Are you thinking about filing a new VA Disability Claim soon or filing a VA claim for increase on your existing service connected disabilities but are not quite ready yet? If so, there is a well-known secret to getting more backpay in your claims if they are eventually granted.
The very moment you think you may file a claim stop everything you are doing and submit an ‘Intent to File‘(ITF) with the VA. You don’t need all your evidence together to file an ITF. Submitting the ITF will hold the date for up to a year to give you time to file the claim. Yes, you read that right, if your claim is granted the VA will pay you back to the date you submitted the ITF.
In short, if you file an ITF on October 1, 2021 then you’ll have until October 1, 2021 to file your claim and get back paid to October 1, 2020. That’s up to 12 months of backpay you wouldn’t get without the ITF.
How To Submit The ITF
There are four ways to submit an ITF:
Online: The fastest way to submit an Intent to file is by going to ebenefits website and starting a new application for VA compensation. One you answer the first few questions of the application which are basically your address and contact information then save and exit the application. By doing so the system will generate a new ITF.
Calling The VA: Call a the VA at 1-800-827-1000 and speak to a representative who will document your intent to file a claim. You will have one year from the date of your confirmed call to complete your claim; the call in which you say you intend to file begins the process.
Standard Form: The VA also offers an paper form, VA Form 21-0966, which you can either mail or fax in to the Evidence Intake Center. There are tons of free online fax services you can use to fax your form in asap to fax the form to VA at 844-531-7818.
An Accredited Representative: An accredited VSO or VA Claims Agent will be able to file the form for you. You can find a representative by searching here on ebenefits.
Whatever you do, don’t wait on the ITF while you get your case together. Get it filed today and get yourself more backpay!