You are here:  Home  >  Veterans Disability  >  Current Article

Waiting for Veteran Disability Benefits – How long does it take?

By   /  March 3, 2016  /  217 Comments

veteran-disability-benefitsIt has become a well-known fact that the DVA can take a long time to process claims for Veteran Disability Benefits. Nationwide, it took the VA on average more than eight months to process a claim in June, 2012 – this is 50% longer than it took in 2011.

A report from the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) found that the average wait time to evaluate a claim was 277 days. The CIR found that vets in New York and North Texas waited the longest, at an average of more than one year.

Increased media and political attention

Increased media and political scrutiny have prompted calls for improvement. Last summer, the VA promised to work on improving its processing; the CIR reports that by Fall 2012, “slow but measurable progress” could be seen in reducing the backlog.

The longest backlogs typically occur in densely populated metropolitan areas like New York, and Oakland, California. The reason given by the VA for delays in processing is that they don’t have enough personnel to handle all of the claims in a timely manner. There has been an increase in the number of claims from Afghanistan and Iraq vets, on top of vets from the Vietnam War who are filing new claims.

Even with modest improvements, chronic delays remain a problem. The DVA’s own Inspector General has found that the agency needs to hire more staff. The U.S. Government Accountability Office issued a report in November 2012 finding that lengthy delays in processing claims for Veteran Disability Benefits continue.

Gathering medical records can cause delays

Some delays can be caused by problems the DVA has in sharing medical records with the DOD and medical providers. The DVA is also trying to streamline the use of electronic records sharing between the parties involved in establishing a veteran’s claim. In these cases, vets can help obtain any records themselves, or to be sure to start the process right away. It might be faster for you to just obtain certified paper records yourself, if that’s possible for what you need.

What can you do?

While some of the delay problem may be out of your control, you can still do everything you possibly can to speed up the process from your end. When you apply, secure all of the required evidence in the desired format. Check and double-check that any records you request are sent and received where they need to be. Continually follow-up with your doctor’s office and the VA, and your agent, if you have one, to make sure everything is moving along with your application.

The DVA has created a Fully Developed Claim program that can allow you to speed up the time it takes to process your claim for veterans disability benefits. The program helps guide you on how to provide all of the relevant information in precisely the correct form that the DVA needs to process it. You do your part by getting hold of the necessary records yourself and sending them to the VA. This can expedite the evaluation of your claim. If you file a Standard Claim, the VA is responsible for getting relevant documents and this can cause delays.

The VA encourages veterans to take advantage of assistance in filing their claims. See “Veterans Disability Benefits-How do I apply?” for additional information.

It is very important that you do everything you can to file a complete application. If there is an error or missing information that leads to an initial denial, appeals can take even longer. Some vets who appeal a denied claim can wait three years or more for a resolution.

The best you can do in the face of inevitable delays is to stay on top of your claim at all times, and get qualified assistance.

Rate this post

  • David

    I’m in Step 6 (pending decision approval) of my comp and pen claim. Anyone know how long it takes from this point? And would the VA tell me if I called, since the decision has been initially made?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear David,

      With the minimal context you have provided I cannot provide a specific answer to your question. A veteran either has a VA compensation (comp) claim or a pension (pen) claim. A comp claim deals with an injury or medical event incurred in-service. On the other hand, a pension claim deals with a current medical diagnosis not incurred in-service. There are different laws which apply to each type of claim.

      A claim can take years for a written VA determination letter to be issued. It is impossible to state how long this process will take since the VA administration has more than a one million claim backlog.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • k martin

    After reading all of this messages I really feel i’m up “shi creek” I’ve been documented with major depression since ’96 and entered the VA system in ’98, when I first started seeing a Psychiatrist shortly after getting out he mention PTSD, but over the year I would have a re-occuring bouts with the depression that I would relocate, change jobs just to get a change in my life, thats going on 20 yrs now, when this year in feb16 I finally connected the dots back to the military and asked my VA psychiatrist should I put in a claim, he informed me I should, well in April I have to resign my a job I love due to my short term memory gotten so bad I was working a emergency gas call and I couldn’t remember the name of the company I worked for, I immediately went to the VA emergency room and that was my last day of work April 25, I resigned permanent in June..I file in June through a VSO, I’ve pretty much exhausted my 401/pension. My status dates are from dec 2- mar2017, I recently submitted paperwork for hardship and to be honest if I get denied or even if I have to wait to Jan17 I dont know what I’m going to do. I never will say “what I will never do” but who knows when you have a leg to stand on. This is ridiculous and alot of places wont help unless your out on the curb…I rather be dead than a beggar…So I do hope my experience is better than most I’ve read, honestly I really don’t see how you all do it! I even tried to get a job driving for uber but panic attack set in so bad when I was just on the phone with the guy…have to say, didn’t get a call back.

    • Lcpl PTSD 70%

      I see your plight. Every thing concerning your case depends solely on your VA representative. I’ve applied for benefits with the same symptoms you’re suffering back in April 2016. It was the very first time I’ve ever applied. My VA representative scheduled me to be evaluated by an independent psychiatrist, not employed by the VA but rather contracts his services. I’ve explained to him my symptoms, and at the same time the doctor was verifying what I’ve written in the report, places visited for treatment, as well as the carnage suffering. He showed true compassion. I have to admit he was a little wet behind the ears when comes to VA paperwork. However, that’s the doctor you need. Someone who really takes into consideration your suffering, and not at all like the regularly employed VA physicians with that “what are you begging for now look in their eyes”. I was just awarded November 2016 70% service connected disability plus 2 additional claims being processed through the same complaint. It took me less than 8 months. So the moral of this story is find yourself a representative. My representative is DAV which stands for “Disabled American Veterans”. They’re the greatest ever!😄 I hope this helps.

  • Jessica Green

    Can you get a claim reopened from 2002? My case was denied in Aug 2002. But my C&P exams were done in April 2003, July 2003 and again in April 2004. If so how do I do this?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jessica,

      A veteran has one year to respond to a claim which has been denied. Upon the expiration of one year, the claim has been technically abandoned. This means you will need to file a new claim.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Joe Lee

    I have been rated for my disabilities since 2009. I recently moved states. As of November 1, 2016 I have yet to see my pay. Why is it delayed? I didn’t change banks. Only updated my address and VA rep from California VA to Wisconsin VA. No letter stating there would be a delay.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Joe,

      I have too little information to provide a response. I suggest you take all your claim paperwork to a not-for-profit veteran agency and ask for a review of your papers.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Mary Holt

    My husband is terminal! He was on disability due to Agent Orange for throat cancer. The VA took him off after a few months of remission saying they thought he was cured. Within 13 months it has returned this time now involving lungs. Multiple tumors in both lungs and prognosis is grim. He was already on for agent Orange and so we have proven he was eligible for his problem that has now spread. He reopened the claim. Last time the VA said they did not get paperwork and shaved off 3 months of his benefits as well as taking six months to process the claim. This included there loss of several papers they requested more than twice. Some three times.
    Husband is being treated in a VA facility this time. With his claim already acknowledged and his being in a VA hospital system where information is readily available will they repeat there performance and take over six months as well as our need to get our Senator involved to get any help? He dose not have the six months to wait and we need the cash to repay the Social Security for our unknowingly failing to repay them from a settlement. SS claims we double dipped but the settlement was for pain and suffering? Sorry, I find this confusing but understand we will have to pay it. We need the benefit to repay another office of the government. He is worried about leaving me in debt.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mary,

      I will respond to the Social Security issue and forward your post to a VA attorney to see if he has any suggestions about your husband’s VA claim. If your husband was receiving Supplemental Security income (SSI), a settlement from most sources would count as income and cause an overpayment. On the other hand, If your husband was Social Security Disability (SSDI), the only types of settlements that should cause a reduction in benefits and an overpayment is a workers compensation settlement or a lump sum back payment of certain civil service government pensions (not VA compensation or pension).

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Mary Holt

        Kay thanks for your reply, It was a Workers compensation case so I do owe it back. I have put the small house in town that was bought to allow me to move into town once I become a widow. I now will not have that option. If his Agent Orange Benefits would start, it would save that home for me. Living 8 miles from town with no family is not safe.

        I thank you for sending on my request for help to the VA. That is where I really need the help. If they would start the benefits I can send them on to SS and get that behind us.

        I really question the taking of SS for settlement issued for pain and suffering though. This is just a personal opinion and has nothing to do with what the government has decided is there right to confiscate.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Mary,

          The law is clear on workers compensation offset. Because you do not now have the money to repay the Social Security overpayment, I suggest that you ask Social Security to collect the overpayment with monthly installments from your benefits. That way, you might be able to purchase the house in town with the veteran’s benefits and repay your overpayment over time. I will send your question to a VA attorney to see if he knows of any way to speed up the VA payment.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Neshan Jones

    In Aug 2015 I called the VA and claim an Intent to File after speaking with a very helpful rep. After we decided type of claim I should file, he printed and mailed to me all of the forms needed for my claim. Everyone says do electronic but I really am glad I did paper for personal reasons. I decided to do everything by myself. I filed my SSDI paperwork by myself and submitted all medical records, etc. needed. Then I got an attorney to oversee the final steps of the process. I was awarded SSDI within 9 months. I filed a FDC. In Oct 2015 I turned in all paperwork to include all medical records, buddy statements, nexus statements, etc. I copied everything and sent it certified mail w/signature. They notated in ebennies receipt on Oct 7th. My case was progressing I would assume at a normal FDC rate. My prior claim took 3 yrs. I had grown used to the bouncing back and forth between the decision phase and gathering phase. I did a C&P exam with QTC. It was traumatic to put it nicely. After a couple of months, I noticed that the va reopened every claim I made from discharge to my present four claims. I was told this was a provisional review. I was so confused. Of course, per usual, I was calling the va every Tuesday to get an update on my claim knowing ebennies was not totally reliable. This is when I learned of the provisional review. I was advised to write my representative from a VSO. He was not assigned to me being that I did everything by myself. I just called to ask about a provisional review. After much thought, I decided not to write the representative especially during an election year when 88% of congress is up from re-election. I decided to get a VSO. I chose AM/VETS which in my case (perhaps for all) was located down the hall from the VA claims and raters offices. My VSO rep was like Johnny on the spot. After emailing her the essential paperwork to get her approved to be my rep, she had all kind of additional paperwork loaded into ebennies. I had new c&p exams. Today I found out from her that my claim was finished and approved. I was 50% prior to filing this claim and them reopening or doing a provisional review (which worked in my favor). I was determined 100% P&T with A/A SMC. Because of the provisional review, I had one claim at 100% alone. I had several others from 2006 to be awarded with the 2006 date. Shocked. I am saying that I used the best of both worlds in both situations. I used an incredible attorney for my SSDI and an outstanding VSO rep for my loose ends in which I couldn’t handle for my VA claim. Now, I am waiting to see if and when the government releases the funds and how they back pay me. This will be the interesting part. Do what you feel is best. I just know I am very good at filling out paperwork and following directions. It is the legalities in which I am not familiar. I wish everyone the best and I totally understand the agony of hurry up to wait.

