The Veterans Administration (VA) is tasked with providing critical services to veterans. In particular, the VA pays out claims for veterans with disabilities. While the agency has been criticized over the years for some of its administrative flaws, it is generally one of the first lines of defense when it comes to helping veterans get the help they need. With this in mind, one of the most common ways in which people will come into contact with the VA is by filing a claim. In a perfect world, the VA would process claims quickly, giving veterans an idea of what they can expect to receive and when the check will come in the mail. This is not a perfect world, though, and claims can linger. So how does one go about checking the status of a claim?
Understanding typical and atypical claim processing times
Officially speaking, the VA claims that “most” claims will be processed within six months. It does so for multiple reasons. First, this is a rough approximation of the average wait time for most veterans. On top of that, the VA is acting like a restaurant with too many people on its seating list. It attempts to underpromise and overdeliver when it can. Does this mean that you will receive a claim sooner than that? That question ultimately depends on the complexity of your claim.
Assessing the likelihood of quick claim processing
When it comes to the VA, the more complex your claims happens to be, the longer you will wait for processing. Extremely complex claims can take up to a year while the VA performs an investigation to consider whether you will receive payment and just how you should receive. If your claim involves serious injuries, long hospital stays or some set of circumstances that complicates the VA’s involvement, then you can expect to wait. Only when your claim is extremely simple should you expect to hear back within a couple of months. Even though steps have been taken to clean up the VA and improve its service offerings, there is still a chance that you will fall by the wayside in dealing with an agency that is notorious for its red tape.
So what can you do if you’re stuck waiting?
The good news for those with pending claims is that the VA has taken some steps to make it easier to check the status of a claim. The first step is registering for an eBenefits Premium account with the VA. This can be done right on the VA’s website by accessing the benefits tab. Once a person has one of these fancy premium accounts, they can log into their account through the VA’s website, clicking on the “My Benefits” tab to see more information. There, individuals with a pending claim will see a very straightforward link to check the status of a pending claim. The VA does not give out too much information about pending claims, but you will be able to see whether it is in review. This can provide great peace of mind as you play the waiting game.