Applying for VA Aid and Attendance Pension
Who are Qualified?
- Veterans over the age of 65 who meet the income requirements for financial assistance.
- Veterans who are suffering from both physical and mental incapacity.
- Veterans who require the aid of another person to perform personal functions essential for daily living such as bathing, feeding, dressing, attending to the wants of nature, adjusting prosthetic devices, and ensuring their safety and security.
Veterans who are bedridden, defined by the VA as having a disability (or multiple disabilities) that keeps the patient in bed “apart from any prescribed course of convalescence or treatment.”
- Veterans who are confined in a nursing home due to physical or mental impairment.
- Veterans who have limited eyesight to “a corrected 5/200 visual acuity or less in both eyes; or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less” according to the VA.
- Surviving spouses and dependent children of veterans who have died may also be eligible for similar benefits through the VA Survivors Pension program.
How to Apply: 3-Step Process
1. Identify which documents you’ll need to send to the VA
Personal circumstances vary so identify only the relevant documents to support your claim. Include a marriage certificate, death certificate or statement of occupancy from a nursing home, as necessary. Take advantage of the assistance offered by some nursing care facilities who will work with you to certify a resident’s qualification for A&A.
- Copy of current year Social Security award letter
- DD-214 Military Discharge papers (originals, no photocopies). Note: You can request official replacements for lost originals from the National Archives
- Proof of all assets (bank and investment statements) and income
- Proof of insurance premiums and unreimbursed medical expenses
2. Fill out the correct VA Application Forms
Depending on your circumstances, select and completely fill out the application forms linked below that are relevant to your claim.
- Basic Pension Form for Veterans including Section X Medical Expense Report, or the form for Surviving Spouses
- Examination for Housebound Status of Permanent Need for A&A
- Request for Nursing Home Information in Connection with Claim for A&A
- Authorization to Disclose Information to a 3rd Party, which will allow you to talk with the VA about your parent’s application if they need help.
- Statement in Support of a Claim if you have power of attorney for your parent and need to request a VA fiduciary assignment
3. Mail the Application
But before you do, make sure to save personal, back-up copies of every item in the application packet as well as any other correspondence with the VA. It’s highly recommended that you send your completed application via USPS Certified Mail Return Receipt to confirm that the VA receives your application. Veterans in California can mail their applications to the following designated pension center –
Department of Veterans Affairs
Claims Intake Center
Attention: St. Paul Pension Center
PO Box 5365
Janesville, WI 53547-5365
What to Expect
The workload at your region’s VA pension center will determine how fast your application will be processed. Sending an accurate and complete application with no missing forms, information and documents can speed up the process.
While every case varies, the application process typically takes around nine months from the date you submit it until approval. Once the VA approves the application, benefits will be paid retroactively from the original filing date.
Top Aid and Attendance Forms:
- Examination for Housebound Status or Permanent Need for Regular A&A
- Periods of War Eligible for A&A
- Request for Nursing Home Information in Connection With Claim for A&A
- Standard Form 180, Request Pertaining to Military Records
- VA Form 21-0845 Authorization to Disclose Personal Information to a Third Party
- VA Form 21-4138 Statement in Support of Claim
- VA Form 21-527EZ and VA Form 21-534EZ
- VA Form 21-601 Application for Accrued Amounts Due to a Deceased Beneficiary
- VA Form 21P-8614 Medical Expense Report
Once you’ve determined that you might qualify for Aid and Attendance Benefits, book your free consultation meeting with our team at Crider Law and we’ll help you effectively file your application and fast-track your claim.
Whether it’s your first time to file, pursuing an appeal or just want to learn more about your rights and entitlements under the VA pension program, we will support you every step of the way.