There are a few events in life that take nine months to complete. Things like a school year, a sailing trip around the world, or having a baby.
None of those things just happened to me. What did just happen, however, was my VA Disability Evaluation was completed- only nine months after I submitted my paperwork. I did a little surfing around the internet and found that nine months is about average for a claim to wend its way through the system.
So I have nothing to complain about – my claim was processed in the same amount of time as pretty much everyone else’s. But hold on….
As with everything in life there is a catch.
My claim packet arrived in the mail yesterday. A thick envelope was waiting by the door, and upon opening it up I found my medical records and a letter explaining, among other things, my ratings. It seemed pretty straightforward.
But, as with all things related to transition, it wasn’t.
It turns out that the process is only partially complete. I have a couple of things that were “not included” in the evaluation because the VA needs more information. Apparently I will be contacted in the future for a follow up examination to address the remaining issues.
So, it looks like I have received my evaluation results in the mail and now I have to wait to be contacted to complete my evaluation? To say I am confused is an understatement.
Fortunately there is help for situations like this. Over a year ago I wrote about my experience with the Transition Assistance Program (TAP). During the week that I went through the program I met with a representative from the Disabled American Veterans, or DAV. The rep explained that they were there to help with the VA claims process, and that they would be there to help in the future when things got confusing.
Ding! Suddenly I find myself in the future he was talking about.
I am confused today, but will be decidedly less so next week when I call the DAV representative for help. I neither appreciated nor understood what he was saying at the time, but now it has all become clear – the DAV (and veteran’s service organizations) are there to help vets like me and others tackle a byzantine and complicated system and make sense of the whole thing.
I’ll let you know how it goes and what I find out…