If you are a veteran or the loved one of a veteran who has received a letter from the VA Evidence Intake Center (EIC), you may be feeling overwhelmed and confused. What is this center, and why did the VA implement it? What happens now that I’ve received a letter from them? This blog post will provide answers to these questions and more. We will give you an insight into the EIC intake process, the steps veterans should take after receiving a letter from the EIC, and helpful tips for dealing with the EIC.
What is the Evidence Intake Center (EIC)?
The EIC is a centralized mail processing center for disability compensation claims. You send VA forms, claims, and appeals related documents to the EIC like:
- Medical evidence
- Applications for disability compensation
- Service records
- Statements in support of your claim
- Any other relevant information related to your claim or appeal.
The EIC was implemented to improve the efficiency and accuracy of the VA disability claims process and reduce incoming paper handling. By sending all evidence related to a claim to a centralized location, the VA can more easily review and make decisions on claims.
Everything you need to know about the EIC
The VA implemented the EIC to reduce paper processing times. Before, the VA received hundreds of thousands of applications and paper evidence at the regional office. The regional office would then send claims to the VA, and then the VA would send information back to the regional office. The old process was so inefficient and caused extreme delays, lost documents, and more in the claims process.Now, the VA is only receiving paper applications in one place, so the purpose is to streamline applications and cut processing times in half. There is only one intake center, and it is located in Janesville, WI.
The EIC only handles compensation related claims. If you seek other benefits from the VA, you won’t send your paper application to the Janesville, WI EIC. Your local regional office still handles education claims, home loan applications, and readiness and employment matters. While the Pension Management Center handles pension claims. There is one caveat: the EIC can take dual pension and compensation claims. Work with a veterans support advocate to ensure you are getting your compensation application to the right place! If you don’t, it may delay your claim for VA disability benefits.
The EIC Mailing Address
Department of Veterans AffairsClaims Intake Center PO Box 4444, Janesville, WI 5347-4444You can also fax documents to 844-531-7818 & 248-524-4260
The claim process at the EIC
Your compensation application goes through eight important steps when it reaches the EIC:
- It is received
- The application is logged and prepped
- EIC workers get the application ready for Imaging/digitizing
- The application goes through image processing and indexing
- Document typing occurs
- The application enters a VA Quality Assurance process
- The digital file is sent to your regional office
- The paper copy is filed
Just as you can send information to the EIC, the EIC can send letters to you!
Next steps after receiving a letter from the EIC
If you receive mail from the evidence intake center, don’t throw it away! The EIC may send you important information about your claims, such as:
- Decisions on your compensation claim or supplemental claims
- Eligibility to add additional dependants or a spouse
- Updates and information
The notification packet, which contains the VA’s decision on your compensation claim, is an essential piece of mail from the EIC. There is no timeline on how long it will take to review your case. Typically, it takes about six months to receive an initial decision.The notification packet contains everything you need to know about how the VA arrived at its decision about your claim.If your claim were approved, your award letter would be in the packet – you need to keep your award letter to apply for additional benefits or seek health care services.If the VA denied your claim, the packet would have notice of disagreement (NOD) and instructions on how to appeal.You should also receive information about:
- The evidence that the VA used in making their decision
- How you can request additional or missing evidence
- What to do if you disagree with the VA’s decision
If you are confused about a piece of mail you received from the EIC, you can call the EIC at (877) 345-0891 if you have any questions or contact your Regional VA office for assistance.
Helpful tips for dealing with the evidence intake center
Here are a few helpful tips to make your experience with the EIC smoother:
- Label all of your documents with your name, social security number, and date of birth before sending them in
- Make copies of all your documents before sending them in just in case something happens to the originals
- Don’t send any original documents unless you are asked to do so
- If you need to add additional information to your claim or if the VA requests additional information, make sure to send it directly to the EIC.
- Send all your communications by certified mail. It is more expensive, but you will have a receipt that the postal service delivered your mail.
- Send VA Form 20-0995 and your supporting documents to the EIC if you are starting an appeal.
- Veterans can send VA Form 20-0996 to the EIC to request a higher level of review.
- Please don’t send your documents to your regional office; it could slow down your claims process.
The evidence intake center is an integral part of the VA’s claims process. It’s where your compensation application is reviewed, and decisions are made. Make sure you send all your information directly to the EIC and keep track of all the letters you receive from them to know what is happening with your claim. Don’t hesitate to call the EIC or your regional VA office if you have any questions.
Why did I get a letter from the VA Evidence Intake Center?
There are several reasons you received a letter from the Evidence Intake Center, such as:
- Decision on your compensation claim
- Request for additional information
- Information about other compensation benefits you are eligible for
Receiving mail from the EIC is scary, but it is best to open each piece of mail you receive from the EIC to understand what is happening with your claim. Don’t hesitate to call the EIC or your regional VA office if you have any questions.
What is a VA evidence intake letter?
A VA evidence intake letter is correspondence from the VA Evidence Intake Center.
How long does VA review evidence take?
There is no timeline on how long it will take to review your case. Typically, it takes about 125 days to receive an initial decision.
What is the VA 5 year rule?
The VA five-year rule states that the VA can only award benefits for disabilities that began or were made worse within five years of the veteran’s military service. This rule does not apply to claims for individual unemployability (IU).
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