Friday, January 6, 2012

VA and money

Before I ramble on let me tell all of you in blogland this little known fact. When your relative develops dementia /Alzheimer's it is not just about keeping them home or placing them elsewhere. IT is about MONEY TOO. In NY state Medicaid has a form to fill out that includes 24 different items that need to be presented upon the time of application for services. Those 24 items totalled 150 pages of paperwork.
Not everyone will accept your POA, family caregivers are NOT legally responsible for your loved ones debt. IF you foolishly do what I did which was to notify the creditors ( and sadly there were many) those creditors will call you and drive you crazy. I can't tell you the number of hours I have spent since Daddy died taking care of their finances.
That being said let me tell you about the VA pension which is different than Daddy's retirement pension from DFAS. The amount is $90 bucks a month and it originally came from the Railroad widows fund. It is supposed to be used for the extras of old age.
My mother's medicaid rep told me about this when I met with her for the first time 2 years ago.I applied for the pension in Feb of 2010, it has taken me 23 months to get this taken care of for Mom. At last and after who knows how many phone calls I met with the VA rep. at the nursing home yesterday. He had to meet with Mom's Social Worker then the 2 of them went to the floor she is on looked at her chart to make sure she was really there.
Rachel came with me just because I was nervous. We did not go see Mom we stayed in the lobby. When the rep. returned he had me sign a pile of papers. The most bizarre part of the whole thing is this; I have to open another bank account with me as her fiduciary agent. Why? You ask. I already have one as her POA that the other pensions go to. This is just plan stupid. The VA funds can NOT be commingled ( his term not mine) with DFAS and other funds.
There is retro funds which will help pay off her debts including her funeral expenses which I want to cover before she passes.
WE have had a few other friends whose parents have passed over the holidays . A few who have joined the ranks of caregivers whether tending their family member at home or placing them elsewhere. I am the one who passes all this not so great information to them. They are shocked because no matter how you cut it this is not what any of us wanted. All of this is just plain HORRID!


  1. I am burdened by so many forms that need to be done and POA, and I am extremely stressed and afraid of them

  2. I sent 9 copies of my POA to one of my parents creditors and they still won't talk to me. The biggest surprise to me was how many federal departments DO NOT recognize the POA. Even after 2 1/2 years of dealing with all the paperwork I still get stressed and afraid of doing the wrong thing. You are not alone in that.Perhaps the only thing that will stop this is when they pass away.