Tired of Low-Speed Claims after High-Speed Military Service?
Dealing with the Veterans Affairs (VA) claim system may seem like the slowest crawl through the most boring deployment when compared to military service. Not only are you out of your normal job, but you're put in a position where you need to wait on the VA's multiple processes before you even get a "maybe" regarding your compensation. Instead of twiddling your thumbs, suffering from a yet-to-be-approved disability, or struggling to make income arrangements while you wait on a response, consider a few ways to get basic medical assistance and legal assistance for a faster claim.
Get Medical Help and Claim Evidence at the Same Time
In order for your claim or appeal to be approved, your condition(s) must pass a service connection test. This means that you'll need documentation—not just word of mouth—that shows how your condition is related to military service and how much you're still suffering. If you can't link the condition to your military service by showing that you were injured or afflicted during service (or that a preexisting condition was made worse), then you're not eligible for monetary compensation.
The VA sends veterans through a compensation and pension (C&P) exam, which should give you a taste of what the VA can do for you. The exam tests each of your disability claim items through medical document review and medical professional review, but you're able to bring up any issue while you're there.
Do you have a cold? Were you in an unrelated accident and would now like some basic advice on what to do next? Are you in pain and need pain medication? As long as you don't need something as intensive as surgery or access to dangerous, controlled substances (some types of medication), the C&P examination team can help you.
After the C&P examination, you can request medical visits through basic VA medical eligibility. As long as you were discharged with an other-than-dishonorable discharge, you can treat the VA clinics and hospitals as walk-in facilities with little or no cost to you.
These examinations can yield results that are relative to your claim, but make sure to ask for the documentation. Although information for your claim should be entered in a permanent record, it's better to have a copy for yourself and a specific copy sent to your claim file. The faster that VA representatives can get to relevant information, the faster you can receive an answer.
Where Does a Lawyer Come In?
There are long wait times at the VA, and there are times where mistakes happen with claims. Your legitimate and troublesome condition could be valid and well-documented, but paperwork mistakes or poorly worded evidence could result in a denial. If not a denial, you may have to deal with months or years of sending corrections—time that could be spent getting on with your life.
A lawyer is often necessary if your first claim isn't successful because you didn't have the evidence, format, or proper filing procedures in place. The system shouldn't be so difficult that a professional is needed, but if it means getting your disability in a timely fashion, don't try it alone for too long. Your condition could get worse unexpectedly and you may not be able to work at all, making it even more important to have a quicker response from the VA.
With a personal injury lawyer's assistance, you can gain access to medical professionals who have specific experience with recording and pointing out evidence that the claim system is looking for. Contact a personal injury lawyer from a firm like Vaughan & Vaughan to create a claim that demands approval with stronger evidence.