Serving the military often comes with benefits. However, not everyone claims those benefits so easily. Some individuals still have to fight a long battle to get the compensation they deserve after fighting for the country. If you are among those who need to claim disability benefits related to a service-related medical condition, here’s how you can win one:
Understand the Decision-Making Process
You have to know that a veteran’s disability claim is an arduous process. However, the root of it all is identifying whether your medical condition or illness is due to your military service and nothing else. The following are some of the criteria for proving it:
- The existing injury is medically diagnosed.
- The current illness happened while in service or was made worse by it.
- The connection between military service and medical illness should be established.
You should also note that the medical issue does not have to arise directly from the service (i.e., during combat or training).
It can also be due to an off-duty activity or outside the scope of the military service.
Documentation is Key
Given the above criteria, your responsibility should be to do proper documentation as soon as possible. You need to be aggressive on what paperwork to set aside to help you substantiate your claims later on.
The key here is to document as early as possible. If you are not yet done with your service and have plans of retiring soon, make sure that you have all the necessary records. If you are no longer in uniform and plans to file a claim, you can still check your military and civilian medical records from a clinic in Nebraska.
There are some instances where you might need to gather documents from the proper authorities to support your claim. While you can file a claim and submit your evidence later, you have to know the restrictions that you may face.
Medical Records Are Important
Once you have collated all the necessary documents, you should make sure to keep it. Have duplicates as much as possible. Should you be asked to provide a copy, never do so without leaving a personal copy in your file. You don’t want to end up with no means to produce prints that would help you win your case.
Written Statements Help
Another way to prove your claim is by getting written statements from those who may have first-hand knowledge about your service-related medical condition. Witnesses may include family members, friends, and co-workers.
However, you have to make sure that their accounts are limited to observations about your symptoms. Since they are non-medical individuals (unless they are), then their statements should not attempt to diagnose.
As much as possible, you should not limit your claim to one single medical condition. You have to understand that symptoms may result from a conglomeration of different causes, and some of those symptoms may come from a host of diseases. For example, low back pain can be due to an injury, but it can also arise from stress and anxiety.
Appeals Are Possible
It is typical for the Department of Veterans Affairs to reject claims from first-time claimants. If you end up being one of them, don’t give up just yet. You can resubmit your application. However, it would be best to do so with the proper guidance from an Omaha veterans disability lawyer, as they have the experience on what to do for such cases.
Veterans who end up with medical issues related to their service to the country deserve to get all the benefits. However, understand that the federal government needs to be strict because individuals with ill intentions often exploit it.