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.

Jason really has helped me so much through this hard experience I have went through! And the ladies in the office was wonderful with any and everything I had questions about! I highly recommend using this lawyer office to everyone and Jason Perkins for sure!! Thank y'all for everything and making it easier to get through this long though experience! James HammittJames Hammitt
Thank you so much ! I received excellent representation from the entire Perkins Studdard Law firm, my VA claim was resolved and granted in a timely manner, they were hands on with me during the entire process. I would definitely recommend the firm to any veteran deciding to file a VA claim.Darrell Lynn
I would like to thank the law firm of Perkins-Studdard (Travis) and his team, for performing such an outstanding job, at every possible level, during my recent situation with the VA Disability Claims . From the first time I called and spoke with Mr Studdard with an overview of my situation, until the final settlement was executed (successfully I may add), I always felt that I was in good hands with this firm. Everyone in the office, Jessica, and April were responsive, approachable, knowledgeable, good listeners, and extremely professional. Mr. Studdard was realistic of the circumstances and of the potential difficult process that would lay ahead, should I proceed. I can’t say enough about Travis, and I will always be thankful to him. Travis was committed, and he instilled a real sense of confidence during both the highs and the lows. He ultimately prevailed and the outcome was very much in my favor. Of course, each case is different on its own merits and one can never predict how things ultimately will turn out. All I know is that the settlement far exceeded my expectation. Mr. Studdard has been a blessing to me. I strongly recommend that anyone who would find themselves in a similar legal situation with the VA to contact Law Offices of Perkins Studdard for a consultation. It was a very positive experience given the circumstances. Thank you again, I shall forever be in your debt.Concetta Hogg
Mr. Perkins, I cannot express enough how thankful I am for your exceptional representation. Your hard work, expertise, and unwavering commitment to my case have left an indelible mark. Thanks to you, I can now move forward with my life, confident that justice has been served.Esli Roque
Travis and his team have been a blessing for me and my family. They have done an amazing job in helping me navigate the VA appeals process. They kept their eye on the ball all the way through the long, difficult and confusing process. I highly recommend Travis and his team because thanks to their professionalism and know how, I got the benefits I deserve.Daniel patriot
Travis has been a blessing to our family, he left no stone unturned and delivered the "W" for my VA claim. Every bit of my experience with the Perkins Studdard team was respectful and they demonstrated their appreciation for our service as veterans. I highly recommend this Law Firm and truly appreciate their willingness to stand on my behalf.M L
They were a huge help with my appeal on my VA disability claim. I appreciate all the hard work they put in. I couldn't have done it without them. I definitely recommend them to anyone who needs help like I did!Benjamin Leatherbury
“I wish I could give the law office of Perkins and Studdard a billion 5 stars.” I was getting the run around with the va claims department regarding having my claims percentage corrected, the va reduced my percentage to discourage me from continuing to file. I saw Mr Perkins Studdard on utube and his knowledge about the va compensation process compel me to contact his office. Within three months of the va reducing my compensation percentage from 90% to 80%…..the law office of Perkins and Studdard got me to 100% P&T. I would strongly advise my fellow veterans that have been denied their compensation to give this law office a call, my results speak for itself. I cannot say thank u enough to this law firm, they are the best. Thanks again, DeanDee Dep
Travis Studdard and his staff did a terrific job. They led me through the complicated VA process with great ease. They understand VA procedures and communicated what to expect step-by-step.Mel Valkner
Absolutely amazing service, helped me with every detail of my case. Without them I’m sure my case wouldn’t have turned out so well. Than you!Dana Lampropoulos

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