Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I have power of attorney for my elder; can I sign these VA forms for him?
A: The VA will not recognize the signature of a power-of-attorney. We are required by law to submit the original signature. If the elder is unable to sign their name, an X witnessed by two people with their address is accepted.
Q: I can’t find the Social Security Award Letter, What can I do?
A: You may request another letter from SSA: 800-772-1213
Q: I can’t locate the discharge papers. How do I get them? Do I have to before I can apply?
A: You can request an undeleted report of separation from www.archives.gov. This is a free service from the National Archives and Records Administration. You don’t have to wait to receive them to apply, but it is best and will shorten the
processing time. If you decide not to wait and want to apply, please provide us with as much of the following information as possible.
- 1. DOB
- 2. Place of birth
- 3. Date and place of entry into active service
- 4. Date and place of separation, branch of service, organization, grade, or rank at time of discharge
- 5. If the veteran served under a different name, we need the full name
Q: I found something that looks like a discharge paper, but it doesn’t say DD-214. Will this work or do I need the DD-214?
A: The DD-214 was not standard issue until the 1950’s, so you may have a different form, especially if the veteran served in WWII. Some alternate forms include: DD Form 256CG, WD AGO 53, WD AGO 55, WD AGO 53-55, NAVPERS 553, NAVMC 78PD, NAVCG 553, and NA Form 13038 Certification of Military Service.
Q: With medical expenses, what counts? Do insurance premiums include car and auto?
A: The VA will only count recurring, fixed out-of-pocket medical expenses. Medicare deductions (e.g. Part B and Part D) and Medicare supplement, (e.g. AARP Insurance) are considered. Prescription, incontinence supplies, boost, and other
consistent expenses are counted at the end of the year and not with the original application, but they are helpful to submit with the claim. Non-medical expenses including life insurance do not count.
Q: How long will it take until the check arrives?
A: The VA takes approximately 6-8 months to make the decision; the direct deposit or check should be mailed 15 day after the decision award letter is received. Remember, the VA pays retroactively to the first month following application.