Every year, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides millions of dollars in compensation to active-duty and non-combat veterans who sustained serious injuries or illnesses during their military service, or whose pre-existing conditions worsened due to their military service. To obtain monthly benefits as a disabled veteran, you will need to file a claim through the VA detailing the connection between a specific service-related incident and your formally diagnosed disability. While this may seem straightforward, it is far from a simple process.
Fortunately, there is assistance available from qualified VA disability attorneys who have helped dozens of veterans like you achieve positive resolutions to their claims. By working with a Charleston veterans’ disability claims lawyer, you can effectively maximize your chances of filing a comprehensive and successful initial application without having to worry about future rejections for procedural errors or lack of evidence. Even so, denials are common during the veterans’ disability claims process, and our attorneys are well-equipped to help you file appeals as necessary.
A VA disability claim must prove the following essential elements to be approved for benefits:
A veteran’s comprehensive disability claim should include as much evidence as possible to establish their eligibility based on all three criteria.
In terms of proving the existence and severity of a service-related disability, veterans should include copies of all in-service medical records, as well as documentation of formal diagnoses and treatments from non-military-affiliated physicians if applicable. It may also be advantageous to submit VA Form 21-4192 to establish a disabled veteran’s working capacity or lack thereof, in addition to DD 214 discharge paperwork and personnel records.
Furthermore, written testimonies from fellow veterans, family members, and friends – known as “lay statements” – can help establish how a service-related illness or injury has impacted and disrupted an applicant’s daily life. A Charleston attorney can help ensure a veteran’s disability claim includes all the necessary documentation and supplemental evidence available.
Qualifying former servicemembers can begin the VA disability claims process by filling out VA Form 21-526EZ and submitting it online, through the mail to the VA’s Claims Intake Center, or in person at their nearest VA regional office.
As of January 2022, the average processing time for a VA disability claim is about 160 days, with additional delays possible if there is key information missing or a surplus of applications at a particular time. Anyone who has already submitted a disability claim to the VA can check the status of their application online by signing into the VA’s website.
Filing a claim for VA disability benefits requires extensive documentation and proof of eligibility. Every VA form must be filled out completely and accurately and then submitted in a timely fashion. Put simply, there are many opportunities within the VA disability claims process for a small mistake or accidental omission to hurt your chances of getting the benefits you need, especially if you try to go through the process alone.
Having support from a Charleston veterans disability claims lawyer can dramatically boost your chances of getting a favorable result from your claim. Call today for a consultation.