How to Get VA Disability Benefits as a Medic

How to Get VA Disability Benefits as a Medic

Medics and corpsmen serve a vital role in the U.S. Armed Forces. They provide medical aid to their wounded brethren, sometimes in the heat of battle.

If a medic is injured during their military service, they can receive benefits from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). Unfortunately, it may be difficult for these heroes to get the compensation they deserve because of the unique nature of their work.

This guide explains how medics can increase their chances of receiving VA disability benefits and what they can do if their benefits claim is denied.

Why Are Medics Typically Denied VA Disability Benefits?

Medics may experience service-connected injuries and disabilities related to their time in the U.S. Armed Forces. However, they may have trouble getting a disability benefits claim approved by the VA.

Many medics have difficulty getting approved for VA disability benefits because they changed positions while in the military. It’s fairly common for medics to change their assignments, and reassignment may cause complications when applying for VA benefits.

For example, you may have spent your last five years in the military behind a desk, but during the previous years, you were assigned to on-field work. If you submit a claim to the VA for musculoskeletal issues, they may deny it because of your history of working at a desk. Unfortunately, the VA may completely ignore your record of helping your brothers and sisters on the battlefield in prior years.

In addition, medics may also have their disability claims denied because many of them treat their own injuries without seeking additional medical care. As a result, there won’t be any information on their injuries in Service Treatment Records. Without this documentation, the VA will likely deny a medic’s claim for benefits.

However, medics may still have their claims approved if they take a few extra steps. Unlike other Veterans, medics may have to take a different approach when submitting a disability claim.

Common Medical Disabilities for Medics

Medics can suffer from a wide range of medical disabilities, including:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): It’s possible for a medic to be diagnosed with PTSD because of the trauma and horrific events they witnessed in the service.
  • Hearing loss: Long-term exposure to loud gunfire and explosions can contribute to both partial and complete hearing loss.
  • Depression: In addition to PTSD, Veterans can also develop chronic depression, which can reduce their ability to secure gainful employment in the future.
  • Musculoskeletal disorders: Injuries involving the joints, muscles, and/or ligaments of the body.

If you have been diagnosed with any of these medical complications, you can file a disability claim to get the benefits you rightfully deserve.

How to Get Your Disability Claim Approved

Medics have to take a unique approach to filing their disability claim to improve the chances the VA will approve it. One of the best ways to improve your claim’s chances is by relying on buddy statements.

Buddy statements are written statements from fellow Veterans, friends, and relatives who know all about your disability. These statements explain the severity of your injuries and how they were developed because of your military service.

Ideally, the more buddy statements you have, the stronger your disability claim will be. In addition, the VA can also review the nature of your military service based on the unit you were assigned to.

For example, if you were assigned to an infantry unit, there is a high chance you developed a disability that’s common for other members in your unit. Ultimately, you can use the written testimony of other service members and loved ones to help prove your claim.

The VA will take your buddy statements seriously and perform a more extensive analysis of your past military services and the injuries you sustained.

How to Prove Your Claim With Verifiable Service Treatment Records (STRs)

If you have STRs that prove the extent of your injuries, submitting a successful disability claim becomes easier. With your STRs on hand, you can more easily prove that your injuries were service-connected. Generally speaking, this means that your injuries were directly caused by your time in the military.

Here are the three requirements you’ll need to build a solid disability claim:

  1. Documentation of an in-service event that caused your injury.
  2. You have a documented record of your current disability, injury, or illness.
  3. There is a direct correlation between this in-service event and your injury.

If you can meet these requirements, you can improve the chances of your claim’s success.

What Does the VA Claims Process Look Like?

If you’re considering submitting a VA claim, here is what the standard process entails:

  • Claim Received: Whether you submit your application online or by mail, you’ll receive a notification that it was received. 
  • Initial Review: The VA will begin reviewing your claim.
  • Evidence Gathering: During this step, the VA will ask for evidence for your claim. They will review your STRs and receive information from your healthcare professional about your medical condition.
  • Review, and Decision: A rating officer will review all the evidence and make a determination.  Preparation for Notification: The VA will begin preparing its final decision.
  • Completion: You’ll have to wait seven to 10 business days to receive the decision in the mail.

Why Medics May Need a Disability Lawyer

Again, medics often face a tough time submitting a disability claim. Even if their claim is valid, the VA may make a premature decision based on a Veteran’s history in the service and the absence of medical documentation in STRs.

If you fit into either scenario, you should contact a VA disability claims attorney. With a skilled lawyer by your side, you can build an effective disability claim. On top of that, you can file a solid appeal if your claim is denied.

An experienced VA disability benefits lawyer has the tools and resources to help you navigate the appeals process and increase the likelihood of approval.

Contact Berry Law to Discuss Your Appeal

Medics and corpsmen may find it challenging to submit a disability claim to the VA. Fortunately, by hiring a VA disability benefits lawyer, they can increase their chances of success.

At Berry Law, we have over 50 years of experience handling disability claims on behalf of our nation’s Veterans. We have a solid reputation for pursuing aggressive appeals for our clients to help them receive the compensation they deserve.

If you’re ready to talk about your claim, give us a call at (888) 883-2483 to discuss your case.

John S. Berry, , Lawyer for VA Disability Benefits
John S. Berry, , VA Disability Benefits Attorney
Berry Law

The attorneys at Berry Law are dedicated to helping injured Veterans. With extensive experience working with VA disability claims, Berry Law can help you with your disability appeals.

This material is for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship between the Firm and the reader, and does not constitute legal advice. Legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and the contents of this blog are not a substitute for legal counsel.

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