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ericpalmsprings

Aid And Attendent Care And Fiduciary Assignement For Incompentency

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Hello--this is my first post on this board so I apologize up front if this has been covered already.

My mother is the advanced stages of Alzheimer's and is currently living in an assisted-living facility for dementia. My mother has few financial resources and at cost of over $4K a month to live in a safe, secure care facility, we need all the assistance we can get. She is a widow of 5 years and my father was a USN vet who served during the Korean War. 17 months ago I applied for VA benefits just to end up in a seemingly endless VA nightmare of errors and claim denials. Exasperated, I finally turned to my Congressional rep in my district here in Palm Springs, CA.

Finally this past, Friday I received a notice that she will be awarded the A&A benefit retroactive to the date we applied, that's the good news, the not so good news is that the VA is declaring her incompetent (which she is) and will be seeking a financial fiduciary. The letter we recieved is requesting her repy to contest their determination of incompetency. She is most definitely incompetent and has been for quite sometime--fortunately we had put legal documents in place for Power of Attny for her as myself as her POA, but as is well known, the VA stupidly doesn't recognize civilian POAs.

I am unsure how to respond to this letter--should we state something to the affect that we will accept the VA's incompetency declaration to expedite the claims processing? We have not received an awards letter yet BTW.

Also how is the financial fiduciary assigned? Can it be a family member like myself? i have a fear that the VA will assigne fiduciary to a thrid-aprty that will suck up all the assets--how can this be avoided? Should I put in the reply that my mother would like her caregiver son (me) to be the fiduciary as I am already handeling all f her affairs?

Thank you so much in advance for your kind assistance and Happy Mother's Day!

Kind regards,

Eric

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"I am unsure how to respond to this letter--should we state something to the affect that we will accept the VA's incompetency declaration to expedite the claims processing? We have not received an awards letter yet BTW."

That might not expedite the claim at all- they have to check out fiduciaries- we have a vet here who has waited 9 months since getting his award for the VA to formally acknowledge his wife as fiduciary.

"Also how is the financial fiduciary assigned? Can it be a family member like myself? i have a fear that the VA will assigne fiduciary to a thrid-aprty that will suck up all the assets--how can this be avoided? Should I put in the reply that my mother would like her caregiver son (me) to be the fiduciary as I am already handeling all f her affairs?"

They should definitely assign you with no problem as I understand this post.

Do you have a vet rep helping with this?

I would think that as her POA now-you can certainly prove to the VA that you are a competent fiduciary but as you said VA incompetency decisions are different from other incompetence situations.

I was SSA Payee for my husband (PTSD Vietnam) but VA said he was competent.Figure that.

Since you had Congressional help- a CC: of any letters in response to VA -to the Congressman- might also help move this claim faster.

The VA fiduciary department has had MANY problems-( see VA WAtchdog.com) but I think these are the tip of an iceberg and the VA is stalling on these incompetency decisions that involve payees and retro.

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Hi Berta, thank you so much for taking time to respond to my post.

I have a call into my Congressional Rep's office to discuss this. My gut is telling me to respond to the letter by stating that we do not wish to contest the incompetency decision--that would at least eliminate one roadblock. If we don't respond they will take another 60-days to arrive at the same conclusion and we're running out of time and money.

What really irks me in this whole process is that I really feel that I was led astray by the VA rep that I initiated this claim with us 15 months ago--he pretty much dissuaded me from claiming my mother incompetent in the first place because it would further delay the claim. Here I am 15 months later with a declaration of incompetency and further delays.

And I am so angry over this VA policy of non-recognition of civilian POAs. It's the most absurd policy! My mother spent thousands of dollars for an attorney to protect herself and all of it is worhtless when it comes to the VA and then they create a huge bureaucratic nightmare process to establish a fiduciary when one has already been created in the first place.

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Welcome to Hadit. It appears that you have gotten good advice and thank you for helping your Mom.

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Thank you for the kind words Pete.

I shudder to think about the poor widows out there that have no one to help them through this mess. It's just insult to injury when you read the correspondence to the person the VA has deemed incompetent--even if you were competent, it's difficult to understand. There's a great paragraph in the lettter under the heading "How this decision could affect you":

"A determination of incompetency will prohibit you from purchasing, possessing, recieving or transporting a firearm or ammunition"

Seriously??? How about: this will affect you by further delaying your claim wiht the va???? The least of my mom's worries would be whether she can carry a gun or not, yet that's the only thing in the letter! It would be funny if it weren't reality.

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