If you are eligible for U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation, you may qualify for what the VA calls a fully developed disability claim.
What are the requirements for submitting this kind of claim?
Qualifications for the claim
You qualify to submit a fully developed disability claim for compensation if you fulfill two requirements:
- You have a condition caused or made worse by your active-duty service
- You have a condition caused or made worse by a service-connected disability already known to the VA
Application and evidence
You must complete and submit the Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits form (V Form 21-526EZ) along with any supporting documents. These include private medical records, any medical records concerning your condition while serving in the military and military personnel records that relate to the condition. You can coordinate any medical exams you might need with the VA. Once you have all your documents, you must certify that there is no further evidence the VA might require in order to approve your claim.
Reconstruction of records
Be aware that a 1973 fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis destroyed the personnel records of Army and Air Force veterans discharged during certain periods of time. If you are among them, you can reconstruct your records if you wish to file a fully developed disability claim for certain issues. These include a temporary 100% disability rating, PTSD, specially adapted housing and more.
Suggestion for assistance
The VA believes that the Fully Developed Disability Claims program enables veterans to receive a faster decision when applying for benefits. The VA also suggests that veterans seek assistance from an attorney when preparing to submit a claim.