If you are applying for disability benefits from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (also known as the VA), you may have questions about the process and what you should do. Fortunately, for most people the process is relatively simple, provided you follow certain basic steps. Here are five ways you can maximize your chances at getting VA disability benefits:
- Check to see if your are eligible
- Just because you are a veteran and have a disability does not mean you are entitled to VA disability benefits. These benefits are strictly for people who were disabled as a result of their military service. If you have a disability but cannot link it to your service, you are unlikely to be able to obtain VA disability benefits, so make sure you are qualified before you apply.
- Keep track of all doctors you see
- While many disabled veterans are treated primarily through the VA medical system, the fact is that many veterans also seek treatment with private doctors and therapists. This is especially true for veterans who have a disability that does not immediately manifest itself, such as with many psychological or neurological disorders. Making sure to keep track of all your doctors will help you know where you need to go when it is time to collect medical evidence for your disability.
- Gather all evidence, including supporting documents
- When you go to apply for VA disability benefits, you will need to provide a great deal of evidence of your condition. This obviously includes medical records, but also includes insurance claims, test results, and even testimony from friends and family. Combined, this evidence will help to support your claim for benefits.
- Double-check your paperwork
- A shocking number of applications for VA disability benefits get thrown out due to simple paperwork errors. Even simple mistakes on forms, or missing documents, can easily result in your claim being thrown out before anyone looks at it. That is why you should always double-check everything for errors or missing documentation before you apply.
- Hire a lawyer
- While it is entirely possible to apply for VA disability benefits on your own, the odds of making a critical mistake are much higher than if you get legal help. Hiring a lawyer with knowledge of the law surrounding VA disability benefits can give you the advantage you need to give yourself the best chances possible. They can also argue on your behalf if you need to appeal your claim later on.
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.