How To Win Your Claim



You Must Understand the New Rules for 2015


​The Federal Register

Standard Claims and Appeals Forms
A Rule by the Veterans Affairs Department on 09/25/2014




How To File & Win Your Claim For Disability Compensation - 2015


The following are the steps to take to file & win your claim.

Following these steps in order doesn't guarantee you'll win

but it will increase the chances of a positive outcome.


Think about it. What are you going to claim?

The more precise you are, the better.

Find your condition in The Schedule For Rating Disabilities.

Use the VA language when you can.


Register for and familiarize yourself with eBenefits.


Complete and file the VA Form 21-0966

​Intent To File a Claim For Compensation, Pension,  Survivors Pension, Or Other Benefits

(Available after March 24th 2015)

This will set the effective date of your claim. Retroactive benefits will be paid to this date.

Now you have one year to complete the details of the claim.


Gather your records for your own use.

If there are civilian medical records, get those yourself. Do not rely on VA to get them for you.

If you only have VA medical records, they will be accessible to the raters.

Military records and DD-214 replacements are here.


Get your records (evidence) organized.

Make copies, collate them in good order. If you plan to upload them on-line, start scanning.

If you want to mail them in, the address to use is:

​U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Evidence Intake Center, PO Box 4444
Newnan, GA 30271


Pro Tip

Organizing your records for presentation and review is critical. Eventually a VA employee

(a rater) will sit down at a desk and review your claim submission. If you have given

the rater little to work with, you'll get little in return. If you've given the rater good

evidence, presented neatly and in order, your claim is more likely to win.


File the claim

You've had up to one year to complete the steps above. It's time to formally file

your claim for disability compensation benefits. We recommend that you use the 

electronic claims forms available on line at eBenefits.

You'll be completing the VA Form 21-526EZ

You are allowed to download and print the form.

You may mail it and all your records/evidence to:

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Claims Intake Center
PO Box 5235
Newnan, GA 30271-0020

You're done! 

Congratulations. You've filed your claim for VA disability compensation. Now you wait.

VA will notify you that you'rescheduled for a C & P exam.

 Once that step is completed, you wait for the notification that you've won your claim.


How hard was that?



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November 2014

  Hello Jim,

  Wanted to give a heartfelt Thank You, Sir.

  I followed your advise, got my ducks-in-a-row, did not rush into any decisions without

researching first on your website. My claim for IU with P&T was granted and completed

in 4 months. What I learned from you is to be thorough, concise and patient.

Once again, I thank you for what you  are doing for all Veterans.

/S/

Ed




The VAWatchdog is a DIY site.

We promote the idea that veterans are smart enough to submit

their own VA disability claims.

We do not believe that any sort of "VA rep" is necessary.

Nobody cares about your claim the way you do.

Do it yourself, do it right the first time.


​​

Forms/Links


VA Form 21-0966 - Intent To File A Claim


VA Form 21-526EZ -  File A Claim

Disability Service Connection

Secondary Service Connection-Increased

Disability Compensation-Temporary

Total Disability Rating -

 Individual Unemployability -

Compensation under 38 U.S.C. 1151 -

 Special Monthly Compensation -

Specially Adapted Housing/Special

Home Adaptation Automobile 

Allowance/Adaptive Equipment -

Benefits Based on a Veteran's

Seriously Disabled Child


VA Form 21-0958 - NOD

​Notice of Disagreement


VA Form 21-534 EZ

Application for DIC, Death Pension, 

Change of Address


The VA Claims Intake Center - Western Region

Department of Veterans Affairs

PO Box 5235
Janesville, WI  53547-5235
Toll Free FAX Janesville – 844-822-5246


The VA Claims Intake Center - Eastern Region
Department of Veterans Affairs

PO Box 5235
Newnan, GA   30271-0020
Toll Free Fax Newnan – 844-531-7817


File Your Claim On-Line - eBenefits


Disability Benefits Questionnaires (DBQ's) 

List By DBQ Form Name

​​DBQ Provider Instructions

DBQ FAQs


TDIU Annual - VA Form 4140


VA form 21-686c

Declaration of Status of Dependents


CHAMPVA


My HealtheVet


Jim's Mailbag


Regulations Dot Gov


CFR 38


​​

Pro Tips

These are a few of  the little details that we've learned over the years.


Consider getting an Independent Medical Opinion (IMO) before you go to the C & P exam.

Although you'll have to pay for an IMO out of your pocket, think of it as an investment

in your future. The IMO is usually the key piece of evidence that wins your claim. We

do not trust the C & P examiners to be experts in diagnosing your conditions. 


Don't rely on "buddy letters" from friends or family to help you establish your disabling

conditions. These statements in support of your claim don't carry much weight unless

they are from people who you served with and they witnessed an event that caused

your disabling condition. You need solid evidence.


Talk with a veterans law attorney. Although you may not be able to retain an attorney

to represent you unless and until there is a denial of a claim, the attorneys you see

featured on VAWatchdog will be happy to speak with you at no charge.  The lawyer

you speak with may have some really good ideas for your claim.







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