Update on changes in the VA’s Aid & Attendance Program

Question:  My family and I read with interest last week’s update regarding proposed 2013 changes to the VA’s Aid & Attendance program, and we were wondering whether you could provide us with an update as to where these proposed changes actually stand.  Have any of these changes been implemented (and if yes, when), and if they have recently been changed, will we need to re-do the VA Aid & Attendance application that we submitted just last month for our 87 year old mother?

Answer:  The changes have been proposed by Congress.  I believe they are currently in committee.  There are several organizations that are concerned about the proposed 3 year look back.  What we know at this point is if they happen they will not take effect until next year.  However, this is no guarantee that they will not be effective immediately.  There have also been some recent changes in regard to annual reporting commonly called an EVR.  The VA has eliminated the need to provide the annual report.

The VA has also made the rules pertaining to unreimbursed medical expenses stricter with respect to Independent Living Facilities providing care through 3rd party companies.   The have differentiated between an ADL (activity of daily living) and an IADL (instrumental activity of daily living).  Specifically, the VA is now requiring among other requirements, assistance with 2 ADL’s; walking/transferring; eating; bathing; dressing and toileting and cognitively impaired.    IADL’s no longer count as an ADL such as medication reminders, meal preparation, laundry etc…

As for submitting a new application I do not believe it is necessary at this time.  However, the VA has developed a new form for a Veteran and surviving Spouse of a Veteran called a Fully Developed Claim.

Hope this helps.

Don L. Rosenberg, Attorney and Counselor
The Center for Elder Law
Troy, Michigan
Member of the national ElderCare Matters Alliance, Michigan chapter

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