What do you do if a letter shows up at your door from the VA Evidence Intake Center? Does it mean that you need to submit more evidence or your claim will be revoked?
A letter from the Evidence Intake Center is good news because it shows that the VA is moving along the very slow timeline of VA disability claims. The EIC is a 2014 addition to speed up and refine the VA disability claims process. Read on to learn what to do if you receive a letter from the EIC.
Talk to Us About Your Claim: (866) 232-5777
In this article about the EIC (Evidence Intake Center):
- What is the Evidence Intake Center?
- Why was the EIC established?
- Why would I get mail from the VA Evidence Intake Center?
- Which Evidence Intake Center do I use?
- What is the best way to send documents to the VA?
- How long does it take the VA to review evidence?
- How long until I hear from the VA about my claim?
- What’s in your notification packet from the VA?
- Other kinds of mail you might receive from the EIC
- Talk to our VA disability lawyers for free
What is the Evidence Intake Center?
The Evidence Intake Center (EIC) is a VA office in Janesville, Wisconsin, that processes documents related to VA disability compensation. The VA requires veterans to send all paperwork to this centralized office rather than requiring them to send documents to various regional offices (RO). It has sped up the application and appeals process and reduced the handling of paper documents.
The EIC only handles documents related to disability claims and appeals, so no other VA programs are at this location.
You can expect to communicate with the Evidence Intake Center a lot, so make sure you pay attention to any mail you get from them. The EIC may send you notices about your case, decisions about your claim, or messages about changes in general VA procedure. Keep in mind that you may also receive important mail from other locations including your VA regional office.
Get a folder or a box and keep every bit of mail you get from the VA and EIC. You’ll want copies of all of those letters even after you’ve received compensation.
Why was the EIC established?
The EIC is part of an effort to make the VA more efficient and eco-friendly by going paperless. EIC employees scan the paperwork and send electronic copies to the staff at your regional office (RO) and the Board of Veterans Affairs.
That means there are digital backups of everything you send the VA. That will help prevent the loss of military files like the 1973 fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis in which 16 million veterans’ medical records were lost.
Why would I get mail from the VA Evidence Intake Center?
The EIC is responsible for a significant amount of outgoing VA mail–including some notification packets.
Getting a letter from the EIC doesn’t mean good news or bad news. Most of the time it will be a notice that they received a document from you, your VSO, or your VA disability lawyer. While it might seem like a bunch of junk mail, don’t throw it away. Sometimes there is some important and useful information in those repetitive letters. If you work with Woods and Woods, we can look through all of your mail from the VA to find evidence to support your claim.
Which Evidence Intake Center do I use?
There is only one EIC. A second facility in Newnan, Georgia, closed in 2016 when the VA centralized the system. Do not send your papers to a VA regional office, it will significantly slow down your disability compensation claim.
What is the best way to send documents to the VA?
Your goal is to get the best result possible for your claim or appeal. Doing so means submitting the right form and the right evidence (when needed) to the right VA location.
That can be difficult to do on your own. A VA-certified disability benefits lawyer can help you navigate the VA system and make sure you don’t make any mistakes that could negatively affect your claim or appeal.
If you choose not to work with a representative who has VA experience, an important point to remember is to never send the VA any original documents. It’s a good idea to make digital copies and physical copies and to keep a record of when and where you submitted each document.
Uploading digital copies
The best way to submit files to the EIC is to upload them using the links for the claim status tool and through AccessVA.
These online tools require you to submit digital copies of your paper documents and will provide you with a confirmation of when the VA received your documents. It also saves time because they are already digitized, and the EIC won’t have to unpack, unfold, and scan the content of your envelope.
If you choose to send your documents by mail or deliver them in person to a regional office, you will only further slow down the process, and you will not receive proof that the VA received your packet.
The digital upload process can be technical and confusing, so your next best option is to fax your documents to the EIC. Faxing ensures that you keep a copy of everything for yourself and you’ll get a confirmation that the fax was sent. That confirmation is important.
Download the official EIC evidence fax cover sheet, print it, and send it as the first page of your fax to 844-531-7818 or 248-524-4260.
