Since completing the Agent Orange disability cases filed under the Nehmer vs. Veterans Administration lawsuit, the VA is working fast and furiously to catch up on all other claims they had to set aside to meet that court ordered deadline.
They began working on claims over 700 days old and quickly moved forward so in the next few months, veterans who have pending claims should be seeing decision letters very shortly.
Some of these decisions will be “proposed” ratings and those need to be brought to my office’s attention so we can see if anything has changed since the date the original claim was filed. It’s important because in some cases that rating decision is based on medical evidence that may be two years old or more.
Surviving spouses of Vietnam Veterans need to contact my office if they have questions about presumptive illnesses. If the spouse served on the ground in Vietnam and died of a heart attack, complications from type II diabetes, lung cancers, soft tissue sarcoma, surviving spouses need to contact my office so we can open a claim for dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC) and burial benefits even if the veteran never filed a disability claim.
Because the VA recognizes the length of time it takes for veterans to get rating decisions, they have established the Fully Developed Claims Program. These claims use a shorter claim form but require all evidence to support the claim to be submitted and if complete, a veteran can expect a decision within 90 days.
If the VA has to request medical records or additional documentation to support your claim, it will not be processed under the FDC program which will delay the claim so gather as much evidence as you can.
Help the VA help you.
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