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Frequently Asked Questions
1. How long will my claim take for the VA to process?
According to the VA, current processing time for claims is 104 days. https://www.va.gov/disability/after-you-file-claim/
2. What are wait times for an appointment to meet with a Veteran Service Officer (VSO)?
Depending on the office (https://www.maine.gov/veterans/veterans-services-offices/locations/index.html) it could be two or more weeks. However, we do have the ability to do Skype or phone appointments within two weeks. To protect your date of claim, please stop by one of our seven offices to complete a VA Form 21-0966 (Intent to File) or call the VA directly at 800-827-1000 so potential benefits are not lost.
3. What to expect during the appointment with a VSO and what to bring?
Meeting with a VSO will take roughly one hour. The VSO will discuss the claims process, assist in completing the necessary forms, review evidence provided, and advise what else may be required in support of the claim. Please bring a copy of the veterans DD Form 214, medical records including military service treatment records (if in your possession), private medical records (pertaining to the claimed conditions), dependency information including previous marital information for veteran and spouse as well as children’s names, DOBs, SSNs, and places of birth, and banking information including name of financial institution as well as account and routing number.
4. Where can I get a copy of my DD214?
The Maine Bureau of Veterans' Services just might have a copy. If you separated from the military and listed Maine as your Home of Record (HOR), we should have received a copy of your DD 214. However, if Maine was not your HOR, or we do not have your DD 214 on file, we can help you obtain one through the Records Management Center or a request through the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC).
5. Where can I get a copy of my medical and/or personnel records
If Maine was your home of record, the Maine Bureau of Veterans' Services may have your personnel records. If we do not, we will help you request a copy from the National Personnel Records Center - https://www.archives.gov/personnel-records-center
6. Can I apply for Social Security Disability if I have a VA Disability Rating?
VA disability ratings do not preclude you from applying for SSI.
A veteran who meets the disability requirements to receive benefits from the VA does not always qualify for Social Security disability benefits. The eligibility requirements for benefits under the two programs are not the same.
For example, the VA pays benefits to a person with a partial disability. Social Security disability income (SSDI) benefits are paid only to a claimant whose impairments are so severe that they prevent any kind of substantial gainful work.
In March 2014, SSA received instructions to expedite processing of disability claims for individuals with a 100% Permanent and Total (P&T) disability compensation rating from the VA. Only veterans with a 100% P&T rating receive expedited processing for their SSDI claims. For more information, please visit this link: https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/partlist
7. I believe I am missing awards and would like to request them. Can someone at MBVS help me?
Yes! Please call our main office at (207) 430-6035 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your specific request with us.
8. I am or know a friend or family member who is trying to help a veteran but I am not quite sure where to start.
Please call or email us so we can help you help your veteran. You are not alone in this process and we want to ensure you get the best information to assist your veteran in the fastest way possible.
So, please call our main office at (207) 430-6035 or email us at email@example.com to discuss your specific issue with us. And THANK YOU for doing what you can to help a veteran!
9. What benefits do I qualify for?
Please visit the "Benefits" section of our website for preliminary information on a variety of state and federal benefits available to veterans, service members, and their families. These include:
- Burial services
For more detailed information about the programs and services you may have access to, including how to apply for programs, please contact our Veteran Service Officers.
10. I want a Veteran ID card so can I take advantage of discounts at stores and restaurants, how do I get one?
To apply for your Veterans ID Card, or to see if you are eligible for a Veteran ID Card, please visit https://www.va.gov/records/get-veteran-id-cards/
Please note that the ID cards will only be valid for proving military service. They cannot be used to access benefits through the VA, gain entry to military installations, or to receive other military or veterans' benefits.
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