VA Form 21-4138 Statement in Support of Claim
What Is VA Form 21-4138?
VA Form 21-4138, Statement in Support of Claim is a form used to support a claim for benefits. This claim can be filed by the veteran or another person, such as a relative or a friend.
The latest version of the form was released by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in December 2017. The previous edition released in January 2015 is also being used. An up-to-date VA Form 21-4138 fillable version is available for digital filing and download below or can be found on the VA website.
The Statement in Support of Claim
The Statement in Support of Claim is a document where you provide information to substantiate your claim for receiving benefits. You can start your letter in the following way: "Dear Sir or Madam. Recently, I received benefits from the Department of Veteran Affairs. I am very grateful for this as it helps me afford the ongoing health care I need." Explain why you need the benefits and provide the supporting documentation. Your job is to find convincing arguments in support of what you are trying to achieve. If this is not the first time you are writing a statement, make sure this new statement is providing new information. Generally, it is a good idea to write one statement per claim and not to combine several claims under one statement.
What Is VA Form 21-4138 Used for?
The VA Form 21-4138 is a document that veterans, their families, friends, and former service members use to provide information in order to substantiate a claim for VA benefits.
How to Fill out VA Form 21-4138?
The VA Form 21-4138 is distributed without filling guidelines provided on the form. Instructions for completing the form are provided below.
VA Form 21-4138 Instructions
- Section I, Veteran/Beneficiary's Identification Information. Enter your personal information including your contact information.
- Section II, Remarks. This section is for the statement in support of a claim. This is the most important section of VA Form 21-4138. A very detailed explanation addressing all of the required additional information the VA requires must be provided. All the claims should be covered. All supporting documentation should be attached to the form. The veteran's social security number should be entered on top of each page used.
- The statement in support of the claim might contain a detailed description of the situation, that caused the injury or severe mental condition. The veteran can provide information on how long the symptoms of their condition lasted, how they affected their lives. If the veteran is filing this form in connection with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, they might need to provide a description of the traumatic event and the way the PTSD affects their life. The description should be detailed, but not exaggerated. Descriptions of symptoms should contain specific examples.
- It is possible to use the VA Form 21-4138 for a so-called Buddy Statement, which is a statement filed by another service member. Buddy statement might be a description of the injury itself or the way the injury affected the veteran, providing information on their behavior or capabilities before the incident took place. The Buddy Statement can support the main statement by confirming the location or date of the event. In cases, when the veteran cannot remember the details of the event, the Buddy Statement can make the event more clearly.
- Supportive statements can also be prepared by a friend, family member, spouse, or a co-worker. The person filing the supporting statement must be sure they have known the veteran before and after their military service and indicate this information on the form.
- It is also possible to use the assistance of an attorney to file the form.
- Section III, Declaration of Intent. Use this section for certification. By signing the form, the veteran or the beneficiary certifies, that all the provided information is true and correct. The person filing the form provides their signature and dates the form at the bottom of the page.
Where to Mail VA Form 21-4138?
The VA Form 21-4138 can be filled out and submitted online as a part of a claim using the VA website. Filing claims using the Veterans' On-Line Application (VONAPP) is no longer possible. Alternatively, the form can be submitted to a local VA office. Their addresses are listed on the VA website.