Mailing physical copies
If you must mail your documents, make a photocopy of them (do not send any original documents) and send them through certified mail to this address:
DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
CLAIMS INTAKE CENTER
PO BOX 4444
JANESVILLE, WI 53547-4444
If due dates and missing documents become an issue in your VA disability benefits claim, you’ll be glad you used certified mail. That little green postcard that proves your documents were delivered can be helpful when it comes to disputing your effective date.
Write your name, claim number (if you have one), date, and your regional office on the top of every single piece of paper you send. Some clever veterans have shared on Reddit that they got a rubber stamp with all of that info and stamped every copied document before sending it.
Important note about faxing and mailing documents
If you fax or mail your documents to the EIC, they are scanned and stamped with the date the VA received it, not the date you mailed it. Keep in mind that if it takes too long for the postal service to deliver it, you could miss a deadline.
How long does it take the VA to review evidence?
If you have submitted a claim online, you’ll get a notice from the VA letting you know that it received your application. If you mail or fax your application, you should get a confirmation letter from the VA within a week or so.
Once your claim is received, the VA will conduct an initial review to determine if it needs any more evidence. If it requests more evidence, you’ll need to send it as soon as you can. In the meantime, it will also be gathering evidence from your healthcare providers and various governmental agencies.
How long until I hear from the VA about my claim?
Your correspondence from the VA may come in waves. At the start of your application, you might get all kinds of mail from the EIC letting you know your claim has been received, your claim is being processed, and requests for documents from other sources have been sent.
Then you might not hear from them for months.
The benefit of working with Woods and Woods is that we keep track of the VA’s activity and will call you regularly to check in. Even if there isn’t any progress on your claim, we keep in touch.
If you have filed a new claim, it will be a few months before you hear anything. As of April 2022, the VA says it is averaging 152 days for claim decisions.
If you have filed an appeal, you could be waiting several months up to 7 years (yes, unfortunately) depending on the appeal lane you have chosen.
When your claim or appeal has been decided, you’ll receive a notification packet. This is the mail that you’ve been waiting for.
What’s in your notification packet from the VA?
Your notification packet will contain details about the VA’s decision about your case. If your appeal was denied, it will let you know why and what evidence the VA felt was lacking. It will also let you know what steps you need to take if you wish to appeal the decision. That is one of the most important documents to have handy when you call us for help with your appeal.
If your claim was approved, your notification packet will include your award letter and VA rating decision. These documents are important to keep on hand. It will also contain information about how to appeal your rating decision if you feel it is too low.
You can get all of these notifications on e-benefits as well.
If you are working with Woods and Woods, your case manager will go over your rating decision to make sure the VA didn’t miss anything. We want to make sure the effective date is correct, the ratings add up the right way, and no mistakes were made.
Other kinds of mail you might receive from the EIC
When you receive a letter from the EIC (or any other VA office), you probably wonder what you’ll be asked to do. And if your disability claim is already settled, you might be worried about what’s inside. Why are they sending you mail if your rating is permanent and your case is wrapped up?
The VA may send you mail to inform you about:
- A rating decision
- Additional compensation you may be eligible for, such as a clothing allowance or special monthly compensation (SMC)
- Updates about new processes in case you ever need to update your claim
Talk to our VA disability lawyers for free
If you need help understanding your EIC mail, call Woods and Woods for a free legal consultation.
When you are a Woods and Woods client, we take care of submitting evidence and reviewing any VA documents you receive. We’ll also contact you on a regular basis to let you know if we’ve received any new documents or if the VA is requesting more information.
Woods and Woods has fought for injured and disabled people since 1985. Our VA-certified disability benefits lawyers have successfully represented thousands of veterans against the VA.
We will submit your application for free, and we only charge a fee if we win your appeal.
Talk to Us About Your Claim: (866) 232-5777
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The Evidence Intake Center (EIC) is a VA office in Janesville, Wisconsin, that processes all documents related to VA disability compensation.
The best way to submit your files to the EIC is to upload them using the links for the claim status tool and through AccessVA. If you choose to mail your documents it is critical that you remember to never send the VA any original documents. Make both digital and physical copies of your documents and keep a record of when and where you submitted each document.