Veterans Affairs (VA) officials are in position to help veterans as they transition from military life to a civilian lifestyle, but the system obviously has its flaws. Seemingly obligatory denials, long wait times and complex policies means that a legitimately suffering veteran with fresh injuries--let alone wounds earned long in the past--can be denied if the paperwork isn't perfect in some cases. If you're tired of being denied or getting the run around, take a look at how the VA should be handling your claim, what your claim should look like and how a lawyer can help.
What Would Cause A Legitimate Injury To Be Rejected?
The main issue with the VA's denial reputation is that fraud has to be tackled aggressively. Benefits from the VA are no small chunk of change; in addition to the monetary compensation, veterans are entitled to a comprehensive medical support system that can become very expensive if a fraudulent claim veteran has other major issues that are difficult to manage. To battle fraud, a higher bar for acceptance exists that can block veterans who don't know the system well.
Unfortunately, most veterans leaving the military or dealing with their first denial aren't exactly well-versed in disability policies. Many veterans leave the military as the only thing they know in their adult life, often directly after high school, college or at an equally early part of adult life. You're essentially doing the job of a seasoned lawyer without the training.
Proving Your VA Disability Legitimacy
There are two deceptively simple parts to a successful claim: service connection and proof of current suffering. Service connection is how your condition is related to the military, such as providing the date of the injury's cause in official documentation, while current suffering shows that you haven't completely healed and need compensation.
The first part seems simple enough because it's not difficult to speak to the medical department on base before leaving the military. Unfortunately, it's also not difficult to make friends (or bribes) with medical personnel for a few quick statements. To prove your injury's connection, you'll need more than a written document saying that you went in with a complaint; you'll need a certified medical professional's statement that confirms the incident and places responsibility for the problem with the military.
Pains without physical evidence are another difficult issue. Even if you have evidence that you were in an accident, injured at your workplace or injured in combat, a lingering head pain, back pain or joint pains aren't enough. Unfortunately, many traumatic injuries are internally-damaging and can't easily be identified, meaning that your claim may be denied until you can gather more evidence.
Don't take the denial as an absolute defeat. With your denial, you're given information on how to file an appeal and it's sadly an expected part of veteran life to file appeals. If you don't want to join the ranks of frustrated veterans struggling to learn the system, a personal injury lawyer can help.
Personal injury legal professionals know how to work with disability systems and medical professionals to gather the best combination of evidence and statements. They may not know the details of your injury as intimately as you do, but they'll be better at documenting the issue and researching your career for more evidence. Contact a personal injury attorney like one from Chinigo, Leone & Maruzo, LLP for a boost of success with your appeal.