VA disability benefits – What is a Fully Developed Claim? |
Loading...
You are here:  Home  >  Veterans Disability  >  Current Article

VA disability benefits – What is a Fully Developed Claim?

By   /  January 14, 2013  /  52 Comments

    Print       Email

va-disability-benefits2The Fully Developed Claim process is intended to be a fast track way to get VA disability benefits processed. From 2008-2012, the VA experienced a 50% increase in the number of claims submitted, and those incoming claims were more complex – containing 19% more medical conditions. The Fully Developed Claim (FDC) was first tested as a pilot program, to address the increasing delays in processing claims.

What is a Fully Developed Claim

As the VA works to reduce the backlog of claims, the FDC emerged as a way to get claims that are in solid order pushed through the system faster. The FDC concept refers to the fact that VA disability benefits claims are considered “fully developed” when the veteran has no more evidence to submit and the only assistance required from the VA is to secure federal records and order any medical examinations.

The applicant submits an official FDC claim form, and submits all available supporting evidence, like private treatment records and notice of Federal treatment records, to the VA at the time they first file a formal claim; the veterans also certify they have no more evidence to submit.

The VA states that it has provided priority channels for processing claims submitted in accordance with the FDC procedures. According to the VA, “The Fully Developed Claims (FDC) Program is the fastest way of getting your compensation or pension claim processed. Participation in the FDC Program allows for faster claims processing while preserving great quality of service and your right to appeal a decision.”

Fast-track procedure

Using the FDC procedures can cut down on the claim processing time for an initial claim by more than half. In an August 2012 press release, the VA stated, “Currently, FDC claims take an average of 110 days to decide compared to 254 days through the traditional claims method.”

There are a couple of ways that the FDC process cuts down on processing time:

  • First, the veteran files an intention to use the FDC system, which sets the effective date of the claim
  • The VA tells the veteran precisely what information and evidence is needed to process the claim. Once the vet gathers and submits all of the documentation, the VA begins to process the claim. This can eliminate delays of the back and forth of waiting for further instructions and more evidence. It lets you know up front the documents you need. Veterans and their representatives do much of the development that typically takes the VA up to half a year to gather.
  • The up front submission of evidence allows the VA to start processing the claim immediately, without holding it for mandatory wait periods.
  • Most Veteran’s Service Organizations have representatives who can help develop a FDC claim for free, although applicants can also seek legal advice.
  • If for some reason your claim does not meet the FDC criteria, your claim will be converted to standard processing.

After the veteran submits the claim, the VA will gather all federal records identified, such as VA Medical Center records and the documents from the Social Security Administration. The VA will also send the applicant for a VA medical examination, if needed.

How does FDC compare to a regular claim submission

The main difference is that with a standard application, the VA is the one who tracks down most of your documentation and evidence. With the FDC, the veteran gathers as much documents as possible up front.

The VA website describes the standard claim process this way:

  • The VA is responsible for getting relevant records from any federal agency that you identify and authorize;
  • The VA will make every reasonable effort to obtain relevant records not held by a federal agency that you identify and authorize.

These may include:

  • privately held evidence and information you tell them about (such as records from a private doctor or hospital) and/or
  • records from state or local governments or current or former employers.

The VA estimates that it takes an average of 175 days to gather evidence for a standard VA disability benefits claim.

In contrast, the FDC form outlines the evidence that you need to submit. Usually, this is private treatment records. The veteran also notifies the VA precisely where other federal records exists, such as those with VA Medical Centers or the Social Security Administration. Depending on the type of military service, you may need to also assist in locating your service records.

What are the pros and cons of using the FC process?

The main advantage of the FDC system is a speedy resolution. Data shows the FDC process can cut the time to a decision by half – which on average, means a decision coming in less than four months, instead of the standard eight-month time.

Some of the pilot programs were showing 90-day decision windows, outside of any delays caused by waiting for more records outside the VA’s control. The pilot program in Chicago showed great results. Chicago reported that, “By 2010, 25 percent of FDC claims were rated in 69 days, and half were decided in 115 days. These are good results.”

