The VA is making it easier for veterans to request disability benefits and appeal eligibility decisions.

The agency has developed a standardized claim form and a standardized appeal form to guide veterans through the process.

“This change will help VA provide faster and more accurate decisions to our veterans, their families and survivors,” VA Under Secretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey said in a statement. “Standard forms are essential to better serve veterans, build more efficiency into VA’s processes and bring us in line with other government agencies such as the Social Security Administration.”

The forms give veterans the opportunity to clearly state their symptom(s), or condition(s), and to relay all the necessary information the VA needs to get started with evaluating their claims.

To submit their disability claim, veterans have several options to choose from, but the quickest route is to file online through the VA’s eBenefits portal.

That website is http://www.ebenefits.va.gov. Veterans can also get assistance with filing their claim from their local Veterans Affairs office. In addition, the VA’s website offers several resources and filing methods.

The VA’s new approach was also developed to cut down on its backlog of disability and pension claims. There were nearly 600,000 unprocessed claims in early 2013. As of this month, there are nearly 200,000 claims that have not yet been processed, according to VA data.

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