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Opening An Informal Claim


Recently I tried to open an Informal Claim via IRIS. First I requested more information on how to do it via the same IRIS system. The information that they sent me was somewhat general but certainly useful.

The following is the information that I received via IRIS:




This is in response to your inquiry dated December 15th 2008 regarding how to file an informal claim.

If you wish to submit an informal claim you may either call our toll free phone number listed below or submit an electronic inquiry. You will need to include the specific disability, symptoms associated with it and any treatment you've received. You will also need to be fully verified with the following information:

-veteran's claim number or SSN

-veteran's full name

-veteran's branch of service

-month and year of either veteran's entry into service or release from service.

We will then forward the information to your local VA Regional Office. Your informal claim will secure your date of claim. The Regional Office will send you correspondence via U.S. mail acknowledging your claim. Development of your claim will begin at that time.

The development stage of your claim is where we obtain information and gather evidence to substantiate your claim of disabilities that were incurred or aggravated during your service to our country. It would be in your best interest to submit any and all information to us when asked for and as soon as possible, even though we will try to obtain this information on your behalf.

Once your claim leaves the development stage it will then go to the rating board where we review your file and make a decision on service connection and disability percentages. We are unable to give you a timeline when they will review your file as we do not know their caseload. After a rating has been established, your file will go to the authorization department for verification and review. The claims process can be lengthy due to the many processes and the time we must allow for information to be sent to us from you or obtained by us on your behalf from outside sources.

Once you have been rated and granted a disability percentage (if that is what happens) you will be paid retroactively from the date of your claim for any benefits you may be entitled to. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work our way through the claims processing procedures. You will receive notification via US mail once your claim has been finalized. Your notification letter will explain our decision in detail.

Thank you for contacting us. If you have questions or need additional help with the information in our reply, please respond to this message or see our other contact information below.



But once I sent the request to file an informal claim (describing the claim, etc) they sent me a message acknowledge the receiving of such claim; but apparently they file a claim for me, no an informal one.

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Send a written letter via certified mail/return receipt. Don't depend on Iris.

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Send a written letter via certified mail/return receipt. Don't depend on Iris.

Completely agree with this and in my opinion, it is the best way short of taking/handcarrying to VARO to get it date-stamped. :D

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tk- If you got the notice that the VA has your claim then gather your evidence and just check the block on the VCAA letters that state that you have more evidence to provide. The R/O should not process your claim until you send back a VCAA notice that states you have all evidence turned in.

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pologuy, I kind of remember that (I did mark that option when I was building my case for gerd). That will make it for the purpose of gaining more time.

Oddly enough the rater did no mention any of the extra docs (medical records, etc) that I sent, and did not give a reason or code for the rating either.

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pologuy, I kind of remember that (I did mark that option when I was building my case for gerd). That will make it for the purpose of gaining more time.

Oddly enough the rater did no mention any of the extra docs (medical records, etc) that I sent, and did not give a reason or code for the rating either.

No, that's not odd- its pretty much standard practice. I not kidding you! I think that the first real chance that your claim will be rated accurately is maybe at the DRO stage, after that the VBA does a lot better.

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