Can an Attorney Expedite My Veteran Disability Claim?

While some attorneys may mislead you by suggesting they can make the Veterans disability claims process go faster, that is not true. An attorney cannot expedite your claim.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) currently takes about 4-8 months to issue a decision on a Veteran’s disability application. The turnaround time depends on how many applications they are processing, since they review applications on a first-come, first-serve basis. For many Veterans, this waiting period is highly detrimental because they cannot be self-supporting in the interim and may not have a civilian support system to assist.

The VA’s solution to this dilemma is priority processing for Veterans in high-risk scenarios who need disability payments to begin quickly in order to avoid substantial negative consequences like an eviction. Veterans can request priority processing by completing VA Form 20-10207.

Priority Processing and Veterans Disability Claims

Not every Veteran is entitled to priority processing. Instead, the VA reserves priority processing for those Veterans with immediate needs such as extreme financial hardship, terminal illness, or ALS. Other eligible applicants include Veterans:

  • With a service-connected disability that is rated as 50 percent or more disabling
  • Whose service-connected disability renders them unable to work
  • Who have received the Medal of Honor or Purple Heart
  • Are former prisoners of war
  • Who are aged 85 or older

When a Veteran believes that their service-connected disability makes them eligible for priority processing, they can submit a three-page application, along with supporting evidence. If the VA approves the application, they will place their disability application in Priority Group 1. Approving the priority processing claim does not automatically approve the disability claim—it expedites the review process.

VA Form 20-10207 and Supporting Evidence

The type of supporting evidence a Veteran needs for his or her priority processing claim depends on the reasons for request. If the request is based on awards, having been a POW, or age, then the supporting evidence needs to confirm those claims. If it is based on a physical condition, such as ALS, a service-connected disability that is greater than 50% or renders the Veteran unable to work, he or she needs to provide evidence to support that claim.

Many priority processing requests are due to financial hardship, which requires extra documentation and support. Evidence of financial hardship could include eviction or foreclosure notices, past due notices, or evidence that the Veteran has bills in the collection process.

Once the VA receives the application for priority processing, they will review the claim, gather and review any evidence they need, and provide a decision. If they determine a Veteran is eligible for priority processing, they could have a decision for him or her within a few weeks or months. It is difficult to estimate the exact time since it depends on the number of total priority applications.

Filing Form 20-10207 is what Veterans can do to expedite their disability claim. An attorney cannot pull any other strings to make the process go more quickly.

How Attorneys Can Help With Disability Claims

However, that does not mean an attorney cannot help a claim run more smoothly. VA-accredited attorneys are familiar with the claim process and can review supporting materials. By ensuring that a Veteran’s forms are complete and there is evidence to substantiate the claims, an attorney can reduce the likelihood that the VA will reject a claim or ask for more evidence.

That is true for Form 20-10207, as well. These forms are three-page applications, which you can mail to the VA or complete online. We have insight on how you can fill out the form and get the best chance of priority processing. So, while an attorney cannot expedite your Veteran disability claim, they can take steps to reduce headaches and mistakes that might delay approval even further. Please call us, the largest Veterans Law Firm in the country!

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