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Navigating VA Form 21-0781 in a PTSD Claim

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is more likely to affect military veterans, especially those who have been deployed, than civilians. If you have been affected by a traumatic event or fear of hostile military or terrorist activity while in military service, we at Vets National can help.  

Often, applying for service-connected benefits for PTSD can be tricky because there are few records of the in-service event, and it can be difficult dealing with and discussing your experiences and current symptoms. That is where VA Form 21-0781 comes in. This form, Statement in Support of a Claim for Service Connection for PTSD, is used when you’ve been diagnosed with PTSD and want to apply for related benefits and/or services.  

In this post, we’ll help you understand each step of VA Form 21-0781 and what’s required to complete it. 

Understanding VA Form 21-0781 

As a veteran, you’ve faced challenges few can imagine. You’ve served your country with valor and resilience. And now you’re home. 

If you have PTSD, your battles aren’t over. But you may find help if you complete VA Form 21-0781 and apply for VA disability benefits for PTSD. 

VA Form 21-0781 provides the VA specific details about the events or experiences known as stressors that contribute to your PTSD.  The VA uses this Fform to solicit information about the: 

  • date of the stressor incident, 
  • place of the incident, 
  • unit of assignment at the time of the incident, 
  • detailed description of the eventincident itself, 
  • medals or citations received as a result of the incident, and 
  • name and other identifying information concerning any other individuals involved in the event, if appropriate. 

You can download this Form from the VA’s website, or the VA will send it to you.  If they send it to you, you should work with your advocate to complete and return it within 30 days. 

Here’s an overview of the Form. 

Completing VA Form 21-0781 

  • Section I: The veteran
    • Provide personal information, such as the veteran’s name, date of birth, and Social Security Number. 
  • Section II: The in-service event 
    1. To receive service-connected benefits for PTSD, you must establish what happened in service that led tois related to the current PTSD.  This could include an event in combat, fear of hostile military or terrorist activity, a non-combat incident such as a car accident, or a personal assault.  In this section, describe in detail the event(s) that caused or aggravated the PTSD. If this is difficult to detail, consider working with your advocate and/or a licensed therapist.  Although it may be hard, it is in your best interest to provide as much detail as possible.  If you do not remember something, such as the date of the event, it is better to provide an estimate—like a range of dates—than to guess incorrectly.  You should include all the in-service events you think might be related to your PTSD, and you can always submit more than one VA Form 21-0781 if you need more space.  
  • Section III: Further comments
    1. Provide additional information that may help the VA understand what you have experienced, both in and since service.  If your symptoms began in service, you can should include that information.  Also, you can list any contacts or references who could corroborate your in-service stressor. 
  • Section IV: Declaration and signature
    1. Review your statements, then sign and date the Form.  Submit the Form to the VA as soon as possible, to avoid adjudication delays. 

Taking the next step with Vets National 

You’re not alone. At Vets National, we’re here to help you navigate this process. It can be daunting, but we can make it more manageable. 

If you need help filing your PTSD claim or understanding more about the VA Form 21-0781, reach out to us today. Our dedicated team is ready to provide the support you need. Call us, at 877-777-4021. 

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