Va Form 21 686c

An Application Request to Add and/or Remove Dependents or Declaration of Status of Dependents, also known as VA Form 21-686C, is a form employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. This form requires information about both the veteran and his or her family, including a spouse, children, and any other dependants. For spouses, a marriage certificate must be included, while dependent children must have their birth certificates included. Once all information is included in this form and submitted to the Department, a decision can be made on whether or not a dependant is eligible for benefits from the VA.

What is a VA Form 21 686c?

This form is used by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. VA Form 21-686C is known as an Application Request to Add and/or Remove Dependents or Declaration of Status of Dependents. The VA uses this form to ensure that a dependent is still eligible for veterans benefits. 
This form will require information about the veteran and his or her family. This includes their spouse, children, and any other dependents. For marriages, official information and proof may be required, such as marriage certificates or divorce decrees. For children, documents such as birth or adoption certificates can be included. This information will be verified by the Department of Veterans Affairs in order to determine the eligibility of benefits for these dependents.

Most Common Uses

This form is commonly used if you are receiving disability compensation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, but did not let the VA know about the dependents that you support.  The VA may award you an increase in VA benefits to help you support your family.

Components of a VA Form 21 686c

A VA Form 21-686c contains the following sections:

  • Veteran/Claimant's Identification Information
  • Information Needed to Add Spouse
  • Information Needed to Add Child(ren)
  • Veteran Reporting Divorce from Former Spouse
  • Veteran/Claimant Reporting on Step(children)
  • Veteran/Claimant Reporting Death of a Dependent
  • Veteran/Claimant Reporting Marriage of Child
  • Veteran/Claimant Reporting a Schoolchild Over 18 Stopped Attending School
  • Remarks
  • Beneficiary/Claimant's Certification and Signature
  • Additional Child(ren)

Dependents Considerations

Who is a dependent?

For the purposes of VA disability compensation, a dependent is defined as: a spouse, children, parents in your direct care whose income and net worth are below the limit set by law.

How to add a dependent to your benefits

To add a dependent, you can do it online through the eBenefits system or through VA Form 21-509 or VA Form 21-686c.
To add a dependent online go to:  Log in to the system, click “Dependents” on the left side of the dashboard, or click “Add of Remove a Dependent” under the Apply section of the eBenefits homepage.  Follow the instructions on the website.  You cannot add spouses in common law marriage and parents to your benefits online.

To add dependents using paper forms, you will first need to determine the correct form:

  • To add a spouse or child, fill out: VA Form 21-686c - Declaration of Status of Dependents
  • To add a child over 18 who is attending school full time, you must fill out: VA Form 21-674 - Request for Approval of School Attendance in addition to VA Form 21-686c
  • To add a parent as a dependent, fill out: VA Form 21P-509 - Statement of Dependency of Parent(s)

When to add a dependent

You should add a dependent if you did not add dependents as part of your initial disability claim.  Adding dependents is important if you receive a 30% or higher rating decision from the VA.  In some cases, the VA will only pay back benefits to the date of the dependency claim.
If you have questions on how to fill out this form, you can contact an accredited veteran service officer (VSO) to help you with your application.  A list of veterans service organizations is available at

Sample Va Form 21 686c


Sample Va Form 21 686c

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