On Sept. 7, as part of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ continued efforts to improve timeliness of services for Veterans and their families, VA unveiled the Decision Ready Claims initiative, a disability claims submission option with accredited Veterans Service Organizations that promises to deliver faster claims decisions to veterans and their families.
“The DRC initiative is a collaborative effort between VA and VSOs to help veterans receive faster decisions on disability claims,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. “VA works closely with participating VSOs to make sure they are properly trained in this new process and given the tools they need to participate successfully in the program on behalf of the veterans they serve.”
Veterans who choose to submit their claim under DRC can expect to receive a decision within 30 days from the time VA receives the claim. VSOs will ensure all supporting evidence — such as medical exams, military service records, etc. — is included with the claim submission. This advance preparation by the VSOs allows claims to be assigned immediately to claims processors for a quick decision.
DRC was first implemented May 1, 2017, at the St. Paul, Minn., Regional Office, and is now available at all VA regional offices. While DRC is currently limited to claims for increased compensation (commonly known as claims for increase), and requires veterans to work with VSOs, VA’s goal is to expand the types of claims accepted under the initiative and allow veterans other ways to submit their claim under DRC.
DRC is another key step in aggressively modernizing VA’s benefits delivery to veterans in a fully digital operating environment. With electronic claims processing as a foundation, VA’s innovation will improve service to Veterans, their families, and survivors.