Initiating a Claim for VA Benefits

     Veterans seeking VA Benefits must start the process with a formal request or claim.  The process for veterans begins when one of the VA’s regional offices receives a claim.  The claim can formally be made on a VA form (Form 21-526 Veteran’s Application for Compensation and/or Pension) or it can be made informally by “any communication or action” indicating an intent to apply for one or more benefits as long as the communication or action identifies the benefit sought.  The essential elements of any claim are:

  • An intent to apply for benefits;
  • An identification of the benefits sought; and
  • A communication in writing. 

     Veterans may also have something called an inferred claim, which is a claim not directly raised by the Veteran, but reasonably raised by the record.  The VA is required by Federal Regulation to render a decision which grants every benefit that can be supported in law.  However, a formal or informal claim for some other benefit as described above must have been filed.   

     Once a claim is received, the appropriate regional office (RO) reviews correspondence, establishes a claim folder, prepares administrative decisions for basic eligibility, and makes decisions regarding the injury/disease such as connection to military service, level of disability, etc.  The ROs must notify the claimant of the evidence/information necessary to prove the claim, what information/evidence the claimant should provide, and what information/evidence the VA will attempt to obtain.  Ultimately, the RO will issue either an Award Letter of a Denial Letter with the rating decision attached. 

      If you need more information about a VA, Social Security Disability/SSI matter, personal injury matter (car wreck, boating accident, slip and fall, etc.), EEOICPA claim, long or short-term disability, or a workers compensation matter, please contact the Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser for a free case evaluation.  We can be reached at (865) 584-1211 or (800) 806-4611, through Facebook, or through our website.  Our office handles claims throughout East Tennessee, including Knoxville, ChattanoogaKingsport, Bristol, Johnson City, Morristown, Maryville, Rogersville, Dandridge, Tazewell, New Tazewell, Jefferson City, Strawberry Plains, Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Loudon, Kingston, Halls, Maynardville, Crossville, Cookeville, Jamestown, Sweetwater, Lenoir City, Athens, Oak Ridge, Clinton, LaFollette, Lake City, Jacksboro, Bean Station, Cosby, Newport, White Pine, Mosheim, Wartburg, Sunbright, Pigeon Forge, and Deer Lodge.


About farmerdreiser

Based in Knoxville, Tennessee, The Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser provide comprehensive representation to injured victims throughout eastern Tennessee in personal injury, Social Security disability, and workers' compensation cases.
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