Arizona Veterans, here is what to expect when requesting disability compensation. Filing a personal injury claim for disability compensation and pension compensation can be frustrating and difficult. Remember that when dealing with the Department of Veterans Affairs you must be patient. Also taking time to prepare before filing will be the key to your success. This article will focus on disability compensation as the requirements for disability and pension are different. In order to prove that a disability claim is legitimate, a Veteran must show the following:
- a current disability,
- an event in service that caused a disability, and
- that the event in service is the actual cause of the current disability.
Proving that there is a disability is simple. Your doctor will be able to diagnose the disability and verify that information. Proving an event in service is sometimes more difficult. This requires that your military medical files or your personnel file have some indication of an event that took place while you were in service. Some military records are incomplete. Other do not have indications of certain types of injuries because the injuries were unknown to doctors at the time of the Veterans service (PTSD diagnosis during or after Vietnam War). Lastly, proving that the event in service is a cause of the current disability can be difficult. This requires that a medical professional assert that the event in service is at least as likely as not to have caused the current disability.
Obviously, the more documentation indicating that an injury was sustained in service and that continuing treatment has taken place for that injury is helpful. It is hard to prove a service connected injury when a Veteran’s service ended 20 years ago and the Veteran sought no treatment for the injury until one year ago. This leads the VA to believe that another event in a Veteran’s life caused the current disability.
Prior to filing a claim it is important to collect as much documented evidence as possible to file a claim. Also, take the time to organize your documents in a way that will help the person reviewing the claim to understand that you meet all the requirements. Mismanaged documents make it hard for a claims officer to understand whether your disability is service connected or not. These things will give you a greater chance that the VA accepts your claim instead of denying it. If you have been denied after filing a claim for disability compensation, then please do not hesitate to contact the legal team at Udall Shumway, PLC.
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please feel free to contact Timothy F. Coons at 480.461.5370, log on to udallshumway.com, or contact an attorney in your area.