Starting a VA Claim in El Paso
If you are a Veteran in El Paso, you can start your VA claim in one of three ways. You can:
- Visit the VA’s eBenefits portal and complete your claim online.
- Fill out VA Form 21-526EZ (Application for Disability Compensation) and take it to a VA regional office or mail it to the VA Evidence Intake Center at PO Box 4444 in Janesville, WI 53547.
- Seek the assistance of a local Veteran Service Officer (VSO)
Veterans should understand the importance of submitting a claim as early as possible. The earlier the VA receives your claim, the earlier effective date you will be given. Why is this important?
Well, the effective date you are given is the date you will be paid back to when your claim is granted. For example, let’s say you have a claim for PTSD that has an effective date of March 12, 2010. After multiple appeals, your claim is finally granted on March 12, 2017.
Because your effective date is in March of 2010, you will be given a back pay award for every month that has passed since the effective date. In the example above, you would receive a lump sum payment for the 7 years of monthly compensation that passed since your effective date.
You should also understand that you can lose your effective date if you miss an appeal deadline. This is why it is so important for Veterans to continue to appeal their denials, to keep their claim open and preserve the effective date.