WHAT TO EXPECT DURING FILING
It is hard to speculate on what you will experience while filing for the Aid & Attendance Pension. Each case is unique and carries its own set of challenges. It will also depend on which processing center will be handling the claim. For unknown reasons, some centers do a more efficient job than others. How complete the application package is will also impact the process.
One thing you can expect is that it will take between 8-10 months on average for your application to be processed and to receive a determination letter. Due to the current backlog of claims to be processed this timeframe can be much longer.
Many families can't afford to pay for care while waiting for the pension to be approved and funds to be released, which places an additional burden. Some Assisted Living Facilities will work with you if they know the resident qualifies for A&A. Fortunately, all benefits are retro-dated back to the original filing date.
If you or your loved one is 90 or older, you should request the application process be expedited. The VA's own law states that applications for benefits for a veteran/widow 90 or older are to be given priority. It is advised that you include a cover letter with the application noting this request.
We have included on this site our personal experience with dealing with the VA and filing for the Aid & Attendance Pension not to discourage anyone preparing to file, but to give a realistic example of problems and challenges that you might face. If this is your first time dealing with the VA, or government agency, it can be a rude awakening.
It is this experience that led us to develop this website to inform the public about the Aid & Attendance Pension. This is only one experience out of thousands, but it is best to be prepared for whatever might happen.