I have to confess, I think that the idea of granting claims "provisionally" is a fantastic way to clear out the claims backlog.
The problem is nobody really knows how it will work.
Here's what happened:
Earlier in April 2013, VA announced that it will begin issuing Provisional decisions on older claims to clear out the backlog. I'm not going to repeat the details here - you can go read the VA Press Release and hear it right from the source.
Why is it a problem?
Let me say from the outset that I think this may be a great idea. I can't tell now, though, because it's all in the details. The implementation of this process could really be a great thing for Veterans, or it could be an absolute disaster.The lack of details - and the confusing details that are coming to us from different Regional Offices about the Provisional Program - limit my ability as an attorney to advise my clients about this process.
And it limits my ability to tell you about the process.
As of right now, Veterans Disability lawyers are getting conflicting information about what claims will be handled in this process: some ROs are saying claims prior to 2011, others are saying all claims older than 1 year. Some are saying only original compensation claims, others are saying "reopened" claims, etc. We just don't know for sure, yet.
This is one of those reasons that I think that having an attorney on your Veterans Disability Compensation Claim is crucial - even now, the Attig Law Firm is setting up systems to ensure that we are prepared to preserve and protect our client's rights in the event that one of them receives a provisional decision.
If you get a provisional decision - I'd love to see it, so I can compare it to PD's coming out of other Regional Offices. Shoot me an email at email@example.com if you get one of these Provisional Decisions.
by Chris Attig
Chris Attig, an Accredited Veterans Benefits attorney and Founder of the Attig Law Firm, PLLC is responsible for the content of the site. The principal office of Attig Law Firm, PLLC, is located in Dallas, Texas. Chris Attig is NOT Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. - Please view our website disclaimer.
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