Success! Thanks to the excellent advice received on these forums, we received approval for my mother-in-law's A&A application today for the full benefit amount. Timeline: All correspondence was sent via Certified Return Receipt. Sent the intent to file on July 28th, 2016. Received acknowledgement of receipt from the VA in a letter dated August 19th, 2016 that they received it on August 8, 2016. Sent the complete application on September 13th, 2016. Received acknowledgment of receipt from the VA in a letter dated October 3rd, 2016 that they received it on September 21st, 2016. Received two form letters from the VA, the first dated November 22nd, 2016, the second dated January 20th, 2017, saying they were still processing the application. Received the approval letter on January 31st, 2017. The application was submitted in a three-ring binder with a cover letter using the verbiage recommended in the forums. It included the following: • VA Form 21-534EZ • DD Form 214 for father-in-law • Death Certificate for father-in-law. This was an original that included the state's raised seal. • Marriage Certificate. This was only a photocopy. • VA Form 21-2680, Examination for Housebound Status or Permanent Need for Regular Aid and Attendance • VA Form 21-22a, Appointment of Individual as Claimant's Representative • VA Form 21-0845, Authorization to Disclose Personal Information to a Third Party • VA Form 21P-8416, Medical Expense Report • Income statement and supporting documentation for MIL • Net worth statement and supporting documentation for MIL • A recent bank account statement and a voided check for MIL The only unusual issue I encountered concerned mailing addresses. See my entry under the forum Surviving Spouse Application, "Confusion on Mailing Addresses." I suggest you used the address that the forum moderator recommends. Next step is to submit the VA From 21-4138 to start the fiduciary process. MY SINCERE THANKS to the forum moderators! This would have been a painful process without your excellent guidance. I am passing along this information to other veterans' families whenever possible.