Who can best help me apply (file a claim) for a VA Pension?

Back to top
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) gives accreditation (permission to represent people filing claims) to three types of people who can help you:

How can I find an accredited service officer, claims agent, or attorney?

Back to top
You can search the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) website for accredited representatives, claims agents, and attorneys. You can also ask veterans in your area if they know a good accredited service officer, claims agent, or attorney.

Can a family member or friend help me apply for a VA Pension if they are not an accredited representative, claims agent, or attorney?

Back to top
Yes. However, a person who is not recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as an accredited claims representative, claims agent, or attorney cannot charge you for helping with your claim.

Can a VA-accredited attorney or claims agent who is also a financial planner help me with a claim for Aid and Attendance (A&A) benefits?

Back to top
Yes, a VA-accredited attorney or claims agent who is also a financial planner may help you with your claim for a VA Pension or for A&A. However, they may not use their VA accreditation to promote or sell financial products.

Some agents or attorneys may try to charge you a pre-filing consultation fee to tell you about VA benefits that you might be able to get. In general, these pre-filing fees are illegal if they are charged after you tell the attorney or claims agent that you plan to file a claim for VA benefits.

Accredited claims agents or attorney can charge you fees, but only after the VA has made an initial decision on your claim and you have filed a notice that you disagree with that decision. The attorney or claims agent must file a power of attorney and fee agreement with the VA.

What are the current pension rates?

Back to top

How does the VA figure out how much my pension should be?

Back to top
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) calculates your annual pension by totaling all of your countable family income and then subtracting any deductions. The remaining countable family income is subtracted from your Maximum Annual Pension Rate (MAPR). Your MAPR depends on how many dependents you have and whether you can get Housebound (SMC-S) or Aid and Attendance (A&A) benefits. The result is the total amount you get each year. Your monthly pension payment is the annual amount divided by 12. The VA offers an online example of the pension calculation.