Is The VA Sleeping On Your Claim?
Dealing with Veterans Affairs (VA) disability claims can be a slow and frustrating process, but it's not the same at every office. With so many scandals coming to light, it's hard to know if you're dealing with an honest backlog, a simple paperwork mistake or a serious case of mismanagement. If you've gone half a year without an answer or have been denied despite your best attempt and preparing evidence, take a look at some claim system insight and ways a legal team can get you the compensation and care you deserve.
Checking For Delays
A simple call should give you an answer about your claim, as the VA system includes status updates about which office is handling your claim. Unfortunately, the information chain doesn't always work in your favor. Whether due to improper training, system error or simply the mood of the representative, it's not uncommon for veterans to get a "status unknown" message when tracking down their claim.
After calling, you need to contact a local claims processing office. These offices are normally connected to the major VA hospitals in your state, and are the first major point for claim consideration. These local processing offices report to the Regional Processing Offices (RPO), but due to high call volumes and a larger amount of public scrutiny, you'll only want to wait in line at the RPO if you're absolutely sure that your claim has left the local area.
Driving to a VA administrative building may seem like a good idea if you're not getting through the call center, but if you can't get a good answer at a local call center, your next target should be the VA Office of the Inspector General (OIG). This office handles multiple facets of VA performance, including response times for disability claims. If your claim has been in the system for more than a year, it's the specific job of OIG representatives to track down your claim no matter the situation.
Get A Lawyer On Your Side
If your claim has been lost, or if the OIG finds evidence of misconduct, contact a lawyer from a firm like Spesia & Ayers Attorneys At Law immediately. Although they can rectify the situation, it's better to consult a legal professional at the first time of professional misconduct just in case the situation becomes a lengthy legal challenge.
Time spent finding and working with a lawyer is time that you're without benefits, and although the backpay is nice, your quality of life may deteriorate and you may miss out on a lot of opportunities while waiting. A lawyer can begin investigating the evidence from the OIG and anything you've found on your own while the evidence is still fresh on the minds of OIG officials.
If your claim has been denied with or without evidence of misconduct, a lawyer can still be a huge help. As long as you know that your physical injury, mental condition or any other disability is related to military service, it's simply a matter of crafting a claim that clearly shows the connections.
Unless you have knowledge of injury law, the ability to quickly find and analyze other similar situations and other legal/investigative skills, you may end up in a loop of appeals and denials that can last decades. Instead, contact a law office and explain your situation to get connected with subject matter experts and their associated medical professionals who understand the claims system.