Get your VA decision letter and other benefit letters in a matter of seconds using VA.gov’s new feature. Veterans are now able to easily and quickly download a PDF version of their benefits letter and save it to their device or the cloud.
Why VA claim letters are important
This new VA.gov feature means you save time. Instead of waiting for weeks for your claim letter to arrive in your mailbox (especially after already waiting for the decision to be made), you can access it in a matter of seconds.
And VA decision and benefits letters are important because:
- If your claim outcome is favorable, documentation will help you receive important benefits from both the federal government and your state government. Your VA rating may even qualify you for special benefits (like discounts) from the private sector.
- If it’s not what you were hoping for, you can begin an appeals procedure to dispute the decision.
Keeping VA benefits letters handy as a PDF eases the process of applying online for programs and benefits you qualify for. You’ll no longer need to photograph or scan your letter to use it online. Instead, you’ll be able to access it easily whenever you need it – no filing cabinet necessary!
How to Download VA Decision Letters Online
To access a digital format of your decision letter, you just need a VA.gov login. Follow these steps to download and save your letter as a PDF:
- Log into VA.gov. If you’re new to VA.gov (and you don’t have an ID.me account), you’ll have the option to create an account with either Login.gov or ID.me. If you’re an ID.me member, there’s no need to make a separate VA.gov account. Simply click the green ID.me button to log in securely.
- In the upper right-hand side of the website, find “My VA” and click or tap on that heading.
- On the left side of the screen, find “VA Benefits and Health Care” and click or tap on that heading. A dropdown menu will appear; select “Disability.” Another menu will expand. Click or tap on “Check Your Claim or Appeal Status.”
- Navigate to your desired claim. (Depending on your situation, you may have a few available to view.) If there has been a decision on your service-connected disability, there will be a notation that says “Status: Closed.” If the claim is still open, you will not be able to retrieve a decision letter and will need to wait until a decision has been made.
- Click or tap on “View Details.”
- Click or tap on “Get Your Claim Letters.” (Depending on your situation, you may have more than one letter available for viewing.) Find the letter that corresponds with your desired claim and select it to download a PDF version.
What to do if your VA benefits letter isn’t available online
While all veterans with decision and benefits letters should be able to access them electronically using this method, it’s possible that you might hit a digital roadblock. If you’re unable to access your benefits letter online, you have options:
- You can request a hard copy. Mail your local VA Regional Office a written, signed request for a hard copy of the decision letter.
- You can call Veterans Affairs at 800-827-1000, Monday through Friday from 8 A.M. to 9 P.M. E.T.
Joanna Guldin-Noll writes one of the largest military spouse lifestyle blogs online, Jo, My Gosh! Her writing has been featured in national and international publications. She is currently the social media manager at Military.com and the co-founder of PILLAR, a free virtual deployment retreat for military spouses and significant others. Joanna lives in Pennsylvania with her Navy veteran husband John and her puppy Albus.