VA regional officers say the FDC involves veterans more in the process, and gives them more control over their claim. Using the FDC process is not intended to affect the quality of care or level of benefits received. It is simply a method to speed up claim review.

Early evidence suggests use of a FDC may also reduce the appeals rate. The FDC also provides an option to request a reconsideration after a decision, and a chance to submit more evidence before needing to go to the appeal stage.

There don’t appear to be active negatives reported. If anything bumps you out of the FDC process, your claim may just be put back in the standard processing pool. This could happen if, for example, your claim ends up requiring the VA’s assistance for more than just ordering federal records or medical exams; or if it’s determined more documents are needed. You can also drop out of the FDC process at any time and have your claim move through the standard processing procedures.

The Fully Developed Claim process currently applies only to the initial application for VA disability benefits, or secondary and increased disability service connection claims. The VA is testing an expedited appeals process.

    Print       Email

52 Comments

  1. Jake says:

    I was diagnosed by a civilian psychiatrist with PTSD and by a civilian neurologist with pseudo seizers from my PTSD. The civilian doctors admitted me the the epilepsy monitoring units and came up with that diagnosis. I went to the Va they diagnosed me with conversion disorder and PTSD. I submitted a claim June 18 it’s under review status is it safe for me to fast trac my claim if I do not
    Have any other evidence I already submitted it all. Both the VA and the civilian docs diagnosed me with my the same thing.. Help please

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jake,

      Regardless of what your friends and the VA may imply, the VA claim application process is not a simple matter. It is akin to filing a lawsuit. The claim you submit is only an application for benefits. Once the application is processed as a new claim intake by the VA, then the claim must be developed. This means there must be a review of the contentions and evidence must be developed to bring the claim up to full development in order to stage the claim for a rating decision.

      This process is not a simple straight line process. Your claim does not just involve having a current diagnosis. You must prove that there was an in-service medical event which gave rise to the current diagnosis. Then you need to prove that there is a “nexus” between the two events, which means that there is linkage of the in-service condition to your current medical issue. But, there are more elements to prove in addition. So your question and comments overly simplifies the claim development process. It is not a cut and dried matter.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  2. james b bost sr says:

    I read my commets from yesterday and decided to add to it. When I first filed this claim in 1998,they made it about back pain.Even though through over time I let all who were involved know about not only back pain but leg and bladder complications.I was never told I could claim these other problems as complications from the fractured back. In jan. 2013 a c&p doctor said he did not think my bladder problems were a result of my back.even though test showed i did have bladder problems. This Dr said they could have been caused by the use of opiates.All I know is all of these problems started when I fractured my L1 and L2 vertabre.Judge Hindin said even if this doctor did not think the bladder problems were caused by the back That from day one I was taking opiates I had to stop taking opiates in 2007 bacause it made the problem worse.I been seeing the same VA Doctor since 2002 so I asked her and she toid me a fractured back could most certainly affect your bladder.I also looked it up on the computer and found out that a back injury could cause bladder problems.I can not understand why a C&P Doctor would say what he did..I wished when a vet.filed a claim they would consider your claim and ask about every problem you were having,I had to learn the hard way about veterans claims.Eny one who files a claim should make sure you tell them every thing about all problems you are having from your injury,because when I filed my claim it was just about back pain is all they seemed to want to know about.

  3. james b bost sr says:

    On my comment I for got to say I am service connected.

