Headshot of author Richard Allen SmithLast Thursday, the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) continued our monthly Twitter town hall series with an event focused on VA disability compensation exams (you can find more information about eligibility requirements for disability compensation here). Many Veterans may be confused about the process and why a disability exam may be required when a Veteran has already been receiving treatment for a given condition or injury.

Many Veterans who couldn’t participate in our Twitter town hall might have the same questions we addressed during our session. Below, you can check out a recap of our discussion which may answer some of your own questions.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter as well, if you don’t already.

Richard Allen Smith is a Web Communications Specialist for the Veterans Benefits Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Richard served on active duty in the United States Army from 2003-2008 and deployed to Afghanistan with 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division in 2007.

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Published on Feb. 8, 2013

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  1. Leonard Sapp February 25, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Filed a claim to add my wife as a dependent in Dec. 2011; the E-Benefits portal shows estimated date the claim was to be completed as Jan 28, 2013. We have submitted all the requested documentation requested by the VA. Now it still hasn’t been completed. It has been over 1 year and I don’t understand why it takes so long for something as simple as a dependent claim. However, I was told these types claims are almost at the bottom as to priority. Seems to me simple claims like this should be processed and got out of the way to make room for the more complex ones.
    Thank you!

  2. Dr. CJ Jeffery February 24, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    No one wants to relive horrors especially when the medical community is confused about detections of the existence and seriousness of the traumatic injuries. What good is the blogs hosted by VAdvantage? In my case, the medical records were located at VBA but no one knew whereabouts for initial claims and appeals over 9 years. Yes, the VBA deliberated no service connections without justifications of the missing records at VHA over 9 years.
    On September 19, I filed benefit claims for initial phase after military discharge dated July 29. I also forward Notice of Disagreement (NOD) for the next 9 years. Strangely, the VBA provided no information as though the VHA bout “C-File was unavailable.” Therefore, the journey was long and hard with diabolical at Veteran Benefit Administration.
    Obviously, the VA system was broke in 2001 as though present situations. If VBA and VHA could not find medical history in their facilities, then what are the options for benefit determinations or service connection? After personal discovery in 2009, the Service Treatment Records exhibited clinical diagnoses medical treatment for multi-symptom illnesses, multisystem disease (Sarcoidosis) and traumatic injuries (TBI, SCI, PTSD, etc.). However the VA services disclose nothing of the missing records until I commented about whereabouts after 2009 Washington D.C. VAMC.

  3. James February 14, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Hello. My question is why does it take an entire different claim to add my wife as a dependent even though we have been married since 1995 and I did submit her information and marriage certificate along with my son’s. It appears that after two years of waiting on my initial claim for compensation they rated me with my son only and not my wife. I am told that this new claim could take 3 months to a year. If I go to mil connect from ebenifits it shows her as my dependent and it also shows that she has champva. Why would a simple claim take so long to process. Until it is complete, she cannot use any of the education benefits.

    • Arch Yeomans February 21, 2013 at 1:59 pm

      3 months is not going to ever happen and 12 months consider yourself extremely lucky. I feel your pain, I could never get any straight answers about how my BDD claim would go. What I find most disturbing is the VA offers a plan they don’t know how to put into effect. I was asked for a DD214 and this is months before I was due out. ATTN VA!!! YOU DO NOT AND CANNOT GET A DD214 or even a “non-working copy” before you get out!! Therefore making BDD completely and absolutely irrelevant. They told me that they can’t process the BDD or Quick Claim without the DD214. SO in essence I wasted my time in rushing to get things in and still have no idea where it sits and won’t know for months. This is just to get my stuff into the system. Therefore, no benefits with the broken BDD system.

  4. Andy February 8, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    I have a quick question regarding the time to get claims (e.g.,Declaration of Status of Dependents- VA Form 21-686c) that are quick fixes could take as long as a year to input? I remember filling out information regarding my wife and son back in 2003, and it has somehow disappeared. I’ve been told that the VA only needs it if you receive over 30% disability. Wouldn’t it be safe to say that in the future, as we get older, that Our status will change and we will need to have our information readily available? I read VA information, and I have friends working the compensation branch. You have hired many personnel to deal with the present workload of veterans getting out after ten years at war. Projecting that you may double or even triple that number after 2014, and having the waiting period get worse instead of shorter (per Shinseki’s lies to Congress), then, what is the solution? Hire more after the fact again? Blow off veterans awaiting benefits for two to three years or longer due to another shortfall in personnel? I would get with the Department of Defense, screen administrative personnel being released from active duty, and train them within 90 days of discharge for immediate hiring for a period not to exceed 4 years. This gets a jump on getting vets on the rolls to support fellow veterans in the process (like an insurgence of customer assistance-OMG! Planning for the future…what a concept!!! Must be a new idea that no one has ever thought of …even a GENERAL OFFICER!!!!), thus, improving the services and taking action before the poop hits the fan and the staff of the OVER PAID VA gets it in the face…instead of eggs…Look at the backlog like going to war. 1. Gather all the information you can about the foe (the system). 2. Make a plan of action to conquer that foe (a well trained workforce insurgence that can be ready ahead of the influx of claims that will be a TSUNAMI on the system). 3. Educate and carry out the orders. Once again, get plenty of personnel trained within 90 days of separation to handle the TSUNAMI of claims. Hire them for a period not to exceed FOUR YEARS!!! Now, carry out the plan of the day…and, in the immortal words of coach Bill Bellichick, “JUST DO YOUR JOB”!!!!!

    • Arch Yeomans February 21, 2013 at 1:53 pm

      Oh my God! You nailed it on the head! End statement summed it up so nicely. I think it’s wonderful that we have the VA only if it does something for us, otherwise, the taxpayer’s dollars are being squandered. No excuses should by the VA’s mantra of how it plans to be a relevant agency within the federal government.


      That should be the vision statement to actually follow.

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