Home / Author "Jon Corra"
AUTHOR ARCHIVE FOR Jon Corra
2019 has started, and that means it’s time for new goals for the new year. If you’re a Veteran one of your goals for 2019 might be getting your VA Disability Claim approved. If this is one of your goals for the new year, it may be a difficult task. Claims are still backlogged, and more Veterans are applying for service connection. Don’t let that discourage you though. There are certain things you can do this year to help you get the benefits you deserve.
- File for benefits. If you haven’t applied for VA disability benefits before, take the time today to You can’t get approved if you don’t apply first. Applying is easier than ever. You can apply online via the VA website. One of the benefits of applying online is that you can save your progress and come back to the application if you need to take a break. This is also helpful if you need to get additional paperwork. For instance, if you need to look at the date of your DD-214, you can pause the application while you find the information you need. It’s also easier to submit the application online too. However, if you’d rather fill out your application the traditional way, you still can. The application is tricky though. You may want to seek help when filing for your benefits. Our law firm will help you with your initial application.
- Get treatment. This was on our list in 2018, 2017, and every list since this blog started in 2011. And (spoiler alert,) seeking treatment will also be on our 2020 list. Treatment is the most important aspect of any VA Disability Claim. Treatment is the evidence the VA uses to approve or deny your claim. Treatment can be obtained from a medical professional like a doctor, but that does not have to be the only type of treatment you receive. For instance, if you have PTSD, you may seek treatment from a doctor, but if you attend some sort of PTSD Support Group, that too can be considered a form of treatment. Not only does it show the VA that you have the condition, but it also proves that you are treating for your PTSD. Even if you do nothing else on this list this year, be sure to get medical treatment.
- Don’t procrastinate. This may be one of the most difficult goals to accomplish this year, but it’s one of the most important things to consider when pursuing VA Disability Benefits. The reason why it’s so important to be prompt with the VA is that they have some strict deadlines. If you wait too long and miss an appeal, your claim will automatically close. If your claim closes you will lose your backpay date. If you lose your backpay date you may lose out on thousands of dollars worth of back pay. Also, considering it takes at least 12 to 18 months to receive an initial decision, missing an appeal could mean several more years of waiting.
- Talk to other Veterans. Many individuals who serve in the military develop great bonds with others who serve. This bond often ends after service though. Too often Veterans find themselves isolated when they return from serving, especially when they’ve served in combat. Reconnecting with others who serve can be beneficial. Finding others with shared experiences can help you feel less alone. With social media, it’s easier than ever to reconnect with other Veterans. However, you can still connect with other Veterans in traditional ways too. One of the most common ways to connect is to try a local Veterans organization. Many are social clubs which require membership to attend. However, they often host events which can be a lot of fun.
- Consider hiring an attorney. VA Disability claims can be tough. Many claims take several years and it’s almost as if the VA is working against you. Not only are the claims time consuming, but they are also frustrating. Sometimes Veterans are hesitant to hire an attorney because they’ve sometimes never hired one before. A VA Attorney doesn’t charge an upfront fee. This is how our firm handles fees. Our fees are based on a contingency. In other words, we only receive an attorney fee if you get service connected. The fee is 20% of whatever backpay you receive. Attorneys help in many ways. We submit paperwork, file appeals, help with evidence, we can help get second opinions, and much more. We’ve helped thousands of Veterans and we have the knowledge and the compassion you need.
We hope you have a great year, and we hope you get the VA Disability Benefits you deserve. If you’d like to know more about the services we offer, give us a call today for a free consultation. Our number is 1-877-526-3457. Or you can fill out this form so we can call you later.
Each year, more and more Veterans apply for VA Disability. However, there are even more Veterans left wondering if they can apply. The process is so daunting that many Veterans avoid it out of fear that they won’t qualify for benefits.
Our firm has been pursuing VA Disability benefits for more than a decade. Over the years, we’ve learned a lot about the process. More often than not, a Veteran who thought he or she couldn’t apply for benefits was qualified. So, how do you know if you should apply for VA Disability? Granted, anyone can apply for benefits, but most Vets want to know more about what the VA is looking for in a successful claim. Here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re considering pursuing VA Disability.
- Are you a Veteran? This question may seem silly, but many people who haven’t served ask us if they can file for Veterans Disability. Keep in mind that we aren’t talking about Survivors Benefits in this blog, just service-connected disability. A service-connected disability is an injury or trauma incurred or aggravated by the Veteran’s time in service. Only Veterans are allowed to pursue service-connected disability benefits. For instance, once an individual called our firm asking if he could apply for VA Disability. He didn’t serve, his family didn’t serve, and his only connection to the military was his work as a custodian at the local VA hospital. He was injured on the job and thought he may be entitled to VA Disability benefits because he worked for the VA. He was not a Veteran, so he did not qualify for VA Disability. He instead needed to file a worker’s compensation claim or Social Security Disability.
