VA’s New, Increased Compensation Claims Process

In case you have not heard, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced a new process on September 7, 2017 that promises to “deliver faster claims decisions to Veterans and their families.” The process aims to deliver decisions within 30 days from the time the VA receives the claim. It is known as the Decision Ready Claims (DRC) initiative. The initial implementation of DRC is limited to those claims that seek an increase in the veteran’s compensation.

VA is working with certain veteran service organizations (VSO) to be sure that the VSOs have the training and tools to ensure that requests for increased compensation claims are complete before the claims are submitted to the VA. The VSOs will confirm that medical exams, military service records, DD 214 (or equivalent), VA Form 21-526EZ -Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits and other forms and supporting documents are complete and ready to send to the VA.

Once the complete package is sent to the VA, a veteran can expect a decision within 30 days from the time VA receives the claim. Because the VSO ensures each package is complete, the VA can assign the claim to a processor for a decision within a month.

If you are working with a veteran who is already receiving compensation from the VA and it appears that the veteran may be eligible for an increase in their compensation, you can connect the veteran with a VSO that is collaborating with the VA on the DRC. To find a participating VSO, go to VA’s directory of VSOs at and check Part 1, which lists VSOs that are “certified” to help veterans process claims.