Vietnam Veterans
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Denied PTSD Claims

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VA Disability Advocate
VA Disability Advocate

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Vietnam Veterans

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The amount of time it takes to complete your claim depends on the type of claim filed, how many injuries or disabilities you claimed, how complex they are, and how long it takes the VA to collect the evidence needed to decide your claim. The average time to complete a new disability claim in 2021 was 90 to 160+ days from submission to the rating decision. There are no shortcuts to filing an effective claim for benefits.

 

The VA Disability Advocates Process

1. Client Intake During the initial consultation, we will discuss your military service and the conditions you wish to file. If you wish to retain our services, we'll gather some basic information from you and email all the documents for your electronic signature before we get started. After we receive your completed application, your documents are forwarded to the VA. In approximately two weeks, the VA will release your VA Claim File (C-file) containing all available VA and Military Records. 

Advocates Note:

The VA Disability Advocate does not accept all claims, VA disability claims are accepted based on their merits We accept 95% of all veterans to claim; however, some claims are in bad faith. Knowingly presenting to VA a frivolous claim, issue, or argument is frivolous if the individual providing representation under § 14.630, representative, agent or attorney is unable to make a good-faith argument on the merits of the position taken or to support the position taken by a good faith argument for an extension, modification, or reversal of existing law; doing so could result in disqualification from participating in or appearing before any court, bar, or Federal or State agency and lack of subsequent reinstatement.

2. After we accept your case, we will initiate a development process to investigate the status of your various cases with the VA to determine what has and has not been done to get grounded in your case.

  • 1. We will identify the weaknesses in your case and make recommendations to overcome them.

  • 2. ​We will develop a strategy to win your benefits in the shortest amount of time.

  • ​3. We challenge the VA's adversarial conclusions that obstruct your benefits.

  • 4. ​We gather all your Military and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Records, including records from your private doctors. (This is a shared responsibility between us, the VA, and you)

  • ​We find and correct errors in an earlier decision to get you the earliest possible effective date of your compensation award.

3. After we submit your application the VA will request examinations through a private medical facility (LHI, QTC, VES) to determine the current level of your VA disability. The private facility will contact you in about 30-90 days by telephone, or mail, perhaps both, to schedule this examination's date, time, and place. If you can't keep the appointment or want to be re-scheduled, it's your responsibility to contact the medical facility on the appointment notice as soon as possible. When a claimant, without good cause, fails to report for an examination or reexamination, the claim shall be rated based on the evidence of record or even denied. Examples of good reasons include, but are not limited to, illness or hospitalization, death of a family member, etc.

4. After all your scheduled exams are complete, your claim will move to ready for decision. There's no time frame for this process; the VA could ask for additional information, second opinions and order additional exams. Once the VA is satisfied with all the necessary information to make a decision, your claim will be sent to a decision review officer to finalize your claim. On average, this process can take 30-90 days.  

5. Decision Letter – When the decision is complete, the VA will notify you in writing approximately 14 days after the final decision. If VA grants the claim, it will award a benefit. For service-connected medical conditions, a VA disability evaluation or "rating" will be established that determines the amount of monthly payments. The numerical value of the rating is based on a schedule of disabilities established by Congress. The "rating schedule" lists disorders categorized by body systems that include a description of symptoms for each condition in increasing order of severity. Each listed or "scheduler" disorder is assigned a unique diagnostic code.

After rating the conditions for which an award was granted, VA will establish an "effective date" of the award. This is an important date because it determines the date from which VA will pay the benefits for the award. As a general rule, the effective date of an award of VA benefits is when VA received the application on which the award was granted. Claimants should understand that the effective date is not when a condition first occurred or was diagnosed. This is important because waiting to apply can result in lost benefits that cannot be recovered later. For claimants who filed more than one application for the same condition, the effective date is not the date of the first application or any other application that was denied and becomes final: the effective date is the date of the granted application.

6. Decision Letter Review – After receiving your decision letter, you will most likely have questions. Please reach out to your agent to schedule a Decision Review Appointment to discuss the next steps for your claim. 

7. Appeal your denied or underrated claim - See Appeals Process

Advocates Note: Expedited Claims 

The VA will only expedite specific claims. There is, however, no exact way to determine how much faster the expedited VA claim process is. Claims are deemed "priority" or "non-priority," meaning priority claims will be handled first. Still, because there are other priority requests, expedited claims may still take a little time.

Financial hardship is not automatically approved if one of the below reasons is met. The VA is going to look at your overall financial situation. Being down on your luck recently is probably not enough of a reason for the VA to expedite VA disability claims due to hardship. You should supply evidence if you are trying to expedite VA disability claims due to hardship. Veterans can submit bank statements, utility bills, foreclosure documents, food stamp records, and other documents that help prove extreme financial hardship.

Homelessness, veterans who do not have a fixed, a regular nighttime residence may expedite VA disability claims. Veterans who live in homeless shelters, transitional housing, hotels, or outside may expedite VA disability claims. Unfortunately, the VA does not expedite every veteran's benefits claim filed by homeless vets.

Terminal Illness, veterans diagnosed with a terminal illness may have their VA disability claim expedited. You should provide the VA with evidence of your diagnosis when you ask for your VA disability claim to be expedited. If you can provide a diagnosis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig's Disease, your claim should be expedited. Here are two situations in which the VA will expedite claims because of terminal illnesses:

The VA Disability Advocates Main Office is Located in Las Vegas, NV. We Represent Veterans throughout the United States. 702-209-5722