VA Form 21-686c — Status of Dependents

VA Form 21-686c is the Declaration of Status of Dependents Form.  Unlike many of the forms I write about, VA Form 21-686c is used for aid and attendance pension benefits and compensation benefits. The 686c is an important form.  Veterans receive more money from the Department of Veterans Affairs if they have dependents.  The more […]

Marginal Employment And TDIU

A fundamental tenet of TDIU is the unemployability of the claimant.  To receive a greater monthly benefit than the scheduler rating dictates, the VA says that the claimant must demonstrate, through medical records and other evidence, an inability to work. Unemployability and the inability to work, however, are not categorical or clear-cut.  I’ve already written […]


The Department of Veterans Affairs makes many mistakes when deciding benefits claims.  The numbers are staggering.  And while the VA asserts that errors are in decline, a claimant should always be prepared to receive a denial letter.  Denial letters are, unfortunately, part and parcel of dealing with the VA. Given that a claimant stands a […]


What is SMC-L SMC-L is a specific kind of benefit within the spectrum of Special Monthly Compensation. Special Monthly Compensation benefits are additional benefits above the regular scheduler compensation ratings.  SMC is not awarded to compensate for economic loss.  SMC is awarded to compensate for personal inconvenience and the overall severity of the disability. The […]

What Is A Fully Developed Claim?

Submitting a claim through the Fully Developed Claim program is the ideal way to submit an application for Aid and Attendance. A Fully Developed Claim will place your application on the fast track to a Department of Veterans Affairs decision. What Is A Fully Developed Claim? A Fully Developed Claim means the applicant has submitted […]