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Errors on filed 526EZ how to correct and re-file.

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SteveC

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Form 21-526EZ, I filed on 8/18 with a county VA services rep. It has some errors on it and information that needs to be added. I've called them three times to set up an appointment. They are not responding back. Is there a method by which I can file a corrected 526 form myself?
 

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Welcome to hadit.   These are great questions!  

Its against VSO ethics to return Veterans calls, as the "may" interrupt drinking a cold beer at the VFW hall.  

Seriously, 

VSO's not returning calls happens all the time.  It could be something as simple as the VSO on vacation or sick.  

Did you get a letter from the VA that your form had errors?  Or is this just something you noticed after filing it, that you noticed inaccuracies?  

If you got a letter from VA to correct your form, by all means dont ignore the letter, make the corrections and send it back.  

If, however, you mailed the form in haste, before checking it thoroughly for accuracy, then my advice is to send a letter to VA, or at least call Peggy, and have them document that you made corrections.  Follow up by documenting same.  

Still another method is to file another 526, write on the top "correction" to 526 mailed on mm/dd/yy.  

There is a double standard here.  VA employees are promoted to a high management position, whenever they make errors which cost Veterans benefits.  

However, Veterans, when they make a mistake, the VA puts your claim on a hamster wheel, that is difficult to get off.  

Im not sure how long its been, if its been under 2 weeks, just be patient and call the VSO back a few times.  

If its been months and months, then you should not wait, but be sure to file a corrected 526.  

Your VSO "should" have asked you to review the form before you signed it, AND, of course you should check and double check, then triple check everything in the future.  

For me, I write up the form, then "think" about it a few days before mailing, reading it again the next day or two later.  I may not have been in a good frame of mind while I filled out the form.  

For example, if you had a 9:00 appointment with your VSO, and he shows up at 9:45 as you are leaving, then you may not have been in a great mood when you had your visit with your VSO.  

OR, sometimes you get interrupted with several phone calls and lose your train of thought.  

Some Vets ask other hadit members "to proof read" their filings, especially on important issues.  They run it by us, before filing.  I have done this a time or two.  

Accuracy is important.  VA loves to catch Veterans in a lie.  And, "they would often call it a lie" even with something like recalling a date something happened 12 years ago.  Would you remember the date, for example, you had PT drill and were required to run 12 miles with a 90 pound back pack?  I probably would want to forget that.  I may remember "how hot it was" (or cold).  But Im not good with dates.  

FOr that reason, try not to guess but check your records before answering.  It takes longer, but it wont matter much in the long run if it takes you 4 days to fill out a form. That would probably be a better result than having to appeal to the BVA, which often takes 4 to 5 years.  

Like you, I did not know all this stuff when I applied.  It took a long time to figure it out.  

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LOL...first time for me. I walked into the local CalVet office (California) to get info on applying for disability ( I got out in 1970) so I'm fresh meat but learning real quick. The vet service rep. said we can fill the 526 form now as I already had  filed a intent to file form a couple of weeks ago.  Exposure to agent orange and other toxics two different bases. Had prostate CA surgery 2011 and secondaries now. He put a few claim descriptions in wrong and left a biggy out. Spent half a day trying get the right VA contract web or phone number for the VA ect...ect. 4 days of web studies and surfing through all the good and bad info. Some fun.🙄

Anyway I did consider redoing the 526 and doing as you said. I finally got ahold of a real person the VA back east this morning  she confirmed the 526 was on file and she suggested using a VA 21-4138 for the corrections. Then sending (FAX)  it to Claims VA Center Intake.  However, that alone would be difficult to explain and it (the first 526) was only posted to the VA fives days ago so I'm going to do one of your suggestions refile the 526 as a correction AND the 4138 with an basic explanation.  

I'll post any results that come back. likely none for 5 months to a year as slow as they are.

Cheers all.

 

 

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It sounds like "you got this".  

It may help if you understand the definition of "claim".  

Dont feel like the lone ranger if "claim" definition is unclear, the courts cant even decide!

A "claim" can also be a "single issue" such as PTSD, multiple issues such as PTSD, hypertension, scars, etc.  In other words "claim" can be singular or plural, with or without multiple issues.  Go figure.  

Mostly, the VA "loves" to chop up claims into parts, such as:

1.  A "claim" for service connection.  

2.  A "claim" for increase of one or more disabilites.  That is, a "claim" for a disability percentage.  

3.   A "claim" for an earlier effective date.  

4.   A claim for TDIU which involves other claims, such as PTSD and/or other issues.  

     Its not like your hand, you have 5 fingers.  Simple.  If your hand was a VA claim, you could have one finger, or you could have 3 fingers, or 2, or 5 or even six fingers, or more.  Some claims have 10, or 20 or more claims (issues).  

 

      The important thing is if you filed for another issue, and it got left off, You can also file for that seperately.  In other words if you filed for PTSD, bulge disk, scars, but forgot hypertension, you can file the claim for hypertension in a few weeks and it "should" be adjuticated with the other claims, but not always.  

 

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Although a new form ??? has been issued??? I have recently used VA form 21-4138 Statement In Support of Claim/Appeal to correct and/or add new evidence or information, arguments to my already filed claim.  When no form available I have typed at top of plain sheet of paper STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF CLAIM or APPEAL and successfully used this method to send additional above info/evidence to the VARO raters and BVA judges. 

It is important in your communication with the VARO to use their reference numbers at top of their reply page and also strongly link  your letter or form to the original 526 you filed and say this is your new amended claim in lieu of the original 526.

You have also been given excellent advice in the above replys.  A good VSO is also valuable.

My comment is not legal advice as I am not a lawyer, paralegal or VSO.

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On 9/22/2023 at 7:16 PM, SteveC said:

LOL...first time for me. I walked into the local CalVet office (California) to get info on applying for disability ( I got out in 1970) so I'm fresh meat but learning real quick. The vet service rep. said we can fill the 526 form now as I already had  filed a intent to file form a couple of weeks ago.  Exposure to agent orange and other toxics two different bases. Had prostate CA surgery 2011 and secondaries now. He put a few claim descriptions in wrong and left a biggy out. Spent half a day trying get the right VA contract web or phone number for the VA ect...ect. 4 days of web studies and surfing through all the good and bad info. Some fun.🙄

Anyway I did consider redoing the 526 and doing as you said. I finally got ahold of a real person the VA back east this morning  she confirmed the 526 was on file and she suggested using a VA 21-4138 for the corrections. Then sending (FAX)  it to Claims VA Center Intake.  However, that alone would be difficult to explain and it (the first 526) was only posted to the VA fives days ago so I'm going to do one of your suggestions refile the 526 as a correction AND the 4138 with an basic explanation.  

I'll post any results that come back. likely none for 5 months to a year as slow as they are.

Cheers all.

 

 

I am a 1977 Vet. WE were all "fresh meat" at one time with sometimes well meaning VSO and state veterans service officers. (and not so well meaning ones.)  My original claims started in 1981. (I got denied the first time.) I got educated in how the VA works and started the junery over in 2017 that lead to my wins. Some of the edicatution I got came from the members hear at hadit.

VA 21-4138 can be a good general form to correct stuff. You might try using this form LAY-WITNESS-OR-STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF CLAIM FORM VBA-21-10210 attached below. I think the VA pays more attention to it than the 21-4138. Depending on who reviews it.

VBA-21-10210-ARE-Lay-Witness-or-Statement in support of claim- (Ex 6-30-24).pdf

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