How Long Does A VA Disability Claim Take?

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    How Long Does A VA Disability Claim Take?

    As a veteran with a disability related to your military service, you may be eligible for disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The benefit you receive is a monthly tax-free payment.

    The complexity of your disability claims and the workload at the VA when you file affect the time a disability claim takes to process. The disability professionals at Liner Legal Disability Lawyers want to help you be successful by explaining the VA disability claim process and how long it may take to complete.

    VA Claim Process

    The VA claim process consists of the following steps once you apply online, by mail, or with the assistance of a VA-accredited lawyer from Liner Legal Disability Lawyers:

    1. Claim Received: The VA usually acknowledges receipt of your claim within seven to 14 days.
    2. Review: The VA assigns the claim to a representative who reviews it to determine what supporting evidence it requires. This portion of the process may take several weeks to complete.
    3. Evidence Gathering: The VA requests evidence from you, your doctors, and other sources. This phase of the claim process may take several months. Your disability lawyer at Liner Legal makes an effort to shorten how long the process takes by expediting the submission of evidence relevant to your claim by contacting doctors and other sources.
    4. Evidence Review: The VA reviews the evidence submitted on your behalf and may schedule a compensation and pension examination, commonly called a C&P exam, to evaluate your physical or mental health condition on which your claim for disability benefits is based.
    5. Claim Decision: The VA decides your claim based on the evidence and the exam results. They will either grant or deny your claim or ask for more proof.
    6. Disability Rating: The VA assigns a disability rating based on the severity of your physical or mental health condition and how it affects your ability to work. The rating ranges from 0% to 100%. A higher rating percentage generally results in more compensation than a lower one.
    7. File Returned: The VA returns the file to your local regional office for final processing.
    8. Notification: The VA notifies you in writing of its decision and the disability rating you received. The notice also includes information about how to challenge the decision.

    Delays may occur at any stage of the claim process. Sometimes, it’s caused by the volume system’s inability to handle the high volume of claims.

    How Long Does A VA Disability Claim Take?

    The average time to complete a VA disability claim is about 100 days, which can vary. The most common factors affecting how long it takes are the complexity of your claim and a backlog of claims at the VA caused by high volume. Some claims may take longer than others, especially if they involve multiple disabilities or require additional evidence medical evidence to support them.

    A common reason for a processing delay is the time it may take for healthcare providers to respond to VA requests for medical records. The claimant can delay the claim process by not keeping appointments for C&P exams or by not responding to requests they receive from the VA for additional information about the claim.

    Appealing A Denial Or Other Adverse Decision

    If you disagree with the VA’s decision about your claim, you have one year from being notified of it to challenge the decision. The VA has three review options available to claimants who disagree with its decision on a claim:

    1. Supplemental Evidence Claim: This option allows you to submit any new and relevant evidence that may not have been available when the VA made its decision. You can also ask for a new C&P exam. The VA will assign a different reviewer to look at your claim and make a decision based on all the evidence.
    2. Higher-Level or Direct Review: This option allows you to ask a senior reviewer to look at your claim and check for errors or mistakes. You cannot submit new evidence or request a new C&P exam with a higher-level review. The reviewer will only consider the evidence that was already in your file.
    3. Veterans Law Judge Review: This option allows you to appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, where a veterans law judge conducts a hearing and determines whether the decision made by the VA on your disability claim was correct.

    Each level of review takes time before you receive a determination. The average time for a higher-level or direct review is 365 days, according to the VA. It’s 550 days for a supplemental or evidentiary review. The longest wait time is for a veteran law judge’s review, which is 730 days.

    Contact Liner Legal For Help With A VA Disability Claim

    If you’re looking for an experienced disability lawyer to handle your VA disability claim, the place to start is with a free consultation at Liner Legal Disability Lawyers. Learn more about how Liner Legal can help you by contacting us today.