Dealing with the Department of Veterans Affairs (the VA) can be a massive headache, especially when working on an injury claim for disability compensation that you need. The forms may be confusing and the burden of proof can be difficult to manage if your paperwork doesn't match up with your hectic military career, an issue that far too many veterans have to deal with. If you've been denied compensation from the VA, don't give up! Keep a few concepts of the VA system in mind as you look for ways to make your claim better and seek legal assistance.
The Service-Connected Test Can Be A Hurdle
Many veterans are confused after receiving a decision letter with a denial message, and rightly so. If you were injured during your military service or have been suffering from conditions caused by military service and have proper documentation, getting anything less than an approval can be confusing--even infuriating or disappointing.
The issue of denial rests with the type of proof used. Unfortunately, VA representatives can't just take your word for certain issues, even if they were in the service with you. To combat fraud and keep funding available for veterans who need it like you, your claim needs to be documented nearly perfectly.
A VA disability claim must pass a service-connected test in order to be approved. This means that your documentation must show that your condition started during military service or was made significantly worse by it. The second part about being significantly worse may take a lot more medical testing to prove, but the first part simply needs an accurate medical record.
If you're claiming leg problems, you need a military record entry showing that you have a definite leg problem. Broken legs, being shot somewhere in the leg or being in a leg-related accident can be an easy road to approval, but there are some issues that may be harder to prove.
Why Would A Legitimate Injury Be Denied?
Continuing with the leg example, complaining of leg problems from normal wear and tear of military service can result in compensation, but you'll need a much stronger set of evidence. You'll need to complain about the issue immediately after leaving the military--maybe even before getting out of the military--and you need accurate medical testing to show that the leg problem is still an issue.
A denial could mean that your current medical condition can't be verified. Although the VA wouldn't officially and directly insult your integrity, it's possible to fake leg pain or a limp. It's also possible to have leg pain or a limp with no easily observed medical evidence. The issue rests with the medical professional examining you and how well your claim is documented.
This is where a personal injury attorney comes in. An attorney has more experience in medical claim and disability claim organization and can pull together evidence that you may not have thought of from sources such as your medical record, service record, news reports that you or your unit could have been involved in, or even testimony from your previous co-workers in the military.
An attorney specializing in injury also has a more robust network of medical professionals who know how to examine a person for claim purposes. A good doctor may notice that you have a problem and may see a lot of evidence, but it takes a claim-experienced professional to emphasize which points are likely to win your claim. Contact a personal injury attorney to begin planning a more successful claim appeal--you can appeal as many times as you want, but make sure to get successful help as early as possible. To get started, reach out to a firm like Conway Pauley & Johnson PC Attys.