How to trace and claim veteran benefits

Military Pay Claims

Issues specifically concerning military pay are handled by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service. While no separate files or comprehensive reports are maintained on individuals due unclaimed pay and entitlements, active duty members may claim authorized payments at any time.

There is a six-year statute of limitations on collecting pay or entitlements once an individual has separated from the service. To make inquiry go to myPay or contact: Defense Finance and Accounting Service, 1931 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA 22240-5291. Be sure to include service branch, rank, serial number, and all appropriate military records, where available.

To make inquiry by phone, use the following phone numbers: Active duty pay issues: (800) 346-3374; Reserve pay issues: (800) 255-0974; Retired pay issues: (800) 321-1080. For recorded, general information on all types of DoD (Dept. of Defense) checks and payments call: 216-522-5630.

Veteran Pension Benefits – Veterans Pension / Survivors Pension

Veterans benefits due military personnel frequently go unclaimed. Often overlooked are disabled veteran payments, veteran death benefits and burial allowances, veterans life insurance, savings bonds and military back pay. For a comprehensive listing of all available programs go to:

In addition to military retirement benefits the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides supplemental income to members of the armed services and their families through the Veterans Pension and Survivors Pension programs.

The Veterans Pension is a tax-free monetary benefit payable to low-income wartime Veterans. The Survivors Pension is a tax-free monetary benefit payable to a low-income, un-remarried surviving spouse and/or unmarried children of a deceased veteran with wartime service. For additional information and assistance go to:

Veteran Life Insurance Benefits 

Life Insurance  Service members or beneficiaries who believe they may be entitled to unclaimed SGLI or VGLI should contact the Office of Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (OSGLI) at: Office of Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (OSGLI), 290 West Mt. Pleasant Avenue, Livingston, New Jersey 07039 (800) 419-1473.

To search the Veterans Unclaimed Insurance Funds database, which includes death awards, dividend checks and premium refunds owed to missing current and former policyholders or beneficiaries arising from United States Government Life, National Service Life Insurance, Veterans Special Life Insurance, Veterans Reopened Insurance, and Service-Disabled Veterans Life programs (not SGLI or VGLI) go to:

Veterans Aid and Attendance (A&A) Special Pension

Veterans and survivors who are eligible for pension benefits and are housebound may be eligible to receive additional monetary amounts.

The Aid and Attendance (A&A) Special Pension provides benefits for veterans and surviving spouses who require the regular attendance of another person to assist them in eating, dressing, bathing and going to the bathroom. It includes individuals who are blind and patients in nursing homes due to mental or physical incapacity. Residents of an Assisting Living Facility (ALF) also may qualify.

The A&A Pension provides up to $1,519 per month to a veteran, $976 per month to a surviving spouse, or $1,801 per month to a couple. Only one in seven who are eligible have claimed this benefit – Special Pension benefits totaling billions of dollars have gone unclaimed.

Any War-Time Veteran with 90 days of active duty, 1 day beginning or ending during a period of War, is eligible to apply for the Aid & Attendance Special Pension. Surviving spouses (the marriage must have ended due to death) of a War-Time Veteran may also apply.

The veteran or surviving spouse must qualify both medically and financially. To qualify medically, you must need assistance performing normal daily tasks, such as eating, dressing, dressing, and going to the bathroom. If you are blind or in a nursing home or assisted living facility due to mental or physical incapacity, you may also qualify. To qualify financially, you must have less than $80,000 in assets, exclusive of your home and automobile.

Eligibility must be proven by filing the Veterans Application for Pension or Compensation – VA Form 21-526. You will also need your Form DD-214 – Discharge/Separation Documents. These  may be obtained by mail from:

The National Personnel Records Center  |  9700 Page Avenue  |  St. Louis, Missouri 63132. You may also call 800-827-1000 or download the form online: Standard Form 180.  Surviving spouses will need VA Form 21P-534 

Military Records

Request your military service records through milConnect:

You can request documents from your Official Military Personnel File including:

  • DD214
  • DD215
  • Report of Separation and Other release papers

You may also request documents with information about your service, including:

  • Orders and endorsements
  • Performance reports
  • Awards and decorations (commendatory items)
  • Qualifications, licenses, and certificates
  • Security clearances

Military Bonds / U.S. Savings Bonds

For U.S. Savings Bonds,  Adjusted Service Bonds (ASB) and Armed Forces Leave Bonds (AFLB), issued as compensation for accumulated but unused military leave, see: Military Veterans Benefits Search