» 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

  • Continued Efforts to End Jobless Vets is Paying Off
    The number of unemployed veterans in our country today is simply unacceptable. Any man or woman who served bravely for our freedoms should not be homeless and jobless. Thankfully, the US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has addressed this issue with the enactment of the Homeless Veterans Community Employment Services Program (HVCES). The aim of [...]
  • Honor flight takes Michigan veterans to Washington DC memorial
    Sixty-two Michigan veterans got the chance to visit the World War II Memorial when the Mid-Michigan Honor Flight flew them to Washington, D.C. on June 2. It was the Mid-Michigan Honor Flight’s third flight to Washington in what marks the tenth year of the free trip in Michigan. It allowed some of the state’s 660,000 [...]
  • Female Veterans Afflicted By Suicide
    The suicide rate among military veterans has been given significant attention in the last decade from the media and military officials. Through past reports, experts were able to determine that active service members are less likely to commit suicide. Only when they leave the military do suicide rates skyrocket. Though much research has been conducted [...]
  • Bikes for Vets Helps 8 Veterans at Event
    Unemployment continues to be one of the biggest struggles veterans face after exiting the military. Whether it’s due to emotional distress, physical injury, or financial hardship, many veterans are unable to land a job. Making matters worse, there are far too few programs that veterans can look to for help. Fortunately, one Metro Detroiter’s has [...]

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



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

* indicates required