How to File a VA Claim!

So you’re ready to file a claim with the VA. This is a great idea. Why? 

First of all, you’ve earned it. Your time in service comes with its rewards, and one of them is care. Why wouldn’t you utilize this for yourself and your family? Too many veterans avoid filing a claim because they don’t feel they are “disabled.”

The truth is, disabled or not, if you received any type of injury during your time of service, you are entitled to care. Even if not “very serious,” whatever disability compensation you may receive can be put toward caring for that injury in the future. 

It’s important you get the care you were promised for the time you served. In fact, even a 0% rating will be helpful as it gives the VA a point of reference for the future if the disability worsens. This actually makes it easier to get an increased rating if needed. To qualify for a VA claim, you must have an injury that was either caused or made worse by your time in service. It is at least worth checking out if you qualify for your family’s sake. This is the fastest way to get started!

In short, if you’ve served and received even a small injury in the time of service that is not fully recovered, filing a claim is a good idea. 

How do I file a VA Claim?

There are multiple claims to be filed with the VA. But for this article, we will be discussing an Original Claim.

It’s possible to file a claim anytime after leaving service. However, the longer away from service, you are, the harder it may become to have a claim approved. This is because your evidence could be lost, and it gets harder to service connect your disability. File as soon as you can, there’s no reason to wait!

It’s also possible to file a claim up to 180 days before being discharged. This can be done through the Benefits Delivery at Discharge program, which may help your claim be approved at a faster rate. 

The fastest way to file and apply for benefits is by going online and using the Veterans On-Line Application (VONAPP). However, you may also apply through the mail by filling out and sending in the Application for Veterans Compensation and/or Pension. This form is available on the VA Forms website and at your local VA office. 

Filing can also be done over the phone by calling 800-827-1000, or directly in person at the VA Office nearest you. 

What do I need to file a successful claim?

One of the main reasons veterans have their claim rejected is that they file without preparing correctly. 

If you are injured or diseased, it’s essential to obtain all the medical records possible to report to the VA. This includes your medical records before service, but ESPECIALLY any taken during service. This is important since the VA will look to find the event that serves as the catalyst for your disability. They will compare your records before and during service as well before they make a decision. 

This makes it very important that you gather as much evidence as possible. The VA will be looking specifically for proof of a physical or mental disability. They will look to determine if what you are dealing with makes you less able to do the regular tasks in life. The NUMBER ONE REASON WHY CLAIMS ARE DENIED IS LACK OF MEDICAL EVIDENCE!

Don’t let this be you! There are simple solutions to this problem. Including going to your current doctor and getting a medical connection or visiting our medical team to get those letters filled out correctly.

They will also be looking closely to make sure that the injury or disability is a result of your service. The more evidence you can provide that proves your disability started during military service, the better. Any events, injuries, or illnesses that occurred while serving in the military should be recorded and then presented with your claim. Even evidence like buddy letters and personal statements are used as evidence to prove your claim.

This evidence should be presented in the following documents:

  1. Service treatment records
  2. Medical evidence related to illness or injury (including X-rays, doctor’s reports and medical test results
  3. Separation documents like your DD214

The VA will require all these documents to be submitted or that they are given permission to access them. 

Here are my top 2 reasons for why VA Claims get denied!

Now that you have that ready let’s discuss… 

What NOT to do when filing a claim with the VA

Today around 30% of VA Claims are denied, and it’s estimated that roughly 60% of those denials are made in error. 

Once denied, it can take between 12-18 months for an appeal to be decided. That’s the time that you cannot get back in regards to your care. 

This is why it is so important to put your claim together in the most accessible way possible. 

While compiling evidence for your claim is very important, many make the mistake of overwhelming the VA with TOO MUCH information. 

The VA receives thousands of claims daily. Many veterans fill out their form and attach hundreds of pages of medical records hoping to get their benefits. 

If denied, most veterans grab another form and submit again, this time attaching MORE pages of records. 

But the problem isn’t always a lack of information, sometimes it’s too much. 

While the evidence supporting your claim must be submitted, the specific facts the VA needs can get lost in the mountains of records they receive. Unfortunately the VA will not take the liberty of going through all your files to find the best and most relevant evidence. They simply do not have the time or manpower to do so.

To increase your chances of being approved the first time, it would be wise to submit only the records directly associated with your disability. When the VA receives an excellent, tightly formulated claim, they can review and process it much more quickly. And the odds of them missing the most critical information regarding your claim get much lower. 

Therefore, have a plan while putting your claim together. Know what the VA requires for approval and do your best to understand their process. 

What happens after I submit my claim to the VA?!

