How Can I Get the Process Started on VA Application?

Applying for Aid and Attendance is a long and complicated process.  The Aid and Attendance pension is effective from the first day of the month after the month the VA receives your claim.  This means that if the VA receives your claim in April, your benefit would start on May 1.  If the VA takes 6 months to approve your claim, they will pay you 6 months worth of retroactive benefits back to that effective date.
One way to ensure that your benefits start as early as possible is to send an informal statement to the VA notifying them that you intend to file for the Aid and Attendance pension.  By submitting an informal statement, you can preserve an earlier application date.  Once your application is approved, the VA will use the date of the informal statement to calculate the amount of benefits owed to you.  Therefore, filing this statement as soon as possible is an important way to have your VA benefits start as early as possible.  Once you have sent in the informal request, you will have one year from that date to send the appropriate application and documentation for the VA pension application.
One word of caution – do not send the informal statement to the VA until you are actually eligible.  The VA looks at your assets from the date of the informal statement, so sending the statement too soon can actually harm your claim.  If you have too many assets to qualify for Aid and Attendance or if you do not have enough properly documented medical expenses, then submitting an informal claim or an actual application would not be beneficial.
If you have questions about whether you have too many assets, how to document your medical expenses or any other questions about how to qualify for VA benefits, you should contact an accredited attorney for assistance.

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