Dealing with the Veterans Affairs (VA) disability claim system can be a difficult battle against delays and changing requirements. Although the core requirement of proving the injury seems simple, there are times where the VA's services aren't sufficient or outside assistance seems assistance. If you're being asked for new evidence or have been denied a claim because of evidence that showed no problems, take the time to understand how the VA looks at the evidence and what you can do to make your claim or appeal better.
The VA's Service-Connection Requirements
VA disability exists to help veterans who need support in the form of monetary compensation and medical assistance for military-related disabilities. In order to be considered service-connected, a disability condition must have been caused by events during the military. Pre-existing conditions can be considered on a case-by-case basis if the conditions have become significantly worse due to military service.
Military service includes active duty and reserve duty in the military. It doesn't matter if you were at work, in a combat zone, on leave, in another country or at home; if you were still in the military, it counts. There are even some exceptions for conditions caused during basic training/boot camp or a few weeks after leaving the military if it can be somehow linked to your military service.
The service-connection is the first, major part of winning a disability claim award. You also need to prove that you're still suffering from the condition, which requires medical evidence. Unfortunately, many people suffer pains or disabling circumstances with no easily-observed symptoms.
One big problem is that fakers exist. It's not difficult to pretend to be injured, so the VA needs medical proof to link your complaints to a physical condition. Success can be achieved through persistence, but with thousands of dollars per month in potential compensation for life, some veterans can't afford to be persistent enough. If you don't want to fight for decades to receive benefits that you truly deserve, you'll need to get help outside of the VA system.
A Second Opinion Is Practically Required
The VA provides medical examinations for many veterans as part of the Compensation and Pension (C&P) process, but some veterans have complained of rushed examinations or inefficient equipment. Whether the complaints are true or not, if you're truly suffering and the VA doctors can't find anything, it's time to look elsewhere.
Thankfully, the VA understands that mistakes happen and can even give you a referral to outside professionals if necessary. If you're in a hurry, you could seek an independent medical professional immediately, get the results you need and hope for success, as a claim success results in reimbursement for your related medical costs.
Getting a referral for your medical team of choice is probably more cost-effective for most veterans. This doesn't mean that you can't ask for a free consultation to get the medical team's information. If you have any number of pain or injury problems that aren't showing up in testing, start with contacting a computerized tomography scan (CT scan) professional to take a deeper look at what's wrong.
Inform the medical team of everything you've been through in relation to your claim in an organized fashion and show the VA's results. If the VA didn't find anything, civilian technicians can first perform their own independent test without the VA evidence, then compare results while looking deeper. You won't have to deal with the long wait times at VA hospitals or the rush to get to the next patient.
Contact a CT scan professional such as Kinston Medical Specialists PA to arrange a consultation and prepare for a referral from the VA.