Expedite Your VA Disability Benefits Claim Due To Financial Hardship
Are you facing financial difficulties while awaiting a decision on your VA disability claim appeal? Do other factors like illness or advanced age also render the standard processing time for disability claims too lengthy to endure?
There are certain methods to expedite the process of reaching a decision and obtaining benefit payments. Today, this article will walk you through the procedures to speed up your VA disability claim.
How Veterans Can Speed Up Their VA Disability Benefits Claim Process?
VA Disability claims often require multiple years to complete, causing significant financial difficulties for veterans and their families. However, there are ways to expedite the claim determination process. If you can provide evidence that you satisfy any of the subsequent criteria, you might be able to hasten the processing of your claim:
- Being homeless;
- Experiencing financial hardship;
- Having been a former POW or received awards;
- Facing specific illnesses; or
- Being of advanced age.
What Qualifies As Homelessness To Expedite Your VA Claim?
Homelessness qualifies for faster claim processing. "Homelessness" for these purposes is defined as lacking a fixed, regular, and enough nighttime residence; having a primary nighttime residence that isn't designed for or ordinarily used as common sleeping accommodations for human beings (like abandoned buildings, train stations, airport, or camping ground); or residence in a supervised privately or publicly operated shelter designated to offer temporary living arrangements.
What Is The Illness Eligibility?
There are two illness-related qualifications that can make a veteran eligible for accelerated claim processing:
- Severe injury or illness stemming from military operations and/or
- A terminal illness
A veteran who possesses "a disability arising from a military operation that is likely to lead to discharge from military service" is qualified for expediting disability claims.
A terminal illness is a lasting condition from which recovery is improbable. You might also be eligible for accelerated handling of your disability claim if you have a terminal illness. Conditions include advanced cancer, dementia, neurological disorders, lung disease like Parkinson's, or progressive heart disease.
To seek accelerated processing of your VA claim, you will need an officially documented diagnosis and the present status of your illness to present to the VA. Additionally, medical evidence related to hospice care can be provided as supplementary supporting documentation.
How Veterans Get An Expedited VA Disability Determination?
Veterans must fill out the following forms to expedite their VA disability claims:
Complete VA Form 20-10207
To request expedited processing of your claim, veterans who fulfill the requirements for any of the categories mentioned above must submit a Priority Processing Request using VA Form 20-10207. This five-page form includes instructions for applying to accelerate your claim.
Complete VA Form 10-10HS
To initiate a request grounded in financial hardship, the veteran must complete VA Form 10-10HS. This straightforward form inquiries about the cause of the financial hardship (including instances like lowered household income, out-of-pocket medical expenses, a rise in the number of dependents, or relocation to a more expensive living area). Additionally, attach supporting documents like an eviction notice etc.
Submit VA Form 21-4142 Or 21-4142a
Requests founded on illness (as elaborated earlier) will necessitate military discharge records or medical records that validate the military operation-related injury/illness or a terminal illness from other sources. You must complete and submit VA Form 21-4142 or 21-4142a to request the VA to acquire your private medical records.
For requests based on your classification as a former POW, Medal of Honor, or Purple Heart recipient, it's important to enclose DD Form 214 or other records validating this designation.
Waiting for initial disability decisions or appeal outcomes can feel prolonged, yet certain scenarios might speed up the process. If you qualify for any of the above grounds for expedited claims, contact a local VSO in your area for help with your request.