NEW VA CLAIMS PROCESS
Beginning March 24, 2015, the VA will institute a new process for filing claims for disability compensation. The new VA claims process will require the use of standardized forms to begin a claim. The new policy is a change from the informal claims process currently in existence wherein a veteran can start a claim for disability compensation by simply making a written request on any sheet of paper.
Under the current informal claims process, the veteran can submit a request for disability compensation without the use of a form and has one year from the date of the informal claim to properly complete and submit the claim documents. The VA will backdate any award to the date of the informal claim made by the veteran.
The new process, however, requires the submission of a standardized form. The new process also allows for online claim filing. The VA has agreed to backdate any award to the date the online claim file was opened. For veteran's seeking to file paper claims, however, the veteran must complete and submit an "Intent to File" form (VA Form 21-0966) in order to preserve the date in which benefits could be paid. While the "Intent to File" form helps veterans protect the filing date for disability compensation claims, the requirement also puts a burden on the veteran to know that the specific form needs to be submitted rather than just a written request or letter as has been required in the past.
If you are a veteran who needs help navigating the VA disability appeals process, call one of the experienced veteran's disability attorneys at Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. today at 251-343-1111 for a free case evaluation. Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. serves veterans and their families throughout the Gulf Coast, including Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi.