With the VA backlog slowing down all of the claims, I am often asked what can be done to make the case go faster. So here are some things you can do to help the VA prevent unnecessary delays.

1. Provide your medical records

One of the best things you can do to speed up your claim is to provide your outside treatment records. If you only receive treatment at the VA, then you do not need to send in any records. Your VA medical records are readily accessible to the VA Regional office. If your doctor is not part of the VA medical system then the VA will have to get those records to make a decision about your claim. If you send the records with your request you will not have to wait on the VA to order them. If you are unable to get the records yourself, which often happens with mental health treatment records, include signed medical release forms with your claim to increase your VA rating. Be sure to include one for each place you have received treatment.

2. Respond to the VA’s request for information

The VA will often send out a request for information in the form of a VCAA notice. The VA will tell you what it has requested, what it still needs from you and where to send the information. Answer the request as soon as you can. If you are asked for medical records, the VA will include a release form. Sign it and return it so that the VA can request the records. If the VA asks you to complete a form, do it.

3. Make sure the VA knows how to find you

This may seem a little strange, but the VA medical system computer does not update your address in the VA Regional Office system. If you move or change phone numbers, you will likely tell your doctor. You must also notify the VARO as well. You can call and do this over the phone or you can send something in writing.