To apply for benefits, a veteran must complete a VA pension application and submit it to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
In addition to the application, a veteran must also provide proof of income, assets and time served in the armed forces. In some circumstances, a veteran may also be required to provide medical reports or records on a disability or condition he or she is currently living with. The thorough pension VA application process that is required for all applicants helps representatives at the department determine whether or not all pension program eligibility requirements are met and the corresponding benefit payments these beneficiaries should receive.
There are several ways to apply for a VA pension, so veterans should review these methods before beginning the process. Since additional documentation is sometimes required to verify eligibility, veterans may feel more comfortable seeking the assistance of an accredited agent or attorney or visiting a local VA facility. To find out more about the ways to apply for VA pension, who can help and the specific documentation and evidence that may be required by the department, review the following sections.
Specific information requested on the VA pension application must be provided, whether you decide to apply for program benefits online, by mail, in person or through an accredited agent. VA Form 21P-527EZ Application for Pension asks for several pieces of information related to your household, financial statements and service in the armed forces. To prepare to complete the application by paper or online, you should gather certain documents or information, including:
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When you apply for VA pension using the paper application, you will find that it begins with simple identification information, such as your name and address. You are then required to provide information on any disabilities you live with and the treatment you may have obtained for them, if applicable. The veterans pension application also asks for your service history information, including:
The pension VA application also requires extensive information on your work history, marital status and the number of dependents in your household, including children. If you have a spouse, you are required to provide information about him or her, including name and Social Security Number. Additionally, you are required to complete sections on the income your household earns as a whole and the assets you currently own. Keep in mind that when you apply for VA pension, you may be required to provide documentation and proof of the income and assets you claimed on the application.
With a paper VA pension application, once you complete all sections, including the direct deposit information, you are required to sign and date the document before submitting it.
If you are looking into how to apply for VA pension, you should also note that you may be required to provide additional documentation and evidence to the VA. While you will provide extensive information on your service, medical conditions, household and finances on the application, the department may also require you to prove the statements you provided.
To complete the VA pension application process, you may be required to provide military records to the VA to show that you meet the service guidelines for the program. If you were discharged from service due to a service-related disability, you may also be required to provide medical records and VA treatment center information when applying for pension benefits.
To apply for veterans pension benefits, you may also need to prove that you are 65 years of age or older or that you are permanently disabled. To provide evidence for your age, you may need to submit a copy of your driver’s license or other form of identification. To prove a permanent disability, the VA may request your medical records or confirmation from a professional at a nursing home, if applicable.
When you apply for VA pension, you may also be required to prove the net worth, assets and income that you claimed on the application. The department may request past employment information to verify these figures or you may be required to provide paycheck stubs or other financial statements.
The VA pension application can be downloaded, printed and completed to mail in for submission. If you have printed and completed this document, you can also submit it in person to a local VA facility. If you choose to mail your veteran pension application, you must address it to the Pension Management Center (PMC) that serves your state.
If you choose to enclose the documentation and evidence that you know will be requested when you apply for veteran pension, you have started a Fully Developed Claim (FDC). By submitting these materials, you may expedite the investigation process for the VA and your claim may processed more quickly. However, if you do not send this documentation with your application, the VA may need to investigate further and pull your records to verify information you provided. This standard claim process may take longer than an FDC.
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If you are wondering how to apply for VA pension online, you must visit the VA website and start a new claim. You must complete all seven screens of questions and click “Submit” before your claim is submitted to the VA. If you need assistance at any time during the online application process, you can call 1-800-827-1000. You are not required to complete the application in one setting. After you have created an online account with the VA, you can save your incomplete application and come back to finish it later.
If you would prefer to get professional help completing your VA pension application, you can seek the assistance of an accredited attorney, claims agent or Veterans Service Officer (VSO). Before asking a professional for assistance, ensure he or she is accredited in VA benefits and has experience completing VA pension applications. An accredited professional can help you with your claim by:
When helping you to apply or VA pension, these professionals may not charge you fees. However, after your benefits are awarded, there may be fees involved in the process. It is important to ask about these fees before you agree to hire an accredited professional to help you. You can find accredited agents and VSOs through the VA’s website or through the VA Office of the General Counsel.