Skip to Content
Your browser is out of date. To use this website, please update your browser or use a different device.
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Your intent to file a VA claim

Find out how to notify us of your intent to file a claim for VA disability, pension, or DIC benefits.

What’s an intent to file?

If you plan to file a claim for disability, pension, or DIC benefits and you notify us of your intent to file, it sets a potential start date (or effective date) for your benefits. When you do this, you may be able to get retroactive payments (compensation that starts at a point in the past). This is because your start date for benefits will be earlier than the date you file your claim.

How do I notify VA of my intent to file?

If you plan to file a claim by mail or in person for disability, pension, or DIC benefits and you want to notify us of your intent to file, you must call us or submit a separate form.

You can call us at 800-827-1000. We're here Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET.

Or submit an Intent to File a Claim for Compensation and/or Pension, or Survivors Pension and/or DIC (VA Form 21-0966).
Download VA Form 21-0966 (PDF)

Mail it to this address:

Department of Veterans Affairs
Claims Intake Center
PO Box 4444
Janesville, WI 53547-4444

Or turn in your form in one of these ways:

How long do I have to file my claim after I notify VA of my intent?

After you notify us of your intent to file, you have 1 year to complete and file your claim. 

How do you rate your experience on this page?

Error Please select an answer

Related information

VA benefits

  • Disability

    File a claim for disability compensation for conditions related to your military service, and manage your benefits over time.

  • Pension

    Apply for monthly payments for wartime Veterans and survivors with limited or no income who meet certain age and disability requirements.

Need more help?

Last updated: