Submitting a claim through the Fully Developed Claim program is the ideal way to submit an application for Aid and Attendance. A Fully Developed Claim will place your application on the fast track to a Department of Veterans Affairs decision.
What Is A Fully Developed Claim?
A Fully Developed Claim means the applicant has submitted enough information to allow the VA to decide the claim. If the applicant submits all relevant information necessary to decide the claim, the VA considers it fully developed.
Alternatively, if the VA must request additional information, the claim is not Fully Developed. For example, if an applicant forgets to submit medical information, the VA will request additional information. This kicks the claims off the expedited track and onto the Standard Claim Process.
The Fully Developed Claim program is optional. On the application for Aid and Attendance, the applicant is given the opportunity to opt-out of the program. Opting out of the Fully Developed Claim Program rarely makes sense and is not advised.
Why Use The Fully Developed Claim Program?
The VA maintains that the Fully Developed Claim programs results in faster decisions. In reality, the FDC program likely is more beneficial for Compensation claims. I have yet to see empirical evidence showing that FDC’s are processed faster than Standard Claims.
So what is the main advantage of submitting a Fully Developed Claim? The process of preparing a FDC ensures that the applicant gathers and submits all the necessary evidence. The act of submitting everything the VA needs to decide a claim, and not some government pilot program, is the key to a fast decision.
If you’ve done your due diligence and gathered all relevant information and documentation, the VA is much more likely to decide your claim quickly and favorably.
How Do I Submit A Fully Developed Claim?
To submit a Fully Developed Claim the applicant must give the VA exactly what they need to award benefits. Make sure you submit the following:
— discharge information
— medical documentation
— care expenses
— income and net worth information
— proof of marriage and death
— and, of course, a signed application