Not applying soon enough

The longer you wait to apply, the later your effective date of claim (the date when your claim starts). A later effective date of claim could mean you miss out on benefits that are due to you. Don’t wait to apply. It’s easy to apply online. You don’t have to send in every bit of information when you first apply; you can always do that later. An accredited claims representative can help you decide what’s important to submit. Applying immediately is the best option and helps preserve your earliest possible effective date.

Pursuing your claim without an accredited representative

You can file your VA Pension claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) right away on your own to make sure the date that your claim starts (your effective date) is as early as possible. However, it’s best to get help from an accredited claims agent, service officer, or attorney as soon as you can. It can be difficult to apply for and show that you have a right to VA benefits, and it’s good to get help from someone who understands VA benefits; the related laws, regulations, and VA policies; the kind of evidence you need to show; and how best to send in that evidence.

You can search for accredited veterans service organization representatives, agents, or attorneys on the VA website.