VA Compensation Course 101
There are a couple of ways that the FDC process cuts down on processing time:
- First, the veteran files an intention to use the FDC system, which sets the effective date of the claim
- The VA tells the veteran precisely what information and evidence is needed to process the claim. Once the veteran gathers and submits all of the documentation, the VA begins to process the claim. This can eliminate delays of the back and forth of waiting for further instructions and more evidence. It lets you know up front the documents you need. Veterans and their representatives do much of the development that typically takes the VA up to half a year to gather.
- The up front submission of evidence allows the VA to start processing the claim immediately, without holding it for mandatory wait periods.
- Most Veteran’s Service Organizations have representatives who can help develop a FDC claim for free, although applicants can also seek legal advice.
If for some reason a veterans’ claim does not meet the FDC criteria, the claim will be converted to standard processing.
After the veteran submits the claim, the VA will gather all federal records identified, such as VA Medical Center records and the documents from the Social Security Administration. The VA will also send the applicant for a VA medical examination, if needed.
How does FDC compare to a regular claim submission
The main difference is that with a standard application, the VA is the one who tracks down most of your documentation and evidence. With the FDC, the veteran gathers as much documents as possible up front.
The VA website describes the standard claim process this way:
- The VA is responsible for getting relevant records from any federal agency that you identify and authorize;
- The VA will make every reasonable effort to obtain relevant records not held by a federal agency that you identify and authorize.
These may include:
- Privately held evidence and information you tell them about (such as records from a private doctor or hospital) and/or
- Records from state or local governments or current or former employers.