Many veterans who witness combat suffer from deteriorating mental or physical health after military service. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) avails financial compensation to veterans who have a disability, but receiving those benefits proves difficult at times. Below is a list of tips for filing a VA disability claim.
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File Your Claim on Time
Most veterans wait until they obtain the required information or until their condition worsens to justify their claim. Filing your claim on time ensures that the effective date of receiving your benefits is known as early as possible. A timely filing guarantees retroactive benefits for the time that elapses between the effective date and the time the veterans receive their benefits.
Request for Assistance if the Need Arises
Veterans who require assistance at any given point while filing a claim shouldn’t hesitate to ask for help. An accredited veteran disability law firm can assist you in filing a successful claim and navigating the complex process. Veterans shouldn’t give up on their VA claims, even if the process seems endless.
Update Your VA
Make sure to update your VA about multiple things that may change in your life, including moving to a new location. VA sends correspondence that’s related to the VA claim to the address, and if the address needs to be corrected, your claim gets delayed due to missed deadlines. Every piece of mail contains personal information, including social security numbers, and it may be problematic for the information to fall into the wrong hands. Update your VA with changes in dependency status, including a recent divorce, marriage, or childbirth. Updating your information with VA minimizes unnecessary denials, delays, and compensation troubles.
Be Sincere With Your Health Professional
Veterans should remain honest when reporting their limitations and symptoms to a treating physician. Medical records should reflect what’s being reported, and you should avoid downplaying or exaggerating your symptoms. An accurate picture of your condition facilitates correct medical records documentation, which VA considers when settling your claim. Notify your healthcare provider regarding the symptoms you currently experience and provide adequate details of various symptoms. Furthermore, indicate how your condition impacts your day-to-day functioning to establish whether the condition remains the same, improving, or worsening.
Attend Your Pension and Compensation Exam
VA orders Pension and Compensation examinations to assess the severity and etiology of a veteran’s disabilities when pursuing their disability compensation claim. VA weighs the outcomes of the test heavily, and veterans should attend the exam if VA schedules one for them to minimize the possibility of claim denial and to show how their symptoms progress. Veterans who are unable to attend the exam should consider rescheduling, while those that disagree with the outcomes may consider submitting private medical records and treatment notes for a more favorable attempt or evidence to challenge the exam.
Present Proof Regarding Your VA Disability Claim
Survivors and veterans should submit evidence that supports the kind of benefit they seek. VA disability claims require service records and medical evidence to prove entitlement to benefits. Veterans seeking disability from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) should indicate stressors that establish a connection to the condition at hand. A Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU) benefits veterans with disabilities below the scheduled 100% rating. VA requires submission of a 21-8940 VA Form that asks for information regarding educational background and employment history. Survivors applying for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) should submit records, including their marriage certificates to prove marriage to the veteran and the death certificate to prove that a service-connected disability caused the veteran’s death.
The VA notifies veterans through mail when it decides on the claims. Those that don’t agree with the decision can file an appeal. Hire a seasoned attorney to help navigate the entire process of filing a claim with ease.