If you are a veteran who is struggling with a disability that stems from your time in the military, you may be entitled to VA disability benefits. Though the initial filing can be fairly straightforward, the resulting procedures can be slow and require near-constant oversight. Should a claim be denied or underrated, the resulting appeals process can require even more attention. Given how labor-intensive the process of obtaining disability compensation can be, you may want to consider seeking help from someone with skills and experience such as a Veteran Service Officer.
Filing a Claim
There are a few ways to file for veterans disability benefits. You can file an application online using eBenefits. If you prefer to submit an application via mail or fax you can do so by filling out form 21-526EZ and sending it to the claims intake center.
In order to complete the application, you will need a thorough list of your medical conditions for which you wish to request disability compensation. Connecting the ailment back to your time in the service is crucial. While you may be tempted to list every health condition you are currently experiencing, the length of time it takes to process the claim depends highly on how many illnesses or injuries are listed. Those hoping to speed up the claims process should list only the disabilities for which they believe are related to your service.
It can take many months (and in some cases, many years) for claims to be processed. You may reduce your wait time by utilizing the “Fully Developed Claim” program, which allows veterans to submit all of their medical records with their application and indicate to the VA there is no additional evidence to consider. This saves the VA time, as they do not have to seek out the records themselves.
Assistance with Filing your Claim
While it is possible to file a claim independently, many veterans opt to work with Veteran Service Officers (VSOs) with experience in filing VA disability claims. VSOs are often veterans themselves, sympathetic to the plight of the applicant. Compassionate and experienced, a VSO can be a real ally in your quest for benefits.
Working with a VSO can also help ensure a claim is not lost in the shuffle. Because the claims process can be so lengthy, it can be tough for veterans to remain as vigilant as necessary throughout the many months it takes to be processed. A VSO, however, can provide you with regular updates and ensure you that your claim is indeed being handled.
Should the VA deny or underrate your claim the decision can be appealed. There is no better advocate to have than an attorney focused solely on VA disability appeals. VA Attorneys can help you file your appeal and walk you through the appeals process. A lawyer can prepare a strategy to assemble the evidence and legal arguments necessary to meet your goals.
VA attorneys can also help connect you with experts who can help bolster your claim. In some cases, an independent medical exam, or IME, can help provide specific evidence to support your claim. IME physicians often have lengthy and impressive histories that alone could sway the VA’s opinion in the favor of their report.
Get the Help You Need
No man is an island, and while veterans are known for self-sufficiency, there is no shame in asking for help. Veterans Law Group has spent more than two decades helping veterans get the benefits they deserve. We are able to work with you and experts in the medical and vocational fields to support your claim. If you are looking for help with your VA disability claim, complete the questionnaire on our website and submit for evaluation. Our team will review your case and reach out to you shortly.