In an effort to speed up the time in which a claimant receives his or her settlement, the Expedited Claims Adjudication (ECA) Initiative drastically reduces deadlines across the board. In essence, by becoming an ECA participant, claimants are signing away their due process rights.
It seems like a small price to pay if you cannot survive without the money you are waiting on from your disability claim, but limiting your time in which you can file an appeal is not always the most effective way to handle a denied claim. It is for this reason that if you are planning on signing the ECA application and waiver, you must be represented by an attorney or the Veteran’s Service Organization (VSO) in order to participate.
Under normal Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) procedures, a claimant can file a Notice of Disagreement (NOD) up to a year following an adverse decision on his or her claim. ECA participants, however, are limited to 60 days in which to file.
Along these same lines, VA standard operating procedures permit a claimant 60 days or the remainder of the one year period mentioned above, whichever is longer, to file a substantive appeal once a Statement of the Case has been mailed to the claimant. ECA participants, on the other hand, agree to waive this longer period of time. Under the ECA initiative, participants are given 30 days in which to file their substantive appeal from the date of mailing of the Statement of the Case.
Time lines this severely reduced can only do harm to those participating in the program. Being rushed with such important information can only lead to information being left out, or missing deadlines.
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.