Submitting Your VA Claim
Because each benefit required different documentation veterans need to provide as well as different forms they must fill out, this book details each benefit and what forms are needed, where to get them, types of supporting documentation required, and submission location to complete the claim.
It’s tremendously important to make sure all the proper information is provided before submission, and then double checked multiple times. All the information provided should have no errors and be completely accurate otherwise VA claims are likely to be delayed or denied.
It is advisable to be cautious when submitting a claim as the VA bases its decision on the claim’s individual merits. For example is a claim is made and the VA rejects the claim because of lack of merit in evidence, it would be increasingly heard to submit an edited claim at a later date or appeal. New documentation must then be provided outside of the original evidence.
Veterans, however, can take full advantage of duty to assist by utilizing the VA and their resources in helping them obtain everything they need for a claim and double checking the accuracy, clarity, and integrity of the claim. Appendixes B and D provide you with VA regional offices and VA veterans centers where counselors are provided and required by law to help you organize your documents.
Try to continue working with the same counselor and office at the VA if taking advantage of duty to assist as it’s easier for them to work more efficiently with your information being familiar with you.
Waiting after Submission
The wait after sending in your documents can take a while. In some cases depending on what you’re applying for renders a longer or shorter gestation period, even though the VA aims to process all claims within 73 days.
As explained in Chapter 10, it usually takes approximately 23 days for the VA to process decisions on claims regarding the Montgomery GI Bill benefits. Becoming eligible for the VA healthcare program, detailed in Chapter 4, and other VA medical benefits usually take 30 days. However, some of the most difficult claims can take up to 183 days, such as claims for disability compensation and pensions.
If unhappy with the verdict of the claim, you have the capacity to accept the decision or appeal it.