The process of applying for disability benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) can be long and difficult, which makes it all the worse if you get denied. Fortunately, there are a few common mistakes you can watch for to make sure your application has the best chance of getting approved. Here are five of the biggest reasons that applications for VA benefits get denied:
- Mistakes with paperwork
- By far the biggest reason for applications for VA benefits to be denied is, quite simply, that people made a mistake with the paperwork on their application. They may have put down incorrect information, or failed to submit the correct forms, or even missed a critical deadline. The best solution to this problem is simple: double-check all of your forms, and make sure to stay on top of all deadlines.
- Lack of medical evidence for disability
- Another common reason that people have their applications for VA benefits denied is that there is not enough medical evidence for their disability. In this case, medical evidence means all medical records, including tests and examinations, about the diagnosis and treatment of a person’s medical conditions. To ensure this does not happen, make sure you have all contact information available for your doctors so they can convey your records to the VA as appropriate.
- Can’t prove medical condition is connected to service
- Another, more complicated problem is when you have trouble linking your disability to your service. VA benefits are only available to veterans who have gotten an honorable discharge, and who can link their medical condition to their military service. If there is no proof that your disability and your service are related, you may have trouble getting disability benefits through the VA.
- Condition is not considered severe enough to be disabling
- Not every medical condition will qualify as a disability for the purposes of getting VA disability benefits. First, it must be sufficiently disabling that it impairs a person’s ability to function in day to day life, including damaging their ability to work and earn a living. Second, it must be disabling despite treatment from a doctor. If your condition can be adequately managed through adherence to a prescribed medical treatment, it will not qualify you for disability benefits.
- Medical condition is considered to be pre-existing
- Another potential issue is if the condition you are trying to claim disability for is something you suffered from prior to your service. To get VA benefits for a pre-existing disability, it must have been somehow worsened by your service. For example, if you have depression that was manageable before your service, but which becomes unmanageable afterwards, you may still qualify for disability benefits on that basis.
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.