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How to apply for a VA pension as a Veteran

Find out how to apply for tax-free VA pension benefits as a Veteran.

How do I prepare before starting my application?

You’ll need this information

  • Your Social Security number 
  • Your VA file number if you have one
  • Your military history 
  • Your marital history (and if you’re married, your spouse’s marital history) 
  • Your work history
  • Information about your dependents

You’ll also need this financial information:

  • Your household’s gross monthly income
  • The value of your household’s assets
  • Your unreimbursed medical expenses

If you’re under age 65, you’ll need to submit a copy of your medical records. 

If we need more information about your household’s medical needs or finances, or your dependents, we may also ask you to complete and submit additional forms. We’ll provide links to download these forms when you apply for pension benefits.

Note: In 1973, a fire at the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis destroyed records held for Veterans who were discharged from the Army and Air Force during certain periods of time. If your records were destroyed in this fire, you can get help reconstructing them.

Find out how to reconstruct your records 

Learn about the evidence you’ll need to support your claim

How do I apply?

You can apply in any of these 5 ways.

Option 1: Apply online  

We updated our online pension form

If you started applying online before November 8, 2023, we have some new questions for you to answer. And we changed some questions, so you may need to provide certain information again. 

You can apply online right now. 

Apply for Veterans Pension benefits

Option 2: Upload your PDF form online

First, fill out an Application for Pension (VA Form 21P-527EZ).

Get VA Form 21P-527EZ to download

Then upload a copy of your completed form using the QuickSubmit tool through AccessVA. If it’s your first time signing in to this tool, you’ll need to register first. After you’ve registered, you can upload your application and documents online.

Upload your form through AccessVA

Option 3: Mail your form

First, fill out an Application for Pension (VA Form 21P-527EZ).

Get VA Form 21P-527EZ to download

Then mail your completed form to the pension management center (PMC):

Department of Veterans Affairs
Pension Intake Center
PO Box 5365
Janesville, WI 53547-5365

Option 4: Submit your form in person

First, fill out an Application for Pension (VA Form 21P-527EZ).

Get VA Form 21P-527EZ to download

Then bring your completed form to a VA regional office near you.

Find your nearest VA regional office

Option 5: Apply with the help of a trained professional

You can work with an accredited attorney, claims agent, or Veterans Service Organization (VSO) representative to get help applying for VA pension benefits.

Get help filling out an application

Should I submit an intent to file form?

You may want to submit an intent to file form before you apply for pension benefits. An intent to file sets a potential start date (or effective date) for your benefits. If you notify us of your intent to file and we approve your claim, you may be able to get retroactive payments. Retroactive payments are payments for the time between when we processed your intent to file and when we approved your claim.

Find out how to submit an intent to file form

How long does it take VA to make a decision?

It depends. We process claims in the order we receive them, unless a claim requires priority processing.