There are a lot of rumors about how claims for Veterans Affairs (VA) disability are denied. The system is complex and sometimes strict because of the need to battle against fraud, but many veterans feel as if they're being denied just to keep the backlog down or because of misbehavior at the claims office. Put the rumors aside for a while, as even if there's shady dealing at your claims office, there are ways to get around failure and move closer to success. Take a look at how to make your VA disability appeal work faster, and be sure to pass the info on to your fellow veterans.
Service-Connection Is Your Major Concern
A VA disability claim or appeal must prove that your injury, disease, mental condition or any type of condition is connected to military service. The term service-connection covers any relationship between your condition and the military, and there are two major points that you need to prove.
First, you need proof that your problem happened during the military or was made worse because of the military. At this point, it isn't about showing your injury to doctors or explaining your mental condition; your job is to give documentation proving that your condition was during your service.
Medical records are possibly the easiest form of proof. Were you injured at your workstation by a piece of machinery, an unfortunate fall or combat? Were you exposed to dangerous substances or diseases during your military duty? You'll need an entry in your medical record or other official documentation showing when it happened.
It isn't about being on or off duty, nor about whether you were on leave or on the last day in the military. If you were part of the military, it counts, and you need documentation showing the date of the event. If you don't have an exact date of when you were affected, you should at least have records of you complaining about the issue before leaving the military. You'll need medical review to prove complaints without a concrete statement of your problem, but it's better than nothing.
Enhanced Evidence And Support From An Attorney
After showing the approximate date of when your condition was caused, you'll need a current medical review showing that you're still suffering. For example, in most cases you can't receive benefits for a limp just because you've sprained an ankle or broken a leg in the past if medical review shows that you're mostly healed. You'll need additional testing to show that you're still affected, which may require professional assistance.
A personal injury attorney can help you by analyzing your situation and figuring out which statements you're missing. You may have the right evidence, but there may be a few gaps in the information. Returning to the broken or sprained leg example, an attorney can get a second opinion from medical professionals who may have more time to examine your condition than the VA.
It isn't unheard of for the VA's medical examination to be rushed or incorrectly interpreted, and a personal injury attorney has the experience and medical professional connections to find the right evidence with the statements you need for appeal success. You could search for many good doctors on your own, but they may not be experienced in documenting results in a way that looks good on a disability appeal.
Contact a personal injury attorney like Vaughan & Vaughan to begin working on a more comprehensive claim with the VA.
My husband does much of our auto repair work himself. We do all that we can to save a dollar when we can, and doing the repair work saves us a small fortune each year. Unfortunately, all of the money that we have saved over the past 15 years has gone to pay the medical bills that we have accumulated during the last several months after a floor jack failed and dropped our car on top of my husband. A few days after the incident, I contacted an injury attorney. I have created a blog to help others that have been injured due to faulty products find some sort of resolution.