How to Apply for Aid and Attendance

There are three main steps in the VA Aid and Attendance (A&A) application process:

  • Learn which documents you’ll need to send to the VA
  • Fill out the correct VA application forms
  • Mail your printed application forms and all the documents to the correct pension processing center

Step 1: Learn which documents you’ll need to send to the VA.

All A&A applications must include these documents, which can take some time to track down:

  • Copy of current year Social Security award letter
  • DD-214 Military Discharge papers (originals, no photocopies). Note: You can request official replacements for lost originals from the National Archives
  • Proof of all assets (bank and investment statements) and income
  • Proof of insurance premiums and unreimbursed medical expenses

Each family’s situation is a bit different so not everyone needs to send in all the same supporting documents. You may or may not need to include a marriage certificate, death certificate or statement of occupancy from a nursing home, for example.

The tables below can help you see which other documents may be required if applicable and which are highly suggested.

Step 2: Fill out the correct VA application forms.

Again, some forms are required for every application:

Other forms listed in the tables below are highly suggested, such as the Authorization to Disclose Information to a 3rd Party, which will allow you to talk with the VA about your parent’s application if they need help.

If you have power of attorney for your parent and need to request a VA fiduciary assignment, it’s recommended that you request a Statement in Support of a Claim form. Read through the entire list below to see which forms you’ll need to fill out.

Application Forms for Veterans

Application Forms for Veterans

Application Form for Surviving Spouses

Step 3: Mail the application.

Keep copies of every item in the application packet as well as any other correspondence with the VA. We highly recommend that you send your completed application via USPS Certified Mail Return Receipt to confirm that the VA receives your application.

The VA has three regional processing centers that handle pension benefit applications. Make sure you send the application to the center assigned to the state where the veteran or spouse lives.

 

If the applicant lives in AL, AR, IL, IN, KY, LA, MI, MO, MS, OH, TN, or WI:

Mail the application to:

Department of Veterans Affairs
Claims Intake Center
Attention: Milwaukee Pension Center
PO Box 5192
Janesville, WI 53547-5192

 

If the applicant lives in AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, IA, ID, KS, MN, MT, ND, NE, NM, NV, OK, OR, SD, TX, UT, WA, WY, Central America, Mexico, South America, or the Caribbean:

Mail the application to:

Department of Veterans Affairs
Claims Intake Center
Attention: St. Paul Pension Center
PO Box 5365
Janesville, WI 53547-5365

 

If the applicant lives in CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, MA, MD, ME, NC, NH, NJ, NY, PA, PR, RI, SC, VA, VT, WV, or any other foreign country not served by the St. Paul Pension Center (above):

Mail the application to:

Department of Veterans Affairs
Claims Intake Center
Attention: Philadelphia Pension Center
PO Box 5206
Janesville, WI 53547-5206

What to Expect When You Apply for A&A

The workload at your region’s pension center will determine how quickly your application is processed. Sending a carefully completed application with no missing forms or documents can speed up the process. The application approval process is different for everyone but in most cases, you can expect it to take around nine months from the date you submit it until approval.

Many families can't afford to pay for care out of pocket while they wait for the pension to be approved and funded. Some assisted living and skilled nursing communities will work with you if they know the resident qualifies for A&A. Fortunately, once the VA approves the application, benefits are retroactive to the original filing date.

Top Aid and Attendance Forms