  • David J.

    Hi, I have a question. I retired in May 2016 and submitted my claim that month. Since the beginning of September 2016, my disability claim has been showing as completed in eBenefits, with a final disability of 70%. It also states that this decision was made August 25th, 2016. I received my first disability payment October 1st, 2016. While I understand the retroactive portion requires a DFAS audit, my question is regarding the paperwork. If the claim was completed by the VA in August and I’ve already gotten my first payment, shouldn’t I have received the paperwork in the mail by now?

    The reason I’m anxious to receive the paperwork is because the VA left out any mention of hypothyroidism that was part of my claim. They didn’t merely determine that it was not service connected–they didn’t mention it at all. My AMVETS representative says that we need the determination paperwork before we can address this issue. In my neighborhood, the USPS mail delivery is… sketchy at best. I’m worried that my paperwork might have been delivered to someone else so I’d really like to know if there is a typical timeline for receiving the VA disability compensation decision paperwork.

    Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear David,

      Unfortunately the VA is quite slow in processing claims. This is in part due to the high volume of claims submitted annually. Within the past year more than 4 million claims have been submitted. Also, it is widely reported in the news media that there are substantial administrative issues within the federal government’s Department of Veterans Affairs. For all these reasons, you will need to be patient in obtaining any written response from the VA.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Joe Margolis Sr.

    C&P Exam was completed on July 13th. August 18th they reached a decision and said they are finalizing. I would be notified by a letter.
    No way they can tell me when to expect it. Started all of this back on Feb. 10th 2014. Turned down 3 times and placed an appeal. Have no idea what decision was made. Is there anywhere I can find out or just wait till hell freezes over to receive a letter. Then what? How long before I see my monthly checks if I am going to get any and how long before my retroactive checks? If I have any coming.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Joe,

      The VA decision-making process is protracted. You need to wait your turn for the evidence to be reviewed by the VA, which is handled by a separate division of the VA. Once the VA decision maker reviews your file, the file can be decided then and there or the VA can refer the file back to the evidence development department to obtain further evidence. This process can take years.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Jane

    My husband’s request for medical records was received on 3/31/2016. He was told 7-9 months just to receive the medical records. Complete disgrace. Anyone else have this issue? A co-worker of his received things more expediently, & decision & $ was received within months.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jane,

      Obtaining any documents from the federal government can be a problem. One needs to be persistent in making and following up on requests. Absent a lawsuit to compel disclosure, there is not a lot that can be done.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • I am a 100 ℅ disabled vet and our Government really knows how to treat the Veterans. In some of your answers to people you answered certain questions, but other questions you said you couldn’t answer. You also told these Veterans to contact a credited. VA Organisation? That is like a smoke screen! I filed my original claim in July 1971. On and off thru the Appeals Process, I would use a lawyer’s person for help. The next time I filed my claim was 1991 or 1992. I had contacted the DAV to see if they knew how to fill out the paperwork. The man said yes he did. It took 6 months before my application for Service Connection came back to me. In the letter they informed me my paperwork was not filled out correctly. I went to my Clinical Psychologist and she helped me do it correctly. To have a better chance of winning your Appeals for Compensation or Pension, you should hire an attorney who will take your case and if you win your Appeals, that attorney will receive 20℅ of your award money. I fought the VA from 1992 with all kinds of evidence supporting my claim, but no matter how much records they kept asking me for, they never reviewed ANY OF THE NEW EVIDENCE! After 3 times being denied, I would Appeal Their decision and after a few times at the BVA, and a few remands, I finally got my case to the United States Courts of Appeals for Veterans Claims. I was contacted by about 15 attorneys who were willing to represent me. That was in 2009. Within in 1 year, my VA Compensation was awarded. It cost me $52,000 of the money I received, but it was worth it!
    If any of you have read this, take my suggestions.
    All of you have suffered way to much! Good Luck to all of you!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Robert,

      Some people have reported getting excellent results using Disabled American Veterans (DAV), so I would tell our readers not to rule them out entirely if for some reason they don’t want to engage an attorney.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

      • Richard Baker

        The DAV rep in Albquerque was not overally helpful- HOWEVER my claim was reviewed and approved in less than six months- I attribute this to DAV and also the fact I FOLLOWED all guidelines , provided all documentation and an outline of dates of all treatments and issues- and when the VA wanted something I provided and went to all my medical appts set up by them .
        I am grateful and thankful
        Sincerely
        Richard Baker

  • Ronald Enriquez

    I am losing all faith in the VA. They have consistantly moved my claim completion date over and over. They give a time frame for completion then each time it gets close to that time the revise it and move it further back; I feel as though nothing will ever be completed….it has now been a year and still waiting…..I hope that they will back pay me for all this lost time……otherwise I may never see a dime….

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ronald,

      It has been widely reported that the VA is having management issues. VA claims can take years to process. The only way you can improve how long it takes for the VA to rule on your claim is for you to proactively develop and submit all medical-legal proof necessary to perfect a claim. This is known as a fully developed claim. Unless one is an attorney accredited by the VA or a trained professional in the VA claim process, it is difficult for a veteran to understand what is needed to complete the claim process. Going it alone does slow down the process. You may want to consider hiring a professional to assist you in fully developing your claim.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

      • Marion Cochran

        Hi, Just wanted to post and tell about my experience with the VA Claims process. Mine went really great. Started on 4/29/16 and closed on 9/13/16, about 4 1/2 months. I couldn’t believe it. I’m a Vietnam vet and only received “0” disability for a knee injury when I got out of the AF in 1981. At that time they really weren’t pushing to apply for everything you’re entitled to. Later I met a guy that works for the DAV at one of the Golden Corral Veterans appreciation vents and he was shocked. he had me contact him and he assisted me with the process and everything worked great.

        • Kay Derochie

          Thanks, Marion.

  • Taurean Wade

    I’m a veteran and rated at 90% and I have an appeal in since July 2015 I was denied unemployability and need some help

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tarean,

      Proving an increase in rating is difficult and a complex medical-legal issue. You are best served by engaging the services of a VA accredited attorney. Consider making an appointment with an attorney who can evaluate the merits of your claim.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Justin Crocker

    As of September 18th, I will be at 52 months waiting on my appeal. I have a veterans group working for me, but they, honestly, haven’t been much help. I’ve reached out to my Senator and after they filed a formal inquiry, his office just regurgitated the same as the VA… ‘They’re working appeals from December ’13 and will get to mine.’ I’ve been told that there is nothing else needed from me and I am just waiting on the DRO review. My initial May ’12 appeal date comes way before December ’13, so where is the VA really on appeals in the Atlanta region?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Justin,

      Yes, it can take years for the VA to review a file to reach a decision. You may want to consider seeking the services of a VA accredited attorney to review your options.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Tonja Hill

    Good afternoon,
    My husband is waiting on a decision from the VA for C&p claim that was filed Sept. 2015. When I checked his Ebenefits status, it states open claim but, there isn’t anything there. Plus, when he called the 800# , they told him that his claim is in the final stages. When he called a month later, he was told that his file is back to gathereing stages. Why is there such a flip flop in deciding a claim for completion?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tonja,

      The processing of proving a VA compensation claim is complex. The decision maker can review a claim and decide that more information is needed to stage a claim for a resolution and return it to the information gathering department. This is a normal procedure within the claim determination process. Many claims take years before a decision is made.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

      • Jimmy

        Hello, I started my claim back in June prior to getting out. Had two C&P exams done at the PHX VA in July. Checked this morning and my claim has updated to the preparation for decision step. This process seems to be moving a lot more quickly than I originally expected. Is it safe to assume that I could have a decision within the next month seeing as how quickly the process has been moving?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Marie,

          I can’t guarantee that your child will receive the maximum SSI benefit. It will depend on what the total household shelter costs are. It is likely that your child’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will be paid into a Dedicated Account with restricted uses. You can apply for permission to use some of the money to repair the car because it is needed for medical transportation and one of the allowed uses is for medical needs. Whether or not the money could be used to move the family into its own housing I don’t know. It never hurts to cost out how much that would be and make statement on why you need to move and a request. You can read more about Dedicated Accounts at https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0200602140 .

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Brittany

    My husband and I are really suffering dealing with the VA. They have lost his paper work for the disability claim multiple times. We have been waiting a year for someone to help us. We have contacted everyone that can possibly help us and no one has an answer. We are suffering from financial difficulties now. My husband is a full time student and the VA can’t even get that right and have not given him his full BAH. Even though I work full time as a cosmetologist it’s not enough. We have lost everything and was not able to pay our car, utilities and even my husbands books for school. The bank repossessed our car. We are totally embarrassed about what’s going on.

