Enhancements to the VA Decision Ready Claims Program

Posted in Uncategorized on January 25, 2018

It’s no secret the VA faces heavy criticism with its backlog of claims. On average, a Fully Developed Claim takes 120 days to process – and that’s often just the beginning. In response to mounting pressure, the VA created the VA Decision Ready Claims Program which promises a disability rating in 30 days when working with an accredited Veterans Service Organization.Enhancements to the VA Decision Ready Claims Program

Learn more about Decision Ready Claims and recent expansions that allow more people to use the program to make more types of claims.

Enhancements and Expansions Improve VA Decision Ready Claims Program

The Decision Ready Claims (DRC) Program allows veterans to submit VA compensation claims that are decision-ready, so that veterans can have their claim processed as quickly as possible – often in 30 days or less when working with an accredited Veterans Service Organization (VSO).

As the VA seeks to make the disability claims process faster and more inclusive, changes to the DRC program expands the pool of eligible veterans, surviving spouses and service members. Changes also increase the type of compensation claims that can be completed through the program.

“These enhancements are another key step in modernizing VA’s benefits delivery to Veterans to a fully digital operating environment,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. “With electronic claims processing as a foundation, VA’s innovation will improve service to Veterans, their families and survivors.”

Eligible Compensation Claims

The changes allow for more types of claims to be filed with the DRC. While the VA is working to further expand the DRC program, the following types of claims can be filed currently:

  1. Dependency and Indemnity Compensation Claims: Claims for surviving spouses of Veterans whose death was caused by a service-related injury or disease or who was rated 100% disabled due to a service-connected condition for at least 10 years before his or her death.
  2. Direct Service Connection Claims: Claims for conditions that began during military service or were caused by an event during service.
  3. Increased Disability Claims: Claims for service-connected conditions that have been made worse over time.
  4. Pre-Discharge Claims: Claims for disability compensation for military members who have less than 90 days left before separating from the military.
  5. Presumption Service Connection Claims: Claims for conditions that may have been caused by an event during military service, even if military records do not show a direct link between service and that condition (i.e. exposure to Agent Orange).
  6. Secondary Service Connection Claims: Claims for conditions that were caused or made worse by a service-connected disability.

To be eligible to file a DRC, you must have previously filed a VA claim and received a rating decision from the VA. To file a DRC, gather all documents to support your claim and work with a VSO to submit the claim to the VA. All claims must go through your local VSO to be considered.

Written by Alissa Sauer

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