One thing I try to do when talking to all of our new clients is to refrain from getting emotional. This isn’t always easy. It is especially difficult when A Veteran tells me that someone gave them false information.
One of these situations occurred a few months ago. The Veteran I was speaking to served in Desert Storm, and was quite pleasant. He told me he only had one claim pending for his shoulder. After talking to him in more detail, he stated that he wanted to pursue PTSD, several GWI issues, his back as well as his knees. I asked him why he hadn’t filed for those yet, and his response really upset me. He said that a volunteer at a service organization told him not to….that it would slow his claim down. I responded by saying “You must be kidding!” I quickly assured the Veteran that my anger was not directed towards him, but rather the false information someone gave him.
This Veteran had a total of six claims he wanted to pursue. Let’s be generous and assume each one would take two years to get approved, that would be a total of 12 years. Further, what if the shoulder claim isn’t valid? But this Vet meets the requirements for PTSD at 50%. If he waits two years to file his PTSD claim, then that is two years of back pay or compensation that he won’t receive. At the current time, 50% is about $822.15 per month is a Veteran is without dependents. That equals more than $19,000 in back pay or compensation that you won’t receive. If that same Veteran was rated at 70%, and had a dependent spouse and child, the back pay would be more than $36,000…we’re getting into new Dodge Durango territory now.
So, will filing multiple claims slow your case down…yes! Am I really contradicting myself in my own blog? Not quite. What we recommend is filing all of your claims when you initially file. This way the VA will make multiple decisions at or near the same time. This is a clear advantage over waiting and filing multiple claims over time. What can-but not necessarily will-slow your case down is filing claims over time. Honestly though, the VA as a whole is so backed up, the difference isn’t that noticeable. If you find yourself in a situation where you have already filed claims, and realized there is something new you want to pursue, it is best to file it. We seldom advise Veterans to wait to file.
Overall, filing all at once is great, filing over time is ok, and waiting is bad. As always, there are exceptions to the rule. However, the information above pertains to most cases.
Between the false information circulating in the world, as well as depth of some cases, I am reminded of why so many Veterans turn to us for representation. If you are frustrated about your VA claim, or simply want answers to questions, give me a call for a free consultation. Our toll free number is 1-877-526-3457. Fill out this form if you’d rather I call you, and request a free copy of our Veterans Disability Book by clicking here.