    My question: Does anyone know who my husband can contact to get this ball rolling? He submitted his claim even before he was out. All the evidence has been collected and everything is done and now apparently his claim is in this waiting status. We have called everyone! It’s like no one knows what’s going on.

    Please give me any info you know!!!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brittany,

      There are more than 4 million VA claims filed annually. It can take the VA years to process any given claim. This is the nature of working with this federal agency. There has been much written about this problem in the news. Unfortunately there is no simple answer here.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

      • Tierra McGirt

        When I was ACAPing, I was told he here is a process to help the evaluating and receiving benefits only take at least 3 to 6 months months…what is this process called?? And would you recieve the full benefits? And also, there are two types of forms they will offer you to sign one, one is for you to recieve the full sum and one is for you to recieve the your benefits monthly as required…what are these two forms called??

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Tierra,

          I do not have answers for your questions. I suggest that you check with an organization such as the American Legion or Disabled Americaqn Veterans to see if they know or you could contact your regional VA office.

          Sincerely,
          Craig L. Ames
          Accredited VA Attorney

  • daniel Lopez

    I just started on my clime about 2 months ago, and i haven’t received anything in the mail about them needing anything do i need to be concern?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Daniel,

      New claims take from two to five months for a decision. That said, I suggest that you contact Social Security either at your local office or by calling the central phone call center at 1-800-772-1213 to find out whether your claim has been sent to the Disability Determination Services (DDS). If it has not, find out what is needed to get it sent–whether they are waiting for something from you or it has just been overlooked. You should have completed a fairly long questionnaire about your medical condition and another about your work history as well as an authorization for release of information. If it has gone to DDS, you can ask for the phone number and talk to the claims examiner to find out if they are waiting for medical records or anything you can help get.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • RudyD

      claim vs clime… just clarifying

  • Cjeis

    My husband spent 16 years as a Navy Corpsman, and did everything he was supposed to do to aid in the claim process when he discharged.

    For the last few months, it said it should be complete by the end of August. Now, that we’ve reached the end of August, it’s been changed to the end of October.

    This is insane and a prime example of how terribly our service members are treated.

    People rely on the benefits they’ve earned and to be in this waiting game is completely unfair.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cjeis,

      Exercise your right to vote and vote for people who you think will fund sufficient staff to move benefit applications along faster. You can also write to your current representatives lobbying for increased staffing

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

      • Donald Friend

        I may need your professional help. Please contact me via cell xxx-xx-xxxx. Thank you,

        Don

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Donald,

          If you are interested in engaging my professional services, you can reach me at http://www.lawalg.com. Your phone number has been removed from your post to protect your privacy.

          Sincerely,
          Craig L. Ames
          Accredited VA Attorney

  • Michael Hess

    I have an open claim with the VA right now. I’m on terminal leave until 27 Aug. I am supposed to be seen by a medical provider to gather evidence but unsure how this appointment is created. Will I receive an appointment via mail, email? How long does it usually take to get seen after you ETS?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Michael,

      I am unable to answer your question. Depending on whether the medical appointment is with a military facility or is to be scheduled by the Department of Veterans Affairs, I suggest you check with the military base the claim is associated with or with your local VA office.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • al

    I have 45 days left before my final retirement date in the military and I have all the documents done just waiting to be filed but I might get a contracting job overseas in couple of months. Do I have to wait until I finished my contract or can I submit it now? I’m just worried that I might not make all the appointments. Will they give the back pay if I wait to file it?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Al,

      I cannot answer your question since I do not know to what benefit plan, type of claim, and branch of the armed forces you are referencing.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

      • Galbanolli

        Hello,

        My husband suffers from ptsd. He is rated only 50%, which he appealed about a year ago. He filed an appeal and a reauest to be 100% un employability. We have been waiting forever and nothing changes. He still has not been sent to get a medical evaluation.
        Problem is, we are having grave economic issues since he can’t work due to his ptsd. We are running out of money and food.
        He is considering getting a job, even though it will most likely not go well and he will get fired or quit soon after; but we have no other choice since I am a student and also making the only money we have. I can’t get another job, it’s too much for me to handle.
        Will gettig a job while we wait compromise his claim? If so, what can we do? We are so scared and depressed right now. We have an 8 year old and another on the way (I know, horrible timing). Please advice. And thabk you in advance.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Galbanolli,

          You need the help of a professional who is versed in the VA compensation benefit claim process. Contact a VA accredited attorney in your community. You most likely need to obtain a private-pay medical opinion regarding your husband’s medical conditions. Waiting for a VA medical evaluation is probably not the best course of action here.

          Sincerely,
          Craig L. Ames
          Accredited VA Attorney

  • Blaise Pascal

    Just made my one year anniversary waiting on my claim. Is this the norm for Camp Lejeune claims?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Blaise,

      Location of where the claim is alleged to have originated is not relevant as to how long it takes to process a VA claim. There are more than four million claims filed last year, so it can take years for the VA to process a claim. What is relevant is whether or not the evidence needed to bring the claim to a determination stage has been produced. It is up to the VA to develop that evidence unless the veteran filing the claim is proactive and takes the responsibility to produce all evidence needed. Often it takes a seasoned VA accredited lawyer to know what evidence is needed to fully develop a claim.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Will

    I started the claims process back in 2009 and just had my final appeal with a Law Judge in Washington DC. It’s been over 7 years since I started this process. I guess I’ll get an answer in another 7 years.

  • Brenda

    I think my question may be an easy one for you. I am having a local rep at the local Veterans Service Commission handle my claim.
    I wanted to know why an effective date was entered on the same line as my direct deposit information. My C & P exam is in 3 days.

    Thanks,

    Brenda

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brenda,

      Since you have a representative, the local Veterans Service Commission assisting you, they are in the best position to advise you concerning the specific details of your claim payments and direct deposit setup.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Toni

    Is VA compensation counted as income for assistance such as section 8, Hud housing, foodstamps, medicad?. I live in North Carolina

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Toni,

      I am responding rather than a VA attorney because your question does not deal with VA law. It is very likely that VA compensation will be countable income for all the public assistance programs you mention. I suggest that you check with each assistance office to be sure.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Corey Cato

    I have already received compensation for a couple separate disabilities. It took a year after I filed to start receiving anything. However, I have an open claim for a shoulder injury that I obtained overseas in which the VA paid for the surgery through an outside Ortho. and they are paying for my Physical Therapy through the same Ortho. but my claim for my shoulder has yet to be finalized. I actually had surgery a few weeks before I ever saw a doctor for the medical evaluation for C&P… How is this possible?

    The doctor was surprised by it as well, so I am assuming that this type of situation is highly uncommon… Any Ideas?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Corey,

      I am unable to answer why this is possible. I cannot speculate on this situation. You can make an appointment to visit the VA Regional Office and make an official inquiry about your benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Jeff

    I received a V.a award letter last year 2014 saying I would receive payments June 2015 , well it’s now July 2016
    What’s going on ? Every time I call they basically say nothing .
    I have an award letter already
    Please help

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jeff,

      I suggest you visit the VA Regional Office in the state where you live. You can get this checked out by the VA staff, if you take the award letter with you to show them.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

      • kim

        That does not help, they said i have to wait till 2019 for our retro money, we got the letter saying he got unemployability of march 6th 2016 and now on ebenefits its saying underreview till 2019 for his retro

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Kim,

          You have posted under a veterans benefits article. Are you inquiring about VA or about Social Security? I can’t find a previous question from you.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Danny Porche

    I was just wondering, how long does it take after I get my disability percentage for the VA to send the back pay through direct deposit?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Danny,

      Back pay is typically a manual process not involving direct deposit. Monthly ongoing benefits are paid via direct deposit. So it can take up to six months for benefit processing of back pay.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Doug Vessel

    I find my initial claim with the VA online back in February 2016. I listed like eight or nine disabilities. Anyways, a medical unit contractor from Lockheed called to set me up a medical EVal and my appointment is in two weeks. It’s only for 4 of the disabilities that I filed and They said the other ones may come at a later time. My question is, would should I expect at this eval? Thanks car

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Doug,

      That is a complex question. The answer is that the VA has written criteria by classification of medical conditions. There are about 7,000 classifications. Each classification has detailed examination protocols. So you will need to research each contention you are claiming. You will need to consult with a professional accredited VA agent at a non-profit such as DAV or the American Legion or an accredited VA attorney.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Wendell

    I’ve been working with the Chicago VA on three claims:
    disability, adding my Wife as a dependent and extending my daughter’s college eligibility past her 21st birthday.
    The disability claims was just recently decided after help from my Congressman. This process took over 4 years.
    Adding my wife as a dependent claim is going on 3 years. Just recently I checked EBENIFITS and the status was “Preperation for notification” with an expected date of resolution between June 13th, 2016 – July 5th, 2016. When I checked the status a couple days later the status was changed from Preperation for notification to Pending Decision Approval and the completion date changed to Aug 31st, 2016 to Dec 13th, 2016.
    I believe this is retaliation by the Chicago VA because I contacted my congressman for assistance. How can I find out the claims processing for the Chicago Regional Office and maybe a POC in the IG’s office.
    any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Wendell,

      The Disability Advisor cannot render an opinion on a loaded charge since it is mere speculation. If you have a basis of fact for such a claim you can submit your evidence to the VA. However, with more than four million claims filed annually and more than one million claims nationwide in backlog status, it highly unlikely that the VA would single out a routine claim for retaliation.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Adam

    There is one thing that no-one here has addressed as far as I can tell. It is understandable that there is backlog. Yes, some wait longer than others… I’ve been fighting them for 3 years now, even with congressional and senatorial intervention. I want to know what programs are out there to help veterans who are waiting? As the bureaucratic wheels turn and grind our lives to dust, there is no way for us to pay our bills. Banks don’t care that the government owes us money, they only care about getting paid. Rents/Mortgages, utilities, food, etc. are all things that don’t care a whit that it’s not your fault you can’t pay. I don’t want to get into foreclosure, bankruptcy and ruined credit before the government will step in (especially when it’s their fault in the first place)… by then it’s too late.
    BTW, all this happened because the VA sent my C&P re-eval appointment to the wrong address, so I never got it. Since I didn’t show up for the appointment I didn’t know I had, they reduced my disability instantly, and I’ve been fighting (and I do mean FIGHTING) them ever since. If you owe them money, they give you 90 days to pay, but if they owe you money, it takes years, and only if you ride them and check back with them constantly. It’s infuriating!!!!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Adam,

      Some veterans groups can offer free services to those who served in the military. Various charities help veterans such as the Disabled American Veterans, the Vietnam Vets, the American Legion, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. I suggest you make a visit to a local vet agency in the city where you live. Each of these organizations have staff or volunteers who know the benefits available to veterans.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • David

    I was rated in December of 2014. I haven’t seen a check yet, but people who left the service a year after me are being paid, a co-worker who retired in 2016 is going to be paid next month.