  4. james b bost sr says:

    I had a 50% disability rating since 1998 for a fractured back, L-1 and L-2. In March 2003 i was told by a VA doctor at Dorn VA Hospital that i should file for an increased rating since i had been unable to work since July 1997.So i filed for an increase in disability benefits. I filed in March 2003 since then it has been up and down the road from the RO to the BVA, i have had so many C&P exams i lost track. During these exams i told these doctors about my leg pain and other leg problems and and bladder problems. In December 2012 the AMC gave me a rating of 20% for my left leg and 20% for my right leg for a total of 20% added to my 50% which is now 70% and they gave me back pay back to june 5,2012 a date i had a C&P exam on..I appealed this,so on April 23,2013 it went too the Board of Veterans Appeals Judge Hindin Remanded FIVE ISSUES back to the RO in Colunbia SC, and also said this claim must be affored expeditious treatment. After reading Judge hindins Remand and all that he had said in my favor I felt I might get the TDIU or at least if they ruled in my favor on the the other 4 issues it would not matter i would be at 100%. On May 6,2013 aimost 2 years ago the RO got this Remand Appeal from the Board of Veterans Appeals.So much for this claim must be afforded expeditious treament.Do the RO and BVA have to answer to anyone.I really thought since this came from a judge it would not stay there 2 or 3 years like it has since 2003.Can any one answer this for me? In 10 days it will have been at the RO in Columbia SC for 2 years.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear James,

      Accountability within the federal government is an indirect action. Ultimately, the VA is accountable indirectly to all American citizens as voters. It is up to us to vote persons into Congress and the Presidency who will do as we want them to do. Accountability within the federal government is an indirect action. You can communicate the improvements you think need to be made to your Congressman.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  5. xavier jackson says:

    also on the leukemia the only thing that I could possibly connected to what’s being exposed to jet times at Green ramp and the benzene in the water from Camp Lejeune during an OP peration force opposition for Marines and the water we we’re drinking came from camp Lejeune if they turn my stressor down now wouldn’t I have heard from them

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Xavier,

      This is in response to all four of your postings. It is important that you attend your CMP appointment. Failure to do so will probably result in a claim denial.

      Also, you need to independently submit medical record information from a private medical provider not connected to the VA. This may assist in a proper evaluation of your current medical conditions. For example, you must prove that your current illness, if any, relates back to an in-service medical condition that occurred due to exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  6. xavier jackson says:

    I have been diagnosed with CML leukemia schizoaffective disorder peripheral nerve damage anxiety disorder tendonitis I signed the stressor statement if I was going to be turned down would I be going to a CMP examination or would they have sent me a letter already in reference to denial

  7. xavier jackson says:

    I am in the homeless program and have been advised to report to CMP for scheduling what does this mean because on e benefits it says I have a fully developed claim development letter sent what should I expect from the CMP appointment

  8. Morgan says:

    I received a call from a VA rep stating that my claim was FDC and sent me a letter to contact a VA doctor. After seeing the VA doctor, how long normally will the decision be made? Will I be compensated from the time I was discharged? Thank you for your help.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Morgan,

      Generally, an effective date for service-connection for a disability that is directly linked to an injury or disease that was incurred or aggravated by military service is the date VA receives a claim or a later date if the disability is found to have begun after the date the claim was filed. There are at least one million claims pending. So a claim decision can take years to be issued.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  9. James W Jenkins Jr says:

    I am a little confused…I have a claim as follows: Received: 01/27/2015 (Compensation)
    Estimated Completion Date: 10/16/2015 to 05/09/2016 Image of tooltip button icon

    The time it takes to complete your claim depends on factors like the type of claim and the type of disability claimed.

    The estimated dates are based on a statistical analysis of historical processing times for similar claims. Some things you should know:
    Historical data may not accurately predict current conditions. Your claim may take longer.
    Dates may change as the statistical analysis is updated.
    Some claims will take longer than the range of dates given as they are based on an average.

    Submitting the supporting documentation that has been requested quickly and electronically is the surest way to get your claim decided as quickly as possible.
    .
    Disabilities Claimed: headaches secondary to SC cervical spine condition (Secondary), heart condition due to Ao exp (New), lumbar spine condition (Increase), cervical spine condition (Increase)
    Your Designated Representative for VA Claims: DISABLED AMERICAN VETERANS

    Current Status: Under Review Your claim was assigned to a Veterans Service Representative to determine if additional evidence is needed. Your claim will move directly to the Preparation for Decision phase if no additional information is required.

