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Introduction to Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit

The surviving spouses of veteran who served during wars receive a disability income from the Veterans Benefit Administration. This particular benefit is formally called a pension however it is most commonly known as veterans aid and attendance pension benefit. For veterans younger than 65, they have to provide a proof of full disability for a pension benefit whereas those aged 65 and above do not have to.

Death pension, the one received by surviving spouses, is lesser amount but 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. Also, it is required for the spouse to stay single so she can keep receiving 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. On behalf of the veteran or his spouse, there are other people who can submit the claim like a duly appointed service organization, a VA approved agent, or a an employee of the local regional VA office. 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. If ever the veteran is incompetent and cannot submit the original application or cannot sign a power of attorney for someone to file the application, then a guardian who is duly authorized can complete the application. Furthermore, a friend, spouse, or a parent can also file and complete the application on behalf of an incompetent veteran as long as he or she will bring with him or her a power of attorney proving authority and will indicate that the veteran is incompetent for financial affairs.

The effective date is typically on the day the VA receives an 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 implies that if it took six months to complete the approval process, then a minimum of five months of benefit must be paid retroactively. Awards must automatically be deposited for checking or savings accounts.

There are accrued benefits for veterans if ever they will die while filing the application, before it was approved. An accrued benefits payable arises once the regional office will realize that they have the relevant information to deem the application approved.
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