- Did my injury occur in service, or was it made worse by my time in service? When Veterans are seeking our help with their VA Disability claims, we ask them when and where their injuries occurred. For instance, if you came to us seeking service-connection for a shoulder injury, we would want to know when, where, and how it occurred. If your shoulder injury was caused by a car wreck that happened 20 years after service, you’re not likely to get that injury service-connected. However, if your shoulder was injured because you fell off a truck while in service, you may be able to get that injury service-connected. It’s important to note that this is just one example. There are many different scenarios for VA Disability claims. For instance, mental health claims don’t have to be diagnosed in service. Their symptoms often manifest years after a Veteran has been discharged.
- Does my injury still impact my life? If you injured your shoulder in service, and it still causes you issues today, that’s something to consider pursuing. However, if you injured your shoulder, fully recovered, and have no lingering problems, you probably won’t receive service-connection. Many Veterans have physical injuries that become more painful over time.
- Am I seeking medical treatment? Treatment is paramount for any VA Disability claim. Why is treatment so important? Medical tests and treatment are the evidence that helps prove your disability. A gap in treatment will not bode well for your, For instance, if you had a knee injury in service and didn’t see a doctor about the condition for 15 years, you’re going to have a difficult time getting service-connected. There are some exceptions, of course. We mentioned mental health earlier. Also, Veterans who were parachutist in service may have physical injuries creep up later in life. They may still get service-connected for their conditions even if they weren’t diagnosed or treated in service.
These examples are just some of the ways in which a VA case can become confusing. There are rarely any black or white situations when it pertains to VA Disability. This is why we say every case is unique. Please use these questions as a guide when asking yourself on whether or not you should apply for VA Disability benefits. If you’d like to make the process even simpler, you are more than welcome to call us for a free evaluation. Our number is 1-877-526-3457. Or, fill out this form. Our intake process is very thorough, and we ask detailed questions to help ensure we’re getting you all the benefits you deserve.
Most Veterans pursuing a VA Disability claim are subject to a Compensation and Pension Exam (C&P Exam). For those who have not filed a claim before, a C&P Exam is a medical exam performed by a medical provider at the VA. These exams are directly related to the claims Veterans file when they apply for VA Disability Compensation. It’s not like seeing your regular doctor. The C&P examiner will not prescribe you medicine or send you to a specialist. They are only going to evaluate the medical conditions for which you’re seeking service connection. C&P exams can be frustrating, and many Vets make the following mistakes when they go to their exams:
- Playing tough. Most people who served in the military are trained to downplay injuries, and they don’t want to admit when they’re in the pain. We understand why Veterans downplay their pain and the severity of their conditions. However, doing that in a C&P exam isn’t going to help your case. When Veterans ask us what they should or should not do during the exam, our answer is always the same: be honest. If you’re having a rough day, tell the doctor. If you’re back pain makes you want to scream, don’t be afraid to admit just how much it impacts your daily life. If you’re finding it hard to perform your job because of your depression, the doctor needs to know that. Also, we encourage Veterans to refrain from exaggerating about their conditions. This can negatively impact your claim.
- Expecting a familiar face. Many Veterans treat at the VA on a regular basis. Even if you visit the VA on a regular basis, there’s a good chance you’ll be evaluated by a doctor you’ve never met before. Don’t let an unfamiliar face throw you off. It’s important to discuss your symptoms with the C&P examiner as if he or she was your regular doctor. This is not the time to be shy. While it can be intimidating, especially when it comes to mental health claims, it’s important to present your symptoms in an honest manner.
- Waiting for Dr. Super Nice. We’ve been representing Veterans since 2008. We’ve reviewed thousands of C&P Exams, and we’ve talked to a lot of Veterans after their evaluations. Often, the C&P exams don’t go as well as they had expected. We’ve heard countless stories about rude doctors and long waits, combined with disappointing evaluations. We’ve seen our fair share of poor evaluations. But that’s ok. We know how to handle these types of evaluations, and have assisted many Veterans with getting second opinions from independent medical consultants.
- Expecting Answers. Many Veterans assume the C&P Exam takes place near the end of the decision process. With that in mind, we understand a Veteran may be tempted to ask the doctor for a status update about their claim. The C&P examiner does not know how your case is going to be decided. The medical provider performing the exam is not the one making the decision. The examiner will present his or her findings to the VA Regional Office. The Regional Office will then make their decision.
- One trip and done. In a perfect world, you could go to the VA one day, and all your evaluations would be completed within a few hours. The reality, however, is much different. If you file multiple claims, you may have to go to the VA on multiple days and times for different exams. It’s frustrating, and it occurs more often than you realize. However, you may also have to go for multiple exams for the same condition if you’re denied.
