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Title: The Importance of Talking to Your Doctor About Your VA Claim

How to Have Effective Communication


Veterans should never assume that the VA or the government is aware of your service or the injuries and illnesses that occurred during your service. Only you have the complete knowledge of your service-related conditions. Not informing your doctor about these conditions can prevent your medical file from being properly documented, and your doctor cannot treat or recommend appropriate treatment. When the VA pulls your records and there is no history of care or a current diagnosis for the claimed service connection, it can negatively impact your claim. The VA requires that your condition is chronic in nature, and the mere existence of a condition doesn't automatically connect it to your service. Therefore, it is crucial to discuss all your service-related conditions with your doctor and ensure they are accurately documented in your medical records.

If you haven't seen your doctor in the past two years, it is essential to update your condition before filing your claim. Filing a claim without a diagnosis or established history of care can lead to an 80% denial rate. This means it is important to see your doctor often throughout the claim process. If your decision letter states that you do not have a diagnosis, it indicates that there is no documented diagnosis or history of care. Your military records alone do not prove that the condition still exists or that it interferes with your ability to maintain gainful employment. Only frequent treatment and documentation can support your claim. Additionally, all veterans should keep a symptoms diary for their conditions because it is not always possible to see a doctor during a flare-up. This diary can help provide a comprehensive picture of your condition over time and support your claim with consistent evidence.



Recognize the Power of Active Involvement: In the past, patients took a passive role in their healthcare, with doctors leading the way. However, today's healthcare model emphasizes patient engagement and shared decision-making. By actively participating in your healthcare, including discussing your VA claim with your doctor, you become an informed advocate for your own well-being and increase the chances of a successful claim outcome.

When it comes to your VA claim, active involvement includes:

Providing Relevant Information: Share your complete medical history with your doctor, including any service-related incidents or injuries. The more accurate and comprehensive the information, the better they can assess the connection between your military service and your current condition.

  • Expressing Concerns and Symptoms: Openly discuss any symptoms, limitations, or challenges you are experiencing due to your condition. Be specific and descriptive, so your doctor can understand the impact on your daily life.

  • Sharing VA Claim Details: Inform your doctor about your ongoing VA claim, including the conditions you are claiming and the evidence you have submitted. This ensures they are aware of the specific issues related to your claim.


Discussing Service-Related Conditions:

Discussing your condition with your doctor is crucial if you believe your condition was caused or aggravated during your military service. Without proper medical documentation, the VA may lack the necessary information to understand the link between your service and your current medical condition. Your doctor can play a key role in supporting your claim by:

  • Establishing a Diagnosis: Your doctor can evaluate your condition and provide a formal diagnosis based on medical assessments, tests, and examinations. This diagnosis serves as essential evidence for your claim.

  • Providing Medical Opinions: Your doctor's expert opinion regarding the connection between your military service and your condition carries significant weight in supporting your claim. They can provide a professional assessment of the relationship between your service-related incidents and the resulting health issues.

Tips for Talking to Your Doctor:

  1. Be Prepared: Before your appointment, take the time to write down your questions, concerns, and any specific information related to your VA claim. This will ensure that you cover all the important points during your discussion.

  2. Be Honest and Open: Share your complete medical history and provide detailed information about your service-related incidents or injuries. Your doctor needs accurate and honest information to evaluate your condition and make informed medical assessments.

  3. Communicate Clearly: Use clear and concise language to describe your symptoms and limitations and how they impact your daily life. Avoid medical jargon and explain things in terms that your doctor and the VA claims examiner can understand.

  4. Keep a Medical Journal: Maintain a record of your symptoms, their severity, and any changes over time. This journal can serve as a valuable reference during discussions with your doctor and provide concrete evidence for your VA claim.

  5. Ask for Referrals: If necessary, request your doctor to refer you to specialists, physical therapists, or other healthcare professionals who can provide additional evaluations and expert opinions related to your condition.


The Advocates Advice:

Talking to your doctor about your VA claim is crucial for establishing a strong connection between your service-related condition and your military service. By actively participating in your healthcare, openly discussing your symptoms and concerns, and providing accurate information, you empower your doctor to support your claim with proper medical documentation. Remember, you are your own best witness, and without your active involvement, the VA may lack the necessary evidence to approve your claim or provide increased benefits.


By embracing effective communication with your doctor, you take an important step towards obtaining the VA benefits you deserve for your service-related conditions. Your doctor is a valuable ally in this process, so don't hesitate to engage in open and honest conversations to strengthen your VA claim and improve your overall healthcare experience.

When it comes to your VA claim, actively engaging with your healthcare team, particularly your doctor, can significantly impact the success of your claim. The patient-doctor relationship has evolved into a partnership, where your involvement and communication play a crucial role in receiving the best possible care and supporting your claim. In this blog, we will explore the importance of talking to your doctor about your VA claim and provide tips on how to communicate with them effectively.

The VA Disability Advocates Main Office is Located in Las Vegas, NV. We Represent Veterans throughout the United States. 702-209-5722 

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