Introduction to Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit
The Veterans Benefit Administration provides a disability income to the surviving spouses of veterans who served during a period of war. This kind of benefit is a pension which is commonly known as the veterans aid and attendance pension benefit. To get pension benefit, veterans who are younger than 65 years old have to give an evidence of full disability while those 65 years and above do not have to.
The pension available for surviving spouses which is called death pension, is lesser although it is still based on the same rules for a living pension claim. In other words, the deceased veteran must meet the requirements for pension, unless they are totally disabled or over the age of 65, or is receiving pension currently so that his wife will receive the lesser benefit. In addition, the spouse must be single in order for her to be eligible to receive the pension.
A claim is submitted by the veteran’s surviving spouse in case of a death claim, otherwise, it is submitted by the veteran. An employee of the local regional VA office, a VA approved agent, or a duly appointed service organization can file the claim on behalf of the veteran or his surviving spouse. So that the claim by a third person will be valid, the veteran should sign a document authorizing a power of attorney to permit someone else to file a claim for him. A duly authorized guardian can complete the application in case the veteran cannot file it or he cannot sign a power of attorney for other authorized persons to file the claim. The spouse, parent, or a friend can also submit and complete the application for an incompetent veteran as long as that person shows a power of attorney authorizing him or her and will indicate that the veteran is incompetent for financial affairs.
The effective date of this pension begins on the day the VA receives an original application. The process of approval usually takes three to six months, but it does not really matter since the effective date always reverts back to the day the original application was received.
The payment typically begins on the first day of the month after the month of the effective date. This means that if ever the approval process took six months, then a retroactive payment for five months will be made. The VA necessitates an automatic deposit of awards for savings or checking accounts.
In case the veteran will die during the filing and before the completion of application process, the veteran will have accrued benefits. There will be an accrued benefits payable if the regional office possesses all information indicating that the application can be approved.