Veterans Service Officers

Get competent representation, while most veterans who come to our site work their own claims. I still feel it’s a good idea to have a service officer just to bounce ideas off of. When choosing a service officer be picky, interview several reps until you find one you think you feel confident with.

A few more words about Veterans Service Officers

The good, bad and mediocre exist in all organizations it is just a fact of life. So accepting that we encourage you to interview a few different Veterans Service Officers. It is important that at a minimum you choose a service officer you feel comfortable and confident in. Without trust and confidence in each other the pursuit of a successful claim will suffer. I say to you if you were going to hire anyone lawyer, doctor, accountant wouldn’t you interview a few first?

Initial Interview with your Veterans Service Officer:

  • Copies make sure you give the Service Officer Copies and keep copies for yourself. Make a note on your pad of documents provided to your service officer.
  • Bring a Pad and pen. Write down the Service Officer’s name, phone number and ask them if they have an email address you can use to check on your claim.
  • This is the interview where the service officer will gather information about you and your claim.
  • This interview maybe fairly short, the service officer will have to obtain your records and review them to be able to give you specific answers about your claim for service connected disability.
  • Your service office should file your claim immediately in order to get you the earliest effective date. You do not have to wait for your records before you file a claim. You want the earliest effective date this will be the date you are paid from, so even it takes two years, you will get two years of retroactive pay.
  • What to take to the initial interview
  • If available DD214
  • List of addresses of private doctors or therapists that you see in connection to problem you are claiming service connection for..
  • Original plus copies, leave the copies with your service officer, I f your claim is successful you will want to be paid for your dependents.
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Birth Certificates
  • Adoption Papers
  • Divorce Decree
  • Private physician statements related to the disability you are claiming service connection for everything.

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Win Your VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claim

[no_toc]You finally decided to file a VA disability compensation claim, so now what do you do? Maybe you already have started the paperwork yourself or have been helped by a veterans service officer (VSO) filling out the required VA Forms and are now one of many waiting to hear from the VA about your claims status.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, it’s time to realize that you are involved in a giant paper shuffle and this IS NOT a spectator sport.

You must be actively involved with your claim. No one else has an interest in the outcome of your claim as much as you do. You are dealing with the Government, even though recent changes in law favoring the veteran have been enacted (VCAA), it is still up to you to provide supportive evidence for your claim and become familiar with the rules and regulations the VA plays by.

Application Process

The best way to apply for disability compensation is by obtaining an eBenefits account and applying online. When applying for compensation benefits, you must have access to the following information:

  • Discharge or separation papers (DD214 or equivalent)
  • Medical evidence (doctor and hospital reports)
  • Dependency records (marriage and children’s birth certificates)

Alternatively, you may print and mail-in VA Form 21-526EZ, Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits or call VA at 1-800-827-1000 to have the form mailed to you.
Service members may be able to receive disability compensation benefits sooner if you apply prior to your discharge from service through the Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) or Quick Start pre-discharge programs.
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) VA Form 21-534EZ, Application for DIC, Death Pension, and/or Accrued Benefits and mail it to your nearest VA regional office. Learn More
Special Monthly Compensation VA will automatically award special monthly compensation if your disability qualifies. To apply for SMC if you are housebound or required the aid and attendance of someone to perform daily living functions complete VA Form 21-2680 and mail it to your nearest VA regional office. Learn about special monthly compensation benefit rates

TIP: When filing out forms it’s helpful to fill the form completely out and before you sign it make a few copies in case you have to fill it out again. It also contains valuable information if you keep a copy of the form you can use for a reference.