    I am eligible for CRDP, but the VA seems to be sitting on the form they need to send to DFAS.

    What can I do?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear David,

      You can request an appointment with a VA representative at your nearest VA Regional Office in the region in which you live. Look at your claim paperwork, which has an informational sheet listing the locations of VA regional offices by state. I suggest you visit that office in person.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Janet

    I had submitted every possible piece of paperwork and had all of my appointments done well before I got out of the Military. I have been waiting since September 2015. Who should I contact, if anyone, personally to see if I will get any answers sooner rather than later? The Va says its pending but it’s been pending for nine months.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Janet,

      A VA claim can pend for years within the VA claim system. You can improve the chances of a quicker determination by obtaining current medical evidence from a private physician to document your current condition and an opinion from the physician about whether your condition now links to the medical event you had while in the service.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

      • Janet

        Mr. Ames,
        I have already gotten all the documents needed for the Va. But having current medical documents, and taking them into a VA around me could help the odds of getting a faster determination; or would I upload them onto ebenefits?
        Thank you for your time.
        V/R,
        Janet

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Janet,

          It is irrelevant as to how you submit documentation to the VA. So long as the VA receives the new information, it will process it. Note that a VA claim can take years to review. This is because the VA is required by Congress to help veterans fully develop claim information. The VA system is overwhelmed with more than four million claim application filings each year. More than one million claims are in a backlog status. Absent Congress doing something to improve the system or staff it more fully, your claim will take significant time to work its way through the claim determination process.

          Sincerely,
          Craig L. Ames
          Accredited VA Attorney

  • terry

    ive been dealing with the va for over a year i have been diagisnost wihptsd from service in vietnam and also mst and thyrodisom and type 2 dietibits the va lost all my records from my service after vietnam so my question is whats the hold up

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Terry,

      It will be impossible to determine why a given claim is pending. You need to ask the VA Regional Office directly. For example, you can make an appointment to have an officer at the VA provide you with a case status. Maybe you can determine if you need to submit new evidence to the VA which might speed up the process of developing your claim information quicker.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Adrienne

    My friend was approved for 100% disability due to chronic PTSD in April 2016. He is still waiting for his first check. He was told it was approved and “processed”. How long does it take to get the check? It is not direct deposit but a paper check instead in state of NY. Thank you for any insight. He calls and inquires constantly but no one has any answers. No one can give him a date.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Adrienne,

      I am not able to answer this question. You are describing a situation dealing with State of New York benefit laws. I can say that the VA does not issue paper checks. It appears the check is for some type of NY benefit rather than a federal benefit.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Stanley D. Hester

    My husband has been waiting on a decision on his claim for an appeal on PTSD since 4/7/15. How much longer do we have to wait? He is a Vietnam Vet that was shot 4 times in the stomach, & had his left knee cap blown off, so yes he has a purple heart with 2 clusters on it. Dr. says he suffers from PTSD service related. Was turned down 2 times before don’t understand why. Claim says status pending but is suppose to be resolved with in 120 days from March of this year. So that means we should hear something in July if I have figured right…. no letter, nothing telling us anything about our claim. When will we at least have a letter letting is know something??

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Stanley,

      Claims can pend for years within the VA system. More than 4 million claims were filed in 2015 and the number of filings have increased in 2016. It is impossible to predict how long a specific claim will take to reach a written determination.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Sherie

    I am helping a friend of mine with his claim. He filed an initial FDC January 2015 for PTSD (so nearly 17 months ago) and does not have a rating. He has his Combat Action Badge on his DD214 as proof of stressor and his private Dr diagnosis with the accompanying nexus. He was honorably discharged and he supplied his statements. I think we provided everything needed to receive a quick determination, yet no movement. He has visited and called bit the reps won’t give him an answer as to the holdup. All of them say, “be patient”. That’s the only response. My question is, how in the world can the VA have a 115 day average to completion on claims? I am not seeing it!!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sherie,

      Since the veteran has engaged the services of a claims representative, you need to check with that representative for a case status. There are more than 4 million claims filed annually so the determination process can takes years.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Blaise Pascal

    I have been waiting on my claim for nine months. When I contact the V.A. all I get from them is my claim is difficult because it involves the VOC’s from Camp Lejeune. All the material they need is at V.A. medical facilities.They have admitted they have all the evidence they need since Christmas 2015 and yet here I am almost June 2016 !

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Blaise,

      If you have a question, please post it and I’d be happy to forward it to a VA attorney for response.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Blaise Pascal

        My point Kay , my claim seems to be in limbo. When I contact the V.A. all I get from them is no one has reviewed the claim for almost six months now.It just sits there in beautiful, Louisville, KY. All the evidence is there.

  • sandwds

    While in the Military I had some feminine issues. I haven’t had these issues since 2011. My question is can I submit a VA claim fo this or do I need to wait until I am having problems again.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sandwds,

      If you mean can you file a VA compensation claim, then the answer is, yes, so long as your claim is plausible. This means that you believe you have a current disability which links back to a medical condition which was incurred in-service.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Zack Gates

    National Guard Feb 2009-2015 Deployed 2011-2012
    Field Artillery 105mm towed

    Currently 10% tinnitus.
    Did intial claim in nov 1 2015. 18 claims, and only one approved was tinnitus for 10%. Everything else was non service connected. Decision letter for intial claim was dated may 10, 2016. I filed DRO Tuesday May 24, 2016 with additional evidence to support claim. Claims on DRO are PTSD, DDD, Chronic fatigue, bilateral hearing loss, bilateral knee/right shoulder/left hip. New evidence as follows: (stressor combat statement, buddy statements x6, Dr. letter of service connection, employer counseling for ptsd claim, new hearing test private, and currently going to VA hospital for ptsd treatment).

    Will any of this new documentation help? And I was told it could take 30-90 days before getting a new decision. Is this accurate? Any info would help.

    Thanks.
    Always forward!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Zack,

      Any objective evidence from a third person is important. Most important are medical opinions from a medical provider. A DRO can take up to a year or longer. The time a review take hinges on the backlog of cases in the particular VA Regional Office. There are more than four million claims pending with the VA at any given time.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • David

    Ok, here’s my dilemma, last week the VA, as per ebenefits, closed my claim and awarded me 60%, however, one of my biggest claims, a torn Achilles’ tendon muscle, 3 times while running on the Army’s time, which is WELL documented in my med records since 2005, was on my pending, and is not listed at all on my rated, not even listed in the claims they denied, how does it just disappear? I went through my copy of med records, pulled all out and made copies, do I wait till I receive my brown envelope, or resubmit as a new claim?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear David,

      You need to check the chain of documentation of your claim or claims. Perhaps you filed more than one claim. Each claim may have one or multiple contentions as to your disabling conditions. You will need to track each contention as a separate disability for which you have sought or are seeking a VA compensation rating. If any one contention is not listed in your claim and is not addressed in the VA determination letter, then that contention or contentions may be subject to a separate claim. Also, you may have failed to address a specific contention in your response to any given VA determination. As a result of not addressing that contention specifically, it would have resulted in an abandonment of that specific contention.

      It is best to have an accredited VA attorney review your determination(s) to determine what course of action, if any, is needed or warranted in your specific circumstances. VA claims are complex and this is not an arena for self representation. In other words, it is rather easy to file a claim application, but the problem rests in the complexity of substantive law and VA procedures thereafter.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

      • David

        Holy cow that was a mouth full, lol… But thank you.

        Let me see if this helps. When I sat down with the VA rep putting my packet of claims together, my Achilles year was on the list, as was PTSD, my back, shoulder and some hearing issues. On ebenefits my pending claims showed all. When they finalized all were authorized, and the Achilles no longer showed. On ebenefits if I click on previous claims, they are all there, including the Achilles. But on the finalized list it’s not there. Now, looking through my med records there are 168 pages alone covering all the times I was seen, all the physical therapy, everything. Mind you I have a tear that they never fixed, just kept sending me to PT and then back to running again only to re-tear. Three times total. Finally gave me a P2 profile to not run. Again all documented. So, maybe you can break it down Barney style for me. I see what my packet says when I receive it, then if nothing in there re-submit? Talk to a lawyer or whoever at the VA?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear David,

          I suggest you contact a professional who specializes in VA claims. VA compensation claims are complex and each claim needs to be analyzed individually. A professional would be needed to breakdown your claim submissions in order to analyze what steps to take on your existing open claims. Contact either a non-profit organization such as the American Legion or Disabled American Veterans or in the alternative seek out the services of an accredited VA attorney in your community.

