(a) Any communication or action, indicating an intent to apply for one or more benefits under the laws administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, from a claimant, his or her duly authorized representative, a Member of Congress, or some person acting as next friend of a claimant who is not sui juris may be considered an informal claim. Such informal claim must identify the benefit sought. Upon receipt of an informal claim, if a formal claim has not been filed, an application form will be forwarded to the claimant for execution. If received within 1 year from the date it was sent to the claimant, it will be considered filed as of the date of receipt of the informal claim.
(b) A communication received from a service organization, an attorney, or agent may not be accepted as an informal claim if a power of attorney was not executed at the time the communication was written.
(c) When a claim has been filed which meets the requirements of § 3.151 or § 3.152, an informal request for increase or reopening will be accepted as a claim.
Cross References:State Department as agent of VA. See § 3.108. Report of examination or hospitalization—as claim for increase or to reopen. See § 3.157.
[26 FR 1570, Feb. 24, 1961, as amended at 52 FR 27340, July 21, 1987]
Title 38 published on 2012-07-01
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