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How You Can Help With Your VA Claim

How You Can Help With Your VA Claim

The U.S. Veterans Affairs (VA) disability benefits system serves as a crucial means of providing financial assistance and support to Veterans who have sustained injuries or developed medical conditions as a result of their military service.

Applying for benefits or appealing a denied claim can be complex and time-consuming. Hiring an experienced VA disability benefits attorney can provide a valuable advocate during this process. However, there are also things Veterans can do to help their claim along.

Three Things to Help a VA Disability Claim

VA benefits aim to compensate Veterans for the physical and mental disabilities they have incurred during their time in service, enabling them to receive necessary medical care and maintain their quality of life. When beginning the claims process, or when filing a VA benefits appeal, here are three things Veterans can do initially to help their claim:

  1. Raid the attic. Also raid the attics of anyone they worked with or knew during their service: colleagues, friends, family members, and spouses. Look for awards, certificates, pictures, videos, letters home, letters sent to the Veteran, newspaper clippings, and so forth. These items can be evidence of where the Veteran was stationed (especially if their personnel records are incomplete), an in-service event or injury, their physical state at the time, and other elements.
  2. Keep detailed medical records. Request medical records from doctors and keep copies of them. Different doctors and medical facilities will have different document retention policies but will destroy records after a certain amount of time.
  3. Contact service buddies. Social media is a great place to start looking if a Veteran has lost touch with people they served with. A buddy statement can help Veterans establish a claim or an in-service stressor. Veterans can also get statements from friends and loved ones who knew them while they were in service. They can talk about injuries or illnesses that the Veteran had, or changes in personality if the Veteran is making a claim for a mental health condition.

Remember, while an attorney can help Veterans make their case and can provide skilled advice on what evidence they will need to establish their claim, we don’t know what’s in their attic, or what other evidence they might have. Taking a moment to look around for old records and memorabilia to establish a timeline, and talking to others who were there at the time is a great start to help a VA benefits claim.

Common Mistakes to Avoid During the Claims Process

Many Veterans may encounter potential pitfalls during the application process for VA disability benefits.

One common mistake is failing to provide sufficient evidence to support their claim. Veterans need to gather comprehensive documentation, including medical records, service records, and statements from buddies or witnesses, to substantiate their disability and its connection to their military service.

Another common error is submitting an incomplete or inaccurate application. Veterans should carefully review all forms and instructions to ensure they provide accurate information and include all required documentation.

Additionally, waiting too long to file a claim can be detrimental, as delayed applications may result in missed opportunities for benefits or longer processing times.

To avoid these pitfalls, Veterans should seek guidance from experienced attorneys who can assist them in navigating the application process and avoiding potential errors.

Potential Reasons for VA Claim Denial

If the VA denies the initial claim for benefits, the Veteran may choose to appeal the decision to seek reconsideration or review by a higher authority. A Veteran may need to appeal a VA disability benefits claim for various reasons, including:

  • Insufficient Evidence: The VA may deny a claim if the evidence provided is deemed insufficient to establish a service-connected disability or to support the claimed disability’s severity.
  • Rating Disagreement: A Veteran may disagree with the VA’s assigned disability rating, believing it does not accurately reflect the extent of their disability or its impact on their daily life.
  • Inadequate Examination: If the VA’s medical examination does not adequately assess the Veteran’s condition or fails to consider relevant evidence, the Veteran may appeal to request a new examination or review by an independent medical expert.
  • Failure to Consider Secondary Conditions: The VA may overlook or fail to consider secondary conditions that are connected to the Veteran’s service-connected disability, leading to a denial of benefits.
  • Procedural Errors: Errors or mishandling of the claims process by the VA, such as administrative mistakes or failure to follow proper procedures, may warrant an appeal to seek correction and fair consideration of the claim.
  • Change in Circumstances: If the Veteran’s condition worsens or new evidence becomes available after the initial claim was denied, they may appeal to request a reevaluation of their eligibility for benefits.

Overall, Veterans may appeal VA disability benefits claims to ensure they receive fair consideration and appropriate compensation for service-related disabilities.

Appealing Disability Claims

If a Veteran’s VA disability claim is denied or they receive a disability rating that is too low, there are several options available to appeal a VA decision.

One avenue is to pursue an appeal through the VA’s appeals process. This process allows Veterans to challenge the decision by submitting additional evidence, requesting a review by a higher authority, or presenting their case before a VA judge.

Another option is to seek reconsideration of the claim by providing new evidence or addressing any errors or misunderstandings in the initial decision.

Veterans may also explore alternative avenues for appealing denied claims. Options may include filing a claim with the Board of Veterans’ Appeals or seeking assistance from legal professionals focusing on VA disability claims.

Veterans need to understand their rights and options for appeal. Getting guidance from experienced advocates can help them navigate the appeals process effectively.

Contact Berry Law for Help With a VA Disability Claim

The experienced VA disability benefits lawyers at Berry Law can help Veterans establish their claims. Our attorneys have a dedicated focus on VA disability claims and can offer invaluable assistance in navigating this complex system. By leveraging their experience with VA regulations, gathering relevant evidence, and advocating on behalf of their clients, lawyers can help Veterans maximize their chances of securing the benefits they rightfully deserve.

The lawyers and legal professionals at Berry Law are also Veterans, giving them a unique understanding of the VA claims process. They can provide invaluable guidance, ensuring that veterans receive fair treatment and representation every step of the way. Call the firm toll-free at 888-883-2483 or fill out our online contact form. We represent Veterans in all 50 states and our legal team is available 24/7.

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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