VA Compensation Course 101
According to Mr. Cruickshank, he recommends the DRO process, which sees DROs based at regional VA offices conducting a review of all the available evidence of record, “as well as any new evidence that may be available, and will render a new decision in your claim for service connection.
“In the event that you disagree with the decision made by the DRO, you can use the traditional appeal process,” Mr. Cruickshank writes.
Fully Developed Claim
The Fully Developed Claim (FDC) process is intended to be a fast track way to get VA disability benefits processed. From 2008 - 2012, the VA experienced a 50% increase in the number of claims submitted, and those incoming claims were more complex – containing 19% more medical conditions. The FDC was first tested as a pilot program to address the increasing delays in processing claims.
What is a Fully Developed Claim
As the VA works to reduce the backlog of claims, the FDC emerged as a way to get claims that are in solid order pushed through the system faster. The FDC concept refers to the fact that VA disability benefits claims are considered “fully developed” when the veteran has no more evidence to submit and the only assistance required from the VA is to secure federal records and order any medical examinations.
The applicant submits an official FDC claim form, and submits all available supporting evidence, like private treatment records and notice of Federal treatment records, to the VA at the time they first file a formal claim; the veteran also certifies they have no more evidence to submit.
The VA states that it has provided priority channels for processing claims submitted in accordance with the FDC procedures. According to the VA, “The Fully Developed Claims (FDC) Program is the fastest way of getting your compensation or pension claim processed. Participation in the FDC Program allows for faster claims processing while preserving great quality of service and your right to appeal a decision.”