“First, allow me to introduce myself with some background info. I am a veteran, a nurse, a woman, and decide VA disability claims.” Author Unknown I share many of the frustrations of veterans when I see claims that have not been properly or expeditiously decided. It is my mission to correct these where possible. I have called errors on prior decisions and awarded benefits back to the original claim date. I’m sure that I also have made errors and hope others have caught and corrected these. Please keep in mind that this is my personal perspective. I have no authority to speak for my Regional Office or any other.
That said, I would like to :
1) share some insight on how veterans can help themselves to get their claims through the system as quickly as possible. ￼
2) share some of my frustrations with many system clogging claims that I get and must address.
First, here’s some general info on claims processing steps in my office: ￼
Next, for claims, the veteran’s C-file is retrieved from the files and is sent to the development section. Development then sends a letter acknowledging receipt of the claim and lists the claims. This letter should also include release of information form(s) 4142 so that private medical records (not VAMC) that the veteran says are relevant to the claim can be obtained. When the veteran returns the signed forms, the VA contacts the care provider by mail requesting the records. Sometimes we receive no response and must request the records again. This also delays the decision process. ￼Please be aware that many VA Regional Offices, including mine, receive thousands of pieces of mail every day. Each of these must be stamped with the date received. This takes time. ￼
When all records are received, or it is determined that records are not obtainable, the claim goes to the Rating Board.￼