Need Help With A Veterans Affairs Appeal?
The Veterans Affairs (VA) disability claim system isn't always easy. There's a few strict evidence requirements that are needed, and you can't simply show off a wound or describe your pain to get compensation. If your claim was denied, it simply means that you didn't have the right requirements on paper to get you through the defenses the defenses that keep fakers out of the system--it's nothing personal against you. To get your appeal in order and to avoid putting in multiple appeals with long wait times, here's some information about the VA disability system and what you can do to make your appeal more viable.
What's In A Claim?
A VA disability claim needs to answer two questions:
- Is your condition related to the military?
- Are you currently suffering from the condition?
If you can't answer yes to both questions, you'll either be denied or rated at 0% disability. Although 0% grants access to advanced VA medical care such as surgery and no-cost/reimbursed referrals, you won't get the monetary compensation--a problem if you're unable to work as much or at all because of your condition.
To prove that your condition is related to the military, you'll need proof that it happened during military service or became worse because of military service. It doesn't matter if you were in combat or at a military base during peace time, and it doesn't matter if you were on leave or on duty; if you were in the military when the condition started or became worse, it fall under the disability criteria if you have proof.
There are many ways to provide proof, but only official military records are sure-fire victories. You'll need medical record entries showing that you complained about the problem at least, and it's better if you have a diagnosis or scans showing that your problems was discovered in the military. It's not over if you don't have documentation confirming your condition, but you want to get rid of any question that the condition happened after military service ended.
Current suffering means getting current medical or psychological evaluation. Getting 0% because you can prove that something happened is good, but issues such as pain or psychological distress are more difficult than physical wounds because they're harder to diagnose. Don't worry too much if the VA can't come up with current evidence; just because it's hard to find doesn't mean that you're being dismissed.
Get A Lawyer For Difficult Appeal Situations
If you don't have any evidence or don't agree with the VA's assessment of your current situation, you'll need to get another professional opinion. You could visit different VA clinics and hope for other results while sitting through the VA's notoriously long wait times, but you could get the information faster with a personal injury lawyer's help.
A lawyer can examine your military record to find anything that could link up with your condition. Just because you experienced the situations and have the condition doesn't mean you're able to perfectly link the information; there could be subtle hints and situations that aren't obvious unless you've had experience with other disability cases.
By looking through other claims, researching other cases similar to your situation and connecting you with non-VA medical professionals, a lawyer can build a bigger stack of evidence in your favor. Contact a personal injury lawyer (like those at Prediletto, Halpin, Scharnikow & Nelson, P.S.) to begin discussion your condition and ways to make your appeal more likely to succeed and reach higher percentages.