Standard Veteran Claim and Appeals Forms
Approximately 1.66 million veterans across the U.S. have a service-related disability with a 70% minimum rating – the average disability rating for veterans injured on duty is 10%. Fortunately, veterans injured and disabled while on duty are entitled to compensation and benefits. Qualifying veterans can claim compensation and benefits for their injuries by filing the appropriate standard veteran claims and appeals forms.
In 2015, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs mandated using standard VA disability forms for filing claims and appeals. Here is an overview of five standard veteran claims and appeals forms.
Standard Veteran Claims & Appeals Forms
Disabled and injured veterans must use the following forms for filing claims and appeals:
1. VA Form 21-526EZ (Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits)
VA Form 21-526EZ is a VA disability claim form used for filing claims for pension, disability compensation, and other related benefits. It serves two purposes:
- Filing disability and compensation claims for the first time.
- Requesting an increase in your current disability and benefits package.
Ideally, you must meet the following conditions to file VA Form 21-526EZ:
- You sustained an injury or illness during active military duty.
- You sustained an injury or illness while on active duty, but complications didn’t begin until after receiving an honorable discharge.
- Working in the military made a previously diagnosed (before joining the military) injury or illness more severe.
VA Form 21-526EZ has 11 sections. It is important to fill all the sections and provide accurate, up-to-date details. You must also provide documents and other materials proving your injuries and claims. You can file this and other VA forms online or download a hard-copy version.
2. VA Form 21-0958 (Notice of Disagreement)
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs can deny your claim or approve it for lower compensation and benefits amounts than you requested. You can disagree with the VA’s offer and appeal their decision by filing VA Form 21-0958, which essentially is a VA appeal form.
VA Form 21-0958 essentially is a notice of disagreement. It includes sections detailing each of your injuries, illnesses, or disabilities. You can disagree with and appeal one, multiple, or all of the VA’s decisions on each claim.
You must file VA Form 21-0958 within one year after the VA makes a formal decision on your disability and benefits claim. However, it is advisable to file the form as soon as possible and provide detailed information and concrete proof supporting your claims for a quick review.
3. VA Form 21-0966 (Intent to File a Claim for Compensation and/or Pension, Survivors Pension, or Other Benefits)
Veterans qualifying for disability compensation and benefits must notify the VA before filing their claims by filing VA Form 21-0966. Ideally, you should use this form if you are ready to file VA Form 21-526EZ or are still gathering the relevant evidence and information to support your claim.
4. VA Form 21-534 (Application for DIC, Death Pension & Accrued Benefits by Surviving Spouse or Child)
Deceased veterans’ immediate family members (spouses and children) are entitled to compensation, which they can claim by filing VA Form 21-534. The deceased veteran must satisfy the following conditions for their immediate family members to qualify for compensation:
- They died while on active duty.
- They died from a service-related injury, illness, or disability.
- They were completely disabled for at least ten years before death or five years after getting an honorable discharge.
The deceased veteran’s immediate family must also meet several requirements to qualify for compensation. It is important to provide accurate information and up-to-date evidence to support your claim.
5. VA Form 21P-527 (Income, Net Worth and Employment Statement)
VA Form 21P-527 is a follow-up for VA Form 21-526EZ. It is used to provide the VA with detailed information and evidence to support your claim and eligibility for pension. You can also use it to file a new pension claim when the current one expires.
Get Professional Help & Guidance!
Filing standard veteran claims and appeals forms is usually a complicated bureaucratic process. Unfortunately, the VA denies many qualifying veterans’ claims because of small mistakes with their paperwork. This is where Vets National comes into the picture.
Vets National is dedicated to helping veterans and their families claim pensions and disability compensation and benefits. Get in touch today to learn more about how we can help or request a free consultation.