2021 ALTCS and VA mistakes that caused costly delays. Nearly 30% are made by ALTCS or the VA.
Each day that an ALTCS application isn’t approved costs the applicant as much as $80 to over $200 per day, every day until approved. Mistakes can also require that the application be restarted, extending the time frame an additional 45 days, or longer! These delays cause stress, frustration, and disappointment, with an already stressful process.
I often get calls from family members that are angry because they have had to reopen a case for a loved one multiple times!
One of the most common mistakes is not providing the information requested within the ALTCS application time deadline.
This mistake can be avoided by gathering all the commonly asked requirements or items gathered before the claim’s started.
These include Medicare Supplement or Advantage plan ID cards, the marriage certificate, the most recent three months bank statements for “ALL” bank and financial accounts. Be sure to provide all pages of the bank statement, even the blank ones or ones with advertising on it. You should identify unusual cash transactions and prepare an explanation of any large ATMs withdrawals. You can do that by reviewing bank statements over the past five years.
Mistakes are made by the ALTCS caseworkers, too. They ask for information that is not needed. Or delay processing a claim until the end of their deadline and then request additional information that may be difficult to get in a short period.
Both of these examples are difficult for the untrained to know how to handle.
Understand that a request for a copy of a living trust is required in the regulations. It is required because all assets in a living trust are considered countable assets. So ALTCS needs to see the living trust with the “Schedule A” to determine the total countable assets for an applicant.
An example of an error made by a caseworker is this; I just had a request for a copy of a “Living Trust.” It would seem acceptable. Right? No! Because the problem was that the trust they wanted a copy of was a family member’s trust., not the applicant’s trust. They have no legal right to see a copy of someone else’s trust.
A Certified Medicaid Planner™, I’m able to handle this and keep this type of unnecessary request from causing an additional delay in the approval of the claim.
The Veterans Pension benefit claims process which was previously called “VA Aid and Attendance,” also has claims errors. Made both by the applicant and the Veterans Administration.
One of the most significant errors made by veterans and spouses that apply for benefits is submitting an incomplete application.
Be sure to answer all questions on the application. If the question doesn’t apply, say so with a N/A in the space or near the question.
Unfortunately, when the VA makes a mistake on their end, they don’t have any accountability. The claims processors hide in the background, and it’s impossible to discuss the issue with the person at the VA Pension Center that made a mistake.
This is extremely annoying to deal with ALTCS I can contact a supervisor and correct the issue. The VA doesn’t have such a process.
An additional issue is the VA writes letters are often poorly written, leaving the applicant confused and frustrated. Here is where a VA Accredited Claims agent can help. A claims agent can make a call to the VA Pension center and talk with a Veteran Service Representative about the problem and clear up the request.
Steve Dabbs, CMP™
Certified Medicaid Planner™
VA Accredited Claims Agent