Depending on how the claim was submitted, veterans should receive confirmation of receipt from the VA within hours (if filed electronically) to two weeks (if submitted through the mail). 

From there, a representative from the VA will begin reviewing the claim, to determine if they require any more information. If needed, they will start contacting the sources of that information, which could be anyone from the veteran themselves to a previous doctor, to a government agency that holds more records. 

Once all the necessary evidence is gathered, the claim will enter a review to determine approval. If approved, a rating will be recommended to the appropriate legal representative. After the recommendation is reviewed, it is to be returned to the VA to be finalized. From there, a claim packet will be sent to the veteran who made a claim. 

Know this, seeing what your options are is ALWAYS a good idea. This is the FASTEST and EASIEST way to get started. No commitment, just see what you deserve under the law. Talk to you soon Vet!

📣 Want to help even more Veterans? Please CLICK AN ICON ABOVE and "SHARE" this post on Social Media! Thank You! 🚀


Hi Veterans, how would you like to learn 3 VA disability claim SECRETS from actual VA Rating Officials, aka, the people who determine your final VA rating?

Brian Reese here, USAF 100% disabled veteran, and founder of VA Claims Insider.

Part of the reason we call ourselves VA Claims “INSIDER” is because we get access to information that nobody else does…

In my brand-new 30-minute video training you’ll hear from “Actual VA Raters Who Reveal 3 VA Claim SECRETS (Learn What the VA Doesn’t Want You to Know…)”

Are you finally ready to get the VA disability rating and compensation YOU deserve?

Enter your email address below for immediate FREE access to the training:

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Easy VA Claims to Win!

How to File a Claim on (step-by-step)!

How to Get a 100 Percent VA Rating (if deserved)!

Dear Veteran, here’s the brutal truth about VA disability claims:

According to our data, 8/10 (80%) of veterans reading this message right now are underrated by the VA…

This means you do NOT currently have the VA disability rating and compensation YOU deserve, and you could be missing out on thousands of dollars of tax-free compensation and benefits each month.

As a fellow disabled Veteran this is shameful and I’m on a mission to change it.

Brian Reese here, Air Force service-disabled Veteran and Founder @ VA Claims Insider.

Since 2016, VA Claims Insider has helped thousands of Veterans just like you get the VA rating and compensation they deserve in less time.

If accepted into our ELITE membership program, you’ll get free up-front access and permission to use $13,119 worth of proprietary VA claim resources, including access to our network of independent medical professionals for medical examinations, disability evaluations, and credible Medical Nexus Letters, which could help you get a HIGHER VA rating in LESS time.

It’s FREE to get started, so click “Go Elite Now” below to complete our 3-step intake process.

STEP #1: Complete Basic Information
STEP #2: Sign Members Agreement
STEP #3: Join the Mastermind Group

If you’re stuck, frustrated, underrated, and currently rated between 0%-90%, VA Claims Insider Elite is for you!

Click “Go Elite Now” below to get started today and a member of our team will be in touch within minutes.

*Website Disclaimer*

VA Claims Insider, LLC is NOT an accredited agent, VSO, attorney, or entity recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and is not affiliated with the VA in any way. VA Claims Insider, LLC does NOT assist veterans with the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of VA disability claims for VA benefits. Veterans shall prepare and file their own claim or work with an accredited representative, many of which offer services for FREE. Veterans may search for and appoint an accredited VSO by clicking HERE. Veterans may also search and find Accredited Attorneys and Claims Agents by clicking HERE. By using this website or VA Claims Insider, LLC’s Mastery or Elite program, you acknowledge that there are completely FREE services available to assist veterans with VA disability claims for VA benefits. Veterans always have the option to utilize the free services provided by entities such as National Service Organizations (e.g., DAV, VFW, AMVETS, American Legion, among many others), Service Organizations, State Sponsored Veteran Service Officers, and/or the paid services of VA accredited agents or attorneys. Utilization of VA Claims Insider, LLC’s website or services is NOT required to submit a claim for VA disability benefits, and you may achieve a positive VA disability claim outcome with these other free or paid organizations. Information listed on this website, including but not limited to, success percentages, disability rating increases, and processing timelines are averages and not specific to any one claim. VA Claims Insider, LLC MAKES NO GUARANTEE OF RESULTS BY USING THIS WEBSITE OR OUR SERVICES, AND YOUR INDIVIDUAL RESULTS MAY VARY. Under no circumstances does VA Claims Insider, LLC, provide medical or legal advice. This website is solely for marketing purposes and contains no medical or legal advice. The VA Claims Insider® name and logo are registered trademarks of VA Claims Insider, LLC.