The VA Disability Claim Process

There are some very important facts to keep in mind about the VA disability claim process:

(1) It can be extremely complex, with many possible steps, some of which require specific VA forms to be used or VA will ignore the submission.

(2) It can be very time consuming, with some claims dragging on for many years. It is not uncommon for one case to involve multiple appeals within the VA itself or to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

(3) VA imposes deadlines for the Veteran (or his or her representative) at each step of the proceedings, and often the deadlines to take some action decrease as the claim proceeds up the VA chain. However, though VA may have internal deadlines when it is supposed to act at various stages of the claim process, it often appears from the outside that VA has no deadlines.

(4) VA takes the position that each Veteran's case is unique, and that a decision in one case is not binding on how it may decide another Veteran's case, even if the facts appear to be very similar between the two. This often leads to inconsistent results, which can be the basis for objection. Therefore, you cannot assume that what you hear from the grapevine about one Veteran's success, or failure, in the claim process will necessarily determine what will happen in your case.

For specific questions about your rights and how your own claim is being handled, you may contact your local VA office, or a Veterans Service Organization. Alternatively, you can contact The Law Office of Barry P. Allen, where we stand ready to be

REMEMBER, there may be time limits that affect your rights at various stages of the process, so you should seek assistance as soon as possible.