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VA Form 21-4138



After researching, I've read PROs and CONs in reference to using VA Form 21-4138. Please help me! Would it be better to have handwritten lay statements which will be notarized or the above-mentioned form? My spouse and parents have written their statements on white bonded paper. Are these suffice to use, as long as I get them notarized? Thanks!

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Yes  either way is acceptable ,but word of caution

be sure they write in Dark ink  or type it out...reason why?

everything you submit will be placed in your C-File

and at the present VA is changing over to the digitized format and they copy all our records now

 by  Imaging process to scan and copy over to be digitized and put on CD.

It  usually will not copy light  pencil or other light writen copy's  so make sure all your copy's of anything is either type out or written in dark pencil or  type in black ink  so their scanner imaging can read it to copy.



Edited by Buck52
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The only problem either way, in order for the "Letters" to be notarized is to have the Author/Signer present  and sign the "Letter" in the presence of the Notary.

You can get just about any document Notarized at your Bank/CU for free, but the Document must be signed in the presence of the Notary.

Since I became aware (Chris Attig article regarding "Sworn Affidavit") I have used the VMC Med Record Dept for any "SA" Notarization's I need.

(Which Document is better to use?) I think depends on the situation. I continue to use the 21-4138 for matters I consider of lesser importance.

At my 06/14 DRO Hearing (decided on Informal), the DRO Seemed impressed that I had used Sworn Affidavits as opposed to 21-4138. Were the "SA's" the primary reason the DRO Awarded all $$ Issues from not only the 2010 Appeal but the 2012 IU Appeal as well, doubt it and really don't care.

If the Claim/Appeal is important to you, use what the Law Pros would use, the "SA."

Semper Fi

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Good info.

James Cripps however ( first CONUS AO vet) carried blank 21-4138s with him ,to prove his exposure to AO at Fort Gordon.I think he made 2 post service trips there. The 21-4138, at the bottom states:

"I CERTIFY THAT the statements on this form are true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. SIGNATURE DATE SIGNED ADDRESS DAYTIME EVENING TELEPHONE NUMBERS (Include Area Code) PENALTY: The law provides severe penalties which include fine or imprisonment, or both, for the willful submission of any statement or evidence of a material fact, knowing it to be false." etc

So that too contains an oath , as good as a Notarized signature, and depends on what the claimant needs the info for.

It is always good to make sure the VA has contact info for anyone making any type of 'buddy' or lay statement.

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Well maybe so  I am going from my experience.

 I never used the 21-4138, Just written statements from family and friends/Buddys (notarized of course) I was there when the notary stamped them to sign.  (Raised State Seal)  

The VA Raters has always took them and used them as evidence in my claims, but they may have change that now were the 21-4138 is  a Mandatory Requirement?

I realize their cracking down on the use of these forms.

So Gastone makes a good point.

If  the 21-4138 is Mandatory Required in the CFR'S #'s on that let me know!

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