How to apply for a VA pension as a Veteran
Find out how to apply for tax-free VA pension benefits as a Veteran.
You can still file a claim and apply for benefits during the coronavirus pandemic
Get the latest information about in-person services, claim exams, extensions, paperwork, decision reviews and appeals, and how best to contact us during this time.
Go to our coronavirus FAQs
How do I prepare before starting my application?
- Find out if you’re eligible for VA pension benefits
- Gather the information listed below that you’ll need to fill out your pension application.
You’ll need this information
- Social Security number or VA file number (required)
- Military history (required)
- Your financial information and the financial information of your dependents (required)
- Work history
- Bank account direct deposit information
- Medical information
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. Your records may have been destroyed in the fire if you were discharged from the Army between November 1, 1912, and January 1, 1960, or if you were discharged from the Air Force between September 25, 1947, and January 1, 1964. If you think your records may have been involved in this fire, find out how to get help filing a claim
You can also apply:
Fill out an Application for Pension (VA Form 21P-527EZ).
Download VA Form 21P-527EZ (PDF)
Mail the completed form to the pension management center (PMC):
Department of Veterans Affairs
Pension Intake Center
PO Box 5365
Janesville, WI 53547-5365
Bring your application to a VA regional office near you.
Find your nearest VA regional office
With the help of a trained professional
You can work with a trained professional called an accredited representative to get help applying for VA pension benefits.
Get help filing your claim
Should I submit an intent to file form?
You may want to submit an intent to file form before you apply for pension benefits. This can give you the time you need to gather your evidence while avoiding a later potential start date (also called an effective date). When you notify us of your intent to file, you may be able to get retroactive payments (payments that start at a point in the past).
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.