The Veterans Affairs (VA) disability system is a challenge to many veterans. Like any other major, legally-binding compensation system run by the government, there is a significant burned of proof placed on the claimant that can be difficult to file alone. If your claim has been denied, it's nowhere close to being the end of the issue; even the VA knows that many claims need either enhanced evidence or a closer look. Here are a few vital tasks necessary to push your legitimate injuries into compensation success.
VA Appeal Renewals And New Evidence Requirements
When a VA disability claim is denied, a response letter should arrive with the denial reason and standardized details on how to appeal. Take your specific reasons into account, but don't take no for an answer.
Appeals must be filed within one year of the denial letter, and can be filed via fax, physical mail, or the government eBenefits website. Appealing a denial is important, because as long as you keep the appeal active, you will be rewarded backpay all the way to your initial claim if your condition is ever approved. Failing to appeal on time will start your compensation pay at the new filing date.
While extensions are important, you need to understand what is necessary for appeal victory. To have a chance at approval, an appeal must include new, material evidence about your claim. Although you can request that the VA reconsiders existing evidence, the appeal will still be turned down if there isn't some new set of medical statements or supporting documents not included in your original claim or previous appeal.
For most conditions, this means visiting more doctors. It can become a dragging cost, but any related medical expenses are reimbursed when and if you're finally approved. For this reason, it's best to aim for victory with evidence that matters.
What Makes Good Evidence?
Did your first claim include statements from doctors who aren't part of the VA medical system? If the statements were still denied, but your medical team thinks that you have a condition worth compensation, the issue is likely the language.
When medical reports are used for VA compensation evidence, they need to spell out in direct language that the condition is both debilitating to the point of affecting your ability to live a normal life and that the condition is related to military service.
This means showing that the issue exists with blood test results, internal scans, photographs, and any other documentation that can be confirmed with a repeated test. To prove that your condition is related to military service, context is everything.
Hopefully, you complained about the issue while in the military. The VA understands that the military has both a lack of medical facilities in some types of duty and a culture of "sucking it up" when it comes to some problems, so you're not completely out of luck if there is no military service complaints. Such complaints are simply a huge boost in credibility.
Linking conditions without military service proof requires research. Get an attorney on your side who can find the context between your situation, your medical condition, and other similar claims that may show the way to victory. Their legal research experience goes a lot farther than independent research, and can draw a more direct set of proof to secure your compensation.