Thanks for the links, Nords. I was unable to find the posts from my search. I have received a fair amount of assistance from the VA online and actually filled out the form 21-534 with my mother today. The supporting documents are clearly spelled out in the instructions and we have them all. I really don't see how there is much need for a "specialist" to assist us. I do have some references that will help that don't charge. I also read somewhere in the midst of all this that these specialists have to be certified by the VA and cannot charge unless you want to challenge the decision. The benefit is retroactive to the day that the VA receives the application, so I'm hoping that they will take care of us fairly and no further action will be necessary. My father fought through France into Germany at the bitter end of the war in Europe as an 18 year old, obtaining the rank of staff sergeant in combat, and then was sent to the South Pacific and finished up in Japan after the surrender. Good for my mom if she gets this assistance. She certainly qualifies.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please. - Mark Twain