How to Apply and Application Assistance
Provided below is information and links regarding benefits and services potenitally available to you. We strongly recommend, if you are considering requesting services or submitting an application to the VA, that you contact your County Veterans Service Office. Their Service Officers specialize in assisting veterans and their family members with claims, applications, and appeals to the VA.
Please visit our County Veterans Service Offices web page to obtain your County Veterans Service Office\'s contact information.
Appointments and Claims
How do I make an appointment?
Call the State office at 303-284-6077 Monday-Thursday 7:00AM-4:00PM and Friday 7:00AM-1:00PM or contact your local County Veterans Service Officer/Office.
Please visit our County Veterans Service Offices web page to find your nearest office.
When can I expect a return call/email?
On regular business days you can expect a return phone call or email with 24 hours. Please do not call/email repeatedly in that 24 hour period as it slows down the process.
Do we take walk-ins?
Unfortunately due to our high volume of clients, we are currently unable to take walk-ins. Call 303-284-6077 to make an appointment. If you are just dropping off paperwork you may do so during regular business hours.
How do I make a claim for benefits?
Make an appointment with one of our nationally trained Veterans Service Officers who will walk you through all the paperwork needed for your claim. Determining what benenfits you may be eligible for is complex, as benefits are directly linked to how long a veteran served, when, where, and the nature of the discharge.
What evidence can I bring to my appointment to support my claim?
- Service medical records if you have them.
- Private Medical Records OR Doctors name, address and phone number with dates of treatment.
- Discharge Paperwork/DD214.
- Buddy statements - written statements from those you knew in service who can provide verification of the illness, injury, event, etc.
- Pictures, letters, envelopes.
- Written statements from family, friends, employers, neighbors, co-workers, etc.
- Proof of diagnosis of the illness/injury/condition.
What do I need to bring to an appointment?
In general at a minimum:
- Marriage certificates and divorce decrees (if applicable) for both spouses.
- Children's birth certificates (if applicable)
- Death certificate (if applicable)
- If claiming pension and/or Aid and Attendance, we need any financial award documents, bank statements, etc. Call before hand for specific information needed.
When you make your appointment we can let you know specifically what you need to bring.
Can I email you my documents?
Yes and no. You may email us, however, we cannot receive personally identifying information, medical information or other sensitive information via email as it is not encrypted. You may fax your documents to: 303-284-3163.
I received a letter from the VA regarding my claim - should I call or make an appointment?
- Within approximately 60 days of filing a claim you will receive a one page letter letting you know that the VA received your claim. Call if this letter does not arrive within 60 days.
- VCAA Letter/Duty to Assist - This letter discusses what evidence, if any, the VA needs for your claim. Call/make an appointment with your service officer to go over this letter as failure to provide the information the VA is requesting could result in a denial. This letter typically contains forms and may contain language seeking as if the VA is requesting information they already have. Your service officer will go over this letter and help you with anything requiring submission.
- Rating Decision and/or Award letter - Make an appointment as soon as you receive your rating decision and/or award letter. Your service officer will go over the information with you and discuss options with you. Note your rating decision and award are time sensitive documents.
What is a Compensation and Pension Exam?
This exam, often called a C&,P Exam, is set up by the VA and is a VERY important element in your case. This exam is by a VA Medical Professional and/or Provider who examines you and provides a detailed report to the VA Regional Office and becomes part of the evidence for your claim. Failure to report for your exam(s) will result in a denial of your claim. Call the number given to you if you need to reschedule.
How soon will I hear about my case/how soon will my case be settled?
You may anticipate a letter from the VA within 6-8 weeks upon filing a claim acknowledging receipt of your claim. If you do not receive this letter, contact our office right away.
You will receive another letter letting you know what the VA has received and what else, if anything, the VA needs for your claim. Contact your VSO to go over this letter.
Depending on the complexity of your case, the VA case load an many others factors it is impossible to predict with accuracy the time it takes to complete your claim. Once the claim is decided, the VA will send you a Rating Decision. Call your Veterans Service Officer to go over this decision and he/she will discuss with you your options at that time.
The time for settlement of a case depends on many factors such as complexity and type. Thus, one claim may take a few months while others may take a year or more.
Filing a Claim for Disability or Pension
Filing a claim
In order to file a claim for benefits call our office at 303-284-6077 and make an appointment. When making an appointment, be prepared to provide the last two numbers of your Social Security number as this will assist us in booking an appointment for you with the corresponding State Service Officer. If you live on the West side of the greater Denver-metro area and would like to been seen in our Lakewood location please call that office at 303-914-5832 for an appointment.
Federal VA Benefit System
The Federal VA benefit system is a legal system based on the Code of Federal Regulation 38 sections 0-17. In order to qualify for benefits, veterans and family members must file a claim against the United States proving they are eligible for these benefits through the submission of legal, military, medical, and other evidence.
Other than Honorable/Dishonorable Discharge
In general, a veteran loses all benefits if a dishonorable discharge was received. You may request an upgrade (see the dd214 page). A request for an upgrade is completed through the Department of Defense not the VA. Veterans with an Other than Honorable (OTH) and who have a medical condition, physical or mental, related to military service may be able to receive treatment through the VA if they file and are awarded a service-connected disability for their condition. In these cases, veterans can only receive medical treatment for their service-connected disability.
General and General Under less than Honorable Conditions
For VA purposes, this discharge category has nearly the same restrictions as a dishonorable discharge. However, contrary to popular belief, these discharges do not automatically upgrade to an honorable discharge after six months of a veteran leaving military service. In order to receive an upgrade to un under honorable conditions discharge, the veteran must apply for and receive the upgrade from the Department of Defense.
Dependents Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
DIC is a monthly VA benefit available to qualifying widows, widowers, and children based on a Veteran's service-connected death. It may also be paid if the Veteran is rated 100 percent total and permanent at the time of death. If a Veteran dies while on terminal leave, the surviving spouse may be entitled to DIC.
DIC is a flat-rate payment and is not widow's pension.
Eligibility is based on:
- Demonstrating the Veterans death was caused in whole or in part by a medical condition connected to the Veteran's Military Service
- The service member died in the line of duty and the death was not due to willful misconduct
- Demonstrate the Veteran had a service-connected disability meeting the length of time requirements
If a service-connected condition is the principal or a contributory cause of death, then entitlement to DIC may be established.