Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
Should I call or correspond directly with the VA?
We recommend Veterans and claimants to keep in touch with the VSO throughout the claims process instead of corresponding directly with the VA. This helps ensure your claim flows smoothly and avoids delays.
If I change my address or phone number with the VA Medical Center do I need to inform you as well?
Yes. We will not only update our records, we will inform the VA Regional Office as well on your behalf.
Who Qualifies/what is the definition of a spouse?:
Any person whose marital relationship to the veteran is valid under the laws of their residence at the time of marriage or the law of their residence when the right to benefits accrued.
Is there a charge for your services?
No. You will not receive a bill from our office for any/all services as we are a State Department and funded by the State of Colorado.
Who do we assist?
Veterans, Active Duty, Reserve, and National Guard members of the Armed Forces of the United States. We also assist spouses, surviving spouses, dependent parents, and dependents with their claims.
Do I qualify/who is a veteran?
In general Congress defines a veteran as someone who has served in one of America’s seven federal uniformed services or their reserve components.The seven federal uniformed services are:
- United States Army – includes Guard and Reserve
- United States Marine Corps – includes Reserve
- United States Navy – includes Reserve
- United States Air Force – includes Reserve
- United States Coast Guard – includes Reserve
- United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps (formerly Survey Corps)
For VA purposes, an individual must have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. However, there are exceptions so a person who received an other than honorable conditions discharge should check with a Veterans Service Officer to see what if any benefits are available.
What services do we provide?
We prepare the necessary forms, documentation of claims with pertinent data, proper submission and case management of claims, and if needed representation at hearings. In order to perform these services for you we require a limited power of attorney (this power of attorney does NOT deal with money). This limited power of attorney simply allows us to represent you to the VA and have access to your VA file.
What benefits are available?
There are many possible benefits available to you and possibly your immediate family members including:
- Military service compensation for injuries and illnesses caused, incurred or aggravated while serving in the Armed Forces. These conditions must be chronic.
- Aid and attendance
- Life insurance
- Home loans
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Colorado State license plates
- Hunting and fishing licenses
- Dependent Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
- VA medical enrollment
- Burial benefits
- Tax exemption
- State employment preferences
Make an appointment today with one of our Service Officers to discuss your individual edibility.
How do I enroll in VA Medical Care?
You may enroll anytime at http://www.va.gov/healthbenefits/enroll
What do I need to do if admitted to a non-VA Medical Center in the case of an emergency?
Contact the Network Authorization Center within 72 hours of admission at 1-888-795-0773.
Must be 100% SC or emergency must be for a SC disability
Must be enrolled in VA health care system
VA will also pay if veteran is referred by the VA for care to that facility but still call the Network Authorization Center
How do I get my Military Records, DD214 and/or medals?
Veterans military records including medical history are maintained by the National Archives not the Department of Defense. Veterans and survivors may request military records by downloading a SF180 filling it out and return to the appropriate address (on page 2 of the form).
How do I get a Veterans home loan certificate?
To request a VA Loan you need a copy of your DD214/qualifying Military paperwork and proper VA Form and mail the documentation to:
VA Loan Eligibility Center
Attn: COE 262
PO Box 100034
Decatur, GA 30031
Remember, the VA does not give the loan, it guarantees a portion of the loan enabling the lender to provide you with more favorable terms. You must still qualify for the loan.
How do I Review/Update my Military Discharge?
If the discharge was 0-15 years ago you can apply for a discharge upgrade.
Fill out DD Form 293 and send to the appropriate military department
If the discharge was more than 15 years ago you must file for a correction of military records.
Fill out DD Form 149 and send to the appropriate military branch
Note that this process can take up to two years to complete.
Does Colorado offer a military identifier on a license or ID?
Yes, you can request a military identifier be added to your regular/commercial driver’s license or identification card. When applying for the identifier, you must present either your valid military identification card (common access card) OR a DD214. You will be charged a $15 fee per renewal (additional renewal fees may apply) and must choose between Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, National Guard or Navy.
- The military identifier does not extend to spouses or dependents.
- The military identifier cannot be applied to any permit.
Who do I contact if I need help with my VA Education benefits?
See the attached document for contact info.