Actively Participating In The Process
The success of your claim is based on your participation; veterans who file VA disability claims and fail to follow up with their doctors and their advocate have a more complicated path to the disabilities they claim. Veterans who participate have a higher rate of approval.
1. Submit all paperwork on time.
Please send us any treatment records related to your claimed condition(s). This includes reports or statements from doctors, hospitals, laboratories, medical facilities, mental health clinics, x-rays, physical therapy records, surgical reports, etc. These should include the dates of treatment, findings, and diagnoses. If you want us to try to obtain any doctor, hospital, or medical reports on your behalf, please complete and return the enclosed VA Form 21-4142, Authorization to Disclose Information, and VA Form 21-4142a, General Release for Medical Provider Information, so that we can request treatment records from your private medical sources.
● If you have received treatment at a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facility or treatment authorized by VA, please tell us the dates and places of treatment. We will then obtain the necessary records to locate them if you give us enough information.
Every Veteran Should check in with their advocate at least once a month; do not wait for your advocate to call you. Contact your advocate if there are any changes in your VA disability or new medical evidence.
2. Statements, statements, and more statements. When filing your VA disability claim, it's often helpful to provide a statement with your appeal. Also known as a "Statement in Support of Claim," this letter can provide relevant evidence that substantiates the location of the event that caused your VA disability, when the event occurred, and details about the incident. Statements from veterans, family members, or friends are helpful to provide additional information, filling in the gaps that service or medical records may not cover. The statements can also help attest to how veterans were before service and how they are now. These details can be crucial to the Veteran's VA disability compensation. For more information, visit.
3. Seek treatment for your disabilities. Any physical injury can make it harder to cope; you may have to stop doing hobbies or sports or learn to do them differently. These challenges can affect you emotionally, too. If you believe your condition was caused or aggravated during your service, discuss these conditions with your Dr.; remember, you're your own best witness. Without medical evidence, the VA is clueless about what caused your medical conditions; if you believe it's essential; speak up and discuss it., Your Dr. can help you establish a diagnosis for your condition by referring you to specialty clinics, labs, physical therapy, and testing.
If you haven't Googled or researched your conditions, you need to get familiar with your disabilities, you are already behind on your claim. Not investigating your VA disability limits your ability to discuss possible causes or potential secondary conditions with your PCP and your VA disability advocate, costing you to lose potential compensation and secondary connections; no one knows you better than you.
4. Attend all of your required exams. The VA will schedule you for compensation and pension C&P exams throughout the process. These are required exams. Failure to report for one of these exams may result in an automatic denial.
6. The VA needs to know when you move. If you stay within your state or within the area of your Regional Office, the VA needs to know your new address. If you change regional offices, there is the possibility of a delay when your file is transferred. We've had countless Veterans tell us that they didn't receive any correspondence from the VA for years. It turns out they never told the VA about moving, and the Veteran failed to receive notices about claims.
7. File claims at the same time. Our VA Disability Advocates recommend that veterans apply for all benefits they wish to pursue at the same time. While you can apply for separate claims throughout the process, it is quicker to apply for them all in one fell swoop. Some of our clients say I want to get condition X taken care of before condition Y. This is unnecessary.
8. Don't let claims close. This is similar to step one, except the consequence is much greater; you have one year after a decision is made to continue your claim before it's made permanent and final; you will have to start over. Letting a claim close will slow down your claim and cause you to lose any back pay you were entitled to. When a claim is reopened, it is essentially like starting again. Plus, you have to provide new and material evidence. Don't let years of hard work down the drain because of a deadline. The VA lists all deadlines for appeals on the paperwork they send you. Or, if you have the help of an attorney, they can submit appeals on time.
9. Apply for benefits. It's hard to recall how many Veterans told me they hesitated to apply because they didn't want to seem weak and didn't feel like they deserved benefits. Perhaps the number one thing that can speed up your case…applying in the first place. First of all, over 900,000 claims are pending in the US right now, so you are not alone. Second, if you served your country, received a discharge other than dishonorable, and are disabled-even slightly-as a result of your time in service, then you are entitled to benefits. That is not just how I feel; it's the essential requirements set forth by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
10. Be patient jumping from advocate to advocate will slow down your claim. Most advocates have the necessary knowledge and skill to win your claim. Before switching advocates make sure you're not the problem. If you switching because your claim is taking longer than you expected, make sure you did your part. Writing statements and consistent medical appointments; play a part in this process.
11. Statements Statements and more Statements
The VA Disability Advocates Main Office is Located in Las Vegas, NV. We Represent Veterans throughout the United States. 702-209-5722