01 Apr What Should I Do if the VA Ignores My Claim?
In yet another blow to the credibility and reputation of VA offices across the country, a CBS News investigation revealed that nearly 14,000 letters sent to the Oakland, California VA office were ignored for years. These letters were sent by veterans and their family members requesting information about benefits they might be owed. In one notable case, a veteran sent a letter to the Oakland VA office in 2004 and received a response in 2014 – 7 years after the veteran had passed. In many cases, the only response the VA was obligated to provide was an application for benefits that the writer of the letter could complete.
When Will I Get My VA Disability Benefits?
In light of the report, the VA has promised reform. However, it is no surprise to those who have applied for VA benefits that it can take months – or in some cases years – for a claim to work its way through the VA system. In most cases, it is impossible to predict with any degree of accuracy when a particular claim will be approved. This can be troubling news to disabled veterans and their families, many of whom depend on VA disability benefits to make ends meet.
Is There Anything I Can Do to Receive My Benefits Sooner?
Receiving VA disability benefits in a timely manner depends in part on presenting the best claim as early in the process as possible. Mistakes in completing forms, assembling documents, or responding to communications from the VA can delay your claim’s approval. To help decrease the time your claim will take to process, veterans seeking VA benefits are encouraged to take the following steps:
- Keep all important records in a safe and accessible place. This includes not only your service-related records (such as discharge paperwork) but your medical records as well. Assembling and organizing these documents as early as possible will ensure they are available if the VA asks to see them.
- Fill out all forms completely, accurately, and honestly. If you are unsure of how to complete a particular form, seek assistance from either the VA, a veteran’s service organization, a trusted friend or family member, or ask an experienced VA disability lawyer for advice. It pays to review your forms for accuracy before submitting them. Were all questions completed? Were any requested documents included? Are there any false or misleading answers? (False and misleading answers can result in the rejection of your claim.)
- Hire a professional VA disability attorney for help. If your claim is initially denied by the VA and you haven’t spoken with an attorney, speak with a VA disability attorney like those at the Klok Law Firm, LLC as soon as possible. Statistics show that those veterans represented by an attorney have a much higher rate of success in being awarded benefits and being awarded benefits earlier.
Regardless of where you are at in the process of applying for VA disability benefits, we at the Klok Law Firm, LLC can help. Contact us at (843) 216-8860 for a free consultation today.