What is the Decision Ready Claim (DRC) Program?
The DRC Program allows you to submit VA compensation claims that are decision-ready so you can get your claim processed as fast as possible.
To submit a DRC, you must:
- Appoint and work with an accredited Veterans Service Organization (VSO),
- Gather all relevant and required evidence to support your claim, and
- Attend a VA claim exam, if needed, before submitting your claim.
When you work with an accredited VSO and provide all the necessary evidence with your application, you can get a decision on your claim in 30 days or less.
How do I find an accredited VSO?
To find an accredited VSO near you, go to the VSO Search page on eBenefits. Accredited VSOs are fully trained on the DRC Program and can help you determine if a DRC is right for you.
What type of claims can I file through the DRC Program?
Currently, the DRC Program is available for the following types of compensation claims:
- Direct Service Connection Claims: Claims for conditions that began during your military service or were caused by an event while serving.
- Presumptive Service Connection Claims: Claims for conditions that are presumed to have been caused by an event during your military service, even if there is no specific evidence showing a connection between your condition and your military service in your service records. This includes conditions related to Agent Orange, chronic disabilities, and the following conditions tied to service during the Gulf War:
- chronic fatigue syndrome, and
- functional gastrointestinal disorders.
- Secondary Service Connection Claims: Claims for conditions that were caused or aggravated by a service-connected disability.
- Increased Disability Claims: Claims for existing service-connected conditions that you have medical evidence to show have gotten worse.
- Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) Claims: Claims for surviving spouses of Veterans whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease or who was rated 100% disabled due to service-connected conditions (including entitlement to Individual Unemployability) for 10 years prior to their death. To learn more about DIC, including eligibility requirements, go to the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation page.
- Pre-Discharge Claims: Claims for disability compensation filed by Servicemembers who have less than 90 days remaining before their separation from military service.
To file a DRC, you must have previously filed a VA claim and received a rating decision from VA on that claim (this does not include DIC and Pre-Discharge claims). Go to the eligibility section to see a full list of exclusions that would remove your claim from the DRC Program.
Will I be able to file other types of claims through the DRC Program?
Yes, VA is currently working to expand the DRC Program to include more types of claims. Revisit this page or check with your VSO to see if any updates have been made to the Program.
How do I file a Decision Ready Claim?
Work with your VSO to help determine if the DRC Program is right for you and your claim. Then gather all relevant and required evidence to support your claim, including federal and medical records and completed Disability Benefits Questionnaires (DBQs).
As part of the DRC Program, your VSO can also request a claim exam for you, if needed. You will then work with a VA partner to quickly schedule an exam at a time that works best for you. The results of your exam can then be included along with your application.
Your VSO will check to make sure all of the necessary information is included and help you electronically submit your claim to VA. Giving VA all the relevant evidence when you submit your DRC allows your claim to go directly to a VA Rating Specialist for a decision.
Am I eligible to file a claim through the DRC Program?
To file a DRC, you must have previously filed a VA claim and received a rating decision from VA on that claim (this does not include Pre-Discharge or DIC claims). The following exclusions also apply for DRC claims:
All Disability Compensation DRCs
- Waiting for a decision on a pending disability claim, unless the claim was submitted via the Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) program
- Currently appealing the condition you want to file a DRC for
- Filing a claim for a previously denied condition
- Rated at 100% for your condition
- Filing a direct service connection DRC for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water (CLCW), and conditions related to Mustard Gas or as a Former Prisoner of War (FPOW)
Exception: Pre-Discharge claims involving PTSD, and/or TBI may be processed under the DRC program if an in-service diagnosis has been documented on examination
- Filing a claim for a disability incurred during a prior period of active duty for training or inactive duty for training, unless you are a Service member filing a VA claim prior to discharge
- Filing a claim for Pension
- An incarcerated Veteran
- Claiming Individual Unemployability
- Seeking Special Monthly Pension
- Seeking only Special Monthly Compensation
- Living outside of the U.S.
- Submitting a DRC application without a Veteran signature
- Filing for Chapter 18 (Spina Bifida) and any other birth defects for dependent children
- Filing a restricted access claim (includes VBA employees, relatives of VBA employees, National Service Officers, or high-ranking government officials)
Your Pre-Discharge claim will be disqualified from the DRC Program if you are:
- claims involving one or more of the factors outlined above
- claims in which the Service member has more than 90 days remaining on active duty, unless there is a pending BDD claim
- claims in which the Service member is currently
- enrolled in IDES
- awaiting discharge while hospitalized in a VA or military treatment facility, or
- claims requiring a character of discharge determination, and/or
- claims for aggravation of a condition that pre-existed service or was noted at the time of entry into service (unless evidence of pre-service baseline severity is provided).
DIC Decision Ready Claims
Your DIC claim will be disqualified from the DRC Program if you are:
- Filing a claim for Parents Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
- Filing a burial claim (unless it’s submitted with a DRC-eligible DIC claim)
Where can I get more information?
Have more questions? Reach out to your local VSO or call the VA toll-free number at 1-800-827-1000.
Article taken from U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Click link to see article: http://bit.ly/VAClaims