In the Veterans Affairs (VA) disability claim system, denials happen. Some may think that denials are frivolous at times or a result of an overwhelming backlog, but it's understandable that a veteran with no administrative, healthcare or legal experience would have difficulties with a disability claim while transitioning to civilian life. If you're struggling with claim and appeal denials and don't know what you could be doing wrong, take a look at what the VA expects and what you can do to reach success easier.
The Service Connection Confusion
The VA will only give disability compensation if you're legitimately suffering from a service-connected injury or condition. A service connection is a label for anything that can positively link your problem with something from your military career or somehow involving the military.
Fighting against fraud is one reason that some claims are denied, but it isn't the only blockade. Some veterans don't understand that the VA is there to help, but they won't give you compensation for any random disability. Service connection explains why an injury or condition caused by something in your civilian life is not eligible for VA compensation, so even if you're legitimately suffering and obviously far from faking a condition, you still need that positive link.
The proof for your service connection must be documented, and even the documentation can come under scrutiny to the point of rejection. The best evidence will be in the form of a medical record entry that confirms the cause of your condition and your level of suffering.
Problems such as chronic pain or mobility issues may not be easily observed, so the medical personnel during your military career may not have given a report of your condition that 100% confirms your problem. The entry may read that you reported the problem, but if past medical professionals were unsure of your actual condition, it's nothing more than a report of your complaint. It's still better than nothing, as it shows that you didn't randomly make up a problem to claim fraudulent benefits.
If you have absolutely no evidence and no complaints, your claim can be very difficult to prove. It'll take a legal professional to bring up new evidence that can support your claim.
How A Lawyer Can Fill In The Gaps
If you have medical documentation that absolutely agrees with your complaint and provides evidence, but the claim or appeal was still denied, there's a big problem that you shouldn't handle alone. There may be systematic issues at your local VA administrative office, or you may not have filed the proper paperwork and need guidance. A lawyer can help you at this level and with other complex problems.
When you're missing concrete evidence, but at least filed a complaint while you were still in the military, it's time to prove that you're still suffering from the problem. This means that you'll need an up-to-date medical examination. The VA provides medical examinations, but they're often quick and lacking the amount of time necessary to outline a problem. Even if you're at an agreeable, helpful VA clinic, the amount of time between appointments during a backlog could take months or years to get the right evidence.
Instead, a personal injury lawyer can connect you with medical professionals who are experienced in claim systems and are able to systematically document each problem and potential cause in a way that the VA can read more quickly. Contact a personal injury attorney--like one from Bidegaray Law Firm LLP--if you need a boost with your appeal or if you suspect failures at your local VA administration.Share