VA Form 21-534 Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, Death Pension and Accrued Benefits by a Surviving Spouse or Child (Including Death Compensation if Applicable)

What Is VA Form 21-534?

VA Form 21-534, Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, Death Pension and Accrued Benefits a Surviving Spouse or Child (Including Death Compensation if Applicable) was used to apply for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits or any money the VA owed to veterans that had not been paid prior to their death. The applicant could be a surviving spouse or child.

At present, VA 21-534 is obsolete and the VA Form 21P-534 is in use instead. The latest known version of the form was released in March 2009 and is available below for reference.


Download VA Form 21-534 Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, Death Pension and Accrued Benefits by a Surviving Spouse or Child (Including Death Compensation if Applicable)

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How to Fill out VA Form 21-534?

The fillable version of VA Form 21-534 was completed as follows:

  1. You entered your name and Social Security number (SSN), as well as the name & SSN the veteran, your contact information, and veteran VA file number in items 1 through 6E.
  2. You provided identification and service information in Part I. You needed to enter full data about each period of the veteran's active service. If the veteran had never claimed any benefits from the VA, you had to attach the corresponding discharge or separation documents.
  3. You had to indicate the specific details related to all marriages of the veteran and the surviving spouse in Part II.
  4. You had to provide the information concerning all children of the veteran Part III;
  5. You had to enter your net worth in Part IV.
  6. You had to provide the income of the surviving spouse, children, and custodian of the children in Part V. You were obliged to indicate all types of payments and incomes before any deductions or withholdings. You had to comment income reported in Items 27F and 28D in Item 37, "Remarks".
  7. You had to provide all deductible expenses, including veteran's last illness, burial, and debts in Part VI.
  8. Part VII contained miscellaneous questions and "Remarks" item.
  9. You entered the direct deposit data Part VIII.

You have to answer all the questions of the form. If the answer is "none", "0", or "unknown", you have to enter it in the corresponding field. After completion, you have to sign and date VA Form 21-534.

VA Form 21-534 Instructions

The instructions for the VA 21-534 were provided with the form. You had to read them carefully, detach, and keep for references. The general instructions were as follows:

  • You were required to submit the claim for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation within one year. Otherwise, the benefits were payable from the date the claim was received in the VA.
  • You had to file the pension claim within 45 days from the date of the veteran's death. If no, the payments were assigned since the date the form was received by the VA.
  • The pension rate depended on the family income amount and the number of dependent children. To receive the information about VA Form 21-534 income limits and benefit rates, you needed to call the local VA office at 1 800 827 1000.
  • An attorney, the accredited representative of a veteran organization, or representative of other service organization recognized by the Secretary of Veteran affairs could assist you with the claim.
  • If you were a minor or incompetent person, legal guardian or any other individual acting on your behalf could help filling out the VA Form 21-534.
  • If you were submitting VA aid and attendance form as a surviving spouse claiming the applicable benefits, you needed to provide a medical statement. If you were a nursing home patient, the statement signed by the nursing home official had to be attached.
  • Every applicant had the right to personal hearings at any stage of claim processing or after the decision was made. For this purpose, you needed to inform the nearest VA office about the wish, and the authorized representative arranged the time and place. You could bring witnesses and their testimonies were added to the records.
  • You had to provide the evidence requested in the form. If you could not attach the evidence, you had to enter the reason on a separate sheet and attach this sheet to the document.
  • If the evidence were already filed with the VA, you did not need to attach them again.

When submitting VA 21-534, you could also request Social Security (SS) benefits. The corresponding SSA-24 sheet was attached to the form.

Where to Mail VA Form 21-534?

You had to mail or take VA 21-534 to your regional VA Office. You could find its address in the blue pages of the telephone book under "United States Government, Veterans Affairs" or by calling the VA toll-free number, 1-800-827-1000. It was required to make a photocopy of the completed form for future references before submitting it to the VA office.