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General Instructions 21-534: What You Should Know
In order to have access to VA's information resources or file a Claim for Death or Disability Benefit after the Veteran has died you must submit a letter of claim or written request specifying the details of your situation to the appropriate address below. You must specify in the letter that the Veteran no longer lives, that your family no longer lives, and that you are no longer the sole beneficiary. The office will determine whether the application must be accepted as filed and any requests for other assistance will be ignored or denied. b. The Office of the Counsel to the President is responsible for determining whether you can file a claim for disability benefits. To request a free letter of referral to the Office of Counsel, call the toll-free VA Helpline at (800) VA-INFO (4357) or email them at c. A person can receive a letter of claim from VA if they do not reside in the county where the claim is filed. You must notify the Office of the Counsel to the President directly in the process of making a claim. If you want to file a claim by mail, a separate fee is required. This is not the same as the request for an appointment with the Office of Counsel. d. VA does not accept correspondence for claims filed with the Office of Counsel. e. If you are an applicant on Medicare, your claim should be filed through the Claimant/Beneficiary Services Unit. You may use VA Form 21P-1065 to request a letter of referral to the Claims Management and Coordination Unit. You do not need a letter of claim for Medicare. f. If you are an applicant on Medicaid, your claim should be filed through the Claims Management Unit. You may use VA Form 21P-565 to request a letter of referral to the Claims Management and Coordination Unit. You do not need a letter of claim for Medicaid. g. The Office of the Counsel to the President can accept a letter of request to file a claim with the VA in lieu of an appointment. You must request a letter of referral from the Counsel to the President directly. This letter should list your case information and the address to which it should be sent. h. If you have filed a claim for Veterans' Benefits before, you will need to submit the current claims file number to the Office of the Counsel to the President.
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