Get Your VA Disability Benefits Faster with These 5 Tips
If you served in the military and became disabled doing so, you are entitled to benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Dealing with that government agency may seem like a daunting task. At least 52% of veterans who were injured severely while serving report that they do not think the VA is as helpful as it should be. There are things you can do to make the process easier, from understanding the military disability calculator system to getting help with your disability claim.
- Reach out for help. A lot of veterans do not realize how much help there is available to get them the disability benefits they need and serve. The key is to ask for the help and know where to look. The local VA office should have counselors who can assist with the veterans disability claims process. There are also veterans service organizations (VSOs). There are also lawyers who can help with the process. Vet centers can help you understand the military disability calculator system and work through the process.
- Put you claim number on every piece of paper in your application. Some people make a mistake by putting their VA benefit claim number on only the envelope and not on their application documents. This is unfortunate and causes a lot of delays. What you need to do is put it on all of the pages of your application and any supporting documentation you send in. This way, if any of it becomes separated from the other materials, it can be reunited with the rest of your file. This also helps make sure your application gets to the right place in a faster fashion.
- Do not skip questions on the forms. If you come to a question whose answer you do not know or you do not think is something that applies to you, if you answer those with a “not applicable” or “unknown,” you will save some time. Often when the people at the VA see a lot of empty answers, they will send the form back to you and ask for additional information. That takes time and delays them from applying the veterans disability calculator to your situation. If you have a situation that takes more space to explain, you should write all of that on a separate piece of paper and attach that to your application.
- Do not include information that is not related to your claim. Sometimes when people are filling out claim applications like the one for VA disabilities, they think they need to have a long application and as a consequence, they put a ton of information in that is not relevant to their claim. This makes it harder for the people who are evaluating your claim and are the ones who will use the military disability calculator to determine your benefits to get the pertinent information. You want to include all of the materials and documents and information that they need to evaluate your claim but information that not about that can be left out.
- Stay in contact with the VA. Despite what many people think, the workers at the VA want to help veterans. They really do work hard to help veterans. If you move or your phone number changes or you undergo any other big life changes, they will not know about them unless you tell them. If they could read your mind, you would not have to fill out applications. There are a lot of factors that go into determining veterans disability ratings so you need to keep the staff at the VA up to date on your situation. If you have to deal with more than one department within the VA, you need to inform them both if you have changes. They do not always share information as well as they should so you need to make sure everyone you need to deal with has the information they need.
Many veterans feel alone when they are working through this process. The way the military disability calculator works can be confusing. The process can be long. Reach out and get help. It is available and you are not alone.