Pushing For A Successful VA Disability Appeal

Posted on: 5 January 2016

Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation is a bit different from systems such as Social Security's disability insurance. You're not limited by income aside from extreme cases where you shouldn't be able to work at all, since the VA disability seeks to compensate you for something you've lost as a result of your service rather than being a temporary financial safety net. Unfortunately, while VA compensation is potentially more a better deal, it's not much easier to earn approval. Take a look at how to get the benefits you deserve and what could have gone wrong during claim denials.

Service-Connection Is What You Need

If you've been injured during military service, suffered mental unrest because of any incident in the military--not just combat-related incidents--you qualify for disability compensation from the VA. The problem is producing documentation that backs up your story.

Unfortunately, without detailed evidence, the VA simply can't take your work for it. No matter what your complaint, you'll need both evidence that can be verified as from your military service days as well as modern evidence showing that you still have a problem. 

Proof that links your condition to the military is called service-connected evidence, and is what blocks most veterans from the compensation they need. If you're complaining of head pain, you'll need to either have proof of some kind of incident that could have caused the pain or at least a record of complaining about the pain before you got out of the military. For mental conditions, the process may be more difficult as the VA examines your situation and plans support, but any kind of documentation such as specific incidents can be helpful.

The timeliness of your evidence matters, since the VA doesn't provide compensation for veterans who were injured after leaving the military. The VA can provide some assistance both officially and at a doctor's discretion, but the monetary compensation and more advanced medical and psychiatric assistance is limited to service-connected evidence.

A Lawyer May Be Necessary To Get The Help You Need

If you don't have any evidence that links your condition to the military, or if the VA denied your evidence, trying again on your own may not be a good idea. After all, if you didn't get it right the first time, you'll be guessing and trying to put together the advice of others on your future appeals.

A personal injury attorney can help you by examining your evidence and gathering more evidence that may be more successful. An injury attorney has more experience with building a compelling case for your compensation, and can ask questions you may not have thought of.

If you don't know what could have caused your condition, an attorney and medical professional can comb through your career to help you recall things you may have forgotten or to help you look at certain things at a different angle. After all, if you're not a medical professional, you could be dismissing a lot of things as non-issues that a professional knows a lot more about.

With the attorney's assistance, your claim can deliver more facts in your favor, and you don't have to worry about some unknown, unfathomable fee. An attorney cannot charge more than 33.5% of your backpay once an appeal is approved (listed in the cost section of this nolo.com information page), and it doesn't cost you anything to file an appeal. Contact a personal injury attorney to begin crafting an appeal that can deliver the compensation you deserve.