How To Get a Copy of Your VA Award Letter

How To Get a Copy of Your VA Award Letter

Receiving a service connection from the VA for your disability benefits is just the beginning of a longer process. You’ll also want to recover a copy of your VA award letter to claim additional benefits and retain proof that you qualify for disability compensation in the first place.

The only problem? The VA doesn’t necessarily give you a copy of the VA award letter immediately. You’ll have to acquire it yourself through one of several sources. Today, let’s explain how to get a copy of your VA award letter.

What Are VA Award Letters?

Put simply, a VA award letter is an official notice from the Department of Veterans Affairs stating that they have reviewed your claim and decided to provide you with disability benefits. 

Specifically, each VA award letter should include the following:

  • The Veteran’s disability rating, including the corresponding rate of pay that the Veteran will receive each month as a result
  • The considerations the VA used to decide on the disability rating. This is important, as it may help you appeal the rating or increase your disability rating in the future
  • The steps that a Veteran can take once they receive their final verdict if they wish to appeal the decision or not

While these letters are important, Veterans don’t always receive them automatically. In many cases, they must seek out and request them independently. You may also lose your original letter, meaning you must get a new copy for your records.

Why Is It Important To Have a Copy of Your VA Award Letter?

Having a copy of your VA award letter is important for various reasons.

For starters, they are proof of your VA disability and may be needed to acquire additional benefits. For example, a VA award letter is proof of your active status in the VA disability benefits system. It can also be useful in improving your disability status to companies or other government agencies.

In addition, your VA award letter contains valuable information if you don’t find the disability rating or overall decision favorable. For instance, if you need a higher disability rating for your unique medical condition, you can use the information in the VA award letter to formulate an effective appeal.

Other specific instances where it’s important to have your VA award letter include:

  • When you apply for other entitlements or applications and need to prove your Veteran disability status
  • When you want to take advantage of specific mortgage loans for disabled Veterans
  • When you want to take advantage of property tax exemptions for Veterans only (especially exemptions that only apply to Veterans with specific disability ratings)
  • When you want to take advantage of free or discounted fishing, hunting, and state park licenses and passes in certain states

What Types of VA Benefit Letters Can You Acquire?

You can acquire a copy of many different VA benefits and rating letters. These include:

  • A proof of service card, which shows that you served in the military and were honorably discharged
  • A retired military ID card if you have a 100% service-connected disability rating
  • Proof of credible prescription drug coverage card
  • Proof of minimum essential health coverage card
  • A military service verification letter, which shows your branch of service, as well as the start date of active duty and the date on which you were discharged
  • A VA benefits award summary letter breaking down your service history and related benefits information
  • A federal civil service hiring preference letter, showing that you are disabled and therefore qualify for preferential hiring for certain civil service jobs
  • A VA benefits verification letter. This is the primary letter you should receive once your claim is processed and the VA makes a final decision
  • A VA certificate of eligibility or COE, which shows that you qualify for a VA home loan based on both your service history and your current duty status

How Can You Get a Copy of a VA Award Letter?

Luckily, there are many ways in which you can get a copy of any of the above VA award letters. Let’s take a look at each of these methods one by one.

eBenefits Download

First, you can visit the eBenefits website. This is a free and accessible resource offered through the VA. It allows Veterans to access and manage both health and benefits records. From this resource, you can get a copy of your benefits letter and use your letter to qualify for additional VA benefits.

To acquire your summary of benefits letter from eBenefits, follow the below steps:

  • Log into your account
  • Then go to “Records” and click “Download Your Benefit Letters”
  • Next, click “Get Your VA Benefit Letters”
  • Then confirm your mailing address
  • Click “View Letters”
  • Click to download your VA disability letters. You should be able to choose from the nine letter types broken down above Download

Of course, you can always download a copy of your VA award letter straight from This is the central online resource of the VA overall. You can make a account, navigate to your account profile, then choose which letter you wish to download as a PDF.

Once you have a PDF copy of your letter, you can print it or send it electronically to anyone you need to.

Contact the Local VA Office

When you visit your regional VA office, the attendant there can walk you through the letter acquisition process, including mailing the VA physically for a request for a copy of your VA award letter.

This is time-consuming, and you should give the VA several weeks to process your request and mail you a copy of the appropriate letter. Still, this is the ideal way to get a copy of your letter if you need an Internet connection or help printing a PDF copy.

The VA office can also simply download a copy of your VA letter for you, then print it out on a printer located on-site.

Call the VA Informational Line

The VA maintains an informational line that can provide you with a lot of helpful information, such as navigating to the eBenefits web portal or downloading an award letter. 

To call a VA representative, use this phone number:

  • 1-800-698-2411

Get the Letter Through the VBMS

If you are already working with a Veterans law attorney or disability lawyer, they can help you get a copy of your VA award letter ASAP. Specifically, they can access the Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS).

This system allows you and your lawyer to access important medical benefits information and things like your VA award letter if it has already been completed and filed by the VA. This is a great way to get a copy of your VA award letter if you need to speak to attorneys about filing a disability benefits claim or appealing a VA disability benefits decision.

For example, if you wish to contact Berry Law for help with your disability benefits claim, you don’t need to have a copy of your VA award letter on hand right now. You can call us or visit our offices right away.

When you get here, we’ll use your information to navigate the VBMS. Once there, we can download a copy of your letter for your records and provide a copy you can take home.

Contact Berry Law Today

You can get a copy of your VA award letter quickly and easily by contacting the Department of Veterans Affairs or using one of the other methods described above. Fortunately, the VA doesn’t make it difficult for you to get a copy of this letter in your hands, so you should have proof of your compensation qualification in a matter of weeks.

Still trying to get your letter, or is the VA denying you a copy of your award letter for some reason? Knowledgeable Veterans law attorneys can help. 

When you contact Berry Law, we’ll look at your current progress and help you figure out the best way to get a copy of your letter as soon as possible. 


What is eBenefits? |

Download VA Benefit Letters | Veterans Affairs

Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 |

Berry Law

The attorneys at Berry Law are dedicated to helping injured Veterans. With extensive experience working with VA disability claims, Berry Law can help you with your disability appeals.

This material is for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship between the Firm and the reader, and does not constitute legal advice. Legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and the contents of this blog are not a substitute for legal counsel.

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