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Some timeless insight provided by NORTH IDAHO VETERAN SERVICES.
Article Courtesy of vintage VAWatchDog
"How To Track Your Claim"
"You can't. Forget about it. Seriously. Really. You can't track your claim.
Were you told that your claim is in the decision phase? Of course it is...EVERY claim is in the decision phase from the moment it comes in the door of that impregnable fortress the VA calls a Regional Office.
There is no system in place that allows you to view the status of your claim or any progress it may be making.
All of the places VA provides like IRIS, the toll free number, that Ebenefits site and so on don't work. Those things do not go to your Regional Office where your claims folder (C-File) is located, they go to "call centers".
Those are provided as distractions to keep you occupied while VA operates in nearly total chaos. They don't know where your folder is on a given day. They aren't going to take time to find it for you and tell you anything that's happening.
VA uses the rationale that if they opened up phone lines to veterans so that you could talk to them, you and 1,000,000 others would probably call and bitch about it every day.
Time taken to reassure you is time taken away from working on your claim.
If you have to know the status of your claim because you are in financial trouble, you have already made your first mistake.
VA is not responsible for your financial woes. VA does not approve benefits because you need the money. VA approves benefits only because you have a service connected condition that meets the criteria to be awarded a benefit.
There is nothing at all in VA disability law that tells the VA that they must consider that you haven't been able to pay for the new plasma screen TV so they should move your claim ahead of others.
The system is really very simple.
You file a claim. If you did it the smart way, you sent your claim in yourself and provided all the data VA needed. You mailed it using Certified Mail and Return Receipt Requested.
You got that little green postcard back so you know that your VA Regional Office got your claim. It made it into the mail room!
From the mail room the claim is triaged to the appropriate stations. It may go to compensation, education, home loans and so on.
It gets in line. The line is huge. There are 57 VA Regional Offices and there are over one million claims in the backlog. The VA receives more claims each day than it resolves. The backlog grows every day.
Your claim is in the line in the order it was received. You get no priority because you need the money...everybody needs the money.
Your claim may be headed to a section where 10 people are working. As each one closes a claims folder and sends out the award letter, he or she makes room for the next folder in that long line.
That's it. There's no mystery to it. Your claim is not tracked daily or weekly or even monthly. It's just sitting there in line waiting its turn on the desk of a rater.
That means you should plan your living expenses accordingly. Don't rely on VA money coming to you next month so you can make the mortgage payment. Plan and spend as if you will never get any VA money...you may not.
The MMWR isn't accurate. The numbers are an attempt to look good.
However...that isn't always a good indicator because of "brokering" claims to other Regional Offices. If your claim is way behind and your VARO is at max output, your claim may be at another VARO for processing there. Nobody will tell you about that or just how it works.
Be patient. Take a hobby like reading War and Peace in the original language.
Your claim will be done when it's done and no sooner."
eBenefits certainly is an improvement of previous methods of submission, but internally the DVA is still as chaotic as ever. Help with your VA claim is available from the independent "North Idaho Veteran Services".
All services FREE. Your claim, no joining clubs or having to sign any "power of attorney" to handle your claim. Questions encouraged as well as just talking about your Veteran concerns! Email me and we'll talk.
do NOT contact me with unsolicited services or offers