How Do I Apply for Disability Compensation on Behalf of the Veteran that I Care For?

The veteran in question must apply for compensation themselves. It is not something that comes automatically. If they have not been officially discharged then there would have to apply for the I.D.E.S process. For those unfamiliar, this is an internal process that essentially combines the military retirement board process and the VA claims process.

However, if they are no longer enlisted in the military, your next bet is to file a claim at the nearest VA regional office. You can locate any one of these offices across the country, so no matter what state you live in there should be one near you.

Moreover, when you are filing for a claim, you should consider requesting assistance from a veteran service officer. They will help you when it comes to filing the necessary paperwork and begin updating you on the status of your claim. You should also consider filing a Fully Developed Claim (FDC) using VA Form 526-EZ. This will provide the rep in question with all the necessary information needed to research and make a final decision on the claim.

What Documents Do I Need When Meeting a VA Claims Representative?

It is recommended that you bring with you copies of their military records, especially their discharge documents. This is important because they will help to prove that he or she left the service on good terms. You should also make sure that you bring along any prudent medical records and try to organize them by facility and ailment. This will help make it easier for the rep to find the relevant information faster.

Moreover, if you are unable to find the relevant records, then simply write down the dates of treatment and address for each clinic or hospital that they have attended so that the rep can outreach for these records themselves.

Make sure to bring along any legal files such as a power of attorney, marriage or divorce papers, and birth certificates for their dependents as well. This is crucial because if it turns out that they have a family to support or a 30% or higher disability rating, it would mean that they are entitled to an extra amount of compensation.

What Happens Once I’ve Filed a Claim?

The claim process tends to vary from case to case, depending on the time you filed the claim. It could be that the veteran in question may be wounded but is still on active duty. Or, perhaps they have just been recently discharged or have already been a civilian for some time now.

Furthermore, even if you open a claim and receive a decision the day the veteran is discharged, you may still have to continue with the process of payments. This is in reference to any educational or vocational rehabilitation that is needed, even after the veteran was discharged.

In most cases, the VA representative will supervise the paperwork you submit and schedule any necessary exams to make a final decision on the claim. After a decision is made, another team must contact the U.S. Treasury to officiate the claim and authorize the payment.

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