My Love Of The Law

Getting Through The VA Injury Claim Process With Continuing Pain

by Alan Medina

Dealing with military-related injuries is only more complex when you're actively dealing with pain. Some veterans may get through Veterans Affairs (VA) systems relatively quickly because of documentation from a well-staffed military base, but many veterans have to piece together their background information while dealing with the very claim that stops them from being productive. Claims and appeal filing can be a full-time job, but if you're in such pain that you can't work, who can help you? Some insight into the claims system can help you figure out easier ways to approach the system and find out how an attorney could help.

Do You Really Need All Of Those Appointments?

The first hurdle for many veterans is the long wait time for a VA response. There's not much that you can do to speed it up, but you can visit a VA clinic for some general health treatments and a few painkillers if you can't deal with the pain (or the over-the-counter costs) anymore.

Once you receive a response from the VA, it should be in the form of a request for more information or an appointment. It's unlikely for a denial to be the first response, but in the unlikely case that it is, speak with a VA representative in person to go over the basics of filing a claim. For most VA hospitals, a veterans representative has an office not too far from the VA hospital and can assist you with initial claims filing.

Your first medical appointment should be a compensation and pension (C&P) exam. This is a VA-managed examination that should examine every issue listed on your claim. It's possible that some of your conditions may not receive a specific medical examination, but you'll need to ask yourself if these extra appointments are necessary.

In most cases, getting an extra C&P examination works to your benefit. The faster a problem is detected, the sooner you can continue with the disability claim process and work towards your benefits. Results that disagree with your claim will not invalidate your claim forever; you can appeal as much as you want, and even seek assistance from outside medical professionals.

Additional C&P Exams And Outside Assistance

Use these visits to your advantage. You may not have control over the examination outcome, but you can bring up medical, dental, vision and psychological issues that aren't related to the military or your claim. You won't receive disability for unrelated issues, but the VA can still provide some basic assistance in the form of medication, counseling or referrals.

The results of your exams are not a guarantee of a disability award. Your results are sent to the review board that examines your evidence and compares any information against your claim, which will lead to a final decision. If you're not satisfied with the decision either because of a low rating or a denial, it's time to get outside assistance.

A personal injury attorney can help you by examining your claim, the conditions that you're listing and the evidence on hand. Your appeal can be written with deeper legal knowledge, including supporting documents from other claims that were accepted with similar circumstance. You may have left out some vital information that the VA requires because you don't know the deeper parts of the VA claim system, but the attorney can help.

An attorney also has access to medical professionals with claims system experience. Their examinations can be tailored to not only finding a solution, but writing evidence that points to why you deserve compensation. Contact a personal injury lawyer at Vaughan & Vaughan for the compensation you deserve.