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Why does dad have to sign that he's incompetent after VA benefit approval?

We have waited for almost a year for dad's Aid & Attendance benefits to be finalized. He was approved but I just received a letter saying that he is required to sign and agree that his is incompetent. This doesn't make sense, he has dementia and can't even sign his name let alone understand a legal document. Now what do I do?
Status: Open    Mar 02, 2016 - 01:36 PM

VA Benefits

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Expert Answers

Mar 08, 2016 - 09:53 AM

I think that you may be missreading the letter from the VA. The likely issue is that the VA may be indicating that a fiduciary will have to be appointed if they find him incompetent to handle his own financial affairs.

Mar 08, 2016 - 12:22 PM

Because of his dementia the VA will withhold retroactive payments until a fiduciary is appointed (the va does no recognize power of attorney). Please follow the instructions on the award letter you received and once you are appointed his fiduciary they will release those retroactive funds. In the meantime they will be paying the monthly award moving forward.

Mar 08, 2016 - 12:30 PM

He needs to sign or mark the document which is his consent for his benefits to be paid to a fiduciary. It doesn't matter to the V.A. that he is not competent to sign.

Mar 08, 2016 - 02:13 PM

The VA does not recognize civil POA. He will need to “make his mark” in order for you to move forward. The current awarded amount will be paid monthly moving forward but the VA will hold all retro pay until a fiduciary is named. If you have been waiting a year from filing to award, this is quite a bit of money I’m sure the family could use at this juncture. The fiduciary process can take 6-12 months from the time they receive the document naming the fiduciary who will be responsible for his finances. A back ground check will be done on the named fiduciary and a field visit made to the fiduciary before the retro funds will be released. There has in the past been so much fraud with named fiduciaries misappropriating these retro funds that the fiduciary process is now quite rigorous but necessary to protect the veteran or surviving spouse.
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