Your VA Claim Denial Isn't The Last Word


Being denied disability under the Veterans Affairs (VA) disability claims system can be discouraging, but a single denial isn't the end of the process. You could have missed some information or may not have had the right amount of paperwork, or maybe there was a simple mistake regarding your medical status. No matter the reason, there's no cost in putting in an appeal. As you look through your options, take the time to understand the claims system and ways that an attorney could help.

Cover Your Service Connection Bases

There are always exceptions to claim success and failures, but at the core of your claim should be a strong service-connection argument.

In order for the VA to grant disability benefits, you need to prove that your condition was related to military service. You may even claim pre-existing conditions that were made more severe because of military service, although such claims are handled on a case-by-case basis rather than being part of the standard service-connected category.

You can prove service-connection with a variety of documents, although a medical record entry is the most common. You'll need some proof that a specific event happened or that you've complained about the issue to begin the service-connected argument, and a strong medical opinion in writing during military service can be an even better benefit.

If you didn't copy your entire medical record, get a copy of it as soon as possible. It's understandable that many military careers end under hectic situations that make it difficult to copy new information, so if you're missing the latest entries or a random page that you didn't think was important, the National Archives can send a copy of your record or an original. Be aware that it make take several weeks or months for your archive to be retrieved and sent.

An Attorney Can Build Additional Support

As you wade through old evidence, you'll need to find new evidence as well. Updated medical examinations need to be performed in order to show that you're currently suffering from a condition that deserves disability support or that the condition may cause problems in the future.

After filing a claim or appeal, the VA should send you to a compensation and pension (C&P) examination. This examination includes medical and psychological evaluation for every condition that you're claiming, ranging from audiology labs for hearing problems to CT (computerized tomography) scans for head trauma.

There are times when a claims official may dismiss an issue as not needed an examination, or the issue may simply be lost during paperwork processing. If you didn't get the examination you deserve or sufficient proof, a personal injury attorney can help.

With a personal injury attorney's assistance, you can underline issues with the VA process and demand a more organized set of examinations. In addition to the VA's examinations, an attorney may have connections with non-VA medical professionals who have experience in documenting medical results for claim purposes.

The attorney can also handle your paperwork in a more efficient, claims system-friendly way. Before sending in an appeal or even if your appeal is already in the system, contact a personal injury attorney, like Fitzsimmons & Vervaecke Law Firm, to discuss your disability appeal success strategy.


11 September 2015

My Day in Court

When I sued a product manufacturer after a disfiguring accident, I never expected to actually go to court. I assumed that the case would eventually be settled, like most personal injury cases are. To my surprise, they wouldn't budge, and we ended up having to go all the way to court. I was pretty nervous about testifying, but I had a great attorney that prepared me well, and everything went smoothly. In the end, the jury saw things my way. I realized that I probably wasn't the only person to ever experience an unexpected day in court, and that's how I got the idea to start this blog. If you're looking for tips to help you prepare or wondering what to expect when you go to court for a lawsuit, this blog contains important information for you.