          Sincerely,
          Craig L. Ames
          Accredited VA Attorney

  • Al

    I retired 1 November 2015, but did the BDD process back in September of 2015. I’ve been to all of my doctor appointments. My process went from “preparation for decision” back to “review of evidence”. We I contact the VA the information I receive is that “all documentation has been received”. I understand that it could take awhile for processing, but I have friend that retired February 2016 and has received his decision and rating. If you could explain how this is possible it would be greatly appreciated.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Al,

      Each case is treated individually. No two cases are identical. It is impossible to state with any clarity why one case takes longer than another. There are more than 4 million VA compensation claims filed with the VA annually. Most cases take years for a VA determination letter.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Laison Dunnavant

    I have filed my claim in November of 2015 and this morning and recieved the status that a determination was made and two hours later it appeared back to gathering evidence. It also appeared in requesting documents that I would be granted 80% why would it go back to the gathering evidence phase right after providing me with a % that I would be eligible for? What’s next?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Laison,

      The VA claim process is complex. Each team within the VA has from three to five members.In the Predetermination Stage, there are at least three teams involved in the collection of evidence. No one team nor member is totally responsible for the completion of the predetermination process. So it seems likely that one team thought your claim was fully developed and another team did not think the claim was fully developed. Often a claim takes many years to reach full development. As a result you will need to either submit more evidence or let the VA develop the evidence for you. It is impossible to state the amount of time necessary for the VA to complete the claim development.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Karminia

    Hello, I applied for my claim at the beginning of this month and I checked my ebenefits and its already on the pending decision step as of May 20th. Should I be worried that the claim is being processed fast?

    Thank You.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Karminia,

      The time it takes to process a claim is not a reflection on the claim’s merits or lack thereof. The VA renders a determination when all the evidence to support the claim has been reviewed.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Ben Lamey

    I submitted my claim on 3/02/16 it is now 5/19/16 , they out sourced C&P , Completed them on 3/16/16 , all the Doctors I saw ,said they has up to 2 days to input there finding to C&P , All my medical records are with in the VA , I have No outside doctors, only the VA , and No one can tell me a status report……. imagine that..

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ben,

      If you have a question, please post it and I will forward it to a VA attorney.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Roc

    I filed a claim almost 4 months ago as I was retiring and haven’t heard anything. I now wish I would have done everything while on active duty because now I don’t matter. I look at Ebenefits to check the status a couple times each month and there has been no change. I noticed a link titled “Request Claim Decision” Is this supposed to be some sort of expedited way to get a claim? It says I may request a claim if I don’t have any additional documents to provide. How would I know that if the only person other than me to see my claim document is my AMVET’s rep. It also says’ the VA will evaluate my claim without waiting for additional evidence. This sounds like one of those deals where you have everything to lose since there’s no way to know if you’ve submitted everything and nothing else is required…. Please advise. Please advise on what the VA is doing to fix the back log of missions of veterans who are suffering and need claims processed and finalized? Is there a hiring initiative in place to get more people, train the properly so they can do the job? After a while apologies don’t do any good…

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Roc,

      Since you have engaged the services of an accredited VA claims organization, it would be best to contact your claims representative for follow up on your case status. As an alternative, you can seek the services of an accredited VA attorney to review your claim.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • I submitted a dependency claim in March of 2013 to add my wife as a dependent to my originally awarded claim from 2012 – as of 14 May 2016, my claim is still in the “under review” stage. I do not believe that waiting more than 3 years should be an acceptable practice for a single contingency dependency claim – does anyone know if there is a higher authority to contact aside from Iris and the 1-800 number – anytime I ask for a status update through them I receive a scripted response that a representative has been assigned – perhaps my representative resigned or retired??

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rodney,

      You can call or visit your local office and ask to speak to a supervisor and request a manager-to-manager call from your local office to the payment center.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Thank You for the response Kay – I appreciate any advice on this subject. When you say local office – are you referring to local VA Facility?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Rodney,

          My apologies! I didn’t notice that you posted under a VA article. The information I gave you applies to Social Security not the VA. I have just sent your question to a VA accredited attorney for reply.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rodney,

      The VA is a federal agency under seige by the public for the red tape, administrative issues and the federal government’s failure to deal with ongoing issues. On the other hand, one needs to appreciate that more than 4 million claims are filed annually by veterans. 70 % of all claims seek added benefits. Some the system is overwhelmed.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Chris H.

    I submitted my disability claim, fully developed, on April 4th, 2016 and I see nothing on eBenefits. How long does a typical FDC take from start to finish? When will information begin to appear on eBenefits?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Chris,

      A fully developed claim is processed based only upon the documentation submitted. No new and later acquired records will be accepted by the VA. If that claim as submitted by you is not “fully developed”, it will be rejected by the VA. So one really needs professional legal expertise before thinking about going it alone (pro se). The VA claim approval process is a lot more complicated due to the medico-legal duality of the claim process.

      If upon review you have submitted a claim as fully developed, in fact, it will take a shorter time for the VA to process it to a determination level. But, there are so many administrative issues within the Department of Veterans Affairs, that one can only speculate as to how long the process will take in any individual case submission. There are more than four million claims filed annually and there is currently more than a one million claim backlog, so do not be surprised if it takes more than one year to bring up your claim to a stage of claim determination. If the claim is poorly submitted and is not really fully developed, you might get a rejection letter sooner rather than later.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

    • Mel

      Hi I submitted my claim fully developed on 2/10/16 it is now 5/1/16 and I just received my letter today at 70%.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Mel,

        Congratulations on obtaining an quick and favorable determination from the VA. Most claims are unfavorable, and it often takes literally years to find out a claim was denied. So, well done.

        Sincerely,
        Craig L. Ames
        Accredited VA Attorney

        • John Carpenter

          I had quad. bypass heart sergery in Dec. 2015 and applied for comp. on 20th of Dec. How much longer will i have to wait for a decision?

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear John,

            It is difficult to predict when the VA will respond with a written determination letter to an application for compensation benefits. The process can take years. There are more than 4 million claims filed annually and the VA backlog is more than 1.25 million claims.

            You may want to go to the nearest VA Regional Office to request an appointment to review the claim status. In the alternative sometimes you can get some status information at the VA website. You can set up a personal account through that website which may provide information about your benefits, if any, and claim information.

            Sincerely,
            Craig L. Ames
            Accredited VA Attorney

  • Joseph Kearney

    I have been non service connected for several years, receive no money due to SSDI check being more than VA of $981.
    I just filed for service connection. Will the non service connected help or not help my service connection claim?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Joseph,

      No. By definition you need to prove that your existing medical is not only fully or partially disabling but also that it relates back to an in-service medical event that occurred while in the performance of military duties.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Good day veterans gulf war not Gulf War, because no one in congress gives a care claim for gulf war illness started 2009 key factor memory loss and a host of other things everything due to gulf war too V.A. Doctors is because of P.T.S.D. Chronic fatigue syndrome , Fibromyalgia ,Sleep Apnea and I.B.S. Out of no where got a call last month for two C&P’s March 26 2016 and March 29 2016 the next day got a call from Detroit regional office saying that my claim has being received and it will be done in two weeks this claim will take presidents over any appeals that I have going on. Now the phone call was over tried too get the person back on the line using the 1(800)827-1000 # and could not get the person back on the line spoke with a VSO that looked at me as if I was messing up his office party and said that he has neaver heard of such a thing. Has anyone ever had this happen too them?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear LaMarr,

      The Disability Advisor has no experience with this type of call. The way the VA claims are processed is such that at least three different departments or teams with at least three to four persons per team are responsible for working on the evidence gathering/pre-determination stage of a claim. No one person has full responsibility for a claim at this stage in development. So it will be difficult if not impossible to determine who called you.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Marvin Vance

    I retired on 01/01/2013 and my VA disabilities rating is 70%. I received my 1st intinal payment in 08/01/2014. The VA has had my audit since 08/19/2014 and I have yet to receive my notification or back pay from 01/13 to 07/14. I’ve called and I get the same old answers be patient. What else can I do? Maybe congress or senators?.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Marvin,

      There is a huge backlog of cases More than 4 million claims are filed annually. The backlog is more than 1.25 million cases currently. There is nothing you can do to bring this to a speedy resolution.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Allen

    I submitted a claim in September 2013, and when I finally got an answer, in December of 2014 it was denied. It was marked as completed in in Ebenefits, with a ‘claim closed’ date of 12/19/2014.
    I filed a Notice of Disagreement, and it was marked as received as of 10/26/2015, well within the year I had to file a NOD.
    As of March, I just had an appointment with QTC (first one for this claim) and it seems to be at least moving forward.
    When / if the claim is completed, will I receive back pay from the initial file date (Sep 2013), the NOD file date (Oct 2015) or Whenever they make a decision (est Sep 2016)?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Allen,

      The appeal preserves your September 2013 filing date as the date for benefit eligibility if you are approved.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Courtney

    My husband has been out of the army since November 2012 with an approved va rating of 70% we are still waiting for his disability money. It’s been 3 years and 4 months and still nothing. The VA is a disgrace to our service members.

  • shayna

    i requested a re-decision on my claim and was given an exam on Jan 25th, 2016. i have been waiting and my e benefits account now says ” request 1- initial review complete” do i need to add documents? thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Shayna,

      You should always be proactive in proving your claim. If you, in fact, have new evidence, then submit it.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Dennis

    All my records were uploaded and submitted to the VA by me and all the doctors doing the VA physicals in July 2015 (the VA acknowledged receipt). My retirement date was 9-30-15, according to the ebenefits website my claim is in the preparation for decision phase and a decision is expected between 12-15 – 02-16. It is not 03-16 and I still haven’t heard anything. I requested an update and all I get is they are working on it.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dennis,

      All you can do at this point is wait.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Brian Morrow

    Seems to me that if the backlog is so high and all these veterans are having to wait years for answers while some cant do physical work, that maybe the VA should hire some of the Vets in this backlog and train them to assist in these matters. 1. You would help reduce this ridiculous backlog. 2. These vets that have been without any income coming in to their household would have an income source to help take care of their families.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brian,

      An interesting idea, though applicable only to those who can still work.

