» VA Proposes Standardization in Disability Claims Process

VA Proposes Standardization in Disability Claims Process

Legal Help for Veterans is a law firm helping veterans get the benefits they deserve.

Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) March 4, 2014 - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has proposed that veterans use standardized forms to submit disability claims.

This is an idea that would seem in step with the desire to streamline and modernize the process. However, the proposal has veterans groups concerned that many former members of the military will not be able to navigate the new system.

Traditionally, veterans have been able to submit claims in a variety of ways, including through simple, handwritten notes. The claim becomes the initial point for retroactive pay reference when and if the filing veteran’s claim is approved.

“The standard means of filing a claim for benefits involves completing and mailing to one’s local VA office the so-called Veterans Application for Compensation and/or Pension,” said James G. Fausone, a prominent Northville, Michigan attorney who specializes in legal help for veterans. “It is always helpful to attach any supporting evidence, such as medical records, to the application.”

The VA wants to dispense with the so-called “informal claim process” that veterans employ when they submit a handwritten note in favor of online or standard paper forms. The agency says the measure will help it catch up with its 400,000 backlogged claims. But such a mandate would mean that the claim period would not begin with receipt of a handwritten note.

Some veterans groups are arguing that, as a result, those who use the Internet will be rewarded at the expense of others. “We have concerns because the average age of the American veteran is 64 years old, and the 2010 census reported that 55 percent of Americans 65 and older do not have regular access to the Internet,” said Zachary Hearn, deputy director of benefits for the American Legion.

For many veterans, the VA’s proposal may become an irritating burden requiring additional detail and paperwork. But legal experts advise that the claims process is inherently complicated. That argument is particularly compelling in circumstances when a rejected claim must be appealed — in which case, the help of an attorney could be pivotal.

“Pursuit of your appeal without experienced legal counsel severely reduces your prospects for success before the court,” Fausone said. “Over 75 percent of all cases resolved at court in 2008 were represented by legal counsel.”

Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC
41700 West Six Mile Road, Suite 101
Northville, MI 48168
Toll Free Phone: 800.693.4800

  • Camp Lejeune veterans to get 2 billion dollars in disability benefits for tainted water
    Veterans affected by contaminated drinking water at North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune could soon get some relief after decades of fighting for their right to compensation. An official document published via the Federal Register on January 12 announced the Obama administration will provide disability benefits to exposed veterans who served at the Marine Corps base. Around […]
  • Florida airport shooting puts spotlight on veterans mental health care
    The recent shooting at Fort Lauderdale airport has drawn nationwide attention to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and exposed the gaps that exist in mental health care for veterans. The attacker charged with the shooting was an Iraq veteran who may have suffered from PTSD. Esteban Santiago is the sole suspect of the January 6 shooting […]
  • New evidence at Michigan base could boost veterans’ water contamination claims
    Samples collected from hydrants could help veterans who were stationed at a former Air Force base in Oscoda, Michigan, get the long-awaited attention they are seeking from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for illnesses caused by poisoned drinking water. Veterans and their families were exposed to perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) in their tap water at […]
  • Free mental health clinics aim to offer alternative to VA care
    A new series of mental health clinics for veterans have opened in an effort to fill a perceived gap in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system. Over the past three years, the VA has been criticized for long appointment wait times for veterans seeking care and other shortfalls. The new network of clinics seeks […]

See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: , , , , ,



Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required