Declared incompetent during routine VA visit


My 100% disabled gulf war veteran in a wheelchair had visited his assigned primary Care physician from the VA for medication refills and to help fill out a form for the home bound. Instead she declared him Incompetent.  He's only seen her 3 time's in 3 years to long to explain to why but we received the letter off incompetency last Saturday but was filled in August without our knowlege so now we have 12 days to respond. We can't find anyone to help us.  He's never ever seen a siciatrist or psychologist his disability are bodylie not mentally. We're in Memphis TN. Any advice on this because it is just Wrong.  By the way I used to be a nurse and pissed the primary care physician off.

Jim's Reply:

You're describing a situation that would be very unusual if that's what occured. Primary care providers don't usually refer veterans to be adjudicated as incompetent. PCPs also don't often pay much attention to pissed off family members or comes with the territory. Declaring incompetency often happens during a C & P exam, the C & P examiner (not the PCP) is charged with the responsibility of determining the veteran's competence. Competence at the VA is determined by asking the veteran if he or she is able to manage their finances, particularly the money that VA gives them for their disability rating. If the veteran is unable to answer some basic questions about how they manage their money, VA often assigns a fiduciary to manage the money for the vet. Determining competence isn't a matter of seeing a psychiatrist or having a mental's just a matter of how the vet is able to handle the money. Your veteran can appeal this himself or he can ask a veterans law attorney for some help. If he doesn't appeal either with a DIY response of with the help of a veterans law attorney, VA will likely default to assigning a fiduciary to manage his finances.