Veterans or family members should seek further advice before attempting to submit a claim that deals with income in excess of MAPR and involves long term care costs. Advice should also be sought for claims that involve assets that may lead to a denial of the benefits.
This second type of claim for higher income households requires medical evidence for substantiating a need for aid and attendance or being housebound. In addition, evidence is needed to prove recurring medical costs. In addition, if assets are going to be a block to a successful award, a qualified consultant must be sought out to help with this issue. And finally, if a fiduciary might be appointed, a consultant could provide advice to reduce the time added to the claims process by this additional step.
According to VA, the average processing time for a claim is 177 days -- almost 6 months. Knowing how to submit a well-documented claim could cut this processing time in half. On the other hand, the complexity associated with these high income claims warrants seeking advice or knowledge; otherwise the processing time from VA could be extended to 8 to 12 months or even longer. Not getting things right could mean the maximum award may not be realized or the claim could be denied. Depending on the situation, we recommend you either purchase our book or you seek out the help of a qualified consultant.
The claim associated with low income, few assets and no ongoing, long term care costs can usually be attempted by the veteran household or a member of the family without much help. Little additional advice is needed to submit one of these claims. If a member of the family or a trusted friend wants to submit a claim on behalf of a veteran, there must be a proper VA power of attorney. There is a form available online -- VA 21–22a -- or the veteran can sign a handwritten or typed authorization.
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