Have you been denied Veterans Affairs (VA) disability benefits? Have you heard the horror stories about excessive delays caused by mismanagement or being denied automatically during rushed claim intake situations? Some situations are obviously illegal and require a lawyer immediately, but many situations just need you to be careful with your claim or appeal. Here are a few details to help you craft a strong claim, along with situations where a lawyer should be your first call.
Create A Strong Service Connection
Some may argue that proving your injury's severity is the most important thing. Not when it comes to the VA, because no matter how bad your condition is, if it isn't related to military service, the VA won't give you disability.
Service-connection describes how a condition is related to military service, and anything between your first day at Boot Camp/Basic Training to your last day in the reserves can count. It doesn't matter if you fell down stairs in a boat, got hit by a car on base, suffered a gunshot wound in combat or in a seedy bar in a foreign port; if you were in the military, it counts.
There are a few disqualifying situations, such as committing a crime. Let the VA sort that out and file your claim anyway.
To prove service-connection, you need official documentation. The best documentation is a military medical record entry showing that you were treated for the problem you're claiming now. Civilian medical records from your military service time frame will also count, but the VA needs to verify that the medical professionals were real and licensed. This is to prevent fraud, since many veterans are willing to have their records faked.
The next best evidence outside of treatment is a complaint. Hopefully, you've complained about your situation before and have that complaint in the medical record. If not, it's your job to put in a claim as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the easier it is for the VA to blame your problems on anything in your civilian life.
If you have no documentation, but know that the problem was caused in the military, now isn't the time to become a researcher on your own. Contact a personal injury attorney to begin researching your chances for success.
Injury Attorneys And Disability System Efficiency
There are likely other claims exactly like your own, if not at least similar. There are also a lot of claims to filter through, and almost all of the claims and appeals use legal language that can be difficult to navigate.
A personal injury attorney can examine your situation and build a success road map for the kind of evidence you need. This includes getting the current status of your condition, any physical evidence showing how the condition was caused, and any distinct features that would identify the condition as military-related.
An example would be exposure to specific substances that are most likely military in origin, such as jet fuel or specific chemicals used in warfare operations. There aren't many modern public examples, but the Agent Orange controversy is a good example of exposure that wasn't well understood until decades later--and not supported by compensation until even later.
For more information, contact a firm such as The Fitzpatrick Law Firm.