Learn About Applying For Pension Benefits
When veterans apply for VA pension benefits, they must submit additional information along with the basic application. The basic VA forms require a considerable amount of information regarding past military service and financial assets, but there are also additional forms that require even more documentation. The Aid and Attendance form, for example, requires more medical information than the basic VA forms used to set up pension benefits. However, the VA forms can be easily completed and submitted once the applicant has the right information. More information about how to apply for VA pension benefits is covered in the following topics:
- Applying for a veterans pension
- Applying for a survivors pension
- Applying for VA Aid and Attendance
- Assistance with applying
Applying for a Veterans Pension
Filling out VA Form 21-527EZ is the very first thing veterans have to do in order to collect a pension. Veterans preparing for VA Form 21-527EZ will need to have other documentation with them as well. Information required to apply for VA pension benefits includes all of the necessary documentation for yearly income and net worth information, as well as any relevant information relating to medical treatments and disabilities. This may add up to many documents for the applicant. Fortunately, VA forms themselves provide much greater detail about which documents are needed. In fact, the first four pages of form VA Form 21-527EZ include information about the veterans pension application process.
The second half of form VA Form 21-527EZ asks for additional information regarding yearly income and medical conditions. The other information that is asked on VA Form 21-527EZ is basic, and includes the name of the veteran, the Social Security number, contact addresses and whether or not the veteran has ever filed any previous claims with the VA. There are also sections where the veterans must enter information about their service records, such as whether they served in combat zones and their join and release dates.
Applying for a Survivors Pension
Several VA forms are available for surviving spouses or children of veterans if they want to claim pensions. For a survivors pension, applicants need to use VA Form 21-534EZ. The form is very similar to VA Form 21-527EZ, which a veteran would fill out to get a pension. The biggest difference is that the form for survivors requires detailed information about the veteran as well as information about the survivors. As with other VA forms used for claiming benefits, the first half of the form is filled with information about exactly what documents are needed and instructions for how to get all of the proper information.
Applying for VA Aid and Attendance
VA Aid and Attendance is a special program that is available to both veterans as well as survivors. In order to apply for VA pension benefits through Aid and Attendance, the applicant must already have either a veterans or a survivors pension. The application process for VA Aid and Attendance can be a little complicated. No basic Aid and Attendance form is available for applicants to fill out. Instead of an Aid and Attendance form, applicants must write to the Pension Management Center (PMC) in the state in which they reside. Applicants who do not know how to reach the PMC can get assistance from local VA facilities.
To obtain VA Aid and Attendance benefits, applicants will need to have evidence of their medical histories when they contact the PMC. Ideally, the applicant will have a report from a physical examination that provides evidence explaining why the applicant needs Aid and Attendance from the PMC. The report should go into detail about any diseases or injuries that cause a physical or a mental impairment that prevents applicants from being able to take care of themselves. When applying for VA Aid and Attendance, it is also a good idea for applicants to include information about how they get around during a typical day, and in what way their disabilities or medical conditions impair their everyday living.
Assistance with Applying
Learning how to file for VA Aid and Attendance or a general pension can be very stressful and difficult for both veterans and survivors. Veterans and survivors alike can request assistance from a VA facility. Applicants can contact the VA's Veterans Benefits Administration office by phone, or they can make an in-person appointment to speak directly with an agent or a legal expert. It is a good idea to get assistance when veterans apply for VA pension benefits, because even small mistakes within VA forms can slow the acceptance process down. Just missing a check mark or forgetting a document can sometimes cause delays that last for one to two months.