Wartime veterans who have at least 90 days of active duty, during which at least one day began or ended during the wartime, is eligible for Veterans Aid & Attendance benefits. Also, surviving spouses who were married as of the veteran’s death could also be eligible. However, there are specific medical and financial qualifications that may apply to your situation, so discuss your eligibility with our Los Angeles aid and attendance benefits lawyer.
Medical and financial qualifications for Veterans Aid & Attendance benefits
Veterans Aid & Attendance benefits are reserved for wartime Veterans or their surviving spouses who require assistance from someone in performing daily tasks, such as eating, bathing, dressing and undressing. Also, eligible veterans and their spouses who are blind, patients in nursing homes for mental or physical incapacity, and assisted living residents also qualify for these benefits.
Similar to other types of government aid, there are financial requirements or limitations that apply to applicants for Veterans Aid & Attendance benefits. Specifically, the value of the assets veterans can have and still be eligible for these benefits is limited to $80,000, excluding their residence and vehicles.
What documents you will need when applying
When filling out the Aid and Attendance Application, there are some specific documents you will need to have available in addition to the documents the government requires. Here are examples of some of those documents:
- Discharge/Separation Papers (DD-214).
- Copy of Marriage Certificate and any other marital information.
- Copy of the Death Certificate (for surviving spouses only)
- Copy of current Social Security Award Letter
- Net Worth information
- Proof of income
- Proof of insurance premiums, medications, medical bills or any other medical expenses that are not reimbursed by insurance, Medicare, or Medi-Cal.
- Court order of guardian appointment (if guardian of the veteran or surviving spouse)
- Physician statement regarding medical condition
- Nursing Home Status Statement
- Banking information for Direct Deposit of benefit payments
- Employment history (unless you are over 65)
- List of all doctors and hospitals visited in the last year.
Required Veterans Aid & Attendance Forms
Once you have gathered the necessary documents and information, It is time to fill out the necessary forms for completing the application. You need to obtain and complete VA Form 21-527EZ (For Veterans) or VA Form 21-534EZ (For Spouses). If you need assistance, you can contact the Veterans Administration in your area. Our Los Angeles aid and attendance benefits lawyer can also help.
How to submit your application by mail
Once you have completed all of the necessary documents, you can mail your completed application to the appropriate processing center for your state. Our Los Angeles aid and attendance benefits lawyer suggests that you mail the application and other materials by Certified Mail, requesting a “Return Receipt” so you can maintain a record showing that your application was received. The address for the submitting your application for Veterans Aid & Attendance benefits in California is:
Department of Veterans Affairs
Claims Intake Center
Attention: St. Paul Pension Center
PO Box 5365
Janesville, WI 53547-5365
What to expect after filing for Veterans Aid & Attendance benefits?
It is important to remember that each person’s application is unique with its own unique set of possible issues. Furthermore, every benefits processing center does not operate in the same manner. Some centers are simply more efficient at handling claims than others. Also, if there is any required information missing from your application that will have an impact on how long it takes to process your application. Generally speaking, it can take approximately 8 to 10 months for your application to be processed. You will receive a determination letter from the processing center when your application has been reviewed.
Older applicants can request expedited processing
Applicants who are age 90 or older can request that their application for Veterans Aid & Attendance benefits be expedited. Indeed, the Veterans Administration’s regulations provide that the processing center should give priority to applications from veterans or widows age 90 or older. If this applies to you, simply submit a cover letter making that request along with your application.
Representing a veteran or surviving spouse as a fiduciary
In some situations, a relative or friend may want to serve as a fiduciary for the veteran or surviving spouse. First, you should know that the Veterans Administration does not recognize powers of attorney. Instead, you can basically request to be appointed as fiduciary. In order to be approved, the Veterans Administration must make a determination that you are someone reputable and competent to handle the financial affairs of the applicant. This determination is made in accordance with VA guidelines.
If you have questions regarding veterans aid and attendance benefits, estate planning, trust contests, or any other trust administration issues, please contact the Schomer Law Group either online or by calling us in Los Angeles at (310) 337-7696, and in Orange County at (562) 346-3209.
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