To check the status of your claim, you will need to go to the official VA website. Once there, scroll down the page until you find the option, “Check your claim or appeal status.” Click on this link. You will be taken to a page with the heading, “What types of claims and appeals can I track with this tool?” This section will help you to check your VA claim status. Here you can track a wide variety of claims, such as disability compensation and survivors pension benefits.
Survivors’ pension benefits are usually awarded to the surviving spouse of service members. Other forms of compensation frequently checked are that of special monthly compensation and burial allowance. This online tool is also frequently used to check up on VA health care benefits such as the newly rolled out Community Care section, available to all eligible veterans.
Other areas of interest include education benefits such as the GI Bill, as well as special employment programs like the VR & E (Veteran Readiness and Employment), which is a great boon for service members struggling with unemployment. The tool is also useful for checking the status of home loans, life insurance, and “pre-need determination of eligibility” as it pertains to burial at the VA national cemetery.
To use this tool to check the status of all these types of claims, you will need to create at least one of these free accounts: My HealthVet, DS Logon, and ID.me. Create your free account by submitting your social security number, birth date, gender, and other personal information.
With your free account established, simply sign in and click on “My VA.” Now select the option “Track Claims.” From here you can click on the “View Status” link, which will take you to a page which will give you a detailed status report about your recent claim. This section provides details about the status of existing evidence used in the claims process, such as physician testimony, lab work, and other documentation.
Just keep in mind, some documents you may not be immediately available for review if you mailed or faxed them in. The same lag time goes for documents dropped off in-person to a VA employee. It might take a few days for the new documents to be added to your claim.
Certain submitted documents may be withheld due to certain confidentiality agreements. Information regarding a recent employer, for example, may fall under this category. If you have any further questions about the process you can call the VA directly at 1-800-827-1000, any time between 8 am – 9 pm (EST).
What Happens After I File a Disability Claim?
- Confirmation of Claim Received
- Initial Review
- Evidence Gathering
- Review and Decision
- Preparation for Notification
- Claim Complete
Some vets can have trouble when it comes to checking the status of their VA claim. They may have trouble understanding their claim decision, or how to properly fill out the VA forms. The VA claims process can seem daunting at times and many give up before they even get started. But all you need is the right information, and you can clear up the confusion. Let’s walk you through the VA claim process right now.
The VA claim process has a lot of steps involved, and it’s important to follow them properly. The process begins with confirmation of a claim received and then works towards the status of Claim Complete.
Confirmation of Claim Received
What happens after filing a disability claim with the VA? The first thing that occurs, is the VA sending out a confirmation to applicants that they have received their claim. Claims sent by mail could take several days to be confirmed. But if you file online, you can receive confirmation immediately after the application is submitted.
After eligible veterans have filled out the appropriate VA form, they will be placed into the initial review process. This means the VA is actively reviewing the claim. During this time, VA administrators will let applicants know if any further documentation is necessary.
As soon as the case has passed through this initial review process, you will be moved forward to the next phase of filing your claim. Some are surprised at how long this process might take, and find themselves asking the question, “How long does VA claim stay in initial review?”
Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this question. Every case is different and handled on a case-by-case basis. Many claims move on to the evidence-gathering phase after just a couple of weeks, while others can take longer. It all depends on what additional evidence may need to be reviewed, and how long it takes to review it. Some may expedite the process ahead of time, by submitting what the VA refers to as a fully developed claim.
Unlike a standard claim, with background information painstakingly gathered by a VA representative, a fully developed claim has all the information the VA needs to make a determination already in place. By submitting a fully developed claim, you can speed up the standard VA claims process considerably.
This step of the process entails further evidence gathering into the claimant’s condition and the nature of their disability. This is normally handled by the Veteran Service Officer(VSO) representative, stationed out of a VA regional office, who has been assigned to the case. But it’s important to note that using a VSO is optional, and other representation can be utilized as well. The claimant can make use of any VA-accredited claims agent or even a veterans disability attorney, who specializes in filing claims with the VA.
At this stage medical professionals, employers, or other agencies may be contacted. During this stage, the VA reviews all the evidence, and based on what they see, they come to a determination. It is at this juncture that the claimant is assigned a VA disability rating. The disability rating one receives decides the amount of VA benefit they are awarded.
If the claimant receives a 10% disability rating, for example, they will receive the least amount of benefit. A claimant who receives a 100% disability rating, however, will receive the maximum possible VA disability compensation for documented disability sustained during military service. For those below a 100% disability rating, some work, and even unemployment benefits are still possible, even while receiving their VA disability benefits.
Preparation for Notification
After the evidence has been gathered and a determination has been made, a packet containing your claim decision will be put together and mailed to the address that the VA has on file. It is this packet that will contain the results of your VA disability claim, and information regarding any subsequent compensation benefits.
With receipt of your packet, you will be able to go over the details of the determination made regarding your disability claim and expected compensation. The packet is sent through standard U.S. mail, so it may take 7-15 days to receive it. After your packet has arrived feel free to call your local, regional office for any questions you may have about your claim or the nature of any veterans disability determination received.
Also, don’t hesitate to reach out to your personal service officer for any needed clarification of disability benefits awarded, and if you would like to file a veterans’ appeal. During the appeal, a supplemental claim can be filed so that service members can submit additional evidence not previously included in their original disability claim. Until further notice such as this is received, at this point in the VA claims process, the applicant’s claim is considered complete.