Many veterans know that the Department of Veterans Affairs (the VA) is not easy to work with when it comes to disability claims. Any living veterans have been told by previous veterans and lectured during military service, but the reality of paperwork is always more tedious than the rumors. If your claim or appeal has been denied despite your best efforts, keep at it! A few tips can help you figure out how to improve your claim, or at least keep your backpay rights valid while you look for professional legal assistance.
Why Are Legitimate BA Claims Denied?
There's no shortage of scandals involving VA medical care or claims handling, but aside from scandals and conspiracies, how can you push your claim to success? For many veterans, it means getting better evidence and linking the evidence they already have.
A disability claim must prove service-connection and severity. This means that the claim needs to show that your condition is somehow related to military service and that it's bad enough to deserve compensation.
This proof has to be more than just a visual appearance of pain, and the VA can't just take your word for it. You need documentation that can be confirmed with your military service record, and medical results that can either be replicated by another medical professional or supplied by a medical professional that can be trusted. There's no easy way to figure out the trust part, and it's often trial and error.
If your claim can't show that the problem existed before and that it's still a problem, you'll likely be denied. At best, most veterans in this situation will get a letter requesting more evidence. Thankfully, you can appeal your claim as much as possible.
Getting The Evidence You Need
For past evidence, any documented medical visit counts. Whether you were in a hospital, at combat triage, or walking onto base medical to complain about any kind of problem, getting it documented is the most important.
Unfortunately, this is so open-ended that fakers can get friends in medical to write down their documentation, but later parts of the system are used to catch fraud. For you, it's a simple check in the box showing that you didn't just make the problem up after the military.
If you never complained about the issue or just discovered the problem, there's still a chance. If you've been out of the military for less than a year, apply for benefits immediately and list every single mental and physical problem you think you may have. Let the VA say no if they have to, but you need to establish that record of complaining. Don't lie, but don't assume that anything more than a papercut is too small--and if that papercut hasn't healed over the years, write that down, too.
If your claim has been denied, check that all of your evidence shows your condition and its severity. If you left out any medical documents, don't bother editing them. Send everything and contact an attorney to get a more focused level of appeal system control.
An attorney can help you if you're not sure how to submit evidence, or if you have the evidence and it seems like the VA doesn't understand the kind of argument you're making. In situations of wrongdoing, consider a personal injury attorney mandatory to protect the rights of you and fellow veterans. These benefits are not a privilege; veterans earned medical assistance and compensation through their service.
Contact a personal injury attorney and discuss your claim to get closer to claim success. Click here to find out more.Share