I recently filed for A&A for my father. Thought I would share what I learned.... 1) Read thru the threads on these forums, take notes where you found good info because trying to find it again from memory is difficult. You can get answers to most if not all of your questions if you spend enough time and effort looking here. If you cannot find an answer then ask, someone will be kind enough to help. 2) It's really not that difficult to apply. It may seem intimidating but most of the info is easy to obtain and filling out the forms is pretty straight-forward. 3) The physical exam does not have to be done by a VA Doctor. In fact it is much easier if you have your family Doctor do it. 4) If you have access to a VA Regional Office go there first!!! The VSO in our area is at least a month behind on calls/emails but you can go right in to a VA Regional Office and get help immediately. HOWEVER- they will not talk specifics with you about your vet unless you have the release of info to a 3rd party form completed and ready to show them. 5) You can get "certified copies" at the Regional VA Office 6) Both of the gentlemen I spoke with at the Regional office said my fathers negative monthly income due to the cost of a caregiver was so high that I did not need to include any other expenses to qualify for the max benefit (negative income was close to 1K more than max benefit of $1.7K) Since there were only two other expenses I included it anyway. My impression was they were telling me to keep the application simple and straight-forward as possible. 7) It took less than 12 days to get a SS Awards letter from the SS Administration website. 8) Do not mail the application if you live close enough to take it to a VA Regional office. They will look over the application to make sure it is in order, make suggestions, changes, etc. I have also been told by several people that it will be processed sooner if you take it there. 9) This was a bit alarming. The man at the Regional office used a black marker to cover up all of my father's banking info on the application and told me not to include a voided check or deposit slip. He said that could be provided later after a decision was made. His rationale was that too many people at the VA would have access to that info and could "get in to your father's account without you even knowing it." These are just a few tidbits I have learned. Will post again when I hear from the VA.