Dept VATo help reduce the backlog of service connected disability claims, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has developed a new procedure to quickly process claims.  This new procedure is called a Fully Developed Claim or “FDC.”

The FDC program is an optional, expedited claims processing and adjudication system that offers veterans faster decisions on VA disability compensation, pension, and survivor benefit claims.  However, in order to use this program, it is up to the veteran to take charge of their claim by gathering and providing all evidence at once.  This contrasts from the traditional claims process which allows a veteran to submit evidence throughout the claims procedure up to one year from the date of receipt of the claim, and also requires the VA to assist the veteran in obtaining evidence.

The procedure to use FDC is similar to a traditional claim.  First the veteran must complete a VA EZ form for the appropriate benefit.  Next, the veteran signs the form and certifies that they have no further evidence to submit.  Finally, the veteran submits all relevant private records in their possession and identifies any Federal records that the VA can obtain at the time they file their claim.

Certain claims do not qualify for the FDC program.  Claims that require a character of discharge determination, claims that require additional private records, and claims the require records in the custody of Reserve units do not qualify for FDC.

To determine if an FDC claim is the right procedure for your veterans benefit claim, contact our office and speak with a veterans rights attorney.