The process of applying for disability benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (also known as the VA) can be long and complicated at the best of times, but it can become much harder if you make a serious mistake on your application. That is why you should take a few basic steps to give yourself the best odds of succeeding at obtaining your benefits. Here are five tips to increase your chances of getting VA disability benefits:
- Double check your paperwork before you submit it
- More than any other reason, people have their VA disability benefits claims denied due to simple paperwork errors. They may fail to fill out a form incorrectly, or they may submit the wrong forms entirely. These sorts of basic mistakes can get your application thrown out before your claim is ever properly considered.
- Make sure you have all necessary medical evidence
- One of the most important components to your VA disability benefits claim is the medical evidence of your disability. If you were primarily treated by the VA, they should already have your medical records, but if you were treated by an outside doctor, you may need to get in contact to make sure they provide your medical records. If they lack this critical medical evidence, your claim may be denied for lack of proof of a disability.
- Make sure your condition is service-related
- Unfortunately, when it comes to VA disability benefits, having a disability and being a veteran is not enough. You must also be able to demonstrate that your disability is “service related,” meaning that it was caused by your military service, directly or indirectly. If you have a pre-existing condition, you may also be able to claim it is service-related if it was worsened due to your military service.
- Keep track of deadlines and attend all appointments
- In order to give yourself the best chance at success, you need to make sure you follow all deadlines and attend any appointments. This includes your Compensation and Pension (C&P) exam, where you will be medically evaluated by doctors working for the VA. Missing these deadlines and appointments could result in your claim being denied.
- Speak to a lawyer
- You do not need to apply for VA disability benefits on your own. A lawyer with experience handling veteran disability claims can help you to fill out your application, ensure you have all of your necessary paperwork, and give you the best chance of success in obtaining benefits. They can also help appeal your claim if it is initially denied. The sooner you call, the sooner they can get to work to help you with your case.
The attorneys of Sullivan & Kehoe place a special focus on assisting disabled veterans. Our veterans’ disability lawyers are still available for remote consultation on your legal issues. Call our office at (800) 395-7830 to schedule a consultation in our New York City, Garden City, Kings Park, Riverhead, or White Plains office, or visit our contact page.