because of requesting my claim be expedited due to my terminal illness. My Aid and Attendance claim was processed and approved in 26 days and I now receive an additional $716.00 per month which I now receive $1,788.00 vs. $1,072.00. I truly hope this will help others who have a terminal illness and need the extra Aid and Attendance income as soon as possible who may not have been aware of any expedited claim processing being available to them. God Bless Don
  3. I filed for a higher level of AA in 2008 along with a Special Home Adaption Grant. In January 2015 the BVA granted me the SHA Grant and remanded the higher level of AA back to the RO. A request for a new C&P was granted and in September 17, 2015 I was seen by the VA Hosp in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The examiner was a Nurse and still in the Military, he was really kind and nice and since I was taken to the VA via a wheelchair van and had no one to push me he did so with out any problem. I couldn't do anything, like stand, walk and needed physical help to get on the gurney. I am unable to stand or walk or use my arms or hands to any degree as my disabilities are spinal related from a broken back in the service from a Helicopter crash. I already receive SMC at the "M" rate b/c of a 100% rating and a 60% rating plus a whole lot of 10's 20's and 40's. I also receive the K rate. I received my C&P exam notes a few days after the examination that lasted all 15 minutes and from what I could read the only thing the RO or BVA wanted answered was concerning 2 letters from 2 Doctors about whether there was any conflict in whether or not I need to be in a residential facility or in my home. Both Doctors stated that if I do not receive a higher level of AA then I should be housed in a residential facility to be better taken care of. The examiner stated he did not find any conflict and that was basically it. Here they granted me the SAH Grant: CONCLUSION OF LAW The criteria for entitlement to a certificate of eligibility for assistance in acquiring specially adapted housing are met. 38 U.S.C.A. §§ 2101, 5107(b) (West 2014); 38 C.F.R. § 3.809 (2014). Now the criteria for the SAH Grant are as follows: For a certificate of eligibility for assistance in acquiring specially adapted housing, the evidence must establish permanent and total service-connected disability due to: 1) the loss, or loss of use, of both lower extremities such as to preclude locomotion without the aid of braces, crutches, canes or a wheelchair; or 2) blindness in both eyes, having only light perception, plus the loss of use of one lower extremity; or 3) the loss, or loss of use, of one lower extremity together with the residuals of organic disease or injury which so affect the functions of balance or propulsion as to preclude locomotion without the aid of braces, crutches, canes or a wheelchair; or 4) the loss, or loss of use, of one lower extremity together with the loss, or loss of use, one upper extremity which so affect the functions of balance or propulsion as to preclude locomotion without the aid of braces, crutches, canes or a wheelchair; or 5) the loss or loss of use of both upper extremities such as to preclude use of the arms at or above the elbow; or 6) full thickness or subdermal burns that have resulted in contractures with limitation of motion of two or more extremities or of at least one extremity and the trunk. 38 U.S.C.A. § 2101(a) (West 2014); 38 C.F.R. § 3.809(b) (2014). After reviewing all the evidence and resolving any doubt in favor of the Veteran, the Board finds that the Veteran's service-connected disabilities manifest in the loss of use of one or both lower extremities as to preclude locomotion without the aid of braces, crutches, canes or a wheelchair. 38 C.F.R. §§ 3.102, 3.809 (2014). Therefore, entitlement to a certificate for assistance in acquiring specially adapted housing is granted. In the C&P exam notes the only question the BVA wanted answered is this: COMMENTS: In rendering the requested opinions, the examiner should reconcile his or her opinion with the October 2010 letter from Dr. Keller indicating that due to his chronic medical problems absent twenty-four hour attendant care the Veteran would require a long-term care placement and the January 2012 correspondence from Dr. Lippert stating that the Veteran would probably benefit from a higher level of care and absent such care, might require hospitalization, nursing home care, or other residential institutional care. This is what the examiner wrote in response to the question sought: Clarification: In review, I did not see opinion or rational from Dr Keller in the VBMS or VA medical system records. There does not seem to be a conflict in the opinions or either provider that I can see. They both indicate that assistace would be needed but Keller indicates this wasnt arranged he would need full time facility placement. It should be noted that the client's wife, who was previously a RN and care provider, has significant medical problems and she herself is in need of full time care support. Client states his daughter comes and helps them some, but he is paying out of pocket for caregiver to come in daily and help with meals and bathing. I personally am skeptical of the entire evaluation process and would suggest an estensive in home Social worker evaluation for feedback on his and her abilities to live safely independantly vs need for long term care facility placement for both of them. My question is since it looks as though I have met the criteria for the SAH Grant and the grant and the R-2 require both the same criteria, then to me it stands to reason if I meet the one then I meet the other. Am I looking at this wrong???
