Veterans Affairs Disability Claim Process

Veterans benefits
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Veterans Affairs Disability Claim Process

Filing a Veterans Affairs disability claim can be exhausting for some, but knowing how the process works is a big help. This post is just that.

  1. Claim Received – I personally, have sent in a claim entirely via the United States Postal Service (snail Mail), and electronically via their website.
  2. Under Review – A Veteran Service Representative (VSR) does the initial review of your claim. If your claim requires additional evidence, it might get kicked back at this point
  3. Gathering of Evidence – a VSR will start the process of collecting additional evidence if needed. They will ask healthcare providers, as well as get up Compensation and Pension examination (C&P). Once they have all the evidence, then they will review the evidence and when they have done that, they will move your claim to a Rating Veteran Service Representative (RSVR) for decision (Step #4)
  4. Review of Evidence – The VSR will review the entire package and if it requires additional information it will be sent back to Step #3, it it looks good it will move to Step #5
  5. Preparation for Decision – The RSVR will review the entire claim package (application, medical records, supporting documents, personal statements, buddy letters, and other documentation). The RSVR will recommend a decision
  6. Pending Decision Approval – The decision recommendation documents are reviewed and a final award is approved
  7. Preparation for Notification – The Senior Veterans Service Representative (SVSR) reviews the completed package and then authorizes the release of the award letter and payment.
  8. Claim Completed – According to the claims that I have received. If you receive a notice via snail mail. If you receive a small letter envelope (a tri-folded letter size) your claim was not awarded, this could mean that more evidence is required. If you receive a flat letter package, then your claim was awarded.
Disability Claim Process
The Veterans Affairs Disability Claim Process

According to VA Claim Insider, the timelines for the above process is:

STEP #1: Claim Received: Normally takes between 7 and 14 days
STEP #2: Under Review: This step typically takes 7 to 21 days
STEP #3: Gathering of Evidence: This step is the longest phase in the VA claim process and usually takes 30-60 days
STEP #4: Review of Evidence: Takes 7 to 14 days on average
STEP #5: Preparation for Decision: This step typically takes 7-14 days to complete
STEP #6: Pending Decision Approval: 7 to 14 days
STEP #7: Preparation for Notification: 7 to 14 days
STEP #8: Decision Notification Sent: The final step in the VA claim process takes 7-10 days

This seems to be fairly accurate, all of my claims were around the 6-month mark from start to finish.

***NOTE*** I have noticed that the VA does not update your claim status on the website, until a week after they sent the claim notice via snail mail.

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