- Getting upset over a chart review. At times, it can seem there is no rhyme or reason to how the VA schedules exams. Sometimes the VA won’t bring you in for an exam, but have the C&P examiner do a chart review of your exam, instead. It can seem like the VA is passing over your claim, but sometimes a chart review is sufficient for specific types of claims and their severity. We often receive calls from clients who are upset after a chart review. If a chart review would prove to be insufficient, there have been instances when we have assisted Veterans in getting second opinions through independent medical consultants.
The C&P exam process can be frustrating, but when you hire a firm like Jan Dills, Attorneys at Law, the process can become a little easier. If you’d like to know more about how we can help you with your claim, call us today for a free consultation. Our number is 1-877-526-3457. If you can’t talk right now, fill out this form so we can contact you later.
Have you ventured to the market recently and been overwhelmed by the number of choices there are for each product? Ice cream is a good example. Most grocers have an aisle dedicated to ice cream. If you don’t have a specific flavor and brand in mind, you could be overcome with anxiety due to the large variety. How do you know which one to choose? Do you buy the high-end brand with the TV show host on the carton, or do you go with the less expensive, simply flavored bulk ice cream? Do you buy the branded flavor or the classic? The choices are seemingly endless. So why choose the expensive brand over the value brand? At the end of the day, aren’t they both ice cream?
And what does ice cream have to do with a VA Disability Attorney? Like ice cream, when you select a representative, your choices may seem endless, and it can seem overwhelming. Many Veterans want to know why they should consider choosing an attorney over a person or organization that doesn’t charge for their services.
There are various individuals, often referred to as Veteran Service Officers, and organizations, referred to as Veteran Service Organizations, that represent Veterans for free. Most are non-profits, and they do a lot of good work to help Veterans in a variety of situations, assisting Veterans with their GI Bill, VA home loans, burial arrangements, issues at VA Medical Centers and more. And they often don’t charge for their services. So, why would you hire an attorney when you can get free representation from a VSO? We can’t speak for all law firms, but we can tell you about the benefits of hiring Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law.
It takes a team
In our firm, no one person works on your case alone. We believe in hiring individuals to specialize in specific areas of your case. For instance, we have a team that focuses on leads, another that focuses on appeals, some that focus on medical reviews and, of course, we have our attorneys. Some may see this depth and worry about not making a personal connection with us, but that’s not the case. Every Veteran is assigned two case managers, and these individuals get to know each client quite well. The VA process is quite lengthy and, as a result, the case managers will be in contact with you frequently over the course of your case. Our case managers often get to know our clients on a personal level, keeping in touch even after their cases is complete.
Our attorneys and staff have dedicated large portions of their lives to studying law and learning the discipline. For someone to become an attorney, in most cases, they have to complete at least four years of college, and then attend law school.
C-Files: the truth is in there
A C-file is one of the most important aspects of your case. These files are often huge, and they can take a long time to review. C-files contain medical records from your time in service, your administration records, all of your VA medical records, and more. We don’t have an individual review these records, we have a team. This team is specially trained to review these records and find evidence to support your claim. They also look at past decisions rendered by the VA. They look for mistakes made in past decisions. At times, we’ve even been able to get Veterans service connected at a higher rating.
Our firm does not charge anything upfront for our services. We only receive attorney fees if you’re approved for benefits. So, if your claims aren’t approved, we don’t receive attorney fees. We are only successful when we make sure your claim is successful.
Our firm has a network of doctors established to help get Veterans additional medical opinions. Those opinions can help Veterans get the disability benefits they deserve. Since our firm has been established for so many years, we have built great relationships with these doctors.
Since 2008, our firm has helped thousands of Veterans get the disability benefits they deserve. If you’d like to know more about the services we offer, call us today for a free consultation at 1-877-526-3457, or fill out this form so we can call you at a better time.
It’s no secret that the VA Disability process is confusing. There isn’t a lot of information available, and much of the information that is available is outdated or incorrect. This becomes even more evident when our attorneys and staff discuss back pay with Veterans.
Many Veterans aren’t aware they can receive back pay for their claims. In most cases, a Veteran will receive back pay from the date their claim was originally filed. So, if you filed your claim in December of 2016, and you get approved in May 2018, you should receive back pay for those 17 months. If you filed as a single Veteran with no dependents, and you are approved in 2018, you should receive $1,365.48 per month for your disabilities. The VA pays you back pay because they should have been paying you that amount every month since you filed. In this case, they will compensate you for the 17 months you should have been paid at 70%. In this example, that equals $23,213.16. (The amount may vary based on cost of living adjustments and a few other adjustments, but this amount is an accurate estimate.)