    This was submitted under fully developed claim…however I supposedly can send in more info after I go through my next 4 appointments. When I read the explanation of fully developed on this site it does not say the same thing..it sounds like a one shot deal.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear James,

      Many veterans do not fully appreciate the nature of submitting a substantially complete claim. A substantially complete claim means that the VA’s review of the benefit application contains enough information to open a claim file and to begin assisting the Veteran with proving a disability.

      There is a distinction between a substantially complete claim application and the process which the VA uses to fully develop the claim (FDC). The VA has a duty to assist the Veteran to develop the claim file in order that the claim is ready for a determination of disability rating. If the VA believes the claim file lacks sufficient information then the VA will attempt to obtain appropriate records. Often, the VA will need to contact the Veteran to clarify records or to explain information which the Veteran provided to the VA in the claim application. Accordingly, the process of fully developing the claim is long and protracted. In other words, a Veteran may believe the claim submission was a fully developed claim. But, the VA’s review finds that more development (proof) is needed.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  10. Lauren says:

    I was sexually assaulted (physical groping) and harassed. I was forced to go to a different detachment while I was in Korea. I received one letter about my harassment claim and I lost it. I know a general time frame and have a letter from my mom. I suffer PTSD now and haven’t worked in 3 years. Do I need more evidence?

    • Lauren says:

      The gentleman that harassed me was later discarded, while at a different unit in Germany. He apologized to me of fb, if that makes a difference.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lauren,

      From the way you describe your situation, I can not determine what claim you have submitted or are intending to submit. Also, you do not state to whom it has been submitted. For example, have you submitted or do you plan to submit a claim for VA benefits or in the alternative for benefits with another federal or state agency? If you actually submitted a claim, when did you submit it and at which stage in the claim process is the case at? Once you provide more information, I may be able to respond.

      Thank you,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

      • Lauren says:

        I have not submitted the claim yet. I was diagnosed with PTSD and depression about a month ago by a psychologist at VA. I plan to do a claim for PTSD due to Military Sexual Trauma with the VA regional office in Cincinnati. I’m just afraid I don’t have enough evidence because none of my medical records mention anything about it or the consoling I received. I spoke with Chaplin’s and sought a consoling after the incident while stationed in Korea.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Lauren,

          If and when you submit a VA benefit application, be prepared to prove that an in-service medical condition or event occurred. Unless you can prove the in-service medical event, you will not be able to receive VA benefits. You need to figure out a way to produce records documenting treatment in-service or substantiation of the event in your military records. You may be well advised to consider the services of a knowledgeable legal representative to prove your claim. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits.

          Sincerely,
          Craig L.Ames
          Accredited VA Attorney

          • Lauren says:

            I was moved to a different detachment because of the incident. Although it may not state the reason…I was moved 2 days after I reported the assult to my unit. I also started taking anit depressants, which are in my medical records. I also have a written statement from my mother. In your opinion, would that be enough evidence?

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Lauren,

            Proving a VA claim is a complex matter. This is not a simple legal process. Your claim may require a consultation with an accredited VA attorney. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits.

            Sincerely,
            Craig L. Ames
            Accredited VA Attorney

          • Joan Mayfield says:

            I called the number you keep providing for a VA attorney 1.888.393.1010 and was told “they don’t do that”

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Joan,

            I couldn’t find our previous correspondence. What service are you requesting when you call the number?

            Thank you,
            Kay

  11. Bill Clapp says:

    I submitted my FDC in August 2014. Have been to three doctors, scheduled by the VA. How long will the process take to complete my claim?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Bill,

      By “FDC”, I assume you mean “fully developed claim.” The consequences of a fully developed claim mean that the Veteran has waived the VA’s statutory duty to assist the claimant to prepare a case file to a decision point. Have you completed a VA document so waiving your right to have the federal government assist you in proving your claim for disability? If you have waived this valuable right, then a claim decision will be made solely on the information your provided.

