The Department of Veterans Affairs will be instilling a new disability claims process by March 2015. The VA announced plans to use uniform claims applications in hopes to better serve Veterans and their families. Previously there was no particular form for applicants to use when filing for a disability claim and could be submitted in any form, on any paper, which led to delays from unclear communication, misunderstanding, and missing paperwork.
These standardized forms will help eliminate unnecessary confusion and will allow the VA to more easily recognize what benefits the Veteran or survivor is applying for. This, in turn, will speed up claims processing and receipt of earned benefits.
Informal claims will also be standardized with an "Intent to File a Claim" process that will allow the Veteran or survivor a year to gather the necessary documents and evidence while preserving the effective date of the claim.
VA Secretary Robert McDonald was quoted on the matter: "We must do everything that we can to make it as fast and easy as possible for Veterans and their survivors to file for and receive an accurate decision on their claim. Our Veterans and survivors will know, at the outset of the claims process, what is needed, which removes subjective interpretation from the process. We want to eliminate any barriers that make it difficult for our Veterans or survivors to receive benefits to which they are entitled.”
If you need help filing for a claim or disputing a rating or claims decision, use our contact form to find out how Still Serving Veterans may be able to help you.