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Veterans Law

Preparation for Notification: What Veterans Need to Know

Robert Chisholm

March 28, 2024

Updated: June 20, 2024

Preparation for Notification: What Veterans Need to Know

Preparation for Notification is one of the stages of the VA disability claims process. It typically takes from 7 to 21 days, but it can be delayed for reasons that are often confusing. In this article, we will explore the Preparation for Notification stage of the process and some of the most common questions that veterans ask our attorneys and advocates. Read on to discover what happens during this stage, how long it typically lasts, and more.

What Happens During Preparation for Notification?

Preparation for Notification is one of the final stages of the VA disability claims process. It comes after the Preparation for Decision but before the claim is complete. While most refer to this stage only as the Preparation for Notification, its full title is “Pending Decision Approval and Preparation for Notification.”

Pending Decision Approval & Preparation for Notification: VA Claim Status

It is important to note what occurs during the Pending Decision Approval stage. It is during the Pending Decision Approval that VA reviews the Rating Veterans Service Representative’s (RVSR) recommendations. After reviewing these recommendations, VA issues a decision.

During Preparation for Notification, a Senior Veterans Service Representative (SVSR) reviews your claim. It is basically a final review stage before the veteran receives approval of their claim. The SVSR will review all completed documents and issue authorization to release award payments to the veteran.

When your disability claim enters this stage, VA has essentially already decided the outcome of your claim. However, the SVSR may disagree with the RVSR. If the SVSR disagrees with RVSR’s disability rating on your claim, then they can issue a different rating that they deem appropriate. This disagreement may lead to delays in your claim.

Additionally, the SVSR typically starts compiling the ratings decision packet. VA will not mail this packet to you until the final stage of the claims process, however.

How Long Does Preparation for Notification Take?

The entire claim process is lengthy. As of January 2024, the average time it takes VA to complete a claim—from beginning to end—is 158.4 days.

While VA reports the average time for a complete claim, it does not specifically provide an estimate of how long either the Pending Decision Approval or the Preparation for Notification takes to complete. However, veterans can typically expect each stage to take between 7 and 21 days.

FAQ: What Can Veterans Do While Waiting for a Decision Packet?

After the Preparation for Notification is complete, VA will mail the decision packet to the veteran. During this stage, the veteran may check the status of their claim on VA’s website. However, when you check the status of your claim, you cannot see VA’s decision on your claim.

FAQ: Why Did My Claim Get Stuck Before Preparation for Notification?

When checking your VA claim status, you may find that it is not updating or entering the Preparation for Notification stage. This could be for one or more reasons:

  • VA may have a backlog of cases. This backlog is less prevalent now than a few years ago but can still slow down all aspects of the claims process.
  • The delay could be a sign that VA may be preparing your claim—for one reason or another—to go back down a stage. This may occur if VA requires more evidence for your claim, such as lay statements or medical information.
  • If the RVSR and the SVSR disagree about your rating decision, then this could also potentially delay your claim from moving into the Preparation for Notification stage until they can come to an agreement on your benefits.

Contact Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD Today

If you are appealing a denial or rating decision by VA, then Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD may be able to help. As the largest veterans law firm in the U.S., we have over 300 years of combined experience helping veterans receive the VA benefits to which they were entitled. Call us today at (800) 544-9144 for a free case evaluation.

About the Author

Bio photo of Robert Chisholm

Robert is a Founding Partner of CCK Law. His law practice focuses on representing disabled veterans in the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and before the Department of Veterans Affairs. As a veterans lawyer Robert has been representing disabled veterans since 1990. During his extensive career, Robert has successfully represented veterans before the Board of Veterans Appeals, Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

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