      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Brandon

    I returned from a non-volunteer mobilization in December. Prior to leaving, I had a rating and compensation was coming in regularly. I turned in my new DD-214 to restart compensation. It’s been 2 months since they received everything. Anyone know a possible time for them to simply restart compensation, since it’s not a new claim? It says 2018-2020, but got to think it’s wrong, since it’s not a longer, initial/modification claim.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brandon,

      I do not have any knowledge about the relationship of a mobilization to a VA compensation claim. I suggest that you consider making an appointment with a Decision Review Officer to go over your situation answer your questions.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Terrie

    I filed a claim with the VA for a fully developed claim back on 11/30/15. I did not have any medical records to submit at that time. I was able to secure my medical records from my time in service and I uploaded onto Ebenefits a few days ago. Since this upload, I notice my time of completion date went from 5/13/16 to 10/17/16 to now 6/26/16 to 1/5/17. Did I make a mistake by uploading these records? Did I start my claim over? I was under the impression that records would exepdite things.
    Please advise.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Terrie,

      When a veteran files a claims as being fully developed, the VA takes the position that all relevant records have been filed. The VA does not consider later records. That is the reason this process is referred to as “fully developed.” In other words, by submitting later acquired records, the claim necessarily has not been fully developed. So if you want the VA to consider additional records, you can withdraw the existing claim and refile it. But that will trigger a new filing date upon which benefit eligibility is determined. You lose the earlier filing date and earlier potential benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

      • Terrie

        Thank you for your reply. In my Ebenefit account, my claim status says, “Development letter sent” and “Requested documents are past due.” I never received any letters or request for documents. I am concerned that this is the reason for the extension of my claim resolution date. Can you please explain what these notes mean? I’m not sure how accurate Ebenefits information is.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Terrie,

          This means the VA has made a determination that you either failed to respond to an inquiry it made to you or in the alternative you provided a response that was untimely. Thus, the VA has closed your file due to your abandonment of the claim. You will either need to file an appropriate response or appeal the claim denial or in the alternative file a new claim and start the process over again. Since you think you did not get a request, you may wish to contact the VA Regional Office to have someone to go over your claim to find out what was requested or engage an accredited VA attorney to assist you.

          Sincerely,
          Craig L. Ames
          Accredited VA Attorney

          Sincerely,
          Craig L. Ames
          Accredited VA Attorney

  • D Knight

    Have a disability rating of 70% with effective date of May 2012. After 2.5 yrs and determination date changes from Sep 2015 to “cannot determine” and now between Jan 2016 & Sep 2017 – my file is still in “claim received” status. If claims are stacked in order, how can the claim keep being shoved down line?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ms. Knight,

      I am unable to answer your question because (1) I’d need to know which authority made the last decision or determination (assuming a claim determination was actually made). For example, was the determination made by the VA Regional Center or an Administrative Law Judge or the Board of Veterans Appeals or a U. S. District Court or by a Regional Review Officer or some one else? And, (2) If a written decision was rendered, I’d have to read that decision to analyze how that decision is to be understood and whether the decision maker ordered subsequent actions to be taken and if so by whom. Accordingly, I suggest that you try to get assistance with the matter from an Accredited VA Attorney or veterans assistance organization such as the American Legion or Disabled Veterans of America.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Dennis Knight

    Approved rating of 70% with effective date of May 2012.
    VA first stated to finalize by end of 2015. Then stated they did not know when. Now. They say between Jan 2016 and Sep 2017. What can one do when it is now 2 plus years and still in “claim received” status?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dennis,

      The VA receives over 4 million claim applications annually from veterans. As a result, there is currently more than 1.5 million case backlog. That backlog is growing. The VA system is accordingly overwhelmed by the case load and there is no indications that the federal government is doing much to improve the claim process. Thus, we cannot provide you with any optimistic view as to how long your specific claim will take to process. Your experience is typical of the VA claim process.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Phillip Fowler

    I have a 90% rating rating for diabetes and periphial nueropathy. In late 2014 I found out I had lymphoma cancer, the VA gave me 100% in September of that year. I got a letter from them stating that the first of March they would be knocking me back to 90% for the cancer was in remission, now the cancer has came back so I applied for unemployable, with all my medical records going to them it seems with the technology now things should flow a little better, they just want you to fill out some of the forms they already that is in your records. It just seems to me that they want you to fill the forms out so they can prolong the process.People that are making these disisions should be doctors not someone trained by the VA. They also say you can’t be represented by a lawyer unless he or she VA approved. bull

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Phillip,

      The VA wants to insure that lawyers who represent veterans are accredited through a federal review process. First, the VA wants ethical behavior and expertise by a licensed attorney. Second, to become accredited that lawyer must complete specific courses continually update the training on an ongoing basis. VA wants quality services which only come about if an attorney is an “accredited VA attorney”.

      As to a claim for IUE (Individual Unemployability), a veteran must submit a specific claim contenting IUE. You should have a private medical opinion as to your unemployability as well as statements from prior and/or your current employer that you are not capable of performing the job.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Mathias Stewart

    I filed my claim on 7 Jan 2016 for adverse reaction to Anthrax Vaccines that includes a myriad of health implications to include Gulf War Illness, my medical records are rock solid. The estimated time of completion is May 2017. Now, I could understand that time frame would be on par for New York, my home state that has over 19M people. My claim was filed in South Dakota that has less than 1% of NY’s population. 18 Months seems like a long time. I some how got talked into enrolling into VA healthcare, I am petrified to go see them since there was a dental clinic in Mossouri that is responsible for infecting 1800 people with HIV because they did not stick to proper cleaning protocol.Again, I am in no hurry to see these people. Does the VA do anything right???

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mathias,

      V.A. claims are handled by a federal government agency and all claims are in the same “pot” for review, not divided out by state.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

      • Nate

        Then why is the regional office in Wichita looking at mine but my buddy’s claim is being handled by an office in Texas?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Nate,

          A claim filing occurs where you live and where you filed your original or new claim. However, the case review depends upon internal practicalities within the Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA may route a claim to a different office depending upon which stage in the claim process your case is at.

          Sincerely,
          Craig L. Ames
          Accredited VA Attorney

  • Tierra Hopkins

    Towards the end of January I went to my spot. For PTSD and hearing loss. I noticed after my status changed to Preparation for decision. The date was set to be somewhere between July and August. Then a week or some after I noticed the status still the same, but the date changed and it’s now between February and March. Should I be concerned or is this a good thing? A friend told me its a bad thing because it’s due to the fact that I’m in the reserves, but no longer active duty. Will me being in the reserves hinder my claim?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tierra,

      This question is raised frequently. This notice is simply part of the three step process in the VA evaluation of a claim. There are (a) a claim application phase, (b) a pre-determination phase or evidence collection, and (c) a determination phase where a VA specialist, non-physician, will determine if a rating is applicable and, if so, what is the percentage rating. This process is protracted and can take years to reach a written determination.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited V.A. Attorney

      • John

        I just went for an appointment where I was evaluated by a VA doctor and some X Rays were taken, how long until I receive a rating?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear John,

          The VA claim process system is slow. There are more than 4 million claims filed annually. Currently the case backlog is at 1.25 million claims and the backlog grows larger each year. Statistical information published by the VA suggests an average claim reaches a determination somewhere between 1-2 years dependent on how proactive the claimant is in providing documentation.

          Sincerely,
          Craig L. Ames
          Accredited VA Attorney

  • Mark Davis

    I have applied for 100% disability from 80%. I don’t know how long it will take to process the claim but i’m running out of money. I’m thinking about going back to work ,man up and suck up the knee pain just to keep up with my bills. Would this affect the 100% disability i’m claiming. Am i allowed to work while waiting on decision for 100%? I’m really struggeling with financial.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mark,

      Your VA compensation claim is independent of any decision to return to work. Working while your VA claim is pending is not a material factor in how the VA makes a determination of a disability rating.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Brian

    I submitted my paperwork back in September with an ETS date of 2 December. I am pending disability percentage and compensation. My documents just went under review on 3 December and my problem lies in the fact that I cannot find work until I find out how “disabled” I truly am and what restrictions I need to work with. Is there any way to find this out before the VA completes their portion or am I just out of work until that time? Am I just supposed to pull from unemployment until the decision is made?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brian,

      You are commingling two distinct issues. Your VA compensation claim is independent of any decision you make as to whether or not you should seek employment.

      A VA compensation claim is a benefit based upon pain and suffering due to medical events which occurred in-service. Literally if one receives a VA compensation benefit, the veteran is being “compensated” for how that medical event impacts his or her life. A vet can have a 100% rating as VA compensation and be employed full time as a “double dipper.” A VA compensation benefit is not a monthly income replacement or disability income benefit.

      You can readily obtain an independent medical opinion from a private physician or physical therapy institute which can help you determine what jobs, if any, are within your range of physical and mental abilities.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Khalid Faragi

    I was going through the medbaord process while i was still active duty, My peblo gave my Va Rating which came back from the VA at 80%, signed all the papers, and i gave my DD214. I went through all my tests and everything so the VA gave me 80% rating. so after leaving active duty i log in to ebenfits and my case says preparation for decision. i don’t understand i thought the decision was made and i got 80%, why is it pending the decision again?

