Should you ask the VA for help?


Before you begin putting together a claim for VA benefits, such as VA Aid and Attendance, you should ask some questions.

The answers to those questions will have a direct impact on whether your claim will be approved or denied. Unfortunately, many people do not ask these questions, and as a result, they won’t have the answers to them.

Assembling all of the documents, supporting evidence, and information required to file a successful VA claim for benefits can be a difficult, frustrating, and time-consuming process.

It can be especially challenging for older veteran families who lack experience locating documents and information that may be decades old. Many don’t even have an internet connection, and those who do may limit their online use to little more than email.

This makes tracking down everything needed for a VA claim seem like a hopeless task for many veteran families.

Part of the mission of the Department of Veterans Affairs is to help veteran families locate certain documents if the family can alert VA to the existence of such documents. This so-called “duty to assist” is supposed to fill the gap when the veteran or widow is having difficulty producing required documents.

Questions You should ask

Below is a link to a short audio program where I address the following questions:

  1. How will I know when the VA’s duty to assist begins?
  2. The VA will not help me if I can’t produce an original or certified copy of the veteran’s discharge papers. What happens in that case?
  3. How much assistance will the VA provide?
  4. What must I continue to be responsible for doing?
  5. What happens if VA is unsuccessful in locating my information?
  6. How reliable is VA assistance?
  7. Claims requiring VA assistance take a year or two for a decision. Am I willing to wait that long, or would I prefer to file a claim that would be evaluated in an average of about 2 – 4 months?

Once you have answers to these questions, you’ll be able to decide which of the several alternative ways to file for benefits is best for you.

Hope this is helpful to you!

If you’re interested to discover more information, you can check out our article on the Fully Developed Claim system. 

Also, if you have any questions that you’d like answered, feel free to contact us. 

We would be happy to help you in any way we can. We look forward to talking to you!

Have a great day!

-Davis Nelson

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