Sunday, August 18, 2013

Caregiving the Incompetent Veteran

In March of this year after 5 months of waiting on the VA, they (the VA) declared my husband incompetent for VA purposes.

You are probably wondering what this means to us and our family. For starters we were contacted by a Federal Fiduciary HUB to arrange for an in-home visit with a Field Examiner. I prepared all the documents as required including our monthly budget, bank statements, sources of income and a rough list of all of our expenses. We were pretty lucky since our Field Examiner was not requiring monthly or annual accounting of all monies spent. As we explained I have been handling all of our household expenses for several years now so basically nothing has really changed. My husband can no longer own or possess a firearm nor can he purchase ammunition. I have no problem with that since he has a suicide attempt on the books.

There are a few things that have come about since this declaration has been made, my Veteran has decided that being incompetent means he cannot talk to the VA for any purpose at all. The doctor asked him how he was feeling and he said he didn't know if he could answer that and maybe they needed to ask his Caregiver since he was incompetent! Yes I am laughing as I type this up. He told me the other day he may need Depends, of course I am thinking there is something serious going on that he has failed to mention but he is thinking that since he is incompetent he may not be able to use the bathroom without help and if I wasn't there the Depends would be. Yep, a riot!!

I don’t get my husband out to the store very often but we were at the store and him and our son was going to look at something and I gave him money. He looked at me and told me that he was incompetent and not allowed to carry money anymore. WHAT?!?!?! I did not read that anywhere in any of the paperwork.
Incompetency has become my arch nemesis for the last several months but for the most part nothing in our house has changed. We have decided that humor is the best way to deal with some of the changes in our live and when humor fails us we will resort to sarcasm.

Submitted By: Pam B.


  1. That sounds like the comical approach my husband would take to that as well....We are currently trying to get his SSDI and when he did the phsyc eval his IQ was a 73...So my hubby likes to be funny and approach conversations with being to stupid to understand, and to those who understand his sense of humor he will tell them that he is now a retard (ya I don't like it either!!) but he thinks he is a riot sometimes and I think that's how he coped with finding out his IQ was now so low after his injury.

    1. Erin,
      I am glad that your husband can find the humor in his 'new normal' like we have. This is not to say it is easy but some days it is easier to laugh than to get upset.

  2. What a dishonor to make him invisible. Is this what a vet has to go through in order to get help.

    What a joke and yes humor and sarcasm when the people that are to help you try to convince you a wrong is right and a right is wrong..Former Vietnam Vet 65-69