Veterans who are unable to support themselves and their families due to a service-connected disability (an impairment directly related to their military service) can apply for disability benefits payments. The amount of these cash payments depends on your VA disability rating, which measures the severity and permanence of your impairments. Applying fordisability compensation benefits often involves medical exams with multiple doctors, an overwhelming amount of paperwork, and a whole lot of “hurry up and wait.” This process can take quite some time, leaving many disabled veterans waiting for months or years to be approved.
In 2013, the Department of Veterans Affairs introduced the Fully Developed Claim process to address the issue of long wait times. The initiative encouraged applicants to partner with an approved organization to ensure all paperwork was completed and submitted in a timely manner. However, the Fully Developed Claim process only shaved about 11 days off the average wait time of 120 days.
Decision Ready Claim (DRC) Initiative
On September 7, the VA announced a new initiative designed to significantly shorten the completion time of disability claims. On theirwebsite, the VA tells applicants their claims can be processed within 30 days!
To file a Decision Ready Claim, the applicant is required to work with an accredited Veterans Service Organization (VSO). The VSO will assist with gathering military service records and medical evidence, and they will help the veteran properly organize and submit paperwork. The 30-day window for completing a disability claim begins once they receive the application, so it does not include time spent gathering records and completing paperwork. The VA hopes to keep its “30 days or less” promise by encouraging veterans to submit complete and thorough applications. The claims process is slowed down considerably when the VA needs to request additional information or verifications.
To date, theDRC program is only available to individuals already receiving benefits who are applying for an increase in compensation. These claims are submitted when an existing disability has worsened since the VA issued a disability rating. Increased disability claims make up about one-third of total claims received by the VA. While initial claims do not currently qualify for the Decision Ready Claim program, a veteran may be able to have their application streamlined if they apply for disability compensation before they receive a discharge from the service.
Veterans Disability Benefits Attorneys In Mt. Pleasant, SC
If your claim was recently denied and you need help filing an initial claim for VA disability compensation benefits—or a claim for increased disability benefits—contact the Klok Law Firm, LLC. The appeals process for VA disability claims can be frustrating and time consuming, but the experienced veterans disability lawyers at Klok Law Firm are eager to help you get the compensation you need and deserve. Our office in Mt. Pleasant, SC also serves the localities of Charleston, Isle of Palms, and Sullivan’s Island. We offer an initial consultation free of charge.
Contact us today to schedule a free review of your disability claim.