  4. Hi, This is the first post here and I am hoping I can find out some information to get thru all this mess we are in. My mom is a Korean War vet. She was a flight nurse transporting patients of at the end of the war, and was also stationed in the Philippines and Japan later down the line. In 1994 after having problems, she was diagnosed with Parkinson's after exhibiting atypical Parkinson's symptoms. At that time she filed for benefits for disability with the VA. She was not totally disabled then as she is now, and only received a pension for loss of hearing by flying in unpressurized planes during her service. We appealed many times with no successful results as my mom got worse and worse. I finally had to give up the appeals process as it just became too much for me to deal with anymore, while taking care of her, my child, and working while going to school. My mom went to a lawyer and had a power of attorney drawn up for me and a contract I must follow regarding her end of life wishes and the fact she doesn't not want to EVER go into a nursing home. And I cannnot say I blame her. In the years that followed she required more and more care, and we agreed that she would pay me to take care of her until the end. I was not and have not been making a fortune off of taking care of her over this time and in fact have had my health deteriorated considerably over this time. It has been very hard work doing this full time with being paid so very little. Doctors told me she would not live a year from the point that I started, but she has managed to live 13 because of the good care she received according to the nurses. She can longer feed, bathe, dress, clean herself anymore. She requires round the clock care, medicationas, turning, diapers, catheders and everything else. Then came having to have a feeding tube put in. She is now fed on a regular schedule. I am exhausted and just can't do it myself. At this point, I am up in age and no spring chicken anymore. My daughter is grown. I am at a point where I need to go back to school/work so that I can have a retirement that I can live off of. I don't mind caring for my mom but I know that I needed help and turned once again to the VA for help. Last year I filed for Aid and Attendance for her in March. In May I received a letter stating it was granted. But because she suffered from the effects of Parkinson's and all it's symptoms, my mom was ruled incompetetent to care for her affairs and money. They told us she needed a Fiduciary. We contacted several agencies recommended to us by the hospital social worker. They all wanted us to pay money up front, and they would file the paper work and get it done. It seemed very unreasonable to me that they would want money upfront when none had been awarded yet, so I contacted the VA. They told me not to pay any group for this service and that my mom could name a Fiduciary herself. Of course she named me. That's when hell started. We waited a period of over a year almost and just finally had the interview with the agent from the designated hub. I feel like he wanted to crawl up my ass with a microscope. He was rude, obnoxious and made the process unbearable. I bit my tongue and manage thru til the best I could until the end when he handed me the packet and told me I now had to wait for a criminal background check and credit check. Being that we were always taught not to share pertinent information, I feel very violated. He treated me like an idiot and a criminal. If I didn't know any better, he already had done a search about me by the questions he asked. Then he made the rude comment that if I had been my mom's spouse that this was all unnecessary. If he only knew my mom's husband whom she was seperated from, my father, had conned her out of her home, her pension and everything else he could as revenge before he died. Living thru that and finding out two weeks before he died still makes me so angry I could kill him if he lived. So you can see why I find this comment so rude. But that was not the end of it.....the packet he handed me has an outline of what I can and cannot do. I cannot pay myself to take care of my mom, even though that is what I do around the clock. I can only charge her rent or living expenses according to what they feel she should pay, and I could only pay so much for her necessitities and so on. I was told that if I took more, paid myself, or did anything they did not approve of I would be held liable and could face criminal charges. He even had the nerve to tell me that her pension could not be combined with her social security money and that if she died, they would take any balance away immediately. My mom does not own anything anymore. She is only getting approx. $250 so far from the VA. I am livid. I feel as if I sold my soul to the devil to get help for my mom and we are all going to have to pay the price for this now. Doing it the way I was doing it before, I was not stealing anything. We lived hand to mouth, but okay. My mom was well taken care of and never went without anything. She had her cable TV and sat in front of it all day to her hearts content. She got good medical care, and had clothes on her back, good meals and so forth. He had the nerve to tell me that I could only spend so much on that too! Which is far from the price it cost. Matter of fact, everything he quoted me on her paying is far below what she would pay anywhere else. He also told me that if they didn't approve of what they saw in my home, they would remove her. Or she died, they would take back all the money. Even after a year she was not getting any retro back pay! My mom is the only family besides my daughter that I have left. I just don't know what to do anymore. Can anyone give me some advice. I just can't deal with this anymore. How can I tell the VA just to go to hell without them coming after me. I want our lives back the way they were.
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