Firstly, allow us to give a warm word of thanks for your service to our country. If you are reading this blog, you are interested in filing a claim for the benefits you so rightly deserve, but you also understand that nothing done with the government is cut and dry simple. Here are a few things to do as you are trying to file a claim for your benefits.
Visit your primary care physician. It is much better if your physician is not affiliated with the VA for no other reason than the chances of the diagnosis being less biased. Get the diagnosis in writing for the claim. Be sure to have dates as accurately as possible. Only list the particular disabilities which you currently suffer symptoms – adding more to your claim will only delay the processing.
Collect all medical records. This may take time particularly if you have changed physicians or have more than one physician. Make several copies, and be sure to keep the originals for yourself. If you choose to submit online, scanning the documents is a wise thing to do. Save these in more than one location as well.
Prepare to wait. It can take a few weeks to several years to process a claim. The waiting time can be reduced with the “Fast Track” program, so long as you have your medical records submitted along with the claim. This program can expedite the process quickly.
If things go well; congratulations to you and your well-deserved benefits. However, should the claim be denied, do not fret. Get copies of everything together, call the local VA, and request documentation as to why it was denied. Write everything down. Times, people you speak to, dates and the like. Contact a veterans disability attorney, preferably one that is a veteran. The more information you have, the better a chance you have in court.