VA Claims Online

Reprinted from PN/Paraplegia News September 2013

VA working to get all claims processed faster.

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The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) isn’t just focused on getting old claims processed faster; it’s working to get new ones finished quicker, too.

A new online application from VA enables disability compensation claims to be processed faster in a more end-to-end electronic environment. The department urges veterans and Veterans Service Organization (VSO) representatives to make full use of its capabilities to receive speedier decisions and reduce the claims backlog.

The availability of the joint VA-Department of Defense web portal, eBenefits, marks a major milestone in VA’s transformation from paper claims records to a fully digital operating environment. It’s considered one of the keys to VA’s goal to eliminate the disability claims backlog by the end of 2015.

Instead of filling out and mailing paper forms to VA, veterans can now use eBenefits to enter claim information online using a step-by-step, interview-style application, with pre-populated data fields and drop-down menus similar to popular tax preparation software.

By filing electronically, any compensation benefits that are awarded will be effective back to the date the veteran started entering his or her claim information in eBenefits. From that initial claim establishment date, each veteran has up to a year to gather all necessary records and hit “submit” to preserve the original date of claim.

The system allows veterans to upload digital images of records and evidence to support their claims, bypassing the need to physically mail in personal records and wait for confirmation of receipt. 

Once logged into eBenefits, veterans can also choose to have an accredited VSO representative assist with their claim submission by filing an electronic power of attorney form.

In addition to filing claims online, registered eBenefits users can track their claim status and access information on a variety of other benefits like pension, education, healthcare, home loan eligibility, and vocational rehabilitation and employment programs.

VA will still accept claims in paper form, though processing may take longer than for an electronically-submitted claim.

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