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By Ken Cruickshank
Veterans Services Officer for Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency 

Veteran's Corner - Speeding up Your CLAIM

 


Want to speed up the processing of your claim? The VA has implemented the Fully Developed Claims (FDC) Process, which has significantly decreased the time it takes to process these claims. On average, it only takes about four months now.

If you’ve been treated for a medical condition exclusively through the VA Healthcare System, regardless of discharge date, you can file your claim under the FDC process. If you received private medical care, you need to submit copies of your medical records at the time that you file. The FDC form requires your acknowledgment that you’re submitting all records to support your claim. If the VA needs to request anything further, the claim will not qualify under the FDC process.

Our office will assist veterans in completing the FDC forms and submit them to the VA on their behalf. I want to stress that in order to use this claims process, the VA must not require any further development other than the possibility of ordering a Compensation and Pension exam on your behalf.

Also, if a veteran files a claim under the FDC process and comes into our office (or talks to the VA directly) to add to the original claim, the claim will no longer qualify under the FDC program and will revert to the traditional claims process, thereby extending the VA’s timeline.

Should you have any questions or wish to complete a claim for benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs, feel free to contact our office and let us assist you.

Ken Cruickshank, the Veterans Services Officer for Tulare County, is a retired Navy Master Chief Petty Officer. Contact him at the Veterans Services Office at 3350 W. Mineral King Ave., Visalia; by phone at (559) 713-2880; or by email at KCruicks@tularehhsa.org

 

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