Donna Buttarazzi | York County Coast Star
Edie Rossborough pours over forms and annal on her communications with the VA about her mother’s Aid & Attendance benefits.
KENNEBUNK, Maine — $58,437.
That’s a bulk that has apparitional Edie Rossborough day and night for the accomplished three months. Three months of bushing out forms over and over again, emailing and calling contacts at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and dotting every “i” and bridge every “t,” to no avail.
$58,437 is the bulk the VA has paid in Aid and Attendance Allowances for Rossborough’s mother Betty Phillips’ affliction in anamnesis affliction accessories back November 2013.
It’s additionally the bulk the Veterans Administration asked Rossborough, who acts as her mother’s federal fiduciary, to accord aural 60 canicule because it aback declared her mother disqualified for benefits.
Betty Phillips, 88, has avant-garde date Alzheimer’s ache and has been in a anamnesis affliction adeptness back 2013. Rossborough takes affliction of all of her diplomacy and pays her bills anniversary month. Rossborough’s father, Loyd Phillips, was a Navy veteran, which provided accommodation for his wife for VA Aid and Attendance, a abstruse annual that helps with home affliction and assisted active costs.
The problems began in aboriginal November, back Rossborough accustomed a letter from the VA adage it had not been notified that Betty Phillips had been confused from a clandestine pay adeptness to a Medicaid adeptness in September. The letter warns that “failure to acknowledgment these forms will aftereffect in the abatement of any counterfeit medical costs attendant to November, 2013 creating an overpayment that will be accountable to repayment.”
However, Rossborough had beatific notification and all of the able forms to the VA and has the affidavit to prove it. Nevertheless, she beatific the forms afresh on the admonition of VA Field Examiner Randall Minet, whom she had been alive carefully with for the accomplished bristles years. Again, they went anonymous at the VA.
In February, Rossborough accustomed a letter from the VA adage back it had not accustomed any forms or advice apropos Betty Phillip’s new adeptness they had concluded her Aid and Attendance allowances attendant to November 2013.
“At this point I was in tears. I had abounding out all of the forms, and was bent in this is a authoritative daydream created by the VA. And it got worse at every turn. It’s about too antic to believe. Every time I see an envelope from the VA in the mail I aloof accept so abundant anxiety,” Rossborough said through tears during an annual Wednesday at her home.
Rossborough aggregate her affliction in a long, heart-wrenching column on Facebook beforehand in the week.
“This is the cardinal that keeps me up at night and makes me ailing to my stomach. I’m at the point now that back I see a VA envelope in the mailbox I accept a concrete reaction. My beating races, I get all hot, my easily shake, and I feel sick,” Rossborough shared. “I accept actually no botheration accouterment the VA with any advice at all apropos my mother’s care. I accept adeptness bills, acquittal receipts, coffer statements (every penny that has larboard her annual has gone anon to a facility), annihilation they want. I aloof ambition they had asked for the advice and accustomed me the befalling to accommodate it afore creating a artificial debt in my name and aggressive to ruin my credit. I accept operated in acceptable acceptance administration both my mother’s affliction and her finances, I ambition I could say the aforementioned of the Veterans Administration.”
Following the annual with the York County Coast Star Wednesday, and afterwards the bi-weekly beatific emails and placed a buzz alarm to the VA in an attack to accretion animadversion for this story, Rossborough abstruse Thursday that the medical costs had been reinstated and the $58,437 debt had been erased.
According to Rossborough, Josh Broadbelt, abettor accessible diplomacy administrator for the Department of Veterans Diplomacy in Philadelphia, alleged her Thursday morning with the news, answer for the VA’s mistakes.
Broadbelt additionally alleged the York County Coast Star Thursday morning acknowledging he had been in blow with Rossborough.
In a buzz annual Thursday, Rossborough was elated, and beholden for the resolution.
“I’m aloof so relieved. I told them aing to accident my dad to lung blight bristles years ago, and watching my mother boring abatement afore my eyes with Alzheimer’s, this three-month aeon has been the best demanding of my life,” she said. “I convulse to anticipate how abounding others are in this bearings who don’t accept the assets to assignment through and action this.”
Rossborough said her ancestor was a appreciative Navy adept confined from 1943 to 1963, spanning World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam. He died in 2013 from lung cancer, and afore he died his greatest affair was his wife’s affliction as her Alzheimer’s worsened.
“His apperception was sharp, and he knew he wasn’t activity to be about to affliction for her. To his aftermost breath, he capital to accomplish abiding she was cared for. Those were his aftermost concerns. Securing this annual was allotment of demography affliction of Mom. He acquainted acceptable about the actuality that this was article that he becoming that would advice booty affliction of her,” Rossborough said.
When Rossborough and her three siblings, brothers Floyd and Boyd Phillips and sister Cheryl Phillips Day all of Kennebunk abstruse of the abundantly abstruse affairs and apparent that their mother was acceptable for the benefits, they knew it would beggarly they could accumulate their mother in a clandestine anamnesis affliction adeptness a little longer. It about gave them addition year.
At an boilerplate of $70,000 a year for Betty Phillips’ care, an added $1,100 a ages was welcome. With Alzheimer’s disease, Betty’s anamnesis and adeptness to affliction for herself are gone, but she’s still physically healthy.
“My sister says Mom’s activity to be the one axis out the lights,” Rossborough joked. “We absolutely had no abstraction she would still be with us, but physically she’s still accomplishing absolutely well.”
The four accouchement awash the ancestors home afterwards their ancestor died and put the money a to affliction for their mother. Afterwards four years in clandestine affliction facilities, the money ran out aftermost summer.
“We acclimated every penny. We were out of money, so we knew we bare to move her. But it fabricated us blessed that we were able to accumulate her there as continued as we could,” Rossborough said.
Betty Phillips is at St. Andre’s in Biddeford now and she’s blessed and able-bodied cared for, according to her daughter.
“She knows back I appointment that I’m addition special, but she doesn’t apperceive that I’m her daughter,” Rossborough said through tears.
Her mother’s Aid and Attendance allowances will be bargain from almost $1,100 a ages to $90 now that she is in a Medicare facility. Rossborough doesn’t care. In fact. afterwards her ordeal, she said she may aloof acquaint the VA to accumulate the $90 so she doesn’t accept to anguish about addition cher mix-up.
“I feel apologetic alive there are bodies out there actuality put through a agnate daydream with the VA. It’s aloof not right.”
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