8 Steps to Speed Up Your VA Disability Claim
We are often asked by Veterans ways in which we can help them speed up their cases. Unfortunately there aren’t a lot of options. However, we do have some helpful tips forpreventing your case from slowing down.
1. Submit all paperwork on time to the VA. It may seem like common sense, but a lot of people miss deadlines and fail to submit evidence in a timely manner. Of course, the sooner appeals and paperwork are submitted for your claim, the quicker the VA can do their job.
2. Seek treatment for your disabilities. Regardless of when you served and what type of claims you have applied for, medical evidence will help you get service connected. Often times a diagnosis is required for service connection.
3. Attend all of your required exams. Throughout the process the VA will schedule you for compensation and pension exams. These are required exams. Failure to report for one of these exams may result in an automatic denial.
4. Attend hearings when they are scheduled. We realize everyone has unexpected issues, but if you can make it to a scheduled hearing, do so. If you can’t attend, make arrangements to have your hearing rescheduled as soon as possible. Like with anything in the VA there is a long wait for hearings, so if you can’t make it to your hearing, it may be a long time before another one is scheduled.
5. Be aware of what happens when you move. Regardless if you are moving across town or across country the VA needs to know when you move. If you stay within your state, or within the area of your Regional Office, the VA needs to know your new address. We’ve had countless Veterans tell us that they didn’t receive any correspondence from the VA for years. It turns out they never told the VA about moving, and the Veteran failed to receive notices about claims. If you change regional offices, there is the possibility of a delay when your file is transferred.
6. File claims at the same time. It is recommended by our attorneys that Veterans apply for all benefits in which they wish to pursue at the same time. While you can apply for separate claims throughout the process, it is quicker to apply for them all in one fell swoop. Some of our clients say I want to get condition X taken care of before condition Y. This is not necessary.
7. Don’t let claims close. This is similar to step one, except the consequence is much greater. Letting a claim close will not only slow down your claim, it will also cause you to lose any back pay you were entitled to. When a claim is reopened it is essentially like starting all over again. Plus you have to provide to new and material evidence. Don’t let years of hard work go down the drain because of a deadline. The VA Clearly lists all deadlines for appeals on the paperwork they send you. Or, if you have the help of an attorney, they can submit appeals in a timely manner.
8. Apply for benefits. Perhaps the number one thing that can speed up your case…applying in the first place. It's hard to recall how many Veterans told me they hesitated to apply because they didn’t want to seem weak and they didn’t feel as if they deserved benefits. First of all, there are over 900,000 claims pending in the US right now, so you are not alone. Second, if you served your country, received a discharge other than dishonorable, and are disabled-even slightly-as a result of your time in service, then you are entitled to benefits. That is not just how I feel; it’s the basic requirements as set forth by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
These are just a few quick tips to help you with your claim. However, one of the best things you can do is hire Jan Dils Attorneys at Law to assist with your claim. We can take care of the paperwork for you, submit appeals on your behalf, and attend hearings. For more information on the services we provide, call us today for a free consultation. 1-877-526-3457