Documents for the VA Must be Sent to a Central Address - The Evidence Intake Center ("EIC")
This week I spoke with a Department of Veterans' Affairs ("VA") Regional Office ("RO") official who called to inform me of the VA's new method of processing correspondence from veterans and their representatives. She told me, "We like this probably even less than you do, but don't get me started. It doesn't make sense, and so far I think it's slowing things down, but that's the way things are for now and I thought you should know."
"The way things are" is that instead of receiving claims, evidence, Disability Benefits Questionnaires, appeals, etc., via post and fax and then processing them immediately, VA ROs in every state are collecting all correspondence sent to them and shipping it to the EIC, which is located in Wisconsin.
Unless claim-related correspondence is requested by a particular RO official and the veteran explicitly writes "Attention To" the requesting official on the correspondence, it will not be looked at by the VA other than for the purpose of shipping it to the EIC. Once the claim-related correspondence reaches the EIC, it is put in a queue to be scanned and uploaded to the VA database so that officials at the RO can begin, or continue, work on the cases to which they are assigned.
Why is the VA Collecting Veterans' Correspondence in a Central Location?
At first glance, the new method of processing correspondence seems almost silly, especially when added to a system already notorious for egregious delays and, as you’ve no doubt seen in the news recently, corruption. Veterans may ask, "Why can't VA employees do the scanning at the ROs where the correspondence is initially received?" or even, "With unemployment among veterans so high, why not hire veterans who live near ROs to do the scanning?" However, the EIC is part of the VA's plan to become more efficient by "going paperless." It remains to be seen whether the plan will work.
In the meantime, make sure your claim-related correspondence is being sent to the EIC rather than directly to the RO handling your case. That is, unless it is being sent to a specific VA official with whom you or your representative has been in contact.
If you have any questions about this issue or need assistance with prevailing in your effort to secure VA disability benefits, please contact the office of Attorney Sean Kendall today.
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Evidence Can Be Submitted by Mail or by Fax
Evidence should be submitted by fax or mail to the following location:
Department of Veterans' Affairs
Claims Intake Center
PO Box 4444
Janesville, WI 53547-4444
Fax Toll Free: 844-531-7818 & 248-524-4260 (Utilized by Foreign Claimants)