The Aid and Attendance Application – How to Apply
The application process for the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Aid and Attendance Pension benefit is quite extensive, but that is to be expected considering the high level of monetary assistance being offered through this program. You will need to gather many documents for the application process to be successful.
Here is a list of forms and papers that you will need:
- Military separation papers form DD-214. The VA requires a certified copy or original in most cases, to order a copy from the National Archives visit www.archives.gov/veterans. If you learn that that your records were destroyed in the Saint Louis fire of 1973, they most likely are able to provide a valid certificate of service, but that may take additional time.
- Married veterans and surviving spouses will need to provide a copy of the marriage certificate
- Surviving spouses will need to provide a copy of the veteran’s death certificate
- Current Social Security Award Letter showing the monthly amount of incoming Social Security benefit. Additionally, if applicable, a monthly statement from a private pension program. Many claims do, however, get approved without these documents.
- Court-appointed guardians of the applicant will need to provide a copy of the court order
- Monthly health insurance bill as well as your home care, assisted living, adult day or nursing home invoice if paid out-of-pocket and not reimbursed by a long term care insurance policy or Medicaid
- Physician statement that provides detailed information about your diagnosis, current medical status, prognosis, ability to care for yourself and need for assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)
- Voided check for direct deposit of the monthly payment. The benefit is paid directly to the claimant similar to Social Security.
- List of doctors and hospitals utilized in the past 12 months
When you have gathered all of the supporting documentation, you will need to complete VA Form 21-527EZ dated Aug 2011 for Veterans or a VA Form 21-534EZ dated Dec 2012 for surviving spouses. From here, follow the instructions on the form and submit the entire packet to one of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ three Regional Pension Maintenance Centers. To learn which to submit your application to, call the VA at 1-800-827-1000. If you need help, the VA and many service organizations such as the VFW or American Legion offers free help. Some of these individuals are well versed and willing to help, others are not. Be prepared to seek out alternative help if you feel you are not getting good advice. A word of caution, it is illegal for anyone to charge for assistance with an initial claim for benefits.
Once you have submitted all of this information, you will have to wait for correspondence from the VA. Initially (within the first 30-45 days) a letter acknowledging receipt will arrive from the VA and will provide a VA claim/file number. After that, correspondence should be sent to claimants every 60-90 days regarding the current status of their claim. If you do not receive any mail, call the Pension Maintenance Center at (877) 294-6380 to ensure claim processing is progressing correctly. It is not uncommon for claims to take three to six months. After six months, you may consider involving your Congressperson.
While the Aid and Attendance application process is extensive, it is well worth the $1,113 – $2,054 that can help you pay for high and necessary long term care expenses.
If you need guidance with the Aid and Attendance benefit, please click here or call our office at 800.835.1541 to speak to a live person.
Click Here to learn more about the VA’s Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit. There is no cost or obligation to speak with someone from Veterans Financial, Inc.