Overwhelmed by the process of filing a disability claim? The VA claim process is complicated. Instead of giving in to those feelings of wanting to give up, VA Claims Insider is going to share with you some secrets of the VA rating system, including the benefits of a fully developed VA claim.
Let’s face it. Most Veterans have no idea how to claim the compensation they deserve after discharge from the Military. When they do apply for disability, there’s the obstacle of just filing a simple claim. In this article, we will start to tackle this daunting task.
Should I even file for a VA Claim?
First, let’s break the stigma of the VA being anti-veteran when it comes to claims. This view of the VA can be demoralizing when you are filing your initial claim or requesting an increase in benefits. Let’s instead look at this process as a job interview.
Would you go into a job interview unprepared? Would you expect an employer to hire you without seeing your experience? No. You would be prepared by knowing what the job entails and what the employer is looking for. An employer has a checklist they are looking at to see if you are a qualified candidate.
Here is a secret. The same thing applies to the VA. The VA Rating Officer has a checklist called the M21-1. This is the manual the Rating Officer goes by to verify your claim meets the correct criteria needed to begin the process. Once the claim is confirmed, it is put into the system, and the first part of your claim is complete.
What is the Initial Claim Process?
Let’s breakdown the initial claim process as it pertains to the Veteran. There are two types of initial claims. A Fully Developed Claim (FDC) and a Standard Claim (SC).
An FDC contains all the information the VA needs to file your claim.
Here’s another secret. It will speed up the claim process because the VA doesn’t have to request any more information from you, the Veteran. The FDC program is the fastest way to get your claim processed without any risk to participate!
Fully Developed Claim
An FDC claim is determined appropriate for the following:
– Service connection (SC) initial
– Increased evaluation
– A claim for Permanent and Total (P&T) rating
The form accepted by the VA for an FDC claim is VBA-21-526ez. Checking the box “Fully Developed Claim” indicates what type of claim you are filing.
Unfortunately, there is no “exact” timeline when it comes to FDC claims. However, we have seen these claims come back in a week’s time. Stay the course, and remember the more pertinent information you can deliver the easier it makes the VA raters life.
The same form is used for a Standard Claim, only you check the box next to “Standard Claim.” This claim is used if you know of evidence, not in your possession. The VA will have to request the proof, and it will be a slower process. There are a few more steps involves with an SC. We can help with both types of claims to help get a positive result.
Just like a job interview, ensure that you are prepared! Collect all the information needed to file your claim beforehand. We recommend making a claim folder. Make several copies of everything you submit. If you are making more than one claim, create a separate folder for each request.
By knowing this simple step when filing your claim you are eligible to save time and frustration with the VA.
This entire process can get frustrating. So if you’re underrated or not rated at all. Don’t worry! We at VA Claims Insider are here to help. We’ve helped over 5,000 Veterans to date in guiding them through our process and help them get the benefits they deserve! If you’re ready to get started now, this is the fastest way to go!