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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.

When you start your disability application (or Supplemental Claim) online, it notifies us automatically of your intent to file

If you start filling out a claim form (or Supplemental Claim) online for disability benefits, we’ll reserve a potential start date for your benefits. You don’t need to call us or submit a separate intent to file form.

Note: This automatic intent to file doesn’t apply to online claims for pensions or DIC (Dependency and Indemnity Compensation) benefits.

What’s an intent to file?

An intent to file sets a potential start date (or effective date) for your benefits. If you notify us of your intent to file, you may be able to get retroactive payments (payments for the time between when you submitted your intent to file and when we approved your claim).

You can notify us of your intent to file if you plan to file a claim or a Supplemental Claim for these types of benefits:

  • Disability compensation
  • Pension benefits
  • Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)

How do I notify VA of my intent to file?

You can submit an intent to file form or call us at 800-827-1000 to notify us of your intent to file. We’re here Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET.

If you want to notify us by submitting the form, download and fill out 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 your completed form to this address:

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

Or, you can choose to bring your completed form to a VA regional office near you.

Find a VA regional office near you

If you need help submitting your intent to file, work with a Veterans Service Organization (VSO) or accredited representative.

Get help from an accredited representative

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. 

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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.

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