Seeking advice: VA requests VCAA notice response. What does it mean?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by gardener, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. gardener

    gardener Newbie

    After contacting my senator to inquire about my mom's application (sent in July 2012), I received a letter from the VA asking for two things. One is a statement verifying that my mother and father continuously lived together from their marriage until his death (to be sent in on a Form 21-4138). The second thing they asked for (not required, but strongly encouraged) is a "Veteran Claims Assistance Act" (VCAA) Notice. At the bottom of the VCAA form are two boxes and you need to check one. By checking the first box you are saying "I have sent in all information and evidence, so please decide the claim as soon as possible." By checking the second box you are saying "I will send more information or evidence. VA should wait the full 30 days from the date of the letter they sent before deciding the claim". It seems like just a formality, but it makes me worried. I am worried because I have been thinking that I may need to update the physician's statement sent in with the original application, but perhaps this will prevent me from doing that. The physician's statement with the original claim is not very strongly worded and may not make it seem like she qualifies for assistance. However, her need for help with ADL is so much more now, that it would be very clear that she need assistance if I sent in a current physician's statement. But if I tried to update it now, it seems like we'd wait forever to get a decision. Should I just provide the statement about my parents being continuously married and living together along with the box checked on the VCAA that says "decide claim now"? If they denied the claim, could I still, at that point, send in a updated physician's statement? I haven't heard anyone mention this VCAA before, so I don't know what to make of it.

  2. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    On the VCAA form, mark yes. You have submitted all information for them to make a determination. If it turns out that you have to do an updated Phy's eval, you can do that with a 21-4138, but what they are looking to confirm is that there is nothing left to submit for this to be a complete claim for consideration.

    Yes, on the statement about living together, and if any birth certificates show their names as Mother and Father to you or other siblings they can often help to establish on this topic.

    Good luck, and let us know how it all goes.

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