During the last few months, we have noticed that the length of time it takes the Department of Veterans Affairs to process veterans and surviving spouses has increased significantly for an unknown reason. Many of those who we represented virtually before the Board of Veterans Affairs over a year ago, still have not received a decision on their claims that were appealed several years ago. With the plan to increase the number of employees who work for the VA our veterans will receive decisions on their claims in a timely manner. The only thing I know for sure is that many of the veterans and surviving spouses who are represented by our organization need their VA claims to be approved. Some of them are not prepared financially to wait for years for VA to make a decision. With the problems that COVID-19 has contributed to their employment along with the cost of living increases that all of us are currently facing has and continues to cause catastrophic issues for many in our community.

We are holding an online intake event November 19, 2021, from 9 to 11 AM for veterans and surviving spouses to start a claim for VA benefits. Using this type of digital sign-up is proving very affective for most veterans and their families. After registering we will send an email with directions on how to set up your account in our Intake Q system with instructions on what forms and documents to be uploaded to start your claims for VA benefits. The last time we opened for a digital intake there were over 250 new clients signed-up.
Visit dalekgrahamveteransfoundation.org for more information.

To date this year, we have represented veterans and surviving spouses in almost 200 hearings this year before BVA Judges or DRO Higher Level Review officials. I am immensely proud to say that most of them were or are going to be approved by VA. Our rule of thumb when representing veterans and their families is to make sure that we have provided medical evidence with a Nexus linking the veteran’s injuries or illness to their military service. If that is done most VA claims will be approved in favor of the veteran or the surviving spouse.
One of the things we recommend for surviving spouses whose veteran had a claim pending before their death is to file for substitution of claimant using VA form 21P-0847 within one year of a veteran’s death. If the veteran’s claim is approved, the surviving spouse could receive benefits up to the date of the veteran’s death.