What is a VA Form 21-8940?

I want to talk to you about a situation that happens to many veterans. They apply for an increased rating and VA starts processing their claim.  Then, VA sends them a letter that contains a VA form 21-8940.

Why did VA send me a Form 21-8940?

The short answer is VA is probably just doing their job.  The Form 21-8940 is one of the supplemental forms that is required when making an application for TDIU (also known as individual unemployability benefits).

Orthopedic doctor shoulder patient Under the law, VA has certain duties and responsibilities to you to help identify and develop particular claims.  When you file for an increased rating, you have claimed that your service-connected disability has increased.  If your claim for that increase has evidence that you are unemployable, then that triggers VA’s duty to send you this application for TDIU benefits.

What happens if I do not respond to the Form 21-8940?

First off, you need to respond and submit the information requested on that form within 30 days of VA sending it to you. If you do not respond within that time frame, then VA’s own rules say that they will administratively deny your claim for TDIU.

It does not matter what sort of evidence you have of unemployability.  If they send you that form and you do not complete it send it back to them, then you’re going to receive a denial on TDIU benefits.

If that happens, it does not mean your whole TDIU claim has gone down the tank.  VA should still consider the other claims that you made for increased ratings.

So, if you are seeking an increase from 50 to 70 on your PTSD, VA will not adjudicate your TDIU claim without the Form 8940.  But, VA should still consider whether your PTSD has increased in severity and should be evaluated at perhaps 70 percent or even 100 percent schedular.

Do I need to fill out the Form 21-8940?

The Form 21-8940 is required to substantially complete an application for TDIU.  Just the application for the increased rating is probably not enough. VA rules and regulations require the 21-8940.

If you got one of these in mail, it means VA probably has picked up on something.  You may be eligible for TDIU benefits.  Maybe you did not think to apply for them.

Man with headache trying to fall asleep in bed with medication on nightstand VA is now sending you the form and telling you that you need to fill this form out and send it back if you want to apply for TDIU.  It is probably not a mistake by VA.  If you want to proceed with seeking TDIU benefits, then you should complete the form.

TDIU provides an opportunity to receive benefits at a 100 percent rating level when your service-connected disabilities make you unemployable.   If you are not working or have found it difficult to obtain and maintain employment, then VA has sort of done you a favor by sending you this form.  So, you should strongly consider filling it out and sending it back to them within 30 days.  That should substantially complete your application for TDIU, and VA should issue a decision.

What if I have other questions about TDIU or receive a denial from VA?

If you get a denial or if you have questions anywhere in the TDIU process, I would encourage you to reach out to us.  We provide free veterans disability benefits consultations to veterans and their families.

If you would like to learn more about how our free consultation process works, just read this short article that explains the process in more detail.  If you want to go ahead and get the process started, just complete and submit this free consultation request form or call our office at (770) 214-8885.

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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