If you are planning to apply for VA disability benefits, you should first determine the documents you need to successfully complete the process and the methods available to you.
The United States Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) encourages potential disability compensation applicants to complete the process online and submit as much evidence as possible with the initial claim. This prevents delays and allows the department to begin determining eligibility and potential monthly disability compensation.
If you are wondering how to apply for VA disability compensation, it is important to first choose your application method. You can use the VA website to submit your application, visit a local office or you can mail or fax the claim in to the department. Keep in mind that faxing or mailing may lengthen the processing time needed for your claim. You can also receive professional help with veterans disability claims by seeking the assistance of an experienced attorney, Veterans Service Officer (VSO) or another claims agent. To find out more about the potential methods for application, how to seek assistance with your claim and the documents you will need to file, read through the following sections.
Along with a VA disability application, the Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits, you must submit documents that provide evidence of your eligibility. To meet eligibility for disability compensation, you must have served in the armed forces and you must currently have a disability that was directly related to your service. Therefore, you must provide the proper proof that confirms both your disability and your service. Whether you apply online, by fax, by mail or in person, the VA asks for you to provide the following with your application:
When filing a VA disability claim, you may also find that you qualify as one of the “special circumstances” listed on the application. If one of these circumstances applies to you, you may be required to submit additional documentation. The evidence you may be required to submit could include the following:
If you want to apply for VA disability quickly, but do not have any documentation or evidence available, you can still complete and submit the application to the VA. The department needs enough medical and service information to investigate the claim for you and potentially pull your records for review. Keep in mind, without providing evidence to the VA, your VA disability claim status may be pending for a longer period of time. If you have access to any records and documentation, you should submit it with your claim if possible.
If you are submitting a regular VA disability application, you are not required to seek representation or assistance. However, you may choose to ask for help with the application process from an accredited attorney, VSO or claims agent. Finding help from a professional can be helpful, especially if you qualify for special monthly compensation from the VA.
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If you want help filing a VA disability application, ensure that the professional you seek assistance from is accredited in VA benefits. You can also call the VA at 1-800-827-1000 or visit your local VA office for assistance with filing a claim.
Most potential beneficiaries apply for VA disability online, since it is simple and convenient. To complete the application process, you must:
If you are able to upload documentation along with your VA disability application online, you have filed a Fully Developed Claim (FDC). These types of claims are generally processed faster because VA representatives have most of the information they need to determine eligibility. If you do not upload any evidence when filing a disability VA claim, the VA representative may need to contact you for more information and investigate your service history and condition further. This can delay your approval process.
If you are wondering how to apply for VA disability by mail or fax, keep in mind that you must first download and print the application from the VA website. You can also stop by a local VA office to obtain a copy of this form. Once you have completed the form, gather additional documentation and evidence and mail all items to:
Department of Veterans Affairs
Claims Intake Center
PO Box 4444
Janesville, WI 53547-4444
If you want to file a VA disability claim by fax, you must be able to scan these evidential documents to fax along with your application. These can be faxed to 844-531-7818 inside the United States or 248-524-4260 outside of the U.S.
To file veterans disability claims in person, you must stop by a local VA office. You should visit the office during regular business hours and come prepared with your completed application and necessary documentation. However, if you need assistance completing the application, a VA representative can help you during your visit.
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