Ask an Elder Law Attorney in Silicon Valley: How to Apply for VA Benefits

One of the benefits of serving in the US military is health care through the Veterans Administration.  There are a variety of benefits available for both veterans and surviving spouses, and the criteria for each can vary.  Some estate planning attorneys and elder law attorneys in Silicon Valley work with veterans specifically in order to ensure they are receiving the benefits that they have earned.

In order to receive VA benefits, however, it is necessary to apply for them.  This can be done online at the VA’s web site at http://www.va.gov/healthbenefits/online/.  On this site, you will be able to fill out the 10-10EZ form.  You may need to have some documents available to you in order to provide all of the relevant information:

  • Death certificate
  • Discharge papers
  • Marriage certificate
  • Medical Evidence
  • Proof of medical expenses

Unfortunately, the application process can take as long as a year to go through, so starting earlier is better than starting later.  If you don’t qualify for benefits now, the VA’s site will keep your information on file for reevaluation when guidelines for acceptance change.  When you are approved, however, benefits will be paid retroactively beginning with the month after you submitted your application.  Again, sooner is better than later.

Applying for your VA benefits is free of charge and offers more than just potential financial support.  For example, some providers will require you to have “creditable coverage” before they will admit you, and your VA benefits can be used for this purpose.  This can also be the case in states where health coverage is required for all.

In addition to using the web site above, veterans and spouses are able to apply for benefits at their nearby VA medical center or by calling 1-877-222-VETS (8387).

If you have questions about how to qualify for VA benefits, it is worthwhile to talk to a knowledgeable lawyer in California.  He or she will help by taking a look at your income and assets and recommending ways to improve your chances of qualifying for a variety of different VA benefits available to veterans and their spouses.  Wartime veterans may also be entitled to an additional benefit, known as Aid and Attendance, to cover the costs of long-term care.

To learn more about VA Benefits, including Aid and Attendance, we encourage you to contact our elder law attorneys in Silicon Valley for assistance.

2 Responses to “Ask an Elder Law Attorney in Silicon Valley: How to Apply for VA Benefits”

  1. Roald Nilsen says:

    Hi,

    I am a veteran and just got my VA disability rating. I was denied sleep apnea and was curious if you deal with filing notice of disagreements for VA claims.
    Thanks,
    Roald

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