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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

  • 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. 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

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).

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.