You already know that to successfully argue veterans claims being considered eligible for veteran status requires that you served actively in one of the five branches of the military (or in several other military branches) and were discharged under circumstances that were other than dishonorable. But how are you supposed to prove all this to the VA Board? Though the standard of proof requires that the VA give you the benefit of the doubt if the evidence on both sides is equal, the burden is still on you to make a convincing case.
The VA’s decision is based mostly on service records, but you’re the one who has to compile and submit these documents. If you have any doubt about the requirements for making your case, consult a VA disability lawyer immediately.
What Is the Process for Making Successful Veterans Claims?
The first thing you’ll have to do is submit military records that prove the location and length of your active duty service as well as the type of discharge you received. There are three ways to do this:
- Submit the original document from your service department
- Submit a certified copy of the original document
- Authorize an accredited agent to submit a certified copy
With these three options, this step is simple enough. If by some chance your records don’t make it to the VA, the Board is still bound to request the pertinent documents directly from your service department.
However, what if your service document doesn’t paint an accurate picture of your service? In that case, you are allowed to submit what is known as “lay evidence,” including documents like medical records and personal statements, to help make your case.
A VA disability lawyer will be most helpful to you during this stage. Veterans claims are often won or lost on the basis of lay evidence, so having competent counsel on your side is incredibly important in your fight to receive the veterans benefits to which you’re entitled.