Tracking your Claim

Hi Jim,

I filed an AO claim for IHD 3/7/12, its now 1 year. NY RO brokered it to PHIL RO in dec. I had a C and P on 1/8/13. how do I find out if its lost in the cracks or not ? thanks


To be honest, there's no way to find that claim. Read for details.

The dates you cite tell me that your claim is just about average these days...maybe a little speedier than most. Five years ago I was advising vets who made new claims that the process would take 6 or 8 months to complete. By 2012 I revised that to tell vets with new claims to plan on 24 months, start to finish. That's where you fall. That you just had a C & P tells me your claim is trudging along, marching in line like a good soldier.

I'm advising vets who file in 2013 to plan on maybe 2 1/2 to 3 years start to finish.

The distressing news is that when you get the decision, I believe there's a 7 in 10 chance that the decision will be wrong and you'll have to appeal. The VBA is making more errors than ever as the pressure to pound out claims increases form the top. The poor schmucks who have to do the work are hounded daily to place quantity over quality with little or no regard as to how well they decided your claim.

I believe that you'll have to make a DRO appeal as a routine part of the process. That will add another 2 years. If you have to go to the BVA to get the decision right, add another 3 years for that.

The failures of the VBA front line are piling up at the regional offices for DRO decisions. The DRO is now making many more errors than in the past. Not that long ago I saw the DRO process as the biggest hope vets had to get the decision right. That still holds true, just not as much as a few short years ago. It's at a point where the BVA is getting its own significant backlog and many more vets are appealing BVA decisions to the CAVC. The CAVC is seemingly reeling a bit from the numbers as they're beginning to realize that the future isn't looking so good.

It's my opinion that the majority of claims will take at least 2 to 3 years to process today. Of those, maybe 70% will be wrongly adjudicated to a point that the claimant will have to appeal to get it right. Most claims that are appealed will take 5 or more years beginning to end for the veteran to see a correct award.