What do I Need When Applying for Veterans Benefits? | South Portland, ME

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What do I Need When Applying for Veterans Benefits?

Published on June 7th, 2019

The success of your veterans disability claim depends in large part on the strength of the supporting information you submit with it. When you apply for veterans disability compensation, you should send as much information as possible with your claim paperwork. That way, you can avoid delays and the possibility of a denial of your benefits.

At Jackson & MacNichol, we often find that veterans disability claims are rejected because there wasn’t enough proof that the claimed condition was caused or worsened by military service. Fortunately, we’ve been able to appeal these rejections successfully by gathering and presenting convincing evidence that supports our clients. If your application for veterans disability has been denied, call us today at 800-524-3339 for a free consultation.

Lack of Evidence is the Most Frequent Cause of the Denial of Benefits

Your application should include evidence that demonstrates both of the following:

  • You have a physical or mental disability
  • Your military service caused this disability, or made an existing one worse

To prove these elements, you can submit many different kinds of documents. In general, a successful application for veterans disability will include the following:

  • Military discharge documents–In addition to your form DD214 discharge papers, you can also submit your separation medical exam.
  • VA medical records–You should include any VA medical exam reports supporting your claims and any and all records of visits you made to a VA hospital to treat your illnesses or injuries. Additionally, you should submit your service treatment records if you received treatment while on duty.
  • Private medical records–If you had to go to private hospital or doctor to treat the  conditions that you believe are related to your service, be sure to include any records of these visits such as doctor reports, test results, and X-rays.
  • Military personnel records–Provide any additional service records, such as incident reports, that might be relevant to showing how your military service contributed to your illness or injury.
  • Supporting statements–It’s important to show how your illness affects your ability to work or to perform everyday tasks. For that reason, you should supply the VA with statements from family members, friends, and members of your community. You can also ask for statements from people who served with you, because they can testify as to how your conditions developed or worsened while you were in the service.

What Happens If I Don’t Submit Any Evidence?

The VA tries to make the compensation process as easy as possible. For this reason, they will allow you to fill out and submit a compensation claim without supporting evidence. While this is certainly convenient, it does not improve your chances of getting benefits, and generally makes the process longer.

If you fill out a standard claim, you will often be asked by the VA to attend a medical exam that the VA will schedule for you. They will also look for documents such as service and medical records that can prove your disability. But they often can’t find this evidence and will ask you to track it down for them. For this reason, it’s often a better idea to organize and file the information supporting your claim on your own.

Poorly documented claims are often subject to delays and in some cases they are denied. If your application for veterans disability compensation has been rejected, do not give up. Call the veterans benefits lawyers of Jackson & MacNichol who help veterans nationwide today at 800-524-3339 for a free consultation about how to get the justice you deserve for your disability.

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