    Thank you for your time.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Khalid,

      Any VA claim application is a complex process. Without a review of your claim application, all VA documents and information which you may have submitted to the VA, I cannot evaluate the status of your claim. You will need to have a professional review your case file in order to answer your question. You might seek assistance first from the Disabled Veterans of American or the American Legion.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Betty

    Received award letter 11/23/15 from the BVA. How long will it take
    to receive the rating letter? Also, how is the effective date determined
    for back pay? After multiple denials by our local regional office and
    once by the BVA I was finally approved after obtaining new evidence
    that provided the proof the VA needed.
    Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Betty,

      It can take months for the VA to complete the benefit payment process since the rating decision must go through various departments for approval. The benefit date is determined by the date your claim application was date stamped as being received and processed. If you filed the claim in person, the benefit date is typically one or two days after the date you filed the claim. The VA decision letter will typically state the benefit date.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Ivette Flemate

    My husband filed his claim in February 2015 and has gone to numerous appointments. On Monday 12/21/15 he received his packet saying he was approved for 100%. On 12/22/15 he called to see about back pay and they told him it was already processed that day, when he gets on ebenefits it shows the status of the amount of money that’s back pay and that it has been processed, VA rep told him it should hut his account the next day. We have been steady checking the account and nothing. My question is how long does it take to see the money, he has set up auto pay from long before and his claim was a go from the beginning, never put a hold or was denied.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ivette,

      I cannot answer how long it takes for the federal government to issue a check. The process must go through various federal departments including the Department of Treasury before it is processed. You will need to periodically check with the Regional Office of the VA to follow up on this.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • James J. Rigney

    I served in Vietnam 1969-70. First depression PTSD began in the ’80’s when filing wasn’t an option yet. I have been on antidepressants since that time and have been getting my care at Hines VA in Illinois since. Filed in 2011 denied, appealed and was required to provide a form from outside psychiatrist I had seen for years, received and turned over to VA. Also required VA psychiatrist to fill out paperwork. My psychiatrist refused to fill out the required paperwork stating “it is the policy of HinesVa mental health department to NOT FILL OUT THE REQUIRED FORM because they are clinicians and not claims “people.”
    All the information stating I have a PTSD diagnosis is in my records, however the medical history records were not the required paperwork the DRO asked for, and the requested form could not be filled out because all the HINES VA “Mental Health Department Psychiatrists” refuse and are not required to fill out the forms required by the VA! THIS FEELS LIKE A CATCH 22…how do I resolve this gross injustice move by my own VA? Jim

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear James,

      You should consider engaging the services of an accredited VA lawyer to analyze your claim to determine if you have reasonable grounds for a new claim.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Steve

    I recently retired from the US Military and filed a Benefits Delivery at Discharge claim with the VA. I worked closely with both my VSO and the Regional Office Service Rep, who have both been amazing and a huge help. However, after gathering all of the required information, and making all of my medical appointments on time, my claim has hit a standstill. According the VA Website, the goal of the Benefits Delivery at Discharge program is to complete this type of claim within 60 days of discharge. However, we all know and realize that this isn’t likely to be the case. My claim moved to the Preparation for Decision phase on 9 September 2015 and had a projected completion date of 14-28 October 2015. However, in the later part of September, the projected completion date changed to “The Regional Office cannot determine a completion date at this time” message. I contacted the VA this week to determine if there was more information needed from me, or if there could be any clarification on the completion date. I was told that even though my claim has been in the PFD phase for 9 weeks, to just be patient, that all of the information is there and that I just need to let my claim move to the top of the file. They told me that my claim is waiting to be rated and approved. This kind of makes me scratch my head because the entire purpose of the BDD program is to move the claims faster through the process. I know this seems like I may be impatient because so many others have had their claims move way slower than mine, however I have lost employment due to one of my conditions and I am currently only able to receive my military pension, which doesn’t go too far. What are my options for courses of action to help move my claim along a little faster?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Steve,

      You do not have any realistic options nor solutions here. You are one of the more than one million backlogged claims.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • niko

    My claim was closed on 19 april 14 and it says a packet will be on the mail and to wait for us mail time to deliver before contacting the va. I called the 800 number a few weeks ago and they said they could nit discuss anything until i get the packet that was sent out in the mail and that i should get it in 2 weeks. Well going into week 4 and i still haven’t recieved anything at all. Is there a way to find out where the packet is? He said i would be very happy but how can i check my status at this point? Is there anyway to find out anything. I know i went from 10% to 80%. How much longer. I saw most people saying 6 months after the case is closed.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Niko,

      You can make a visit to your nearest VA Regional Office or substation/field office to get clarification.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Justin Berry

    After a claim has been determined to be ‘complex’ ,psychosis for example, how will a disability rating be reach? Who determines the outcome of this specific claim?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Justin,

      VA laws are complex. Essentially within the VA bureau, there are pre-determination administrative staff members who prepare and stage a claim for a determination. The claim file passes back and forth among at least three teams within this stage. Five or six persons will work on the pre-determination staging of a claim. Once that process is complete, which can take one year or more, then the claim will be assigned to a long-term VA employee who is a Rating Specialist. That person will decide if a rating is warranted and if so what the percentage of rating is to be. Then another VA staff department will prepare a rating determination letter.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Vernon Frazier

    On July 30.2015 the rating board gave me a 40 percent rating with a effect date of 12-05-2007. As of 24 th of September 2015 I have not receive a award letter only VA letter inform myself that I can use the VA hospital . I check ebenefit it it show my rating and the DAV confirm it as well. My case was remand back to the Region Office on Jan 21,2015 for CP exam which I complete. My question is when will I receive my award letter and will I get back pay from 12-05-2007 til May 1,2015. For I was grant pension pay on the 5-01-2015. I called IRIS number and get the run around the DVA is very hard to get in touch with. Hope you can give me some ideal concerning timeframe before I get a award letter

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Vernon,

      The VA is not very responsive to claim status requests. A claim review can take years. Eventually, the VA will issue a benefit determination. You can request an in-person review at the Regional Office of the VA, which could be beneficial but the VA does not have to agree to such a meeting.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Ain Ivory

    My father is waiting on his rating how long does that normally take?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ain,

      There are more than one million pending claim applications, so it can take one or more years for a claim to be developed. If you proactively fully develop your own claim and know how to do so, the time period is greatly sped up. Otherwise, the VA develops the claim information in its own way and in its own time perimeters. You should seek professional assistance from the American Legion or Veterans of Foreign Wars in a claim application especially if you wish to develop your own claim.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Timmy Ross

    If my V.A. claim has been completed is there a way to fund out if it was approved and my rating or do I have to wait for the letter in the mail?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Timmy,

      I believe you can go to ebenefits.va.gov and set up an account that will give you a broad view of where your claim is in the process.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Barry Randall

    I was diagnosed with depression in 2009 and tinitus, for a total of 40% disability, I was called and told that I have an appointment with the V.A. and i went on the 3rd of aug 2015, I checked the Ebenefits website today the 18 Aug 2015 and found out the I am now rated at 60%, My question is am I eligible for back pay for the 6 years the I was rated at only 40% and it was coming out of my retirement check?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Barry,

      You are not eligible for back pay. The higher benefit entitlement dates only back to the date your new claim application was processed by the VA.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Ramona flores

    My fiance just got approved how long will it take for us to start getting a check/any other medical help he needs

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ramona,

      To help me respond, please tell me whether your fiance was approved for Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or both and whether he was approved on initial application, on reconsideration, or at a hearing appeal.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dianna

    My father served in Alaska during WWll. He is now 81 years old. He has been diagnosed with Alzhiemers. I am trying to get him into an Assisted Living,Faciltiy gor Alzhiemers. Medicaid will not help, Medicare will not help and it will take some time for VA to kick in. How do I get the help my father needs . I cannot afford to pay out of pocket. Please advise.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dianna,

      Typically, Medicaid would be a source for paying for assisted living. I suggest that you find out why they won’t help and see if you can rectify the situation. Sometimes assistance is denied because of assets a person has. If you father owns a house and puts it on the market, Medicaid might pay for his care based on his repaying the assistance once the house is sold. Another possibility could be to see if your father would qualify for some type of in-home assistance paid for by Medicaid or another state service.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Stephen Gray

      Well I think u should enroll him in to the sorcc it’s a living center in White City Oregon I live here it’s great 3 meals a day and golf movie theater bowling nice rooms medical help all kinds of field trips and he won’t pay a dime includes transportation for him and the history here is that this used to be called Camp White an old WW11 base…he will be loved and welcomed with open arms…my gramps just passed 2 weeks ago he was also a WW11 vet…I hope this helps as an option

  • Abraham Rodriguez

    I have have been waiting for my uneployabilty for over a year and I had been calling to find out my status of my claim. And I kept beginning told that they had everything that it was in the decision stage and that my claim was one of the ones in priority and that it had to be sesolved because the year was coming up which was June 4th of this year so on may 28th I get a letter asking for information about my last employment so I called the regional office and the congressanal lason that I had been dealing with and he told me that they had made 4 documented mistakes. And the letter said I had 15 days to provide the documents. When I told them that I couldn’t provide it and that they would not respond to the information. I had to fax them a statement with a explenation which I did I called a week later to find out if they had received my fax I was told that not yet but that finely 3 weeks later it was scanned into the system and I called every week. So I asked If they had a idea when it would be diecisede then I was told that by. Law they had to send another request if they would have sent it out within the first 2 months I wouldn’t have to wait. Then I was told that they have anther 30 days .and that’s not my claim for PTSD which I was diagnosed back in May of 2006 and was service connected. By 4 VA Doctors but when I was evaluated by the VA Psychologist said no which I applied because he eveluted me for less than 30 minutes because when I walked in he told me that he had to hurry up because he had to drive to Phoenix to catch a Flight because he was Starting his Vacation so I requested hearing with the board that travels but I was told that they don’t know when it will be. They said that they are trying to improve the service but now they have 3 places that you send your request and paperwork and then it’s scanned and then it goes to your regional office and when I have called I get the excuse that they are so under staffed that is why it’s taking so long so much for all the promises from the White House and the VA and all of the Politicans but it’s not election time.

