After confined for several years in the Air Force, I formed at the Board of Veterans Appeals advocating on account of Vets as an appeals representative.
In that time, I saw all kinds of claims. As a result, I abstruse that there were assertive truths and methods that abounding veterans did not apperceive about. As I talked my veterans through the process, I generally aggregate some simple truths. And now that I assignment for the Veterans Allowances Administration at VA, I’d like to allotment them with you.
As a veterans representative, it was best difficult to move a affirmation through the action aback it was submitted with no affirmation to go with it. Sometimes I would get claims for “leg condition” or “back pain,” abrogation me with annihilation but questions: Which leg? What allotment of the leg? What is the absolute action causing aback pain? Too abounding times, there were no medical annal to actualization a diagnosis, or worse, annihilation that would acquaint VA area to attending for medical records.
When I would allocution with the veteran, I generally begin that the adept did not accept that he or she bare to abide acknowledging evidence. That’s understandable, because of circuitous acknowledged requirements for advantage claims. So I generally explained that the best way to get a affirmation accepted is to accomplish it easier for VA to admission it, or easier for your adumbrative to advice you.
Sometimes I apprehend bodies say that VA will advance your affirmation to the fullest and you aloof accept to book it. But you accept to acquaint VA area to look. If you don’t, it can be like attractive for a aggravate in a haystack of Federal agencies, anniversary with its own set of records. And if veterans don’t acquaint VA area their annal are, we may not apperceive area to acquisition them. This becomes alike added important if you’ve accustomed analysis from a clandestine area doctor.
Usually, veterans can get affirmation about their own history added calmly than VA can. Clandestine medical annal are a acceptable archetype of this, back VA cannot atone clandestine medical providers for records. We accept a assignment to abetment the adept in award evidence, but it can booty a lot longer. If you do not at atomic acquaint them area the affirmation is, it becomes abundant harder to acquisition and beneath acceptable VA will be able to access it and admission your claim. To put it addition way, if it was adamantine for me as a veterans representative, it was adamantine for VA.
VA sends you for an assay to access adapted medical affirmation or a antecedent assessment advertence the action is absolutely due to service. If VA does not get this information, it may not accord you the actual rating, or worse, abjure the claim. We accelerate exams for veterans application the FDC program. However, appointment a Disability Allowances Questionnaire (DBQ) with your FDC would amuse the charge for an assay and move your affirmation to the aing date of processing.
It was with the four truths aloft in apperception that VA created the Fully Developed Claims (FDC) program. The Absolutely Developed Claims affairs allows veterans added ascendancy over their claims and to serve as co-advocates with their alleged representatives. Aback a adept files a claim, you abide all affirmation that you can calmly access and again accredit that you accept no added affirmation to submit.
The claims form, cleverly alleged an EZ form, outlines absolutely the affirmation you should access and the affirmation VA charge access on your behalf. Generally, veterans abide clandestine analysis annal and acquaint VA area added annal exist, like VA Medical Center annal or Social Security Administration records. VA will go get Federal annal and agenda you for an exam.
If you accept the adeptness to get your medical provider to ample out the DBQ form, you should. Doing so about agency that VA alone has to accumulate federal records. But if there are no federal annal to collect, your claims will breeze through the agents that develops claims to the agents that ante claims.
For veterans who filed claims the acceptable route, FDCs can advice us abstain the appeals process. If you get your accommodation and are not admiring with it, you can assignment with your adumbrative to get the affirmation bare and ask for reconsideration as a Absolutely Developed Claim. For example, veterans in Illinois are alienated diffuse appeals by appointment reconsideration requests as an FDC.
Nothing is added accessible for accepting the allowances you becoming and deserve than your accord in the claims process. VA owes you a cellophane and automated process, but that action can be fabricated added difficult and bulky after your involvement. With that in mind, actuality is my final truth: If you appetite your affirmation candy in 110 canicule and to accept beneath of a acumen to appeal, participate in the action with your adumbrative and book a Absolutely Developed Claim.
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Written by Catherine TrombleyFrom www.blogs.va.gov
Cat Trombley is a communications specialist with the Veterans Allowances Administration. Prior to alive for VA, she was an abettor administrator with one of the Adept Account Organizations and represented veterans afore the Board of Adept Appeals. She is additionally an Air Force veteran.
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