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.

Rita BarnesRita Barnes
00:03 20 Jan 22
This is a great group of people who really care about your well being. They all treated me as though I was family and helped me with my work comp case in more ways than the average would have.Thank you Jason and Thank you Tina! For doing an awesome job.
Cortex ButlerCortex Butler
18:09 29 Dec 21
I am a Veteran of United States Air Force and was awarded my first 30% in 1996 and have been fighting for my rating for 26 years I came to Perkins and Studdard in 2019 while my mom was in a terrible incident and was given to much anesthesia and through GODS Grace she was spared her life, She is disabled since 2018 and I have been struggling with my life and issues and yet I didn’t call the law firm every 10 minutes or call being rude anytime, I mentioned this as I got to know Jessica more than just a phone call and Mr Studdard was always available when not working on other cases or in court, They always called back and Never had to do a call back, My Review is Simple in Life there peaks and valleys and it doesn’t stop because you have issues, Perkins & Studdard took my case in 2019 in 2021 I received my 100% from VA, I Was Never Rude, I was Never Promised Success, I Was Never Lied too and I was Always Treated with Respect, Friendliness, and Kindness the Real Stuff not a (Money Thing) If You want a firm that Cares about the Client and will work on your case even through a pandemic, Will not lie, will not promise anything will communicate your case and will Give you their Best ALWAYS THIS IS THE Best Law Firm for VETS HANDS DOWN Perkins and Studdard THERE IS NO OTHER 100% we had 5 calls Total Case That’s Taking Care Of Business
annetteMomma nokesannetteMomma nokes
14:29 12 Sep 16
Jason and his paralegal Lisa were on point and on top of their game when it came to handling my worker's comp. injury case. I tried going it alone and the insurance carrier pushed me around. They denied extra physical therapy. They denied injections the doctor recommended to ease my pain. When I turned my case over to Jason things turned around, QUICK. They were at all times attentive and on top of my case. I cannot recommend Jason and his staff enough. If you are hurt at work, this is the firm you want on YOUR side.
Sheila KirklinSheila Kirklin
23:11 12 May 16
Jason Perkins, was my lawyer in a workers comp. case, my case has settled now, and I am very happy for all Jason and his office hard work on my case, he was always there to help me out with any questions that I had or help I needed. Jason is a excellent lawyer and if I ever need another one I would only go to Perkins,Because I believe they would be able to help me in any situation I am in need of..
Anna PabonAnna Pabon
23:16 13 Sep 15
I recommend Perkins Law Firm. Everyone I came in contact with there was very nice. Kim was very helpful and any time I had a question she made sure I got an answer. Ann Margaret really took the time to explain things to me.

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