Receiving a service connection from the VA for your disability benefits is just the beginning of a longer process. You’ll also want to recover a copy of your VA award letter to claim additional benefits and retain proof that you qualify for disability compensation in the first place.
The only problem? The VA doesn’t necessarily give you a copy of the VA award letter immediately. You’ll have to acquire it yourself through one of several sources. Today, let’s explain how to get a copy of your VA award letter.
Put simply, a VA award letter is an official notice from the Department of Veterans Affairs stating that they have reviewed your claim and decided to provide you with disability benefits.
Specifically, each VA award letter should include the following:
While these letters are important, Veterans don’t always receive them automatically. In many cases, they must seek out and request them independently. You may also lose your original letter, meaning you must get a new copy for your records.
Having a copy of your VA award letter is important for various reasons.
For starters, they are proof of your VA disability and may be needed to acquire additional benefits. For example, a VA award letter is proof of your active status in the VA disability benefits system. It can also be useful in improving your disability status to companies or other government agencies.
In addition, your VA award letter contains valuable information if you don’t find the disability rating or overall decision favorable. For instance, if you need a higher disability rating for your unique medical condition, you can use the information in the VA award letter to formulate an effective appeal.
Other specific instances where it’s important to have your VA award letter include:
You can acquire a copy of many different VA benefits and rating letters. These include:
Luckily, there are many ways in which you can get a copy of any of the above VA award letters. Let’s take a look at each of these methods one by one.
First, you can visit the eBenefits website. This is a free and accessible resource offered through the VA. It allows Veterans to access and manage both health and benefits records. From this resource, you can get a copy of your benefits letter and use your letter to qualify for additional VA benefits.
To acquire your summary of benefits letter from eBenefits, follow the below steps:
Of course, you can always download a copy of your VA award letter straight from VA.gov. This is the central online resource of the VA overall. You can make a VA.gov account, navigate to your account profile, then choose which letter you wish to download as a PDF.
Once you have a PDF copy of your letter, you can print it or send it electronically to anyone you need to.
When you visit your regional VA office, the attendant there can walk you through the letter acquisition process, including mailing the VA physically for a request for a copy of your VA award letter.
This is time-consuming, and you should give the VA several weeks to process your request and mail you a copy of the appropriate letter. Still, this is the ideal way to get a copy of your letter if you need an Internet connection or help printing a PDF copy.
The VA office can also simply download a copy of your VA letter for you, then print it out on a printer located on-site.
The VA maintains an informational line that can provide you with a lot of helpful information, such as navigating to the eBenefits web portal or downloading an award letter.
To call a VA representative, use this phone number:
If you are already working with a Veterans law attorney or disability lawyer, they can help you get a copy of your VA award letter ASAP. Specifically, they can access the Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS).
This system allows you and your lawyer to access important medical benefits information and things like your VA award letter if it has already been completed and filed by the VA. This is a great way to get a copy of your VA award letter if you need to speak to attorneys about filing a disability benefits claim or appealing a VA disability benefits decision.
For example, if you wish to contact Berry Law for help with your disability benefits claim, you don’t need to have a copy of your VA award letter on hand right now. You can call us or visit our offices right away.
When you get here, we’ll use your information to navigate the VBMS. Once there, we can download a copy of your letter for your records and provide a copy you can take home.
You can get a copy of your VA award letter quickly and easily by contacting the Department of Veterans Affairs or using one of the other methods described above. Fortunately, the VA doesn’t make it difficult for you to get a copy of this letter in your hands, so you should have proof of your compensation qualification in a matter of weeks.
Still trying to get your letter, or is the VA denying you a copy of your award letter for some reason? Knowledgeable Veterans law attorneys can help.
When you contact Berry Law, we’ll look at your current progress and help you figure out the best way to get a copy of your letter as soon as possible.
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