The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is extending the amount of time some veterans and other claimants have to respond to mailed letters regarding benefit applications or other decisions because of printing and mailing delays.
Veterans who receive a letter dated between July 13 and Dec. 31, 2021, have an additional 90 days to send VA a response.
Veterans will not be penalized if they do not reply within normal time limits to notifications such as election of benefits, reporting for a scheduled compensation exam, or notifying the VA of any life changes, the department said in a statement.
Typically, the VA will deny, reduce or terminate benefits for veterans who do not respond to the department by their deadline.
However, it said penalties remain when:
- Veterans were contacted and there is documentation of their right to respond.
- The requested information has been received.
- The response period has already lapsed.
The VA said it is working with the Government Publishing Office to address delays in the printing and mailing of notification letters, which a vendor blames on supply chain and staffing shortages. Veterans or other claimants with questions can contact the VA by phone at 800-827-1000.
Aaron Kassraie writes about issues important to military veterans and their families for AARP. He also serves as a general assignment reporter. Kassraie previously covered U.S. foreign policy as a correspondent for the Kuwait News Agency’s Washington bureau and worked in news gathering for USA Today and Al Jazeera English.