Although completing the standard form (VA form 21-526) is preferable to initiate a disability claim, an email or handwritten note has sufficed to get the ball rolling for some veterans. This was the case to not only start a claim but to appeal a denied claim as well.
However, these informal means of filing for disability may no longer be available if the agency implements some proposed changes. Efforts are being made to require that all applicants complete a standard form, whether pursuing disability benefits or appealing a claim that has been denied. But many veterans groups are fighting back, with some asserting it attacks the veteran-friendly claims process, according to an AP report.
One issue being raised is that whenever the claim is initiated, if eventually approved, the benefits available will go back to that date. This could lead to months or years (depending on how long the process takes) of back payments. That’s because the informal process doesn’t require supporting evidence right away. But with a standard form, the veteran may have to submit supporting evidence with the application. So the approval date might not be until the form is considered by the VA to have been properly completed.
Another issue is the veterans not in a good spot to formally file for disability. For instance, those who are homeless or don’t have the physical/mental means of completing a standard form.
The VA would like to improve this system by also providing incentives to applicants who choose to file online. As of yet, no final ruling has been made. But of course, one way to ensure the disability claims process is handled correctly is by contacting an attorney who handles these cases. Call the Law Offices of Veterans Help Group today. Call 855-855-8992 or contact us online.