After Submission of VA form 21-526EZ
After submitting your claim, you will receive confirmation from VA that they have started the review process. During this time, make sure to check for any correspondence from VA.
VA has a duty to assist you with evidence gathering in the development of your claim. This includes obtaining a copy of your military personnel file from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) as well as any VA Medical Center (VAMC) treatment records.
If VA needs additional information from you, they will contact you, so it’s important to monitor your mail for any correspondence which may be related to your claim. For example, if you receive private treatment and the records may be relevant to your claim, VA may ask you to sign a release form so they can retrieve those records and associate them with your claims file.
Veterans can track the status of their claim on their ebenefits account here.
The Compensation and Pension Exam
Depending on your claim, VA may request that you attend what’s called a “Compensation and Pension” examination, which is sometimes referred to as a VA examination.
These exams are conducted by a medical professional who is independent from the VA. The purpose of the exams is to establish whether the claimed disability is related to service and if so, establish a rating. If the claim is for an increased rating, the exam will assess whether the symptomology of the disability has worsened.
If you miss a scheduled exam without informing VA, it could result in the denial of your claim. Therefore, if you cannot make the scheduled exam for any reason, reach out to VA as soon as possible to reschedule, or request a different location for the exam.
How long will it take to get a decision from VA?
As of January 2023, VA reported that they were deciding initial claims within 103.5 days.
Once your claim has been decided, VA will issue what’s called a Rating Decision, which will be mailed to you within 7-10 business days of the decision. The Rating Decision explains the reasoning for VA’s decision on your claim(s).
If you have an eBenefits account, you will be notified that a decision has been issued.
In the Rating Decision, VA can make one of the following decisions:
- Grant all or some parts of the claim(s).
- Deny all or some parts of the claim(s).
- Defer the claim(s). A deferral means that VA is still gathering evidence and will issue a decision once this development has been completed. A deferral is NOT a denial.
If you believe your Rating Decision does not accurately reflect the severity of your disabilities, or if service connection for one or more of your disabilities was denied, fill out our contact form here.
Have you been meaning to file your claim but do not know where to start? Find out more.
Did you submit a claim, and are you waiting to hear back? Check the status of your claim.
Are you worried about your living situation while you wait for your claim to be processed? This page may help.
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