Thank you, mlfetrow. Once I knew for sure that Medicaid was picking up the tab for most of my mother’s assisted living expenses I informed the VA of my mother’s situation in writing via certified mail. That was in early April. In May I followed up with a second letter outlining her pre- and post-Medicaid expenses. In response I received a letter from the VA explaining that due to the “great number of claims” any action on my mother’s claim “may be delayed” and there was “no need to contact us in the meantime.” That letter was dated June 1. After a period of two months with no further word from the VA I called and set up a date and time for a return phone call from the VA’s Philadelphia Regional Office. On August 4 I received a return phone call and spoke with an individual there at length about my mother’s case and how the buildup of VA funds in my mother’s account was in excess of the $2,000 limit that Medicaid recipients were able to maintain in assets. I added that my (quite lucid) mother is under the assumption that the funds are hers to keep, spend, or even give away. The VA representative responded that, until the VA made a determination regarding my mother’s case, the funds could stay in my mother’s account and that she could use them to cover her expenses.
Right now my mother is contemplating using the funds to get hearing aids and new dentures. Based on the VA representative’s response, I’m under the impression that those expenditures might be okay for her to make. How does that sound to you? Once the money is gone (for those expenses), very little will be left for the VA to recover.