As veterans know, the VA disability claim process can be lengthy and frustrating. It often takes multiple years to obtain a decision on disability benefits. The average VA claim may take anywhere from 2 to 5 years. However, there are instances where the VA will expedite a claim. The three allowable reasons to expedite a claim are as follows:
1. AGE OF THE VETERAN
Depending upon where your claim is pending, the age requirement is different. If you are filing an initial claim or have a claim pending before the Regional Office, your claim may be expedited if you are 85 years of age or older. If your claim is pending before the Board of Veterans' Appeals, your claim may be expedited if you are 75 years of age or older.
In order to receive expeditious treatment, you will need to submit a Motion to Advance your case, along with a copy of your driver's license, birth certificate or other government identification to the appropriate office.
2. TERMINAL ILLNESS
If you are suffering from a life-threatening illness, such as stage IV cancer, acute myelogenous leukemia, acute lymphocytic leukemia, heart failure, mesothelioma, etc. You need to submit a Motion to Advance your case to the appropriate office, along with a physician's note identifying your health conditon and prognosis.
3. EXTREME FINANCIAL HARDSHIP
If you are experiencing severe financial hardship and are waiting on a decision from the VA, you may qualify for expeditious treatment. You will need to complete the VA's Financial Status Report Form 5655, along with copies of corresponding evidence, such as print-outs of past due bills, bank statements, collection notices, eviction notices, etc. If the VA determines that the evidence you submitted is sufficient to show financial hardship, it will expedite your file.
If any of the aforementioned circumstances apply to you or a loved one and are in need of assistance, contact one of our VA Disability Attorneys today for a free consultation.
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