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Applying to the Correct Place

Based on the particular benefits the veteran is applying for determines the paperwork they require, where they can receive it, and where they need to send it.

VA disability compensation or pension

To receive a VA disability compensation or VA pension, attach available copies of dependency records validating marriage, child birth certificates, documentation of military service, and discharge characterization (Chapter 2) to VA Form 21-526, Veteran’s Application for Compensation and/or Pension.

Appendix B lists VA regional offices where veterans can obtain the VA Form 21-526, or visit www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-21-526-ARE.pdf to download it. After completion of the form, return it to the nearest VA office with supporting evidence attached.

Combat-Related Special Compensation

Veteran’s eligible for combat-related special compensation can apply by completing DD Form 2860, Claim for Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) through their individual military service. Those qualified can find this form at the Military Pay and Finance section on any military base or online at .

Other documentation veterans are advised to enclose with DD Form 2860 include copies of:

  • Retirement orders
  • 20-year letter or statement of service (for reservists)
  • Relevant pages of VA or military medical records
  • VA ratings determinations
  • Purple Heart decoration award citations (if applicable)
  • Retirement Form DD Form 214 (Chapter 2)

The Department of Defense (DOD) guidance excludes a comprehensive list of pertinent documentation, but alternatively states that determinations are made bearing the importance of accessible documents.

Relevant, quality information is more important to the DOD than quantity of information.

It is recommended to send copies of documents and not originals, as the paperwork is not returned.

After DD Form 2860 is completed with relevant documentation attached, the veteran is required to mail the application to the military service address from which they retired. Military service locations can be found on the first page of the application form.

The veteran’s service branch is obligated to notify them in writing after the DOD concludes approval or denial of the application. A copy of a veteran’s letter is forwarded to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service if approved and they consequentially commence monthly CRSC payments.

Adaptive housing grants

Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) and Special Home Adaptation (SHA) grants can be requested by completing VA Form 26-4555, Veterans Application in Acquiring Specially Adapted Housing or Special Home Adaption Grant. Forms are obtainable at VA regional offices (Appendix B) or for download at www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-26-4555-ARE.pdf. The completed form can be returned to the nearest VA regional office.

Completing VA Form 10-0103, Veterans’ Application for Assistance in Acquiring Home Improvement and Structural Alterations is required to apply for the Home Improvement and Structural Alterations (HISA) grant. VA medical centers (Appendix C) provide VA Form 10-0103. Otherwise it is available at www.prosthetics.va.gov/docs/vha-10-0103-fill.pdf. The completed form can be returned to the VA medical center from which the veteran is treated for medical care (Chapter 4).

Clothing allowance

Completing VA Form 10-8678, Application for Annual Clothing Allowance is required to apply for clothing allowance. VA Form 10-8678 is available for download at www.va.gov/vaforms/medical/pdf/vha-10-8678-fill.pdf or at VA medical centers (Appendix C). The completed form can be returned to the VA medical center from which the veteran is treated for medical care.


  1. Damn, where the hell am I gonna come up with a veteran at the Pentagon? Or Andrews, Ft. McNair, Ft. Myer, Defense cotucnimamions, Ft. Bragg, or Little Creek?Hoo boy, I can hear it now. My patriotic duty to pick up the bar tab.Does the past 30 years or so count?

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