Filing an initial claim

Filing an Initial Claim: Helpful Tips for Completing VA Form 21-526EZ

VA Form 21–526EZ

Initial claims for disability compensation claims should be completed using VA Form 21-526EZ. This form can also be used when applying for an increased rating in service-connected disabilities in which the appeal period has expired.

Pages 1-8 of this form provide instructions on how to complete the form and whether any additional forms need be completed based on the conditions being claimed. Page 9 of the form is where the application begins.

The form has nine separate sections which need to be completed:

Sections I – III of the form request information from the Veteran about their identifying information, any change of address updates, and homelessness status.

Section IV of the form asks about any type of exposure the Veteran may have had in service.

Section V is where to list the disabilities the Veteran is claiming are due to service.

When documenting any disabilities you believe are due to service, you may not always know the exact medical term for your disability. If this happens, refer as best you can to the overall disability. For example, if you have been diagnosed with post-traumatic arthritis in your right knee, you can write down “right knee condition” on the form. Similarly, you can use the term “mental health condition” if you don’t know your precise psychiatric diagnosis.

Filing an Initial Claim

Section VI of the form requests information about the Veteran’s military service.

Section VII of the form asks for information regarding military retirement pay, separation pay, or disability severance pay.

Section VIII of the form allows Veteran to provide their direct deposit information for disability compensation payments. (If applicable)

Section IX requires the Veteran to sign and date the form.

How to submit a completed VA Form 21-526EZ:

Via an eBenefits account:

Sign into your account and follow the steps to submit your claim.

Log in to your account here. If you do not have an account, you can register at any time.

Via Mail:

Download the form here and use the below address:

Department of Veterans Affairs
Claims Intake Center
PO Box 4444
Janesville, WI 53547-4444

Via Fax:


**The information contained in this post is not updated after the date initially posted.  For the most up-to-date information, please check VA’s website.**

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Disclaimer: The information contained on this website is not legal advice. Using the information provided on this website or contacting Bergmann & Moore, LLC does not establish an attorney-client relationship.