After reading the editorial Obama must clean house, fix VAs issues (May 9, Page 10), I felt compelled to tell our story.
My father was a World War II Disabled American Veteran. When he was 92 and his wife was 87, they qualified for a DAV assisted-living stipend. Dad suffered from old age; his wife had rapidly advancing dementia. The application was lengthy and complicated, but we were able to secure the much-needed funding to supplement the cost of their care. When Dad died 3 years later, the VA required that we reapply for his wifes benefits though her condition had, as expected, only gotten worse. We were told the application could take up to six months to process, and that we could take a one-time $1,000 payout or risk her dying before the six months was up.
The stipend would be retro to reapplication date, but if she died before approved, no funds would be forthcoming. We took the latter option since we had no idea when she would die. In the meantime, we paid more than $3,000 a month for her care. Sadly, our mother passed away one month prior to the projected approval date.
We agree with the editorial that the treatment of veterans waiting for benefits due them is a national disgrace.