Posted on: 17 June 2017Share
It's not a rumor; Veterans Affairs offices have a few problems when it comes to approving veteran disability claims and providing proper care. Some are systematic issues of backlogs and a lack of personnel, while others are clear issues of misconduct. It can be hard to prove which camp your claim denial falls in, but there are a few things you can do to make success more likely while making sure the system is held accountable.
Why Would A Legitimate Disability Be Denied?
The key to VA disability claim success is proving service-connection and severity. A service-connection proves how a condition is related to military service, while severity explains how severe the condition is.
Unfortunately, the VA can't accept personal reports of problems, or even just go on visual cues. You need to have details about the condition in official writing, such as in your military medical record or a newer medical review as you seek new evidence.
All disability systems--such as Social Security and Workers Compensation's extended disability care--require some kind of medical proof to show that the condition is severe enough to require disability support. VA disability is unique in that you have a fairly narrow set of requirements to prove service-connection.
You either need to have a written report that confirms the incident happened during your military service, or some kind of medical proof showing that the injury could only happen during military situations. Examples of situations that are most likely military-related are exposure to chemical agents such as Agent Orange, or illnesses from specific regions where non-military travel can't be proven.
If you have direct proof of your injury's source and severity, denial is unlikely.
When Denial Happens Anyway
So you have a service record entry saying you were involved in an incident, a medical record injury saying you suffered a specific injury, and current medical review showing that the condition is still relevant. Why would the VA deny the claim?
Legitimate denials should be rare in these situations. At the most, a claims office may suspect someone in the military of forging documentation. It then becomes the VA's job to investigate the situation. More likely would be the paperwork being illegible or lacking detail, and the VA can either contact the source or ask you to get additional details.
These situations will just put a claim on hold. If you've been denied, don't risk going to the back of the line with an appeal. Law firms are ready for you to explain your situations to a skilled lawyer who can perform deep analysis of your situation.
In addition to filling any gaps in your evidence and strengthening the legal language, a lawyer can do some research into your local claims office to figure out if there's a denial trend. Legal action can be taken against the office, and public awareness is up to you. Contact a legal firm to begin planning a stronger claim and a plan of action for challenging a seemingly unfair denial.