Applying for VA disability is a complicated process. It is not unusual for an applicant to make mistakes resulting in a denial of the claim. Perhaps the most common mistake is waiting to file. There is no need to wait until your injury or disease becomes serious. The sooner you file, the better. Procrastinating can cost you a considerable amount in loss of benefits.
Here are other common mistakes to avoid:
Providing Incomplete Information
A great deal of documentation is necessary to obtain VA disability benefits. Getting that documentation is challenging, but without it, your claim will probably be denied. Your information should include more than the type of disability–you must explain how it affects your life.
Ensure that the documentation you submit is well-organized so that the VA examiner has no issues understanding it. Also, all of your information must be consistent. Submitting inconsistent statements is another way to have your claim denied.
Lack of Medical Opinion
You must obtain a medical opinion linking your disability to your service when filing your claim. It is not enough to provide medical records indicating that you suffer from a specific condition. A doctor must attest that your disability is service-related. Without this documentation, the VA will deny your claim.
Not Filing for Secondary Conditions When Applying for VA Disability
Service-related disabilities may affect other health conditions. For instance, severe headaches are common side effects of physical and psychological disabilities.
Failing to File for Mental Health Issues
Many service-related disabilities relate to mental health issues. Besides PTSD, many veterans suffer from:
- Panic attacks
- Sleep disorders
All of the above will affect your personal and work life. There is no shame in having a mental health issue, and the Veterans Benefits Administration recognizes this. The compensation is based on impairment level as with any other type of disability.
Failing to Appeal
If your disability claim is denied or you received a low rating, you have the right to file an appeal. You or your attorney can file the appeal at the VA Regional Office, where your original application was filed. In the appeal, request that a Decision Review Officer review your file or request a hearing before the DRO.
Failing to Hire an Attorney After Denial
VA disability law is complex. Unfortunately, most disabled vets do not understand its intricacies. That is why it is imperative to hire legal counsel after your claim is denied. An attorney knows the grounds for an appeal and will determine the best way to prepare it.
Contact a Veterans Disability Attorney When Applying for VA Benefits
If the VA has denied your disability claim, you need the help of an experienced veterans’ disability benefits claims attorney at Marc Whitehead & Associates. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We can ensure that your claim is filed correctly and can also file any appeals within the prescribed deadline.