Alan E. DeWoskin, P.C.
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What is a "fully developed claim" with regard to disabled vets?

Serving in our nation's military is a brave endeavor. Those who put their lives on the line to serve our country should be treated with respect, and our country should promise to take care of those who suffer injuries as part of their service. Many military service members take advantage of disability benefits, but the process can be complicated and, unfortunately, extremely lengthy. This wait time can leave injured veterans in a tough financial predicament, threatening their very well-being.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs does offer disabled veterans an option to have their SSD claims processed more quickly. Known as a "fully developed claim," the VA promises to expedite these claims to get disabled veterans a decision on their claim as quickly as possible. A claimant need only submit all relevant records, such as medical documentation at the time of the claim.

So, then, how does this differ from a normal claim? Under a fully developed claim, the claimant certifies that there is no other evidence exists to be submitted. This can be risky. The full extent of one's injuries and his or her disability may not be known for some time, so submitting a fully developed claim prematurely could lead to an unfavorable outcome and an inability to recover much needed Social Security disability benefits.

Therefore, before submitting a fully developed claim, or any disability claim for that matter, a disabled individual should carefully consider the legal implications and options. An experienced legal professional may be able to provide guidance and advice on these matters, allowing a disabled individual the opportunity to make the decisions that are right for him or her.

Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, "Fully Developed Claim," accessed on Aug. 1, 2016

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Alan E. DeWoskin, P.C.
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