As we all know, the VA claims process can take a long time from the submission of an application to the payment of a benefit. Historically, the process has ranged from a few months to well over a year. If the claimant is found to be incompetent, one could tack on another six to eight months to the process.
Oftentimes, the claimant dies before ever seeing an award and with no hope of payment of benefits to the family. This begs us to ask, "Is there a way to speed the claim up?"
The answer is "Yes" in most cases. The VA now offers special processing called Fully Developed Claims (FDC.
So, how does this FDC process work and is it for everyone?
The VA is now requesting that all claims be submitted as fully developed on special forms:
21-526EZ for veterans disability compensation
21-527EZ for veterans pension
21-534EZ for surviving spouses and children
21-534EZ for accrued benefits for surviving spouses, children, and dependent parents of service connected veterans
In order for a claim to be processed as a FDC, it must contain all supporting forms and evidence, including any relevant medical evidence and/or records, all relevant marital information, discharge papers, etc.
If the claim is lacking any required documentation, the VA will bump the claim into regular processing, so one has nothing to lose by submitting a FDC.
All in all, the Fully Developed Claim process is the best way to submit a claim.