Fast forward sixty plus years. Eventually the inevitable came, and your husband passes away. It is a great time of sorrow, made worse by the fact that now you can't take care of yourself like you used to. You are now in your 80s, and having a hard time doing the things that most people take for granted. So the decision is finally made that you need to move into an independent living community.
This is the story of Gladys Baker.
Gladys moved into an independent community in 2010. The community gave her information about the Aid & Attendance program offered by the Veteran's Administration. She learned that this program can help provide financial assistance if you are spending more than your monthly income on care. This no doubt sounded appealing, as the rent at the independent living and her other medical expenses were becoming a burden on her finances.
This same facility told her about Veteran Support Center, a non-profit group that would help her file a claim. She called VSC and found that not only would they submit the claim on her behalf, but they would also help with any post-application correspondence, and make sure she was qualified when they sent the application. They also have a 99.9% approval rating, and in the event of a denial, they will help contest that decision.
She decided to work with VSC. The documents were located, the papers were signed, and the claim was prepared and sent. All that was left to do was to wait for VA to make their decision.
Then, 8 months later, Gladys received a letter that said her claim had been denied! Why? Revisions to VA requirements regarding independent communities happened during the time the claim was submitted. Based on this, the VA would not reimburse or consider her claim.
Finally, in 2013, the VA approved her claim. Because the VA pays retroactively, she received a large lump sum of the withheld benefit for all the years of waiting. This was a tremendous help for her.
Gladys continues to enjoy the benefits of her husband's service to our country. It serves as as a memory of him, as well as a way that we as a people can give back to our veterans and their surviving spouses.