If the Veteran’s Affairs Office sends a veteran a request for additional information to support a claim or a more detailed explanation of an element in a person’s claim, the veteran file a Statement in Support of Claim or VA-Form 21-4138. These statements frequently include or describe the evidence that supports a veteran’s claim. While these documents are not required to be a certain length or format, Form 21-4138 is frequently used to explain why certain documentation is missing in a military record or offer a statement from a family member or friend regarding the severity of a veteran’s medical condition. Form 21-4138 can also be used to support claims of eligibility, service-connected conditions, impairment ratings, and the effective dates of disabilities, to point out errors in the Veteran’s Affairs claims process, to disagree with a statement in a Veteran’s Affairs Rating Decision or Statement of a Case, or to update the Veteran’s Affairs Office about a change in dependency status.
The Contents of a VA-Form 21-4138
VA-Form 21-4138 contain several vital elements which include the following:
- Contact Information. Veterans must provide their name, social security number, and the claims file number for the veteran’s case.
- Supporting Statement. A Form 21-438 contains a large box in which an individual must provide a statement to be used in connection with the veteran’s case. This is the most vital part of VA Form 21-438. Individuals should prepare for this statement by preparing a draft before placing the statement in the claim. This draft should include a detailed explanation that addressed all of the information that is required by the Veteran’s Affairs office. Once a draft is completed, individuals can rewrite this information into the form’s box or print and attach a document from a computer. A veteran must also make sure to attach any supporting documents to bolster a claim.
- Certification. A veteran must certify a Form 21-4138 by signing and dating the form at the bottom of the page.
VA Form 21-4138 and the Appeals Process
To start an appeals process, a veteran must file a Notice of Disagreement with the Veterans Affairs office. These notices must be filed within one year of the date that the Veterans Affairs office mailed the decision. Because there is not a specific Veterans Administration form for a Notice of Disagreement form, individuals often use Form 21-4138. After filing a Statement in Support of Claim form, an individual will have the option to have their appeal heard by a Decision Review Officer at a regional office or by the Board of Veterans Appeals.
Obtain the Assistance of a Knowledgeable Veterans Rights Lawyers
After a Form 21-4138 is completed, a veteran can mail the form to the Department of Veteran Affairs. If you require assistance completing a Form 21-4138 or any other type of veteran’s documents, a skilled attorney can help navigate this often complicated process. The legal counsel at Whitcomb, Selinsky, McAuliffe, PC and its disability arm, Rocky Mountain Disability Law Group has helped veterans with a variety of disability issues. Do not hesitate to contact our conveniently located downtown Denver office today by calling (303) 534-1958 or completing our quick and convenient online form.