38 CFR 21.1029 - Definitions.
The following definitions of terms apply to this subpart and subparts C, D, F, G, H, K, L, and P, to the extent that the terms are not otherwise defined in those subparts:
(a) Abandoned claim. A claim is an abandoned claim if:
(1) In connection with a formal claim VA requests that the claimant furnish additional evidence, and the claimant -
(i) Does not furnish that evidence within one year of the date of the request; and
(ii) Does not show good cause why the evidence could not have been submitted within one year of the date of the request; or
(2) In connection with an informal claim, VA requests a formal claim, and -
(i) VA does not receive the formal claim within one year of the date of request; and
(ii) The claimant does not show good cause why he or she could not have filed the formal claim in sufficient time for VA to have received it within one year of the date of the request.
(b) Date of claim. The date of claim is the date on which a valid claim or application for educational assistance is considered to have been filed with VA, for purposes of determining the commencing date of an award of that educational assistance.
(1) If an informal claim is filed and VA receives a formal claim within one year of the date VA requested it, or within such other period of time as provided by § 21.1033, the date of claim, subject to the provisions of paragraph (b)(3) of this section, is the date VA received the informal claim.
(2) If a formal claim is filed other than as described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the date of claim, subject to the provisions of paragraph (b)(3) of this section, is the date VA received the formal claim.
(3) If a formal claim itself is abandoned and a new formal or informal claim is filed, the date of claim is as provided in paragraph (b)(1) or (b)(2) of this section, as appropriate.
(c) Educational institution. The term educational institution means:
(1) A vocational school or business school;
(2) A junior college, teachers' college, college, normal school, professional school, university, or scientific or technical institution;
(3) A public or private elementary school or secondary school;
(4) Any entity, other than an institution of higher learning, that provides training for completion of a State-approved alternative teacher certification program;
(5) An organization or entity offering a licensing or certification test; or
(6) Any private entity that offers, either directly or indirectly under an agreement with another entity, a course or courses to fulfill requirements for the attainment of a license or certificate generally recognized as necessary to obtain, maintain, or advance in employment in a profession or vocation in a high technology occupation.
(d) Formal claim. A claim is a formal claim when the claimant (or his or her authorized representative) files the claim with VA, and -
(1) The claim is a claim for -
(i) Educational assistance;
(ii) An increase in educational assistance; or
(iii) An extension of the eligibility period for receiving educational assistance; and
(2) If there is a form (either paper or electronic) prescribed under this part, the claim is filed on that form.
(e) Informal claim.
(1) If a form (either paper or electronic) has been prescribed under this part to use in claiming the benefit sought, the term informal claim means -
(i) Any communication from an individual, or from an authorized representative or a Member of Congress on that individual's behalf that indicates a desire on the part of the individual to claim or to apply for VA-administered educational assistance; or
(ii) A claim from an individual or from an authorized representative on that individual's behalf for a benefit described in paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section that is filed in a document other than in the prescribed form.
(2) If a form (either paper or electronic) has not been prescribed to use in claiming the benefit sought, the term informal claim means any communication, other than a formal claim, from an individual, or from an authorized representative or a Member of Congress on that individual's behalf that indicates a desire on the part of the individual to claim or to apply for VA-administered educational assistance.
(3) When VA requests evidence in connection with a claim, and the claimant submits that evidence to VA after having abandoned the claim, the claimant's submission of the evidence is an informal claim.
(4) The act of enrolling in an approved educational institution or training establishment is not an informal claim.
(5) VA will not consider a communication received from a service organization, an attorney, or agent to be an informal claim if a valid power of attorney, executed by the claimant, is not in effect at the time the communication is written.
(f) Information. The term information means nonevidentiary facts, such as the claimant's Social Security number or address, or the name of the educational institution the claimant is attending.
(g) Substantially complete application.
(1) The term substantially complete application means, for an individual's first application for educational assistance administered by VA, an application containing -
(i) The claimant's name;
(ii) His or her relationship to the veteran, if applicable;
(iii) Sufficient information for VA to verify the claimed service, if applicable;
(iv) The benefit claimed;
(v) The program of education, if applicable; and
(vi) The name of the educational institution or training establishment the claimant intends to attend, if applicable.
(2) For subsequent applications for educational assistance administered by VA, a substantially complete application means an application containing the information specified in paragraphs (g)(1)(i) through (g)(1)(vi) of this section, except that the application may omit any information specified in paragraphs (g)(1)(ii) or (g)(1)(iii) of this section that is already of record with VA.
(h) Training establishment. The term training establishment means any establishment providing apprentice or other training on-the-job, including those under the supervision of a college, university, any State department of education, any State apprenticeship agency, any State board of vocational education, any joint apprenticeship committee, the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training established in accordance with 29 U.S.C. chapter 4C, or any agency of the Federal government authorized to supervise such training.
(i) VA. The term VA means the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.