Claims 201 Those Letters by Networker67 Those letters 1. When you file a claim for compensation, pension, or survivors benefits, regardless if its a First Claim, Claim for Increase, Claim for Secondary Service Connection, or claim after you discover new evidence. The first letter you will receive is what is called a Duty To Assist Letter (DTA). This letter states what type of claim you are filing, what conditions (if applicable) you are claiming, and what the regulations say you must show to have the claim granted. It will also state the evidence needed by VA to support your claim, and what VA is doing or has done. ANd finally it explains VA's Duty To Assist you in obtaining the evidence to support your claim. 2. As your claim progresses, you may or may not receive other letters. Examples of those letters include: a. Letter informing you will be scheduled for a Compensation and Pension Exam (C & P). b. Follow-up letters to let you know we requested something from a third party and they are delaying in replying. c. Letter requesting you provide something to VA to support your claim. 3. Sometimes you get a computer generated letter telling you we are still working on your claim. That letter is pretty interesting to receive because it means one of two things. A. Your claim was reviewed by someone recently. B. Your claim has aged where the computer system is telling the office they must look at it and DO SOMETHING. And they did they extended the date. 4. Award letters/ Inability to Grant Letters; A. Award letters tell you we granted sew and sew, and you get x amount of dollars per month. They include a copy of the rating, your appeal rights, and forms for allied benefits if those benefits apply to your award. 1). Always remember this regarding award lines. 8/1/2004 applies to a SEPTEMBER CHECK. Or the month of the line is the following month's check. 2). Retro active check paydates in the VA system are actually drop in the mail dates from treasury, and THESE CHECKS GO THROUGH REGULAR MAIL. So always give 4 days for a special check to arrive. If you have direct deposit already set up, the pay date is the date. This does not apply to REGULAR MONTHLY PAYMENTS, ONLY RETRO PAYMENTS. 3). Your letter will include a shortened version of the rating, ALWAYS read the rating to see what was used and how the determination was made. B.) In ability to grant (DENIAL) letters tell you we couldn't grant and the RATING TELLS you why. 5. Misc letters: a). Once you draw benefits expect a Misc. letter every year to tell you about the Cost Of Living Adjustment. Every now and then a computer glitch will cause a SECOND one to generate. b). VHA has its own misc. letters that they send, as well as insurance, and if applicable Loan program and Ed Program. VERY IMPORTANT ABOUT LETTERS If you have a claim in progress, ALWAYS reply to letters as soon as you can. Any request for anything except that you report for a C & P, requires that VA wait from 30 to 60 days to wait for the item/your response to the request. If VA asks for something that you know you sent. Write back and state that you sent it and what date you sent it. If you are filing a claim for increase in compensation and you sent with your claim a listing of your VA treatment, when you get your DTA, reply and tell VA you sent everything. If you don't VA will and MUST wait those 60 days before they can take the next step. ALWAYS PUT YOUR CLAIM NUMBER ON ANYTHING YOU SEND IN.