If you are looking to receive the benefits due to you as a veteran, the first step towards collecting said benefits is filing a claim. These benefits could include health care, pensions, education, training, insurance, employment aid, or housing aid. Sometimes the benefits needed deal with transitioning back to everyday life. In other situations the benefits deal with a veteran’s inability to entirely provide for his or her family after receiving a debilitating injury. Whatever the situation is, you should not be afraid to file a claim.
VA Regional Offices
To file a claim you need to complete a VA Form 21-526. You can complete this form located in our Veterans Forms page. You need to send the form to the VA Regional Office in your area. There are a total of 58 offices across the nation with at least one in every case. To qualify for disability compensation you should currently have a disability that occurred during or was aggravated by military service. In order to qualify for a the pension program you must be 65 years old or older, served on active duty for at least one day in a war, and your income must be below a certain limit.
Once you have filed your claim, there are three stages that it must go through. These stages are development, decision, and notification. During the initial development stage, you will be given information about what you must provide for the claim to be approved. During this time you can give any additional evidence to prove your claim in order to convince the office the validly of your need.
The second phase concerns when the decision is made. Once all relevant information and evidence is gathered, the office will review everything in order to be able to make an informed decision. Should there be any missing information, the claim will be pushed back into the development phase again. Once all information is present, a decision will be proposed.
The third and final phase, the notification, occurs when the decision is reviewed and approved and then a notification letter is sent to you. This notification could either be an approval or a denial.