Major Change in Use of Standard VA Forms Effective on March 24, 2015

On September 25, 2014, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) published its Final Rule for Standard Claims and Appeals Forms in the Federal Register, Vol. 79, No. 186.  The Final Rule includes momentous changes in how VA will conduct business via VA forms.  First, VA has abolished the Informal Claim.  Old rule 3.157 no longer exists and Rule 3.155 has been extensively amended. VA has replaced the Informal Claim with a concept called Intent to File.  The Intent to File is VA Form (VAF) 21-0966.  The Intent to File acts as a “place holder” – preserving the effective date for claims filed within one year of the Intent to File.  There are, however, some very important details about how to use this new legal instrument that are crucial to understanding how this “place holder” functions.  This is especially true when a veteran intends to file multiple claims after VA receives the 21-0966.  Reading and understanding the new regulations – 38 C.F.R. 3.155, and allied sections, is vital.

VA also will refuse to accept any Notices of Disagreement (NODs) for compensation decisions that are not submitted on the Standard Notice of Disagreement Form, VAF 21-0958.  Rules 20.201 and 19.24 are important because filing an NOD on a typewritten letter, for example, will not initiate the appellate process.  Veterans will need very clear advice that from March 24, 2015, onward, a veteran must file the standard form to receive a Statement of the Case and the ability to proceed to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals or higher in the appeals system.

Lastly, a representative or veteran must file any new claims on standard VA forms (e.g., 21-526, 21-534, 21-526EZ, 21-526b).  VA is heavily promoting the use of web-based digital filing, and everyone with an eBenefits account or an account in the Stakeholder Enterprise Portal will have access to these forms digitally.  The advantage of using digitally available standard forms is processing speed, and even more attention grabbing is that evidence submitted electronically is automatically uploaded into the VA’s Veterans Benefit Management System (VBMS).  By uploading standard forms and evidence via web-based systems, the veteran completely avoids all of the potential pitfalls when using the Evidence Intake Centers or the AOJs.

If VA’s plan works reasonably well, then March 24, 2015, could – in the future – become the anniversary of when VA finally turned the corner and started to impose control on the sprawling, unwieldy, delayed and “near collapse” compensation system.

More Information: Veterans Disability Claims

What is Pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis and VA Disability What is Pancreatitis? Pancreatitis is inflammation in the pancreas....

More Articles

Permanent and Total VA Disability Ratings for PTSD

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)? Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event. Symptoms of PTSD usually begin within three months of the...

Depression And Your VA Claim

Depression can negatively affect every aspect of your life: how you feel, think, sleep, function, and interact with others. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health Issues, about 14% of veterans suffer from depression. Depression is one of the most common...

Four Tips On How To Get The Highest PTSD Rating

If you have been fortunate enough to have been granted service connection for PTSD, then you have probably been given a disappointingly low rating.  This is a very common situation so you are not alone. The VA regularly underrates PTSD claims.  In the...

Recent Appeals Decision Helps Veterans Prove In-Service Personal Assault

A recent decision from the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims may make it easier for veterans claiming disability due to PTSD to prove in-service personal assault. There are special rules in place where in-service assault is involved. The VA knows it can be hard for...

FREE CASE EVALUATION 

  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

More Great Reads

How to Qualify for Disability Benefits for Surgery

VA Disability Ratings for Surgery How to Qualify for Disability Benefits for Surgery Veterans may be able to get disability benefits if they have had surgery or received treatment at a VA hospital, approved hospital, or outpatient center for a disability related to...

Protecting Your Benefits – Avoid Being Scammed!

Have you had a suspicious call from a person or organization stating they were with or a representative of the Department of Veterans (VA) and offering a large payout for a small fee? If so, you could be getting scammed. Click here to read an article from the VA that...

Major Change in Use of Standard VA Forms Effective on March 24, 2015
Major Change in Use of Standard VA Forms Effective on March 24, 2015

Take our quiz to find out your money type

Stay in the know

Buy The Book

Join the thousands of women who have transformed their lives

Follow Us

Join the community of really smart women like yourself

Join Our Newsletter

Get the latest tips and tricks to own your future!

More Great Reads

How to Qualify for Disability Benefits for Surgery

VA Disability Ratings for Surgery How to Qualify for Disability Benefits for Surgery Veterans may be able to get disability benefits if they have had surgery or received treatment at a VA hospital, approved hospital, or outpatient center for a disability related to...

Protecting Your Benefits – Avoid Being Scammed!

Have you had a suspicious call from a person or organization stating they were with or a representative of the Department of Veterans (VA) and offering a large payout for a small fee? If so, you could be getting scammed. Click here to read an article from the VA that...