If the Expedited Claims Adjudication (ECA) Initiative demonstrates anything, it is that quicker is not always better. While many veterans are suspended in limbo awaiting an answer or appeal from the VA on their claim, the ECA promises quicker results for anyone becoming a participant. All you have to do to get this quicker result is sign away your due process rights.
One recurring theme throughout the ECA’s application and waiver is that the participant must waive or agree to severely limited time limits in which to act. While not every limitation is the same, being an ECA participant means paying attention to deadlines.
Under the usual Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) claim process, a claimant has 90 days from notification that their appeal was certified and transferred to the Board of Veteran’s Appeals (Board) in which to supply:
- A request for a board hearing;
- Additional evidence; or
- Request a change in representation.
Should the claimant decide to become an ECA participant, this time line is cut by one third. ECA participants waive the 90 day allotted period and must submit all or any of the above within 30 days of notification the claimants appeal has been certified and transferred to the board.
30 days is not a lot of time in which to collect new or additional evidence and it means you have to be on top of filling out your requests, should you have them. As an ECA participant, you have to stay alert on the shortened time limits because they do severely impose on your rights.
Please be aware that if you plan on signing the ECA agreement and waiver, you must be represented by an attorney or the Veteran’s Service Organization (VSO) in order to participate.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.