      It appears by the context of your question that you have not submitted a fully developed claim. If you had, then the VA would not be scheduling you to see three doctors. By the VA scheduling you, it seems you have asked the VA to implement its duty to assist. If that is the case, your claim can take one or more years to reach the stage where the VA has sufficient information to render its decision. This type of claim application is known as a “substantially complete claim” rather than a “fully developed claim”. There is a significant difference between these two types of claim submissions.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  12. L'keva Harris says:

    I’m just curious about the claims process in Los Angeles. A Fully Developed Claim in the Los Angeles regional office is taking just as long as a regular processed claim.

  13. Victor S says:

    Why is a claim like mine, where I was hospitalized with such a debilitating disease, that they had to medivac me out of Vietnam, so damn hard to figure out? Blisters, acne, whelps, hives, rash, severe swelling, fatigue, all while in our hospitals in Vietnam, then Japan. I am just so upset, that after waiting 44 years, and 31 after filing, that I am going to be delayed who knows how much longer. I have sent my evidence in to Janesville like instructed, but if I was taken out of the FDC Process and put in the standard, I’ll probably not make it to see it completed. If I can even get my service treatment records in 3 years, this may take another 30. It is another delaying method in my opinion. I should document this through the national news. Maybe it get some attention, and the VA would agree that I have been screwed over way too long as it is.

  14. John says:

    OK the lawyer and the admin that have been answering these comments please why don’t you people stop lying and tell the truth. I filed an FDC claim too. I submitted all my mental health records along with it. It will be a year next month and the VA is still delaying a decision. I realize now there was no way the VA would have came back with a decision in six month because the system doesn’t work. You people are no better then city workers who pave roads that were perfectly fine to begin with. All you care about is your budget and how many employee hours you can bill for. Follow vets its time we became realist and recognize that this is a business to them. They don’t care about you and your family. They got what they wanted from you now they just want us to shut up and die while these snakes line their pockets!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear John,

      The VA attorney who answers questions on the site is highly knowledgeable and volunteers his time to answer the questions. Keep in mind that not everyone’s claims experience is the same so time frames given are estimates that include the claims that are processed the most quickly, not just those that drag on for years.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Victor S says:

        I filed a claim in 1983 for eczema, the closest thing to the effects of Agent Orange at the time. In RVN I had whelps, rashes, severe skin swelling for weeks. Disabling itch, sleeplessness, night sweats, headaches etc.I was hospitalized for about 2 weeks in Vietnam then medivaced to Japan for another week. It started subsiding, so the profiled me from going back to RVN, And sent me home. The claim was denied in 2 months or less. I have reeled the claim and have tried to get my records now going on 3 years, and added skin cancer, swallowing problems, liver pain and several others, and they took me out of the FDC and put me into the standard claims process. It seems that the FDC Program is a way to lessen the award? Vietnam Vets do not get any priority and are the last in line, always. I filed in July, but in November still had not gotten scanned into the system, so had to refile. Runaround and then put into the standard process. I waited from 1971 to 1983 to file, and then got denied when I did file. Now I got put into the last place for processing. I thought we took care of our soldiers?

  15. gabe says:

    If there’s just a few medical records from when I was active of my anxiety,depression n imsonia due to my back injury in 2012 im currently rated at 20% for my back. but I’m still dealing with the those 3 symptoms but now I got more records of it, should I claim it as regular FDC or as secondary connected claim ?? I was told to claim it as “adjusted mood disorder” what do u guys think ??

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Gabe,
      You don’t need to worry about classifying your medical disorder or condition; the VA will take care of that. Just submit your request for reopening together with the new evidence.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  16. David Shyres says:

    All:

    You are all correct “it does not work as advertised”. I’m very detailed and submitted my claim with extensive evidence. That includes 14 signed/certified DBQ’s to speed the process along. No other evidence exists beyond what I’ve provided exists. But here I sit 5 almost 6 Months later and it’s still in the ‘Review” stage. VSO says that VBA is strill searchig for more records? No matter what is said, it’s first come, first served. I put a year’s efforts looking for records only to be stalled for VBA to look for something that they already have had from day one. Sure a few claims get done quickly but not at the level they are telling the media..the numbers support my argument.

