» 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

  • Congress passes bill to provide veterans with VA-issued ID cards
    Congress on July 7 approved a bill that would allow veterans to obtain official identification cards through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Supporters of the measure say the ID cards would contribute to reducing identify theft, along with making it easier for veterans to prove their veteran status. Current federal law requires some [...]
  • VA to extend veterans benefits to same-sex couples nationwide
    Following the Supreme Court’s June 26 ruling that legalized gay marriage in all 50 states, same-sex couples will now be able to receive veterans pensions, medical services, home loan guarantees and other benefits, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) officials announced on June 29. The VA said that same-sex couples with military ties will be [...]
  • VA and Senate launch campaign to raise PTSD awareness
    The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) observed June 27 as National Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness (PTSD) Day for the fourth consecutive year, while the Senate passed a resolution designating June as National PTSD Awareness Month in an effort to improve diagnosis and treatment for veterans suffering from PTSD. The resolution recognizes that PTSD is [...]
  • Study links PTSD to higher sleep apnea risk in veterans
    A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine indicates that veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are at an increased risk of developing sleep apnea. Some PTSD symptoms include nightmares, heightened emotional reactions and negative changes in mood. Researchers examined 159 Afghanistan and Iraq veterans with PTSD symptoms and found that 69 percent [...]

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



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

* indicates required