HomeVeterans Guide to VA BenefitsTypes of VA ClaimsFormal VA Claim

11.2. Formal VA Claim

A formal VA claim is any claim that is filed using a VA form. 

The VA states that the "original claim" is the first formal claim for a claimant on a prescribed VA application form.  There is only one original claim per claimant.  The two "original claim" forms are:

After the "original claim" has been filed and a decision has been made by a VA Rating Officer, RO, all future pension or compensation claims, even if not related to the original claim, are referred to as "reopened claims".   Future claims can be processed by using VA Form 21-526EZ "Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits" for increase, new, secondary, or service-connected conditions.  To apply for pension benefits complete VA Form 21P-527EZ, "Application for Pension"


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