Belleville, Illinois — May 13, 2020 —Although the country is in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, veterans’ options for filing their VA disability appeals are providing more timely results in the VA disability compensation program, according to experts with Allsup Veterans Disability Appeal Services®.
“We are a little over one year into seeing how veterans’ new disability appeals options are serving the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and one of the benefits is seeing disability benefits decisions come through more quickly for veterans,” said Brett Buchanan, VA-accredited claims agent for Allsup.
May is also Military Appreciation Month, helping to raise awareness of the valuable services provided by the U.S. Armed Forces.
For veterans, this may seem to be an uncertain time in terms of filing for disability benefits, with federal government office closures and hearings being postponed. But the VA recently announced it was expanding virtual hearings, and the veterans disability appeals program is operating solidly with a teleworking workforce, Buchanan said.
“It’s actually a good time to file your VA appeal if you were recently denied benefits, you want to seek a higher rating, or you have questions about how the VA recently made a decision on your application,” Buchanan explained. “There has been no slowdown in appeals decisions, and we are seeing some decisions come more quickly, depending on veterans’ cases and their path through the appeals process.”
Buchanan said the VA appears to be handling disability compensation claims at a normal speed. Since the VA enacted changes to its appeals program in 2019, there are now three initial pathways for handling your veterans disability appeal. These options are higher-level review, supplemental claim, or appeals to the board – which can be confusing and pose a dilemma for veterans, Buchanan said.
“Deciding the route for your VA appeal can be a difficult decision, and that’s where a VA-accredited claims agent can make a difference,” Buchanan said.
In addition, he said, the VA began expanding work from home options with its employees about five years ago. This may be a contributing factor helping the VA to continue managing the disability appeals process without significant disruption from the coronavirus spread and resulting nationwide lockdowns.
“This is the best time to pursue your VA disability benefits, don’t delay your VA disability appeal simply because of the pandemic,” Buchanan added.
For more assistance with your veterans disability appeal, call Allsup Veterans Disability Appeal Services at (888) 372-1190.