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Book: How to Apply for Department of Veterans Affairs Benefits for Veterans and Their Survivors (2024)

Book: How to Apply for Department of Veterans Affairs Benefits for Veterans and Their SurvivorsThis book is a welcome and needed resource for veterans and their families. There is no other book available that incorporate VA's newest claims procedures along with instructions on how to submit claims for over 25 different types of claims including Pension, Death Pension, DIC, Disability Compensation, Burial Benefits, and more...

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CLE Courses to Maintain Your VA Accreditation

3 Hour CLE CoursesAre you looking for a CLE Course to maintain your Accreditation with the Department of Veterans Affairs?

For agents and attorneys already accredited with VA, we offer two approved 3 hour video courses to meet your initial first year CLE requirements or any additional three hours on veterans benefits law and procedures required every two years.

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Mission of the SVSA


According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, there are 22.7 million veterans in the United States.  Fully 55% of these people are age 60 and older.  Many of the veterans benefits now available are not relevant to these older veterans or are no longer available to them; but, there are still benefits to assist older veterans that are not being utilized to the fullest extent.  In addition, we have found that many of our nation's seniors, whether veterans or not, are struggling with a myriad of financial and emotional challenges in their final years of life. 

Our mission is twofold.  First, we are dedicated to helping elderly seniors who served their country learn about various support services available from VA.  Second, we provide a national website listing of dedicated professionals to help seniors better prepare for their final years of life.  This national network of providers and advisers includes financial advice, legal help, preparation for eldercare, education on government support programs, care provider services and much more.

This twofold approach to supporting our valiant elderly veterans, who served our country in a time of need, will improve the dignity, financial staying power and well-being of these valued American seniors.

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Detailed Information about the Veterans Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit

Veterans Benefits for Seniors

Under the right circumstances, a VA Program called Special Monthly Pension can provide up to $2,266 per month for a married veteran or up to $1,911 a month for a single veteran in additional income. Generally, to qualify for these benefit levels, these veterans must be paying for expensive long term care at home, in assisted living or in a nursing home. Survivor's (Death) Pension for surviving spouses can provide up to $1,228 a month in additional income under the same circumstances.


A remarkable World War II experience recounted by Colonel Jack Leroy Tueller.

Historical War Photos

Soldiers Carrying US Flag (Guam beach)

The following gallery endeavors to offer a small assortment of historical photos in order to offer a brief glimpse into the lives of our valiant senior veterans during war. As far as we are aware, the images can be found in the public domain. Continue to the Historical War Photos Gallery...

Services Provided by the Senior Veterans Service Alliance

Since 2011, the Senior Veterans Service Alliance has been helping veterans and their families learn about veterans benefits. We are not a recognized veterans service organization nor are we affiliated with the Department of Veterans Affairs, but we serve the same purpose by educating the public and referring visitors to accredited representatives for help. We are a nonprofit organization. We do NOT charge fees for assistance.

The topics listed below link to detailed explanations of the most common disability and survivor benefits. For a more detailed list click on the tab above entitled "Veterans Benefits."

The Veterans Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit

The Aid and Attendance Pension benefit is a means tested monthly payment for veterans who served during a period of war. A lesser monthly benefit is also available to surviving spouses of these veterans. Pension income is tax-free.

Disability Compensation for Service-Connected Disability

Disability compensation is tax-free monthly income paid to a veteran with a current service-connected disability or disease. The disability or disease has to be a result of active duty service, active duty for training or injury from VA healthcare.

Benefits for Survivors of Veterans

Servicemembers who died on active duty or who as veterans died as a result of being on claim for service-connected disability can leave behind a monthly death benefit payment called DIC. Surviving spouses of war veterans may also be entitled to Survivors Pension.

Unfavorable Decisions with an Application for Veterans Benefits

It is fairly common for applications for VA benefits to result in undesirable or bad decisions. Accredited representatives with the Senior Veterans Service Alliance understand how to turn around unfavorable claim decisions.

Veterans Health Care

The VA healthcare system is the largest single provider of healthcare in the United States and serves well over 9 million veterans. Not all veterans can receive care in the system. There are certain qualifying criteria to get into the system.

Eligibility and Entitlement Requirements for Veterans Benefits

Eligibility for veterans benefits requires the former service member to meet the definition and duty requirement of a veteran. Former members of the guard or reserve are not considered veterans unless they were called up to active duty. Each benefit has its own entitlement rules.

How Does One Apply for VA Compensation or Apply for VA Pension Benefits

The Senior Veterans Service Alliance can help potential applicants with understanding the benefits, understanding how to apply, how to challenge a bad decision, what forms to use and what evidence is required.

Other Benefits Available to Veterans and Survivors

Veterans and survivors may also be entitled to special aid and attendance or housebound allowances, home renovation grants, loan guarantees and education benefits.

Veterans Burial Benefits

Money for burial costs is available for veterans who died from service connection. If the veteran was receiving benefits but death was not due to service connection, nominal reimbursement for burial and funeral is available. Veterans cemeteries are available to all veterans.

Long Term Care Benefits Available through VA Health Care

The Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare system offers a variety of long term care services. These services could include congregant homes, home care, care management and so on. Eligibility requires enrollment in VA health care.

State Veterans Nursing Homes

State veterans homes are a joint venture between state veterans departments and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Most state homes are nursing homes for veterans but some homes may also provide assisted living or other care.

Understanding the Department Of Veterans Affairs

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides health care services, benefits programs and access to national cemeteries to former military service members and their dependents. VA also provides authority to certain individuals to assist with applications and appeals for benefits. This is called "accreditation."

Accreditation and Fees

No person may help a veteran with an initial claim for benefits unless that person is accredited through VA. Additionally, no fee may be charged that is directly related to the filing of an initial claim. Doing so is illegal. Many members of the SVSA are accredited and no member of the SVSA charges a fee that is directly related to the filing of an initial claim. Continue reading...

"Intent to File" & Effective Dates

Before applying for benefits a veteran or the surviving spouse of a veteran (in either case, the claimant) may wish to establish an Effective Date by means of an "Intent to File" (formerly known as an Informal Claim) even though they are not yet prepared to apply. This is done to 'lock-in a date' (for purposes of receiving back-pay) while the claimants are gathering supporting evidence to include in their application. Continue reading...