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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims

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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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snow1wave

Intent to file

Question

So Im trying to get all my claims in before next month, and 3 claims that I made days prior to my original claim is in intent to file status. How do I get it out of intent to file, and into open claims. Only 3 of my claims are in open status, while the other 4 are in intent to file. 

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I'm not sure I understand what you are asking as you stated " 3 claims that I made days prior to my original claim is in intent to file status".

The 3 claims that you made prior to your original claim are the original claim, or maybe I misunderstand your question. Nevertheless, here is how the claims process works. But first, know that each Veteran only gets one "original claim", all subsequent claims are just that, subsequent claims.

So, the first claim you submit is the original claim. If submitted on an EZ form it is a Fully Developed Claim (FDC), assuming all med evidence and secondary forms were submitted at the same time. The second claim you filed automatically removed your claims from FDC. No big deal, it will just take a little extra time to process your claim. If the second claim is submitted while the original claim is still open it is added to your original claim, but has a different contention date. 

An example might clarify things a bit. Suppose I submit an original claim for left knee on January 1. Then on January 10 I submit another claim for right elbow. On February 11, I submit a third claim and the original claim is still open. The VA will add the January 10 claim to the original claim with a contention of January 10, and the February 11 claim is also added to the original claim with a contention date of February 11. Assuming all three claims are granted you would have qualifying disabilities with effective dates of January 1, January 10, and February 11. The January 1 and January 10 disabilities would be payable from February 1, and the February 11 disability would be payable from March 1. *NOTE: If you got out of the service within one year of filing your claim then every disability would have a qualifying disability date from your first day of return to civilian life.

Here is where the claims process can get muddied. Suppose your original claim filed January 1 was for lower back pain, and your February 11 claim was for pain radiating down the left leg. The VA may have already scheduled an exam for the lower back pain from January 1, but now they have to recall the med exam to insert what is probably a secondary issue of pain radiating down the left leg caused by the problem in your back. This slows down the process, or might result in you having to report for an additional exam.

To answer the last part of your question of why the second claim(s) have not been added to the original claim. There are several possibilities, but the most likely is this. When the VA processed your original claim they reviewed your evidence and probably submitted the claim for medical evaluation and automatically placed a thirty to sixty day suspense date on it. This means they will not look at your claim again until that time has passed. When they do look at your claim again, they will see the other claims submitted and determine what steps to take next. Do they need to recall the previous med exams, issue new med exams, or grant or deny outright due to evidence on file or in your service treatment records. 

It is at this point they will change the new intent to file issues to the appropriate status. All in all, it is best to get all your ducks in a row and submit everything at one time, but that isn't always possible. You haven't done anything wrong, it just might take a little extra time to sort it all out. 

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