Can You Receive Veteran Survivor's Pension/Benefits If You Waited an Extended Period Before Applying?


Quick Answer

There is no deadline to apply for veteran survivor’s benefits. The applicant has a deadline of one year after the application is begun to submit all required documentation, but the claimant can reapply if that deadline is not met.

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Full Answer

If an individual requires assistance to meet the documentation deadline, then the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers an online tool for locating VA-accredited representatives to assist in preparing, presenting and prosecuting a claim. VA will not accept applications prepared by a representative who does not have the VA accreditation, regardless of whether the representative receives payment for services rendered. Accredited representatives are either direct representatives of VA, independent claims agents or private attorneys. At its discretion, VA may offer a one-time exception to the accreditation requirement only when the representative is not monetarily compensated and the intent of the exception is not for the representative to evade the requirements for accreditation.

Accredited agents are not permitted to charge a fee for the service of preparing a claim alone. To maintain accreditation, the representative may only bill a claimant after VA has issued a decision on the claim, a notice of disagreement has been submitted where applicable, and the representative has submitted the proper documentation for the fee agreement with VA.

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