» 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

  • VA Expands Mental Health Care to Veterans with Other-than-honorable Discharges
    Kristina Derro, Esq. Beginning this summer, the Department of Veterans Affairs will offer urgent mental health care to thousands of veterans with less-than-honorable discharges. The announcement was made earlier this month by VA Secretary David Shulkin who noted that former service members are more likely to have mental health distress, as well as much higher […]
  • Whistleblowers claim culture of retaliation persists at VA
    A recent report from the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) shows that whistleblowers still face retaliation when reporting wrongdoing at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). It has been almost three years since a whistleblower revealed that hundreds of veterans died while awaiting appointments at the Phoenix VA hospital. Now, whistleblowers allege little has changed […]
  • Opioid Theft at VA Hospitals Leads to Reformed Policies, Firmer Enforcement
    Kristina Derro, Esq. As a result of the epidemic that has been plaguing the nation, individuals are looking for the easiest place to get their hands on prescription opioids. In recent years, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities have been one of the many victims of this epidemic. In 2009, there were 272 reported incidents […]
  • Navy researchers develop sensors to improve TBI detection
    Although traumatic brain injury (TBI) is considered an invisible wound of war, its effects can be devastating. According to the Department of Defense, more than 327,000 veterans have been diagnosed with TBI since 2000. The Department of Veterans Affairs has invested millions of dollars into research for improving diagnosis and treatment of the brain injury. […]

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



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

* indicates required