VA Pension: Document Military and Disability Facts

VA Pension:  Document Military and Disability Facts

VA Pension:  Document Military and Disability FactsThe VA Pension is an amazing benefit and we’ve talked about the three requirements of it including the income and the assets.  But practically speaking, what is the next step?

Gather up all your information.

This is a great place to start. Sometimes people call it different things but a “DD-214” is your discharge paper. It says when you went active duty, when you were discharged, and what type of discharge you had. Was it honorable or was it some other kind of discharge?

Write this down. You may think, “I know all this stuff.” Just trust me on this. It makes a big difference if you write it down. Write down any limitations, assets, income, and unreimbursed medical expenses.

Let me give you a suggestion.

Be as specific as possible.

The more specific you are, the more real it becomes, the better you can see it. If you say, “My father has difficulty dressing,” write down some details. Why does he have difficulty dressing? You say, “It’s very hard for him to use his left arm because of his left shoulder. He has difficult time putting on a shirt.” Or maybe he has such bad arthritis in his hands, he couldn’t button anything – shirt, pants, tie shoes. Now this is starting to give us a picture of what’s going on.

You say, “My mother needs help bathing.” Why does she need help bathing? Always ask yourself WHY. You say, “Because of bad arthritis, she has difficulty stepping into the tub.” Okay. Now I’m starting to see that. “She has difficulty with her balance and she’s at risk for falling. I need to stand there right outside the shower and make sure she’s okay.” Now we’re starting to see a picture of that. It’s starting to make sense.

So the pattern is:  What is the limitation and why does this limitation exist?

Do that on any limitation. This will help you. This will help if you sit down with a VA accredited lawyer to help that lawyer to be able to advise you. Ultimately, you have a doctor fill out a form. There’s an official VA form the doctor fills out and they’re asked questions. “Do they need help with dressing? Do they need help with basic hygiene? Going to the bathroom or eating?”  and similar types of questions.

Share with the doctor specific details: “Dr. Smith, last week when my grandmother went into the shower, she fell, so now we have to stand there with her.” Now the doctor knows. So the doctor now can put some detail.

There’s a question on there that asks “Does the person have difficulty with their upper and lower extremities (arms and legs in everyday language)?” The doctor may not know all the details. But if you could say, “Well doctor, actually, walking from the waiting room to the examination room here, my dad has to sit down for 30 minutes. He can’t walk any further than that.” Your dad might not tell the doctor that. Write down the specific detail so that you have those in your mind.

In our next article we’ll look at some of the practical steps you can take related to your family’s financial situation when applying, or thinking about applying, for VA Pension benefits.

What to do next

If you have questions about this benefit then we encourage you to investigate it.

You can do so through this website (see links below) or you can call us at 205-879-2447 to set up a scheduled call/meeting or to receive our free book entitled:

How to Avoid Being Forced into a Nursing Home: Discover 5 Simple Steps to Using a Little Known VA Benefit (VA Pension or Aid and Attendance) to Stay in Your Home and Stay Out of a Nursing Home

If you are ready to meet with us in person or by phone then call us at 205-879-2447 or fill out our online contact form.

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