VA Form 21-8049: Prelude To A Denial

VA Form 21-8049 is the form that the Department of Veterans Affairs requests when a claimant for aid and attendance pension has net worth issues.

Net worth must be provided to the VA on the aid and attendance application.  If the VA thinks that the applicant’s net worth might be excessive, a request for more information letter is requested.  This VA letter will ask the claimant to complete VA Form 21-8049, which is titled “Request For Details Of Expenses.”

The Request For Details Of Expenses asks for information about the applicant’s housing, food, and medical expenses.  Unfortunately for claimants, completion of this form is largely a formality.  The VA’s request for VA Form 21-8049 will result in a denial letter 80 percent of the time unless some type of VA benefit planning is undertaken.

VA Form 21-8049: Is My Net Worth Really Excessive?

Under the code of federal regulations and VA guidelines, net worth is a question of fact.  Currently, no bright-line asset threshold exists.  The VA reviews the claimant’s gross income, unreimbursed medical expenses, age, and number of dependents.  Based on those factors, the VA makes an individualized determination on net worth.  Two people can apply for pension benefits and report identical net worth and the VA could decide that one applicant has excessive net worth and the other does not.

Depending on the claimant’s specific situation, strategies are available to reduce net worth even after the original application for pension is submitted to the VA.  Even if you’ve already submitted VA Form 21-8049 to the VA and have received a denial letter, these planning tools could help you receive benefits going forward.

As always, however, the best planning for aid and attendance benefits should be done before the application is submitted.  Advanced planning can help families avoid unnecessary delays and denial letters.

Contact VA Legal Team today for more information.