Understanding VA Claim And Appeal Denials

6 March 2017
 Categories: , Blog

The Veterans Affairs (VA) disability system is notorious for its almost guaranteed denial of claims that aren't packed with evidence--and even the fully-stocked claims aren't a sure deal. There are a lot of requirements to understand, but there are also systematic issues that you need to learn to work around instead of letting it get to you. Don't quit, and don't let rage at the system ruin your day; a few VA disability system details can help you figure out what to do differently and who to talk to for help.

Supporting Every Statement

No one is perfect, and unless your military career involved attorney, doctor, nurse, or medical specialist-level work, there are documentation concerns that you won't get right on the first try.

Whether the VA accepts your statement, asks you to clarify a statement with a quick correction, or causes your claim to go into the denial appeal queue depends on the regional office personnel looking at your claim. To be safe, assume that every office is in a rush and needs the answer directly in their face.

You can claim multiple conditions, but every condition needs a specific set of proof. You need to prove that each condition is severe enough for disability, and that the condition is related to military service. This establishes service connection, and any condition that isn't severe and service-connected has a good chance of being denied.

The best chance of getting good, service-connected evidence is using your military medical record and getting a current examination of your condition. A diagnosis during military service would be great, since it shows that you didn't just make up the condition or suffer after military service ended. 

Medical record proof with military-related timelines is important because the VA has to filter out claims from veterans who simply make up conditions to see what sticks as they leave the military. Unfortunately, even valid conditions that happen after military service are invalid except for in specific circumstances, and you're better off letting an attorney fight that battle.

Taking A Stand During Disagreement

If you've given all of the evidence you have, know for sure that your condition was caused by military service, but still see nothing but denials in your mail, it's time to take a stand and get an attorney on your side. You're either missing something vital, or dealing with a claims office that feels like being difficult--or not trying at all.

For the more obvious conditions, such as not being able to walk well or having pain because of a workplace or combat injury, a denial despite military medical records and current medical evidence is a sign that something is going on at that specific office. An attorney can either help you find a more agreeable regional office, or shake up that specific office if you want to make sure that no other veterans are suffering from the same problem.

If you're the one missing information, don't feel like you need to become an expert to save your life or economic livelihood. Let the attorney do the hard work and arrange your documentation, then learn from their work. These experts have years of experience and go through intensive education, and no matter how proud you are of your career, if it's not a legal career, you just don't have the proper tools for that job.

Contact a personal injury attorney, like one from Gartner Law Firm, to get a stronger legal voice and years of expertise behind your VA disability appeal.