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New Fdc Claim

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Yes. Also, any claim filed within 12 months of discharge will have a retroactive effective date back to the date of discharge. Before you file your FDC, make sure you have all of your evidence to submit with your claim. Anything you submit after submission of your FDC claim will cause your FDC claim to be converted to a standard claim which takes much longer to process.

If you have any doubts or questions about your FDC claim, post them on Hadit and get answers before you file the claim. Hadit members will be glad to answer your questions. If you feel comfortable doing so, post as much info about your diagnosis and claim as possible. The more info you provide, the easier it will be for Hadit members to help you. Don't make the mistake many veterans make where they file a claim and then realize they forgot to submit something or needed to submit something else they just became aware of from others, etc. Take your time to get your claim right. Like I mentioned in my first paragraph, as long as you submit your claim within 12 months of discharge, your effective date will still be back dated to your discharge date.

Good luck to you and thank you for your service.


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Your buddy statements are evidence which should be submitted at the same time you submit your FDC claim. Remember to submit all of your evidence along with your FDC claim.


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I'll speak to the VA Form 21-4138.

I think it is the most worthless form in the entire VA Forms Catalog. Why? It is not under oath and so what is on it has no legal credibility. Further, it is such a common form that most VA Raters gloss right over it.

The best thing you can do is submit Lay Evidence using either a Sworn Declaration or an Affidavit. Both are under oath, both have real legal weight, and the only difference is that you have to pay $6-10 bucks for a notary to stamp your affidavit...while a Sworn Declaration (under federal law) carries the same legal weight as an affidavit.

What do you put "in" Lay Evidence? This is really an art form. One worth spending a few days studying before you zip your claim up and file it...

Why? Lay Evidence is especially powerful in a Veteran's claim. Court decisions like Jandreau give it special power, so it is worth learning about before you submit your claim to the VA.

At a minimum, be sure to include:

1) Lay Statements from family, friends, co-workers, etc., stating the frequency, chronology and severity of your symptoms

2) Lay statements from you as to #1, and as to when you remember being diagnosed with a condition (in-service, if you were)

As for what you put "on the form" - if you are submitting it to the EIC, I recommend you use a header on the form like the one in this post:

10 Tips for Sending Mail to the VA Evidence Intake Centers

Here's some more posts for you (click links to read information on the

If I see Another VA Form 21-4138 I am going to.....

Is Lay Evidence the Magic Bullet in your VA Claim?

Learn about the Pure Raw Power of Lay Evidence in a VA Claim

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