1000w q951 New VA claims for surviving spouses and transitioning vets can be answered in 30 days

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Alexander A. Ventura II/Released)

By Jonathan Kaupanger

Two more types of claims have been added to the VA’s Decision Ready Claims (DRC) program. Now, surviving spouses can file for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation and transitioning service members can file pre-discharge claims before leaving the military.

With the DRC program, veterans can get a decision within 30 days from the time VA receives the claim. Veterans also are required to work with an accredited VSO to get all the required documents and exams pulled together prior to submitting the claim.

“These enhancements are another key step in modernizing VA’s benefits delivery to veterans to a fully digital operating environment,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. “With electronic claims processing as a foundation, VA’s innovation will improve services to veterans, their families and survivors.”

Here are the type of claims that can be submitted through the DRC Program now:

  • Direct Service Connection Claims: Claims for conditions that began during your military service or were caused by an event while serving.
  • Presumptive Service Connection claims: Claims for conditions that are presumed to have been caused by an event during you military service, even if there’s no specific evidence showing a connection between your condition and your military service in your service records. This includes conditions related to Agent Orange and chronic disabilities. Also, when tied to service during the Gulf War, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and functional gastrointestinal disorders.
  • Secondary Service Connection Claims: Claims for conditions that were caused or aggravated by a service-connected disability.
  • Increased Disability Claims: Claims for existing service-connected conditions that you have medical evidence to show have gotten worse.
  • Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) Claims: Claims for surviving spouses of veterans whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease or who was rated 100% disabled due to service-connected conditions (including entitlement to Individual Unemployability) for 10 years prior to their death.)
  • Pre-Discharge Claims: Claims for disability compensation filed by servicemembers who have less than 90 days remaining before their separation from military service.

Remember: to file a DRC, you need to have already filed a claim with VA and receive a rating decision from VA on that claim (this doesn’t include DIC or Pre-Discharge claims). You can go to the VA’s eligibility section for a full list of reasons that would remove your claim from the DRC Program.


Connect: @JonathanVets1 | Jonathan@ConnectingVets.com

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