The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is working to make filing claims and appeals as fast and easy as possible. Beginning Tuesday, March 24, 2015, claims and appeals must be filed using the appropriate form. Standardizing forms will ease frustration among claimants, make claims processing more efficient and help VA reach more accurate decisions.
There are three major actions that will require a specific form or standardized process: Intent to File, claims applications, and Notice of Disagreement.
When filing a formal claim, the following forms should be completed and submitted to VA either electronically via eBenefits (ebenefits.va.gov) or the Stakeholder Enterprise Portal (sep.va.gov), or by mailing the completed paper form to VA:
Applicants who are not ready to file a claim for disability, but wish to preserve a date of claim while gathering evidence and completing the necessary application form should use one of the following three methods to communicate an intent to file a claim to VA:
Finally, Veterans filing a Notice of Disagreement with a compensation decision should use VA Form 21-0958, Notice of Disagreement. Veterans and their representatives currently use the form on an optional basis. However, beginning March 24, 2015, Veterans must use this form when VA provides the form with a decision notice letter. Veterans and survivors will not be required to use a standardized notice of disagreement form for other types of claims (i.e., pension or survivors benefits) at this time.
If you are unable to download these forms from va.gov/vaforms/, call 800-827-1000 to have the correct form sent to your home.
Requiring standard forms will help VA more quickly identify what the applicant is claiming and gather the evidence required to process the claim or appeal. Standardized forms are a key component of VA’s transformation, which will help achieve the Department’s goal to eliminate the backlog in 2015.