VA Aid and Attendance Benefits | You’ve determined you are eligible for the VA’s Aid and Attendance benefits. Now you’re beginning the process of filling out the forms. There are more than a couple. After all, you’re trying to get tax-free government money here, right? Once you begin filling in the blanks, you realize there are portions on the claim forms that request documentation and evidence. Unless you are quite organized and saved every important document of your lifetime, you may have a bit of hunting and scrambling to do. So what are the challenges ahead with obtaining VA Aid and Attendance Benefits?
Documents and Evidence for VA Aid and Attendance Benefits
These items show proof of the information provided on the claim forms.
Photo ID, Social Security card: These two establish your identity.
Military discharge papers: For many years, each military branch issued a form, the so-called “DD 214,” when discharging personnel. It shows the dates of active duty and the character (honorable, dishonorable, etc.) of service, key components of A&A eligibility. During certain periods, the DD 214 was called a “Report of Separation.” By whatever name, if you cannot find the original or certified copy, you can fill out a form and request a certified military discharge record from the National Archives in St. Louis.
Birth certificate and marriage certificate: The veteran does not have to show a birth certificate. Veterans are vetted before their service. However, a surviving spouse needs to prove identity, so in the case of a wife, the birth certificate shows the birth name. The marriage certificate is proof of the union between the veteran and spouse.
Divorce decree and death certificate: If a veteran or spouse was previously married, the VA wants to be sure one marriage is officially over, so it knows the following union is legal. Divorce decrees and death certificates show the end of a marriage. The claim form requests dates and places of marriages and date and places for the ends of marriages.
Social Security income verification letter: Each year, the Social Security Administration issues a letter showing the gross amount of Social Security you are entitled to. It also shows how much is taken out for Medicare and any other supplemental healthcare programs, like a prescription plan. The VA does not accept a 1099 tax form as proof of gross income.
Pension income verification letter: If you receive a pension, ask your pension administrator for a letter reflecting the gross monthly income you receive. Again, the VA does not accept a 1099 tax form as proof of gross income; a letter from the payor source is the best evidence.
Supplemental healthcare: If you pay a monthly premium, show a statement or proof of payment. You want to prove your unreimbursed medical expenses.
Documentation of income/assets: To show your financial picture, the VA wants to see full statements from the following sources, if they apply to your situation: bank checking, savings and Certificate of Deposit statements; investment portfolio statements; values of stocks and bonds; IRA statements; annuity statements, 401K statements, letter reflecting the cash value of any life insurance policies or pre-paid burial plans.
Forms Requiring Assistance of Others
Doctor form: VA form 21-2680 is required. Filled out by your physician, or a certified nurse practitioner, this document should reflect that you need the assistance of another person with the activities of daily living.
Care facility affidavit: If you live in a facility, such as an assisted living facility, this form is completed by a facility director or business manager. It shows what assistance is provided and the cost.
Caregiver affidavit: Same as the care facility affidavit, but completed by a caregiver, who might be providing the assistance at your home or while you are in a facility.
Worksheets for care facility and caregiver: As part of VA claim forms 21P-527EZ or 21P-534EZ, these worksheets are completed by the facility or caregiver, as applicable.
This list is not by any means exhaustive. Your individual situation may call for more or less documentation. For a free consultation about receiving VA Aid & Attendance benefits, please contact Mortellaro Law today. We would be honored to serve you.