  • Robert S

    Is the Temp 100% disability claim different from the other claims? I have several claims pending but also filed the Temp 100% claim for 23 surgeries outside of the Military for service connected and it is at: Initial review Complete. Other Claims are at Pending Decision. Been over a year now but told them I am having a Hardship because I have to have 3 more surgeries and taking time off from work could risk loosing the house.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Robert,

      I don’t know what benefit under what law or program you are seeking to make a claim. Each law, such as VA law, has a specific definition for the meaning of a “disability.” There is no such concept as a “temporary disability” under VA law. Social Security does not require permanent disability, but the disability must last or be expected to last at least twelve months. The best way to think about a disability is a four-fold classification. Temporary versus Permanent as well as Total versus Partial. Accordingly, broadly speaking there are four possible types of disabilities: total temporary, total permanent, partial temporary, and partial permanent. Worker’s compensation includes these four classifications in its disability law.

      As an illustration, if I have the flu then I am totally but temporarily disabled from working at my job for three or four days. My temporary illness might be covered as paid sick days through my employer, assuming I qualify for paid sick day benefits. Paid sick days in this scenario are covered not by the existence of any law but rather by competitive forces in the industry or community. Also in the employment sector of our economy, many employers have short term disability plan, which as indicated by their name cover temporary problems. This is distinct from a permanent disability and is provided not according to law, but according to an insurance company contract pursuant to the payment of premiums.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

      • Steve

        Kay or Mr. Ames,

        You either are not very knowledgable about the VA or you are being very picky about your use of disability language.

        Robert is very clearly asking about the 100% temporary disability a veteran can receive for convalescence after surgery for a SC disability.

        I am not conversant on all of the ins and outs (I am also not claiming to be a VA attorney). However, I had scope surgery on a knee (10% SC) last August and received two months 100% temporary disability for convalescence (could have received from one to three months). It took 4 1/2 months for the VA to process and pay me using the va fully developed claim program.

        This year I had a total knee replacement and will receive 13 months 100% temporary disability.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Steve,

          Yes, the VA can award temporary compensation benefits. How a post is phrased and the context presented is important in determining how I answer questions.

          Sincerely,
          Craig L. Ames
          Accredited VA Attorney

  • Ray Ro

    5 years ago I submitted a claim to the VA. It took a year for a 20% grant. There were obvious errors on the C&P exam. They ignored the content of my notice of disagreement. I was told I could appeal and that it would take about 3 years or wait a year and apply for an increase. I filed for an increase. I received a 30% rating in a year with different obvious errors on the C&P exam. I waited a year and applied for an increase. This time the C&P exam was correct and I received a 50% rating. The whole process this time was just 6 weeks.

    I praise the VA that they can do it right when they try. They could have save me 4+ years if they did it right the first time.

  • Destiny Ellis

    I have been battling with the VA for over a year now and they said back on August 11, 2014 that my claim moved to pending decision approval I have called so many times i even got a letter telling me to stop calling the VA they would complete my claim when they got to it. Now i find out yesterday May 24, 2015 that apparently the only thing that has been holding it up is that the VA needed a copy of my DD214 and I’m like really!!!!!!! they have made NO AND I MEAN NO effort to contact me via email, mail, phone, or any other means. All my information is up to date and I know they have my address since they mailed me a letter telling me to quit calling them!!! Not to mention every time I have called I have asked is there anything I need to do or anything that is needed from me and i kept being told no no no they are just working on your claim!!! So now I’m stuck waiting who knows how long, cause no one can tell me what is going on. And I don’t even know for sure if the only thing that was really holding it up was just that one form. Is there anyone i can talk to that can give me specifics on my claim and some kind of liaison to help me out cause this is getting beyond absurd!!!!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Destiny,

      The VA structure is complex and bureaucratic. Your claim is handled by at least 3 teams within the VA structure and each team have 2-3 members who will review any given claim file. So it will be difficult to pin down any one VA staff member to give you a status report. No one person within the VA will accept responsibility as to status reports. I suggest you will need to go in person to the VA Regional Office for a status report and you may or may not be able to get a concrete answer. Remember that there are more than one million claims pending within the VA system.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • RS Singer

    What would you do if you ordered a copies of your health and personnel records from the VA and someone else’s mental health records were included with your records? Isn’t this a HIPAA violation? Would you feel like your records may be intertwined with someone else’s records as well?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear R.S.,

      I suggest you send the misfiled records back to the VA with a note that an error was made.There is no way to know whether some of your records were misfiled also, except to review to see whether, based on your memory, everything seems to be covered. Even if some were misfiled there’d be no way of knowing where and, therefore, they would be irretrievable.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Chris koestner

    I am about to get plates in my neck due to service connected injury during OIF 2005, my surgery is two weeks away and i am stressing to figure out how as a single parent and living paycheck to paycheck ( weekly) and no savings , how long does it take to recieve comp for my 1 to 3 months missed work , is it also a long lasting claim or are these temporary claims same as the ones i am reading about? Any info appreciated thanks , chris

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Chris,

      VA Compensation is a long term claim process. Most claims take years to bring to a resolution. Do not think in terms of short-term periods of disability. This is not compatible with the nature of disability compensation as the VA defines eligibility for this benefit.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames

    • Mskwalker74

      Mr. Koestner,

      Do you have a service organization representing you? If not, you may want to get a representative from the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) or someone else to represent you. Then you need to apply for a 100% temporary disability rating if you’re having surgery for a condition that you are already rated for. This could assist you with your monthly expenses as you are missing work during your recovery.

  • alfred

    I have a friend getting disability even though he is not disabled served in no war and has a job he was approved in 12 months by va. I served in iraq have ptsd and an ear disease From iraq and the va could care less

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Alfred,

      It is not possible to know all the details of another veteran’s conditions or circumstances, so you cannot know the reasons why he was approved. However, if you have evidence that your friend falsified his application, you can report suspected fraud.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jose A Valentin Lebron

    I want a Know if i may verify my Claim status, by Internet Thank for your support.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jose,

      I don’t believe there is a way to check on your claim online, but you can call the VA and find out for sure.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      VA Accredited Attorney

    • Ryan

      Go to ebenefits.va.gov. Start an account. It gives you a BROAD view of where your claim is.

    • chad

      Kay,
      You can verify your claim status 24/7 365 , by logging on to ebenefits .VA.gov, if you haven’t signed up for a account it’s pretty easy takes 10 minutes ,then once you get your account .just look under claims status .it will show you your phases and where your claim is and what is need from,you and others..

  • floyd glover

    I have filed been denied several timed. I’ve served in three war theaters. I keep getting letters saying: Sorry for the delay, we are still processing your claim. 12 years, I have spoken to congressman so much, and contacted Washington. Here it is 2015 still nothing. Its not fair and its frustrating age. I gave all I had. Help m

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Floyd,

      You can discuss your claim with an accredited VA attorney. No obligation and no fees for consultation.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Raymond Anderson

    I filed a claim Aug 13, 2013 and received info from the VA on May 19,2014 requesting info from me about my exposure to Agent Orange. The claim info the VA had about my claim was incorrect. The VSO helping me had to send them the correct info about my claim. I’ve called every month to check the status, but can’t get a status. They are saying they have all the info needed, but haven’t processed my claim yet. How long does it take to receive a decision and why can’t they tell me the status?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Raymond,

      Your case will have to wait its turn among all the other requests pending in the VA Regional Office. Contacting your U. S. Congressman’s staff is one avenue to possibly get some attention of your case status. But, since you have already taken appropriate action, the staff of your representative is probably unable to provide any meaningful assistance. It is unlikely that your claim review will be expedited because there are well over one million VA cases pending. It can take years to bring a VA case to a decision point.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • I had an increase in my VA disability in 2011. it came almost a year after my surgery on my back and my request for an increase. I contested the rating that they gave me due to the fact I could mot obtain gainful employment since. In December of last year I entered my 4th year of waiting to be told that it would be determined by this December. Now I am entering my 5th year of waiting. Does my family get anything from the dispute if I die? The US Government seems to have higher priorities than the disabled vets. Bet you if I came across the border illegally I would have had a faster response.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Robert,

      A surviving spouse can step into the shoes of a Veteran who died while a VA claim is pending. If benefits are awarded, the VA will make payment to the spouse.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • thomas keim

    been waiting over 2 years to just add my daughter to my va benefits ,welfare for illegals is only a few weeks .I don’t recommend any one to join the military just let the politicians fight their own wars

  • William Henry

    I filed in 2010 to get rated. More than 1,460 days ago.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear William,

      Do you have a question?

      Sincerely,
      James Mitchell Brown

  • Robert Lewis

    I also was told that when I got in 1976 that I would receive medical for the rest of my life.. Nothing was explained as far as benifets I would receive. It’s a ashame that Veterans are treated that way. Most of the people processing the paper work for your claim aren’t even veterans maybe that’s why it takes 18 mons to process.

  • Jack

    Took 1 year to be compensated the money for excess medical costs for my 84 year old father. Then in Demember when he should have received a 1.5 raise, cut his monthly check $62 if you include the raise he would not receive. Refiled for increase due to being housebound and needing 7 days a week care. Filed in Jan 2014 and don’t expect a word until December. This is crazy! They say the VA just waits and hope they die before having to shell out benefits. Really? Welfare to anyone but jump through 50 hoops for the VA for which my father served during the war. Very sad…..

    • Vicki

      It is a tragedy in itself that the vets are waiting up to a year for compensation. We have been waiting – as of today 287 days! Shame on you Washington! We were also told in 1976 that we would get free medical care for life. Well guess what? Wrong!

    • Jim Harris

      I applied 13 months ago. Just had my medical exam a couple of weeks ago. I’m expecting 3-4 months more before my claim is finished. Something close to 18 months total. And, it’s only a guess as to what per cent I will get. A friend of mine who lives in another state had his claim totally processed in 10 months. Just the roll of the dice I guess on how long and the amount……..there is no justice in the VA.

      • Jen Gratopp

        My husband has been waiting since March of 2013 and just finally got his appointment for his medical exam next week. It’s ridiculous the amount of vets out there that are waiting for the help they need.