Whether you’re new or seasoned to VA acronyms and abbreviations, chances are you come across some that you have to look up or don’t know. Some of the most important acronyms to familiarize yourself with are those related to VA forms. Today’s post is a breakdown of some of the most important and common forms a new veteran needs to know about and file!
First Step Forms
Service members who are in the home stretch of active duty and intending to file for disability benefits and compensation can start the process before separation through the VA Benefits Delivery at Discharge Program (BDD). This allows service members to apply between 90-180 days out from their separation date. There is a step-by-step guide here.
- VA Form SF 180– A form SF 180 is a request for the veteran’s military records. This is useful and necessary to have for many additional forms and claims.
- DD Form 2807-1 – If you are finishing up the last stretch of active duty and going to file for disability compensation and benefits, you can fill this out. It is a request for your service medical records and will help jump start the process!
- VA Form 21-0996– Intent to file. This form is used when you are in the process of gathering all of the information and supporting documents and evidence you need to file for disability compensation and benefits. It can help with securing the earliest possible effective date for retroactive payments you may qualify for.
- Read about the service-connected benefits you may be eligible for in our post here.
- VA Form 21-526EZ – Application for disability compensation and related compensation benefits; one of the most important to fill out! This is what you file to apply for VA disability pay and related benefits. If you filed a form 21-0996, you have one year from that file date to file your form 21-526EZ.
- VA Form 21-4138 – Statement in support of claim form. This form provides a firsthand account from the veteran, and “tells the story” to help with service-connection, claims, and increases in disability ratings. You can also fill this form out online here. Last week’s blog was all about the statement in support of claim form – check it out!
- VA Form 21-10210 – Lay/witness statement. Also called a buddy statement. This form is for friends, family, colleagues, or former service members to provide firsthand knowledge and personal statements of the event, timing, or current conditions that will corroborate a veteran’s claim or request for increase in disability rating and benefits.
- VA Form 10-10EZ – As a veteran, health care coverage is important! Make sure to apply as soon as possible!
Education & Career Support Forms
There are different career and educational support options available to veterans depending on a few factors: when they served, how long they were on active duty, their educational background, honorable discharge, etc. You can visit the VA page that breaks the different options down here.
- VA Form 22-1990 – Used for applying for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, or the Post-Vietnam Era Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program (VEAP). Utilize the online application with this link.
- VA Form 28-1900 – This is the application for Vocational Rehabilitation for Claimants with Service-Connected Disabilities.
- VA Form 28-8832 – Apply for personalized career guidance and job search support using this application.
We have several blog posts on career, vocational, and education options and benefits for veterans:
This list is not exhaustive- there are many additional VA forms that may apply to you and be important! We hope it helps provide understanding and a good starting point for you in your journey as a soon-to-be, or current, veteran.