Help with VA Claims
DAV Provides FREE Help to all Veterans and Surviving Spouses
VA Claims for Service Connected Compensation and Medical Care (C&P)
The first thing all veterans should know is that VA compensation benefits are not automatic. We have to make a legal claim for the benefit of compensation for the partial or complete loss of ability to produce income from work because of the lasting effect of each medical condition, which was caused or aggravated by military service.
In other words, we must prove that (1) something happened during our military service and (2) now we have a diagnosis of medical condition that (3) a doctor has entered a medical opinion which states that the current condition is as likely as not related to, or caused by, the thing that happened in the military.
The difficulty is gathering the records and documents which basically prove our claims. Your DAV Service Officer can help you request copies of your Service Records and put together a well prepared FDC claim. It is up to you to keep track of your claim records, personal history and other legal documents that prove your claim. DAV is here to help you learn what you need to do and how to do it, so you can make a more effective claim.
The more you learn about your part in the claim process, the better you will be prepared. The better prepared you are, the better you will do in the VA claim process. Get your checklist and start organizing your records for an effective claim. Contact a DAV Service Officer for assistance. We are here so you are not alone.
Benefit Claims for Survivors of Deceased Veteran (DIC))
When a veteran dies from service connected medical conditions or after 10 years rated at 100%, then the surviving spouse is entitled to a continued benefit payment under Dependent Indemnity Compensation (DIC) . This is in addition to any other retirement or insurance benefits provided by the military or civilian community.
In many cases the survivors include dependent children. It is important to maintain good records for the survivor claim because this is an extension of the veteran claim.
Information and Resources for Veterans and Families
Here at DAV Chapter No.1, we have a book full or brochures, contacts and information about all kinds of local and national programs and services for veterans of all ages and eras.
In many cases, care and support for our family members includes resources or equipment for our families. Once we are out of the military, the family support resources we had are no longer open to us. It is essential to find alternatives.
VA Claim Checklist
Basically, all VA Claims begin with the same 3 things:
1) Proof of Qualified Military Service
□ DD-214 for every period of service that is
NOT “Dishonorable” or “Other Than Honorable”
2) Proof of Medical History related to Military Service
□ Service Medical Treatment Records (SMR or STR) in your file
□ ER, Inpatient and Outpatient records from every military/civilian hospital, Medical Unit or TMC
3) Proof of All Dependents - Family & Support Orders
□ Certificates of Marriage, Divorce, Birth and Death - including DATE and PLACE
□ Social Security Numbers and Date of Birth for all dependents
□ If the current spouse was married before, then document that history as well including DATE and PLACE of previous marriages and divorces
Also, Other Supporting Documents You Should Have
□ All Military Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) Decisions - Especially if Medical Discharge
□ ALL Previous VA Rating Decisions
□ Social Security Disability Decision Letter with medical condition for decision
□ All related medical records after the military. (VA, Tricare and Private)
Only private records for conditions in VA claim - Other stuff does not help
□ Witness Statements - Buddy Letters - Pictures - Newspaper Articles
And Your Direct Deposit Information
□ Checking or Savings Account Information and Bank Routing Number.
Ask your DAV Service Officer to help you find copies of any records you do not already have.
If you file a claim without proof, you will waste a lot of time and lose a lot of money. A Fully Developed Claim (FDC) means that you have gathered everything and sent it to the VA, so they do not have to do the work. The VA can go directly to rating and payment instead of waiting for up to 6 months just to get basic records.
DAV Volunteer Chapter Service Officers and NSOs are here to help you make your claim more effectively.
DAV National Service Office
- 915 2nd Ave.
Seattle, WA 98174
By Appointment Only
- Mon-Tue-Thu-Fri: 8:00am to 2:30pm
- Wed: 8:00am to 11:30am
DAV Department Service Office
- American Lake
VA Medical Center
Bldg. 16 -- Room 103
9600 Veterans Drive
Tacoma, WA 98493
Mon - Thu: 8:00am to 2:30pm
Wed - Closed at 12pm
- Walk-In Only
First Come First Served
DAV Chapter #1
- 1110 N. Stevens St.
Tacoma, WA 98406
DAV Chapter #18
- 5604 75th St W
Lakewood, WA 98499
DAV Chapter #5
- 2315 Burwell St
Bremerton, WA 98312
- Ph: 360-373-2397
- Fax: 360-627-288
DAV Chapter #41
- 920 Poplar St SE
Olympia, WA 98503