Changes in VA Form Filing

VA recently made major changes in its rules about VA form filing in veterans benefits claims.  VA is moving toward requiring official forms to be filed in order to file a claim or to pursue an appeal.  You need to be aware of the changes in the rules because they could create problems for many veterans.

What are the most significant changes with the new rules?

One of the most significant changes is the abolishment of option of filing an informal claim.  Informal claims allowed veterans to make a request for benefits for a condition without using VA’s official form.  Since a veteran can only receive benefits from the time a claims is filed, informal claims often provided veterans with many additional months or years of benefits as a result of an earlier effective date when the claim for benefits was granted.

After March 24, 2015, the ability to file an informal claim no longer exists.  To file a claim for disability compensation benefits, a veteran must file Form 21-526EZ.  A wartime veteran filing for pension must use Form 21-527EZ.  The survivor of a veteran filing for dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC) should file Form 21-534EZ.  Because there is no ability to file a claim informally, many veterans and survivors who would have met the requirements for filing an informal claim under the previous rules will no longer have claims filed until they actually file the required VA form.

What if I don’t yet have all the information I need to file a claim?

A veteran can now notify VA of an intent to file a claim.  According to VA’s website, there are several ways to do this.   The most straightforward way is to complete a Form 21-0966 Intent to File a Claim for Compensation and/or Pension, or Survivors Pension and/or DIC.  VA also indicates that you can complete an Intent to File application through eBenefits.  The proper filing of an intent to file a claim will preserve the effective date of the claim while giving the veteran or survivor one year to gather the necessary information to support the claim. Preserving the earliest possible effective date is very important.

VA has indicated that it hopes these changes will help it process claim and pay benefits in a more timely manner. We certainly hope that it does that so that veterans will not continue to experience long delays waiting for their claims to be processed.  If you have any questions about filing a claim or any other questions about veterans benefits, our attorneys will be happy to provide you with a free consultation to answer your questions.  Also, if you are filing an initial claim for compensation, our attorneys will usually represent you in that initial application for free.  To find out more, simply call the phone number or complete the “Need Help” form on the right side of this page.

Travis Studdard is an attorney who focuses on representing veterans in VA disability compensation claims.  He regularly writes about issues that are important to veterans and their families.

You can subscribe to his Veterans Disability channel on YouTube.

Thank you Jason and Tina for everything you've done. Much appreciated. Great law firm! Great results!! Thank you!!! (Austin and Valerie)Valerie Mellinger
Travis and the team working on my VA claim are awesome. I’m happy with their integrity and diligence on working on my claim.Chris “Greybeard” Mullennix
I can't express enough how great it was to work with Perkins Studdard. They are extremely knowledgeable, professional and keep you aware of everything happening with your case. Very friendly from the front office to Mr. Perkins. I would HIGHLY recommend Perkins Studdard!James Strickland
I recommend Travis for an Veteran that has been dealing with constant denial with claims. He also , cover cost for my nexus letter when I ran into financial troubles , that helped me win my case.edwin Cook
I highly recommend Travis Studdard to represent anyone looking to help with VA claims. The VA is very difficult to deal with when attempting to get benefits from service connected injuries, at least that's my experience. Travis and his team knows the VA system and the legal procedures to help you get what you deserve. Travis was kind and passionate with me throughout this process and therefore, I highly recommend this law firm to represent DAV's.Terry Hembree
Such an awesome team. They spoke to me like a person and helped me through every decision with knowledge.Kevin Collett
Highly recommend this firm. Did exactly what they said they were going to and fairly timely. The VA is sometimes extremely difficult to navigate but this took all the leg work away from me and got me the result I thought was fair.Andrew Boone
Amazing staff, very informed along with excellent communication. Within just a few weeks of work, Mr Studdard was able to make things happen that normally take years! Highly recommendJacob Sylvester
Perkins Studdard LLC is the place you need to be if you have a Workers Comp case going on! Mr. Jason Perkins and his staff get the results that you need. They work with you and fight for you.Coming from another lawyer my husband and I were really surprised and appreciated the communication and honesty and understanding throughout the entire process. My husband loves the videos because they held so much information and helped him understand what what was going on. Thank you so much for representing us!!!Deborah Tompkins
I highly recommend Jason Perkins and the Team at Perkins and Studdard. Jason did a wonderful job on my case and actually got me better results than what I was hoping for. He was always so patient with me and made sure I was understanding every process in my case. He never seemed to mind me asking questions and always gave me straightforward answers. My phone calls to him or his staff were promptly answered or returned and everyone was always so helpful, personable, and respectful. He kept me updated on all the details of my case and sent helpful videos for me to review that were very informative.Dru Vaughn

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