There has been a rapid increase in the number of claims submitted to the VA for veterans disability benefits. In an effort to cope with this influx of claims, the VA introduced the Fully Developed Claim process as a way to fast track claims. As well as there being a rapid increase in the number o claims, many of the claims were considerably more complex as in the past.
What exactly is a “Fully Developed Claim?”
The FDC process helps those applying for VA disability benefits get the claim through the system faster than they would be otherwise; to take advantage of the process the claim must be complete and solid. When the claimant has included everything that is expected and only requires minimal assistance from the VA, the claim can be processed quickly. The information that the applicant is expected to provide includes all private and government treatment records.
How does FDC compare to a regular application?
When applying for VA disability benefits outside the “fast track” method, the onus for gathering the documentation and evidence to validate the claim is with the VA. When an applicant takes advantage of the FDC method, the onus for providing all supporting information lies with him or her.
A typical standard claim involves the VA; it becomes responsible for getting information from all the relevant agencies and others as long as you authorize it. This process is estimated to take a full 175 days, needless to say, without VA involvement; the processing time will be that much quicker.
It makes a great deal of sense to use the FDC process if possible, the processing time can easily be cut by half which in real terms means you can see benefits in four months rather than eight. This process for applying for VA disability benefits does not apply if you have to appeal, it is at this time that you should seriously consider getting legal assistance.
If you are applying for VA disability benefits you now have two ways in which you can go about it. If you cannot take advantage of the FDC process you should consider legal assistance to help prepare your submission. You are invited to contact Jackson & MacNichol, Attorneys at Law.