HOW TO APPLY FOR THE AID & ATTENDANCE IMPROVED PENSION

There is much information that needs to be gathered and prepared when applying for the Aid & Attendance Improved Pension. We have compiled a list of the documents you will need, as well as links to download some of the VA and Government Forms that you will need. While it may seem to be a daunting task, we recommend that you read through this site to better your understanding of the application process to be prepared before you speak with any Veterans' Affairs Office.

To apply for the Aid & Attendance Improved Pension, you will need the following documents. Prepare these before making your filing.

  • Discharge/Separation Papers (DD-214). If you need to request military records, you can either fill out Standard Form 180 (right click to save) or, you can visit http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/military-personnel/standard-form-180.html. Full instructions on how to request military records is listed on that site.
  • Copy of Marriage Certificate and all marital information.
  • Copy of the Death Certificate (surviving spouses only).
  • Copy of current Social Security Award Letter (the letter that Social Security sends at the beginning of the year stating what your monthly amount will be for the following year).
  • Net Worth information, including bank accounts, CDs, Trusts, Stocks, Bonds, Annuities, etc.
  • Proof of all income from pensions, retirement, interest income from investments, annuities, etc.
  • If you are a court-appointed guardian of the veteran or surviving spouse, a certified copy of the court order of the appointment is required.
  • Proof of insurance premiums, medications, medical bills or any other medical expenses that are not reimbursed by insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid.
  • Physician statement (right-click here to download) that includes current diagnosis, medical status, prognosis, name and address, ability to care for self, ability to travel unattended, etc. If you are a veteran in a nursing home, or a family member of a veteran in a nursing home, you can use this form as a certification of that status (right click to save): Nursing Home Status Statement
  • Banking information for Direct Deposit of A&A monthly payments (include a voided check).
  • Employment history (does not apply if you are over 65).
  • List of all doctors and hospitals visited in the last year.


   


Once you have this information compiled, you will need to obtain and complete VA Form 21-526 and/or VA Form 21-534 for Special Improved benefits with Aid & Attendance. These forms can be downloaded in PDF format here (right click to save):

Now that you have all your information, follow the instructions on Form 21-526 or Form 21-534 to file for your Aid & Attendance Improved Pension. If you need assistance with filing your paperwork, you can contact the VA, however, be prepared to encounter someone who is not knowledgeable about this benefit and may provide inaccurate information. We encourage you to explore all the available options and services provided through the VA and service agencies to find the option that's right for you and your circumstances.

In mailing your application, we highly recommend that you send your completed application via "Return Receipt" to help avoid the potential of the VA stating that the application was not received. Be certain to keep a copy of the entire application for your own records as well as any other correspondence to and from the VA.

The VA has established various processing center across the country that do nothing but applications for Improved Pension. When mailing your application, you need to make certain that you send it to the appropriate center assigned for the state where the applicant resides. Sending to local or state VA offices will delay in processing time as they will need to forward it on to the correct Pension Center. Listed below by state is the correct mailing address per state.

Milwaukee Pension Maintenance Center
Veterans Administration
5400 West National Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53214
Processes claims for the following states:
AL, AR, IL, IN, KY, LA, MI, MO, MS, OH, TN, WI

St. Paul Pension Maintenance Center
Veterans Administration
1 Federal Drive, Fort Snelling
St. Paul, MN 55111-4050
Processes claims for the following states:
AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, IA, ID, KS, MN, MT, ND, NE, NM, NV, OK, OR, SD, TX, UT, WA, WY

Philadelphia Pension Maintenance Center
Veterans Administration
5000 Wissahickon Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19101
Processes claims for the following states:
CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, MA, MD, ME, NC, NH, NJ, NY, PA, PR, RI, SC, VA, VT, WV