The 5 Worst Myths About VA Disability Benefits
We have practiced VA Disability Law for so long that very few things take us by surprise. You might say we’ve “heard it all before”. The VA Disability process has made mainstream news in recent years, and more people are filing claims than any other time in history.
However, there is still a lot of misinformation being passed on from Vet to Vet or from other sources. Some of these myths are harmless, but others have the power to keep Veterans from filing for the benefits they deserve.
Here, we discredit 5 untruths about the VA Disability process:
I’m not entitled to benefits.
This is often not true. There are countless reasons why a Veteran may believe he or she is not entitled to benefits. For instance, a Veteran may believe that because they didn’t serve in combat, they can’t get Disability benefits.
This is false. As long as your injury occurred or was made worse by your time in service, you can pursue it as a VA Disability claim. Granted, there needs to be sufficient evidence to support your claim, but the fact that it occurred outside of a combat zone doesn’t mean it can’t be service-connected.
Only an honorable discharge warrants VA Disability benefits.
Yes, an honorable discharge is ideal in every situation with the VA. However, a general discharge under honorable conditions is just as ideal.
Any Veteran who has a general under honorable discharge shouldn’t have any issue getting service-connected due to their discharge.
Further, a Veteran with an other than honorable discharge can get service-connected benefits in certain cases. However, getting a successful outcome under this type of discharge can be extremely difficult, if not impossible.
Unfortunately, Veterans who received a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge are not entitled to VA Disability benefits.
Working with a Veterans Service Officer (VSO) is just as good as hiring an attorney.
We can’t speak for all attorneys, nor do we want to discredit the work that VSOs provide Veterans. What makes our firm stand out from the rest is that we provide additional services such a full claims file review, case management support to guide you through the VA Disability process, medical records requesting, and medical records review in addition to expert legal representation.
Our firm consists of multiple departments staffed with individuals who specialize in specific areas of the VA Disability process. Our attorneys and staff are dedicated to fighting for Veterans to help them get the benefits they are entitled to and deserve. To each and every one of us, this is more than a career. It is our passion.
I shouldn’t pursue more than one disability at a time.
Often, Veterans tell us they don’t want to pursue multiple claims because they’re afraid it will slow down the process. They’d rather wait until one condition is approved before moving on to the next one.
While we understand their hesitation, we also know it’s not warranted. We encourage Veterans to pursue all of their claims at the same time. That’s not to say that you can’t add additional claims later on, but only pursuing one at a time can actually be counterproductive.
For instance, if you have a knee condition and a hip condition, it makes sense to pursue them together because one may be impacting the other. Maybe your knee injury causes you to walk a certain way, and that, in turn, causes your hip to hurt.
Since they impact each other, it is more logical to pursue them at the same time. Even if your claims aren’t related, it saves time and reduces a clog in the process by filing them all at one time.
A denial is the end of the road.
Not true at all. Most Veterans are denied the first time they apply. Once your initial application is denied, you can file a notice of disagreement.
This is an appeal. Even if your claim is granted after the initial application, you can still appeal it if you’re not satisfied with the percentage granted.
For instance, if you were granted 30% for your PTSD claim, but you believe you should be rated at 50%, you can still file a notice of disagreement if you are in treatment or have medical evidence to support the increase. Every Veteran has the right to appeal a decision.
As a caution, there must be medical evidence that the Veteran has or that the VA missed during initial review for a chance of the decision being reversed. The bottom line is, when it comes to fighting the VA, don’t give up.