I am assisting my mother with applying for A & A as a surviving spouse. we applied informally in July 2010 and snet in a completed application ( formal ) August 2011. I have called several times since than for status updates. The reply is always that it is in the inital stages and there is a back log. On the advise of Elder consulting group in Dec 2010 I sent in the forms stating that she now had " urgent financial hardship " and that we believed they had all the info they needed to make a decision. I don't have the # of these two forms in front of me now. The consulting firm has advised me to contact my mother's congressman this month Jan if we don't hear anything from the VA. Is this a reasonable time frame to call in the " big guns" ? She is 84 and her fiannces are dwindling as I have stated in my calls and correspondances with the VA.