  17. Michael Kazaoka says:

    Hi, Kay!
    I filed a FDC in August 2013 for an increase in my benefits. I was approved for the increase and received my award letter on September 11, 2014. The VA withheld amounts from August 2013 – August 2014. I was paid on October 2014 my first payment for the increase. Will I get paid the backpay from August 2013 – August 2014 and how long does it take to receive it? I’m in the CRDP and get full military retirement as well. I was increased from 60% to 70%. Thank you for a great web site to ask questions and get a fair and quick response.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Michael,

      I don’t know what FDC means in VA context. Or what CRDP means. There is offset between military retirement and VA disability unless vet is 100%.

      Sincerely,

      James Mitchell Brown ESQ

      • Troy Killman says:

        I filed a Fully Developed Claim on 08/08/2014 for an increase in bilateral leg condition (nerve damage), from back surgery in a 2 day operation in May 2012, just received my decision and did get an increase in benefits, but the effective date was the C&P rating exam done on January 27th, 2015, why was it not the date of the claim, medical evidence was an EMG exam done on 07/09,2014, thank you

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Troy,

          Generally, the effective date for service-connection for a disability that is directly linked to an injury or disease that was incurred or aggravated by military service is the date VA receives a claim application. However, if the VA determines that the current disability began after the claim submission date then the disability will be determined upon the date that the VA established through a medical diagnosis that the disability began.

          Sincerely,
          Craig L. Ames
          Accredited VA Attorney

          • Troy Killman says:

            Thank you, I failed to mention that the back surgery in May of 2012 was service connected, the results of the surgery caused the bilateral nerve damage, they rated it as 10% in 2013, then the nerve damage test done in July 2014 said moderate to serve, which was why I filed the new claim, I tried to get my VSO to submit the evidence when the claim was filed and was told to keep it simple, tried again after receiving the notice from VA regarding any evidence, she said I could not submit it because VA wouldn’t accept it, sadly wish I would of uploaded it myself to insure VA was aware of the earlier medical evidence, now it is a big mess.

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Troy,

            When reopening a previously denied or closed claim, a veteran must submit new and material evidence (NME). New and material evidence may be submitted at any time between filing a claim and when the VA renders a decision. This includes documents from medical records to statements in support of a claim.

            The VA defines “new” as documentation not previously presented to the VA. “Material” refers to that which demonstrates what has not been established. Also, it may mean that which corresponds to previously submitted evidence to substantiate a medical condition and where that information does not previously exist in the VA claim file.

            The VA closes many claims due to lack of NME. The VA will review your claim file to determine if the documentation you submitted meets the VA standard of what constitutes NME. Veterans do not fulfill the requirements of NME by submitting duplicate, redundant or irrelevant medical and related records.

            If your claim has been denied even though you thought what you submitted was NME, you may want to have a professional claim representative review the case denial. A VA accredited attorney can review your claim denial for claim submission mistakes and failure to present critical information. It may be possible to get the VA to reopen your claim. I suggest you seek counsel of an accredited VA attorney.You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  18. Isha says:

    Did my FDC April 10 received my rating Oct 11 two weeks after my final CP Exam.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Isha,

      I do not understand your posting. Do you have a question? If so, please explain fully.

      Thank you,
      Kay

  19. Dysteny says:

    My husband was originally given 20% service connected disability for his back and left leg in 2011. 10% for left leg numbess and 10% for discectomy with concurrent osteoarthritis from lower spine trauma. His back was reinjured in 2013 showing L5 S1 herniated disc on VA MRI, pending surgery. Filed for an increase June 2014, received an answer Oct 1 2014 that stated his benefits will not change, his symptoms have not changed. What?! He lost his job, our house, cannot work anymore, uses a walker and needs surgery but his condition is not worse? It says his claim was processed using the FDC, but we used the Purple Heart for assistance. I do not remember asking to use the FDC as it seemed they hurried the process only to overlook all evidence on his claim.The quick process is great but not if the VA is going to deny evidence that is in the medical records at the VA!

