Applying for Aid and Attendance benefits can be a complicated process.
The VA doesn’t offer much guidance on the application process, and government forms are burdensome to begin with.
The following tips on applying for aid and attendance aren’t designed to be exhaustive. They are designed to help you avoid some of the common pitfalls that many applicants fall into.
1) Sign The Application
This seems obvious. But did you know that the first item on the VA’s checklist is the signature page? Before the VA reviews anything else, they make sure the application is signed.
If the applicant can’t sign, they should make an “X”. Then be sure to have two witnesses print and sign their names, and list their address.
2) Include Discharge Papers
Aside from forgetting to sign the application, the quickest way to receive a More Information Letter is to neglect to send discharge papers.
The VA will check the dates of your service and the character of discharge. Make sure you include an acceptable record of your service and an original or certified copy of the discharge papers.
3) List Your Entire Marital History
The VA takes marital history seriously. This is the case whether you are a veteran or a surviving spouse.
If you have multiple marriages, make sure you list all of them. Do not neglect to report facts like marriage dates and places, and where and when the marriage terminated.
Before you leave out a piece of marital information, think long and hard. The VA will not award benefits until they have every piece of required information.
4) Submit VA Form 21-0845
Want to check on your mom or dad’s application? Good luck getting the VA to talk to you unless you’ve submitted this form.
VA Form 21-0845 gives the VA permission to talk to you about the status of your mom or dad’s claim. This form must also be signed by the applicant.
5) Send The Application To The Right Place
Do not submit the application for Aid and Attendance to your local VA Office. While they may (or may not) be helpful, these folks do not review the application or award benefits.
Send the application to one of the three regional Pension Maintenance Centers responsible for Aid and Attendance applications.
If you follow the above tips, applying for Aid and Attendance will be less painful and will result in a faster award of benefits.