How to Speed Up Disability Claim Processing
By USVCP Staff
May 13, 2018
It is a well documented fact that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability claims processing is a convoluted, complex, intricate web of gargantuan proportions. Coupled with lack of personnel, inadequate training, and systemic apathy, getting a disability medical claim processed in an efficient manner is almost impossible. Granted, there have been isolated cases of veterans receiving compensation benefits in as little as 30 days, but, those instances are extremely rare. First time disability claims have a current processing time that ranges anywhere from 330 days – 1427 days. While the VA “system” may be responsible for much of the lag time, there are those occasions when a veterans’ input results in delayed processing. Below are the Top 6 reasons how a veteran may hold up his/her disability claim, and remedies to keep it from happening.
1. Medical Records. One of the main delays in getting a VA disability claim started is the lack of medical documentation supporting the disability claim or no service medical records at all. It is imperative that a veteran get all medical records related to his/her disability claim before sending in a disability claim for processing. If a veteran is being represented by a certified Veterans Service Officer (VSO), it is the job of that VSO to get medical records from military archives and civilian institutions.
Therein lies the problem. Getting military medical records from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) can oftentimes be a daunting task. Far too often the record retrieval process will result in a veteran getting partial records or no records at all. NPRC has been known to submit letters to veterans informing them their records are located at a VA near the veteran. The veteran checks with their local VA only to be told their records are located at NPRC. Ultimately, the veteran gets tired of the runaround and gives up. Don’t give up!
Some veterans have been known to hire a Medical Records Researcher, a person or agency who conducts the search for the veteran’s service medical records for a fee. If a veteran needs help they can contact NPRC Customer Service for more information about a Medical Records Researcher at 1-866-272-6272.