  20. RW Dimmett says:

    I ended my military
    career in 97 after 15 years of service due to injuries I sustained on active duty! I was initially rated by the VA at 10% and it took 8 years to be fully compensated at 100% IU P&T. Chronic fatigue, memory problem and depression were denied in my 1999 rating and I never appealed it because the VA said that these conditions were due to PTSD! A sleep study found that I have large amounts of alpha intrusions during Stage 2&3 when it is usually not seen! My question is, can I file a FDC for Gulf War Syndrome, especially now that medical studies coloberate our symptoms? BTW, I was one of the first 300 with an unexplained illness returning from the gulf and participated in the Comprehensive Clinical Evaluation Program by the DOD in 1996 and I’m still waiting for my results!
    RW
    USMC-1981-1988
    US Army-1988-1997
    Combat Vet

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear RW,

      I say give it a try. Probably difficult to prove, but you have nothing to lose.

      Sincerely,
      James Mitchell Brown
      Attorney at Law
      226-621-2022

  21. Eric Litchfield says:

    I am curious of the delay in my FDC because I was told it was the fastest way to get your claim process it appears the VA system is yet still broken even though more money has been given to it to process claims parently we need more employees at VA to help with this system. I am curious of what the real advantage of an FDCs other than a propaganda type statement that says they’ll get it done faster but actually it you may actually die before you get your benefits. Maybe using the right vs or getting congrats man involved may help not sure.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Eric,

      Your question does not provide enough information. I don’t know what this means. Is FDC Federal District Court or the Court of Appeals for Veteran Claims? If the latter and you are there, did you appeal with attorney to preserve past-due benefits. If you do have an attorney, your attorney would be in best position to answer this question.

      Sincerely,

      James Mitchell Brown
      Attorney at Law

  22. mary salerno says:

    my husband has had a fully developed claim in now for 6 months, and we have not heard anything and his was for lung cancer. I know that there is a back log, but when vets have serious illnesses, they should come first. the last thing on a persons mind when someone is on there death bed is to ask there doctor for a letter! we have sent in letters, forms, over a month ago and they still say that they have not receive them, and they were faxed and uploaded on ebenefits web site. Then they ask you to fill out employer forms when it is right in his file that he has been on ssd since 1999, but we still had to send forms, then they add a year more on the time before they have to decide the claim. The last claim took 7 years to decide. I AM SURE MY HUSBAND WILL BE GONE BEFORE THIS CLAIM IS DECIDED! Thank you for your time.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Mary,

      Is your husband applying for VA compensation or VA pension? Are you claiming the lung cancer is service connected? Has the physician said that there is a connection between service and the condition? Is your husband receiving any disability benefits for this condition yet? What proof has been provided so far? I can give you more information when you answer this.

      Sincerely,

      James Mitchell Brown
      Attorney at Law

  23. DJF says:

    This process doesn’t really appear to work. My brother, a VietNam vet, submitted an FDC claim, assisted by his county veterans’ office, in July 2013. All the medical records are VA, as well. Six months later, all he’s received are the standard form letters telling him they’re sorry for the delay. He has leukemia from exposure to Agent Orange. I think his claim was registered as received, and it’s “in the system.” I’m betting no actual person has reviewed the documentation for this claim.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Delia,

      The VA claim backlog is long and, with few exceptions, claims have to be taken in order. President Obama has given an order that claims of vets who have a terminal illness or are homeless can be expedited. If your brother’s condition is terminal, submit a letter from his physician as proof of his condition and you might move his claim get ahead of the others.

      Sincerely,

      Jim Brown
      VA Comment Moderator
      3.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>