Submitting a claim to the VA can be a challenging process. Unfortunately, many Veterans who attempt to submit a claim without expert guidance may end up waiting at least a year or longer before a final determination is issued.
However, working with Veteran Ratings and our network of consulting providers often results in claim determination and approvals in considerably less time after Veterans file their claim with the VA.
Here is what you should know about the types of claims you can make, including how long you may wait before the VA decides your claim as well as the advantages of working with Veteran Ratings to ensure your claims process proceeds as quickly as possible backed by a 95% success rate.
Understanding The VA Claim Process
There are several steps in the VA claim process.
After consulting with us and our network of expert partners, Veterans will have a thorough understanding of the processes, documents and evidence they must gather before they submit their own claim. After you submit a claim, here’s what you can expect.
The VA will inform you when they have received your disability claim. If you file online, you’ll get a message after you submit your claim. If you mail a claim application, the VA will send you a confirmation letter in 7-14 days.
A Veterans Service Representative (VSR) will review your claim in two to three weeks. Veterans who do not use Veteran Ratings and our consulting partners may not have a full understanding of what is required which means they are more likely to be flagged by the VA who will ask for more evidence to support your claim.
However, working with us, your claim is more likely to be approved on the first submission because we guide you in gathering the evidence the VA needs and put your claim through two rounds of Quality Control check so you don’t deal with the frustrations and time delays of going back and forth with the VA.
Our Veteran consulting partners guide Veterans in gathering the documents and evidence they need to have the most successful case before they submit a claim.
Our partners support Veterans by including multiple quality control tests as part of this process. This greatly increases the likelihood of approval with your initial submission. However, after you submit, if additional evidence is required to substantiate the claim, the VA typically follows one of these courses of action in 30 to 60 days:
- Ask for evidence from you, health care providers, governmental agencies, etc.
- Schedule a Compensation and Pension exam (C&P). These are only needed for someone filing for the first time. If you’re a Veteran looking for an increase you can use a Veteran Ratings’ private network of doctors to complete a VA Disability Benefits Questionnaire.
- Move your claim to a Ratings Veteran Service Representative (RVSR).
You may repeat this step several times until the VA gets what it needs.
Review the Evidence.
After all the required evidence is received, it is reviewed by the VSR assigned to the claim within 7-14 days. Sometimes, the VSR may still request more information to process the claim in situations noted above.
Preparation for Decision.
The VA claim is sent to an RVSR, who will review the application and supporting evidence in 7-14 days. From this, they will reach a recommendation and start the documentation process to support this action.
Pending Decision Approval.
The RVSR’s recommendations are further reviewed over the next 7-21 days, and a final award decision is determined.
Preparation for Notification.
After making a decision about the claim, a Senior Veterans Service Representative (SVSR) will review the completed documentation and then authorize the release of the award letter and payment, if applicable. The decision packet is mailed to the applicant in three weeks or less.
Factors Affecting the Duration of a VA Claim
The time it takes to review a claim depends on the type of claim you filed, how many injuries or disabilities you claimed, how complex your claimed disabilities are, and how long it takes the VA to substantiate the evidence needed to decide your claim.
Average Timeframes for Different Types of VA Claims
The wait can be daunting after a Veteran submits a claim. Without guidance from Veteran Ratings and our partners, most submission decisions can take at least a year and often longer depending on backlogs and if the initial submission is complete or not.
However, when working with us, due to the quality of the initial submission, questions are resolved up front removing the time consuming delays on a claim decision.
In most cases, Veterans who work with Veteran Ratings find their decision notifications take about 6-8 months to process claims and appeals except the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA).
What to Know About a VA Supplemental Claim?
You may consider filing a Supplemental Claim if the VA has decided your claim in the past and your claim is not contested.
You must also have new and relevant evidence to submit, or if you’re requesting a review of your claim based on a change in law, such as the PACT Act.
The PACT Act law adds over 20 presumptive conditions for burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic exposures. The law also adds new presumptive locations for Agent Orange and radiation exposure.
If you have new and relevant evidence, you can also request a Board Appeal. But this process will take longer.
When you have a disability rating for a condition that’s worsened, you’ll need to file a claim for increased disability compensation instead of an appeal.
For a presumptive condition now covered because of a change in law, you must submit or identify medical evidence that documents the diagnosis and severity of your claimed condition.
NOTE: Due to the complex nature of supplemental claims and appeals, Veteran Ratings and our consulting partners only provide guidance to current clients.
How to Check Your VA Claim Status
To check your claim status, you must go online and sign in to your existing Login.gov, ID.me, DS Logon, or My HealtheVet account. If you don’t have any of these accounts, you can create a free Login.gov or ID.me account.