Winning a VA disability claim appeal can be more demanding than your expectation. It is essential to understand what the Veterans’ Affairs is looking for in a claim and the potential reasons behind the claims’ approval and rejection.
The veterans’ affairs department also provides compensation benefits to individuals who have post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD lawyers help the claimers in gaining the disability benefits they need.
The following article will discuss some steps that you can follow to help you in getting closer to a VA’s decision for award compensation. Before discussing the steps, let’s have a look at some necessary conditions that a VA follows when deciding about claims and some veteran benefits.
Preparing for a VA Claim Appeal
Usually, the VA specialist seeks to learn about any medical condition directly related to the military service. When checking for medical conditions, the following points are considered;
- Presence of a current injury or disability and the required documentation to back up the diagnosis.
- The condition needs to have occurred or worsened during the service.
- A medical connection between the claimer’s medical condition and the service is essential.
- The condition doesn’t have to have occurred during the training or combat. The medical condition can also be a result of any off-duty activity.
Is the VA Department Always responsible for helping the Veterans?
Initially, The Department of Veterans Affairs was responsible for helping the claimers, but some changes have been inflicted recently. The implemented amendments require the VA to assist the Veteran in getting medical records and other necessary documentation.
However, this obligation on the VA has some limitations to it. According to a few reports, VA’s assistance is required only when the claim is made for benefits. Besides this, the VA department’s help is needed when a supplemental request is made, and there is new evidence to be considered.
Some Veterans’ Benefits to Know About
There are several different Veterans’ benefits. It allows long-term care by providing money for nursing homes and assisted living costs.
The department of VA also offers caregivers support. This program provides the caregiver with a free support line and support coordinator to help alleviate the caregiver’s stress.
When the Veteran passes away, the families can request a country flag and a presidential memorial certificate for draping over the casket. The VA department also provides with headstones or grave markers for the deceased.
Veterans’ benefits also include free tax preparation for the Veteran and their family. The tax assistance offices on military bases have the expertise that work with complicated military-related tax issues.
Individuals facing trouble with mortgage payments are eligible to request repayment assistance through the VA department. The other options include unique payment plans, loan modification programs, and loan forbearance for homeless veterans or veterans with a VA loan. They are also provided with additional benefits.
The Veterans’ Affairs department also maintains a list of the houses serviced by VA loans that went into foreclosures. Veterans are allowed to look through the list of the acquired properties and buy a home at a discount. It is not necessary for you to be a veteran to look through the properties, but the properties qualify for VA financing.
How to Get close to winning the Disability Claim
How is the claim being presented to the government for a review has prime importance. Along with this, also remember that the legislation, military registration, and VA programs all are subject to amendments at any time due to any reason.
Keeping this in mind, it is necessary for the claimer to understand the claim’s nature, how the guidelines apply to them, and the claim process. Let’s have a look at the few tips that will help you in getting closer to winning a disability claim.
1. Make sure to Document any Medical Records you Own
Preparing documents can be stressful when completing the medical records that have to be presented for a compensation claim, however, it is an essential part of the process and should be completed carefully. This also applies to individuals who are still in service and may not quit or retire soon.
When making your VA claim, make sure to be proactive and include all sorts of evidence, even if at the earliest stage. If you quit or retire, you still own the military and civil medical records. You can use them as well to back up your claim.
2. Make sure to Keep Personal Copies of Your Medical Record
When you receive your medical records at discharge time, make sure you furnish some copies of the documents. You can ask your primary care provider to do it as well and keep them with you.
Having extra copies of your medical record will aid in supplying them to either your lawyer or the organization helping you with the claim. Doing this can also help you with any issues in the records at the organizational level.
3. Get Statements from Your Family, Friends, and Acquaintances
To aid your claim, you can get statements from family, friends, and acquaintances on your condition. The report should be in written form and should contain information from a source capable of attesting to your state.
It will also comprise of how the condition affected your working and living abilities. It is said to avoid lay-diagnosis and to focus more on the personal observations made.
4. Avoid Artificial Limiting of your Claim
Naming a diagnosis in your claim can be quite restrictive for it. Doing this may eliminate the considerations like emotional and mental symptoms, which are common in every medical condition.
An injury or a condition can also be a result of different factors like high stress or anxiety. It is considered more beneficial to allow the physicians to determine whether the situation is a result of one or multiple causes.
5. Getting Information from a Non-VA Medical Expert
When making a claim, you are also required to provide some supporting evidence to back it up. In such cases, getting an opinion from your civilian medical expert can benefit your claim to a decent extent.
The civilian medical expert’s opinion may also help establish a link of the medical issue with the service. This can increase the chances of consideration of your claim by the VA department.