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.
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 VA.gov 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.
Download the form here and use the below address:
Department of Veterans Affairs
Claims Intake Center
PO Box 4444
Janesville, WI 53547-4444
Have you been meaning to file your claim but do not know where to start? Find out more.
Did you submit a claim, and are you waiting to hear back? Check the status of your claim.
Are you worried about your living situation while you wait for your claim to be processed? This page may help.
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