Serving Veterans & Their Families in the Birmingham, AL Area
A heartbreaking VA client story about not knowing what she did not know
A few years ago a wife came in tears she seemed to be at her wits end, after she applied, appealed, reapplied, and ultimately enlisted the aid of both Senator Shelby’s and Senator Session’s office to intercede on her behalf with the VA and still did not get the results she desired.
Her husband, who was also her high school sweetheart, is a Vietnam veteran with Parkinson’s. His Parkinson’s progressed to a stage where he could no longer care for himself and needed 24-hour care from a caregiver. Mrs. P gladly provided that care until she became too exhausted. There is a reason nurses work in shifts, no one can do this 24/7 without help or a break. She had to enlist the help of her two adult sons who after a full day’s work, would leave their own family who needed them, to alternate spending the night at their parents’ home to care for their dad so their mother could get sleep.
Mrs. P is a highly intelligent woman who worked for years as an administrative assistant for a top-level college administrator. She went online looking for help and discovered that since her husband served during wartime, the VA had a benefit that would pay over $2,000 per month to help pay the costs of care and allow them to hire caregivers. She immediately went to the local VA office and applied for the benefits. Six to eight months later she was devastated when she received a letter from the VA telling her that her husband’s service qualified but that his benefit was zero because they made too much money.
Mr. and Mrs. P received approximately $2,500 monthly from Social security and pension and after paying house payments, car payments, insurance, food, and utilities there is little left over for caregivers or even Medicare supplement insurance premiums.
What Mrs. P did not know, and that no one at the VA explained and none of the information she found online indicated was that the VA benefit is equal to the difference between the maximum benefit ($2,120) that year and her family’s Income for VA Purposes (IVAP). Her IVAP was their total income ($2,500) minus their total reoccurring medical expenses (-0-) or $2,500. The maximum ($2,120) less the IVAP is a negative number and that is why they got zero instead of $2,120.
What Mrs. P also did not know, because no one at the VA or either Senator’s office told her was that if she used the proper planning strategy she could have qualified for benefits. After Mrs. P came in to our office we explained all her options and immediately obtained the benefits she had unsuccessfully sought for over three years. While every case is different and results vary, we make sure everyone knows their legal options and the different strategies available. It’s our passion, you don’t and shouldn’t have to do this on your own. Some people like Mr. & Mrs. P will still think they are saving money, or maybe think they don’t have enough money, but like Mr. & Mrs. P, not getting help could cost over $75,000.00, and 3 years of stress and anxiety. Could you imagine how different those 3 years could have been for their family had they been getting the benefits they deserved and not trying to do everything on their own?
Do you know what you don’t know?
For Veterans Benefits there are so many things you need to consider and need to know before you apply. The best approach is to gather up all of your paperwork, including your service records and discharge forms and discuss the your specific situation with an experienced VA accredited attorney. As with Medicaid benefits or other legal services, have skilled legal counsel through this arduous government process.
After serving in our country’s armed forces, do you know of all benefits to which you or your family members are entitled. Getting information and successfully applying for Veterans Benefits is not light duty. However, your likelihood of success is greatly enhanced with the skillful guidance and assistance of an attorney who has dealt with the Veterans Administration, the branches of the military and their personnel offices, and the Department of Defense. Steve Bailey has this experience and can use it to resolve administrative issues, get answers, and advocate for your rights and benefits.
So contact us right away to get what our Country owes you.