Many Veterans inquire with lawyers for veterans what way is best for filing veterans disability claims? As a Veterans Disability attorney I often don’t use the traditional form or the online method. The online method was reported to be preferred by the VA as way to reduce the VA disability backlog.
Am I eligible for Veterans Disability?
The first step in filing a veterans disability claim is determine if you are eligible which is based on being an honorably discharged veteran with a disability that was incurred in, exacerbated in, or in some way connected to active military service. However, the VA is required to help you develop the facts necessary to prove this claim so you may not be able to prove all this from the beginning. However, the VA is encouraging veterans to file fully developed claims which potentially could increase the speed of the claim although not necessarily.
Different Ways to File Veterans Disability Claims
One way to file is through the official form VA Form 21-526 that is available on the VA website here. There are various things that should also be submitted with the VA disability claim form including a DD214, medical records, and marriage/divorce records. Some of these things need not be submitted, but could make the case go faster.
It seems the VA can get bogged down with paperwork, but through the ebenefits site this could be reduced. Although many VA disability lawyers and Veterans would likely benefit from a fully electronic VA disability claims system–the benefits of filing online are described in the article. The ebenefits website offers many different ways for Veterans to interact with the VA either in the areas of medical care through the VA or through processing veterans disability claims. Many things that are useful for processing VA disability claims and getting timely medical care can be done on the site. The VA claims the system will improve efficiency and reduce the backlog. If used correctly it appears that the VA could be correct as a way to reduce the VA disability claims backlog. The VA reasoned that the backlog was caused by the fact that many younger veterans from the recent wars were applying for veterans disability benefits at the same time that older veterans were filing new claims related to agent orange. As a veterans disability attorney I have seen many of these veterans deal with the veterans disability system and many times struggle with it. Many of the Veterans who use the system are the younger and more tech savvy ones, but it appears that older veterans are also able to use the system as well. The goal and sometimes the entire VA disability file is available through ebenefits greatly enhancing its utility.