VA Claim Deferred: What It Means and How Long They Take
Amy Odom: Hi, and welcome to CCK Live Under 5:00. I’m Amy Odom.
Today, we are discussing U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) claim deferrals and specifically, what they mean and what to do if you get one.
A deferred rating decision is issued when the veteran’s claim is either underdeveloped—so, meaning it lacks evidence necessary to make a decision—or incomplete. A deferral is neither an approval, an award, or a denial. By issuing a deferral, VA’s placing your claim on hold and requiring further evidence or other development to be completed before it will make a decision.
VA will try to obtain the information it needs to issue a decision, either granting or denying benefits. And in certain cases, VA might ask you, the veteran, to obtain and provide the necessary information.
VA typically defers claims if they need to be more fully developed before they can issue a decision either way. They may also defer veterans’ claims if the claims are based on multiple service-connected conditions. So, for example, if a veteran filed a claim for a back, a knee, a neck, and gastrointestinal disability, VA may be ready to decide the neck, the back, and the knee but not the gastro. And so, they’ll defer the gastro while they make a decision on the other three. VA might not have enough evidence in that case about the gastro disability and their impact on the daily functioning even though VA has sufficient information to render a decision on the other three claims.
The deferral process begins with VA notifying you that your claim has been deferred, typically in a rating decision from your local regional office. In this decision, VA will identify the reason for a deferral. And from there, the VA will take the necessary steps to further develop your claim or instruct you, the veteran, as to what information the VA needs. Additionally, you might submit further evidence in support of your claim at that time. Once the process is complete, the VA will issue an actual decision on the claim, either granting or denying it. If VA asks you for information that you can’t provide for one reason or the other, it may issue a decision based on the information that is currently available to the VA.
Another kind of weird decision or notification that you might get is a decision that says that the prior decision on the claim is confirmed and continued. This means that you have already submitted information or VA has already received information on that claim but has determined that it’s not persuasive or it’s not new and relevant. In short, a confirmed and continued decision from the VA means that you need different evidence, whereas a deferred decision means you need more evidence.
That’s it for deferred decisions. Thanks for tuning in. For more information on deferrals and other kinds of VA decisions, please be sure to check out our blog, and also please don’t forget to subscribe to our channel.
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