Under the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, VA Form 21-0788 is an application form used by spouses, dependents or dependent parents of a veteran to receive all or some of that veteran’s disability compensation.
A veteran’s surviving spouse may also apply with VA Form 21-0788. This is so long as the surviving spouse was in a binding, legal marriage recognized in the place where the veteran and spouse resided at the time of their marriage, or where they resided when they filed the claim for VA benefits.
The form differs from other forms, such as VA Form 21-526EZ, used to make claims for disability compensation.
How Do You Fill Out VA Form 21-0788?
To determine how to use VA Form 21-0788, it is necessary to understand the document itself.
VA Form 21-0788 has four major parts:
- Income and net worth
- Monthly living expenses
- Certification and signature
VA Form 21-0788 itself is two pages long, presaged by a preamble titled “Information Regarding Apportionment of Beneficiary’s Award,” which details instructions on how to complete VA Form 21-0788, the purpose of VA Form 21-0788, contact information for assistance in completing the form, and a link to all other VA forms.
VA Form 21-0788 also requires the applicant to fill out their name, VA file number, mailing address, contact information, relationship to the veteran, how much is to be apportioned and claimed, contributions, and information on children. From here, VA Form 21-0788 asks for information from either the veteran/surviving spouse, a custodian, or a person apportionment is claimed for.
Part I requires all information on income and net worth to be recorded. Information on monthly income includes gross wages from all employment, social security, retirement, and SSI; information on net worth requires cash/non-interest-bearing bank accounts, interest-bearing bank accounts, financial securities (stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc.), and real property.
Part II requires a calculation of all monthly living expenses, which includes rent/house payments, food, utilities, telephone, clothing, medical expenses, school expenses, and more.
Part III allows for any remarks to elaborate upon or bring up any information not asked.
Lastly, Part IV gives space for a signature to certify that either the veteran, a spouse, or a claimant filled out VA Form 21-0788 to the best of their knowledge and belief, a date, details on penalties, and the privacy of the information.
When Is VA Form 21-0788 Used?
VA Form 21-0788 determines whether disability benefits can be distributed to a veteran’s spouse, child, or dependent parent and whether that amount is apportioned according to when that need arises. The completed physical copy of VA Form 21-0788 will need to be mailed to:
- The Department of Veterans Affairs, Evidence Intake Center
- P.O. Box 4444
- Janesville, Wi 53547-4444
What Are the Time Frames?
VA Form 21-0788 takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the average number of days to complete disability-related claims is usually around 111 days. Therefore, a veteran, their spouse, or their claimant should plan for the apportionment claim process to take at least a year and possibly 18 months in the worst-case scenario. The best way to shorten the wait time on veterans disability benefits is to stay organized, keep applicable documents (or their copies) close by, and continue to be proactive. The expiration date for VA Form 21-0788 is July 31, 2024.
Where Can VA Form 21-0788 Be Found?
VA Form 21-0788 can be found on the VA Form 21-0788 page of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website, where there is a link to a downloadable PDF containing the application itself. This web page also has helpful links related to VA Form 21-0788, such as determining eligibility for VA disability benefits, how to file a VA disability claim, and filing additional forms for disability claims.