The VA announced on September 24, 2014, that it will be updating its VA Disability Claim form to a new standardized form that will go into effect in late March 2015.
This may come as a surprise, as the VA already uses standard forms, like VA Form 21-526EZ. I guess, though, that these forms aren’t “officially” standard. After this announcement, it was a surprise to us to find out that currently, veterans can literally use a plain piece of paper with their handwritten info to apply for benefits. It’s hard for me to imagine that anyone actually applies this way, but if they do, then it’s probably good that they are fixing this.
I can’t imagine that the new forms will be much different than the forms they already have, but hopefully this change will speed up claims processing and reduce backlogs.
The VA will also be introducing a new “Intent to File a Claim” process. This process will give a veteran one year to submit the evidence and documentation required for their claim, while keeping their effective date of claim in place. This will be very helpful for getting VA Disability Back Pay.
Again, these new regulations will go into effect in late March 2015. We will stay on top of this and let you know when everything goes live.