There are many reasons that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) may deny a claim for disability benefits, but one of the most common is an applicant’s failure to provide a formal diagnosis of their impairment. Even if you submit conclusive evidence of how an incident during your military service has affected your daily life, you still need to have a doctor identify a specific condition you are suffering from in order to receive VA disability compensation.
Fortunately, the denial of your initial disability claim does not mean you can’t secure the compensation you deserve. A skilled lawyer who is familiar with claim denials can help you understand your benefits denial due to lack of diagnosis and guide you through the process of appealing the VA’s decision.
Applicants for disability benefits should provide a formal diagnosis of their impairment from a licensed medical professional. Relevant evidence may include medical documentation from the doctor(s) who provided treatment, bills for medical services rendered, and any records from treatment you received during your active duty service.
Otherwise, additional forms and documentation may be necessary to prove the existence of a disabling condition. For example, veterans seeking compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) must also submit VA Form 21-0781, Statement in Support of Claim for Service Connection to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or VA Form 21-0781a if their PSTD stems from an assault.
Sometimes, a denial stems from a diagnosis that does not adequately confirm the existence of a debilitating injury or illness in the eyes of the VA. To that end, it can be just as important for claimants not only to prove that a doctor has formally diagnosed their condition, but also that their condition has a significant negative impact on their day-to-day life.
Medical records alone may prove that a disability exists, but they cannot show how a veteran struggles to get dressed in the morning, complete daily tasks, earn income, or enjoy personal hobbies. Assistance from a qualified attorney can be crucial to proving both the presence and scope of a disability, thereby ensuring a fair disability rating and an adequate amount of compensation. The amount of benefits a veteran may receive depends on the severity of his or her condition, making it vital to work with a lawyer experienced in helping former servicemembers around the country navigate VA disability.
When making decisions on applications for benefits, the VA’s claims evaluator often rely on the submitted medical records – sometimes to the detriment of the applicant. A lack of sufficient medical evidence could lead to an insufficient disability rating or even a complete denial of your claim, both of which could have negative consequences on your physical and financial security.
If you recently received a benefits denial due to lack of diagnosis, you may have a lot of questions about what you did wrong and what you could do to appeal the VA’s denial. A skilled lawyer on our team can provide answers to those questions and more, so call today to schedule your initial consultation.