Fax or Mail?

Discussion in 'How to Apply Questions' started by rts, May 18, 2017.

  1. rts

    rts Newbie

    Hello. I'm helping my mom (surviving spouse of Vet) apply for death pension and A&A benefits. They received our claim and are requesting additional information. I tried registering on the ebenefits website but when I entered her info, it said it wasn't in DEERS. I didn't know if I should be entering my deceased dad's info, however from what I've read on here, since he was discharged in in 1954, he's probably not in there anyways and some people on the forum said not to use it. I'm wondering if I should fax the paperwork to them (I get a confirmation of the transmission printed) or is it better to just mail it in? Thank you very much.
  2. Matt375

    Matt375 Jr. Member

    Right now you are better off mailing with a return receipt just for the paper trail of records. Faxing does work especially if the claim is already in and you are just sending them more information. The only reason I say mail is because sometimes the legibility of faxing is bad and then you cannot read it.
    rts and Kaylin like this.
  3. rts

    rts Newbie

    Thank you for your response. I did end up mailing it certified/return receipt.
    Kaylin likes this.
  4. Honor First

    Honor First Newbie

    I have an attorney handling my brothers A&A application. She filed the VA21P-527EZ along with with several other forms in support of the application. The attorrney received acknowledgement for the 527EZ, but not for her form designating her as the attorney, or the 0845 appointing me as the designated third party representative for my brother.

    The attorney then mailed, return receipt requested, all of the same material. The VA sent a letter directly to my brother's address at a senior care facility. My borther does not have the mental ability to deal with much of anything, but especially government bureaucracy. Luckily the receptionist held the mail until I came for a visit.

    Up until this very date the attorney hasn't received anything from the VA, so even the snail mail wasn't effective?

    A couple of more mailings came the senior facility requesting my brother to assist in getting his records from medical providers. The VA even had a "CC: and then the attorney's name," but they never sent anything to the attorney?

    Over a week ago I tried calling the 800 toll free VA information number. They confirmed my brother's file number matching his name, but they said there wasn't any record of him having an attorney, or any VA21-0845 appointing me as eligible to speak with the VA about my brother's application.

    I decided to try going to the local Georgia State Veterans Service Officer (VSO). He was great, and even saw me without an appointment. After I told him what was going on, he pulled up my brother's VA file information on his computer. He also confirmed very little documentation had shown being received by the VA. He then took all of the forms and sent faxed them to the VA Intake Center. The VSO recieves a receipt whenever he sends a fax, so you have proof the they got it.

    The VSO told me to give it about a week for the forms to catch up with the computer posting. I went back to the VSO yesterday, and he said the attorney form was finally acknowledged, because he was partially blocked in the system. I showed the VSO all of the canceled checks I had for my brother's medical care, and pharmacy prescriptions. He spent a considerable amount of time copying all of the numerous returned checks, bills, and paid receipts. He then consolidated the information and filled out a VA cover form for medical expenses. He even hand wrote my brother's name, social security, and VA File number on the top and bottom of each and every page.

    After the whole package was put together he faxed it, along with the 0845 form to the VA In Take Center. I now have a receipt for everything.

    I highly recommend visiting with your state's VSO, if you need help in filing information.
    Kaylin likes this.
  5. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    Thank you for sharing your personal story when it comes to sending correspondence to the VA, @Honor First . This is helpful! I have heard of some instances where mailing return receipt is all it takes to get everything to the VA in a timely manner but this is not always the case. I'm glad you followed up with your local VSO and that he was helpful. That also seems to be a mixed bag according to forum members - the helpfulness of the local VSO's.
  6. MichaelPitts

    MichaelPitts Newbie

    defintelly Fax...we are living in 21 century, and we need to educate this
  7. SickofVA

    SickofVA Newbie

    If you do not receive a timely response from the VA after you have submitted all required documents. contact your Senator's Office for help. Do not wait. The VA is required by law to respond within 30 days to a Senator's inquiry. This is the ONLY thing that worked to get A&A for my father.
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  8. VA Legal Team

    VA Legal Team Full Member

    I recommend never faxing an original claim for A&A. The VA requires an original version of discharge papers or a certified copy. Faxing the original application is a great way to get a letter from the VA asking for additional info: an original or certified copy of the discharge.

    However, once the VA has the appropriate discharge papers, I fax everything.

    ARNGUS Newbie

    Best way to determine if your mother is enrolled in DEERS is to ask if she has a dependent ID card (tan or red; DD Form 1173 or 1173-1). It's essentially used for commissary/exchange privileges and TRICARE medical coverage.

    Another way is for you or her to contact Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) via their toll-free number. Once you provide them with the deceased Veteran's information, they'll be able to determine if she's entitled to the above. (Doesn't sound like it, but wouldn't hurt to check.)

    No. Once the Veteran passes away, eBenefits will not recognize anything since it only pertains to Servicemembers and claims they submit electronically. Since your dad was discharged in 1954, is no longer alive, and (assuming) never bothered to set up an account with them, it cannot be used.

    From personal experience, my mother (surviving spouse of a deceased Military retiree) had issues filing for A&A through eBenefits. It failed due to website errors.

    I would highly advise against faxing any documentation to your Regional Benefit Office (RBO). Originally, my mom tried to provide them with supporting documentation with that method, but the representative over the phone stated it was illegible (couldn't read it).

    Your best bet is to mail everything certified. Don't bother with a return receipt unless you absolutely need one.

    As well, forget about shipping paperwork overnight. I sent everything Priority 2-Day on her behalf. They scanned it but left the claim as pending for roughly one month.

    Sad to say, the Intake Center will read claims in whatever order it is received. Just have to be patient.

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