What to do if a VSO Screwed Up Your Application
Published May 20, 2019
As a veteran, you are entitled to disability benefits if you were hurt while in service to our military and apply for those benefits with the VA. Many veterans choose to utilize a Veterans Service Organization (VSO) to help fill out their initial application for benefits, and in many cases, the VSO can be incredibly helpful throughout the process. However, a VSO is not an attorney; sometimes, mistakes are made. Do you know what to do if a VSO screwed up your application for disability benefits? Knowing that you have legal options is important, and a local disability benefits attorney can help.
Failing to Submit Proper Paperwork
If your VSO fails to submit the proper paperwork for your claim, it can extend the process of receiving disability by months, or even years. Any failure in the submission of the application can result in a denial of benefits, but you can file for an extension through the submission of a Notice of Disagreement and filing a VA Form 9, which can give you over two years to fix the mistakes in the application and resubmit for consideration. It is important to remember that the proper paperwork should include evidence that you are eligible for benefits, are currently disabled, had an in-service incident that caused or aggravated the condition, have evidence linking the incident to your condition, and provide medical evidence showing the severity of your condition.
Omission of Illnesses or Supporting Documentation
Another common mistake made by VSOs when filling out an application is failing to file an application for all of a veteran’s illnesses, including secondary illnesses caused by the initial condition. Supporting documentation can also be missing in an application that results in a denial of benefits, such as a lack of Buddy Statements. Buddy Statements are used to show that an event occurred when there are no records of it, show that an injury occurred if there are no records for it, show behavioral or physical changes, show life changes, or show losses you have endured as a result of your condition.
Failure to submit an independent medical opinion or not having your full service and medical records reviewed is also a common mistake when submitting a disability benefits application to the VA. Omission of these supporting documents by the VSO means that the VA relies on their own doctors to give a medical opinion about the status of your condition, and these people have no incentive to support your claims of disability.
How a Disability Benefits Attorney can Help
If a VSO screwed up your application for benefits, a disability benefits attorney can help. A lawyer can review your initial application, apply for all relevant extensions, and ensure that all evidence and documentation are submitted for your claim. If the claim is still denied, which is often the case, a lawyer will help you navigate the appeals process and make the best possible arguments for why you deserve the disability benefits you need.
Call or Contact an Attorney Today
If you believe a VSO screwed up your application for disability benefits, call or contact a local disability benefits attorney in your area today to learn more about your legal options.