A situation involving one of our clients is a good example. This Veteran was attempting to pursue his benefits claim on his own. He filed early in 2011, then was denied later in the year. He filed an appeal through the mail and thought the VA had received it, but they hadn’t. A year passed after he received his initial decision. The VA didn’t receive an appeal, so they closed his case. This caused the Veteran to lose his original back pay date.
This is one of the many reasons we are adamant about Veterans filing appeals before they expire. This Veteran was service connected at 100%, and his back pay date reset to when we reopened his case. Because the VA did not receive his appeal, he possibly lost out on thousands of dollars in back pay. When our firm represents a Veteran, we obtain confirmation notices from the VA. These notices let us know that the VA received the appeal. If necessary, we can use a confirmation notice to argue and prove an effective date.
What happens with back pay when you’ve been granted a specific percentage for a claim, but want to appeal the decision to receive a higher rating? Many Veterans believe that they won’t get the back pay if they appeal, or that they will stop receiving their monthly benefit. That’s not true. For instance; if you filed a claim for PTSD and the VA rated you at 30%, but you think you should be rated at 70%, you can file an appeal and not lose your back pay or your monthly compensation. If the VA then finds that you should have been rated at 70% the whole time, they will pay you additional back pay and adjust your monthly compensation going forward. You won’t lose what the VA has already paid, and you will still receive your monthly compensation while they are processing your appeal.
VA Disability is confusing. It takes years to master, and it’s difficult to pursue alone. You have several options when it comes to VA Disability representation. However, thousands of Veterans have selected Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law to help them get the benefits they deserve. We’re not volunteers. We have a vested interested in your case. We’re passionate about helping Veterans, and we’d love the opportunity to discuss your case in detail. Call us today for a free consultation. Our toll-free number is 1-877-526-3457. If you’d rather talk at a later time, fill out this form so we can call you at a better time.
For most Veterans, the disability process is long and frustrating. When a Veteran gets approved, they are usually relieved that the journey is over. However, the journey isn’t necessarily over when you are approved. There are still several things a Veteran may need to do once their claim is approved. Here are the 4 most common mistakes Veterans make after their VA Disability claim is approved.
- They stop getting treatment. Treatment is one of the most important parts of any VA Disability claim. If your claim is approved, there is a good chance you had a lot of medical treatment to support your claim(s). However, once they’re approved, many Veterans stop getting treatment. This can be bad for two reasons. For one, an approval does not mean that your condition goes away. Regardless of whether you have a physical disability or a mental disability, you should continue treating because your condition could worsen without treatment. The other issue with stopping treatment arises if the VA proposes a decrease in your benefits. It’s easier to argue against a decrease if you have medical evidence to support your claim. Medical evidence post-approval will help even more.
- They let other claims slip. Most Veterans file for multiple disabilities, and it’s rare for those claims to get approved at the same time. So, if you’re approved for a claim for your back condition, don’t let your PTSD claim slip. It’s important to continue your other claims because, if they are approved, they can help your overall combined rating.
- They settle for less than they deserve. It’s difficult to get a claim approved, but often when the VA approves a claim, they approve it for a lower percentage. For instance, you filed for PTSD and the VA rates you at 30%, but, you have evidence that supports a 70% rating. Many Veterans worry they’ll lose the initial rating once they file an appeal. However, that’s not necessarily true. You will continue to receive your monthly payment that you were approved for, in addition to any back pay that you were eligible for. If you wonder how you’ll know if you deserve a higher rating, you may want to consider getting help from an accredited VA Disability attorney.
- They fail to add or update dependent information. Once a Veteran reaches 30% service connection, he or she can claim dependents and the VA will add to their compensation. You can get additional compensation for each dependent. So, if you have multiple children, a spouse, or a dependent parent, you can receive compensation for each individual. You may also claim your children as dependents up until the age of 23 if they are in school full time. However, once your children reach the age of 18, you must show proof to the VA that they are still in school. Also, if you are no longer married and your current spouse is on your dependents claim, it is very important that you let the VA know to avoid any type of overpayment.
If you worry about mistakes you may make once you’re approved, you might benefit from having an attorney help you get approved. Thousands of Veterans have turned to the VA Disability attorneys at Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law. Call us today to see what we can do for you. Our toll-free number is 1-877-526-3457. If you can’t talk now, fill out this form so we can call you at a better time.
If you are a Veteran who has applied for VA disability compensation, you already know that few aspects of the process are pleasant. This is especially true if you’ve ever been involved in a situation that led to calling the VA’s 1-800 number. Some Veterans have shared stories in which they’ve been placed on hold for hours, or even been given false information. To say the least, most Veterans don’t enjoy calling the VA for help. But in some situations, calling is necessary—but it doesn’t have to be as unpleasant as you might think.
There are some cases in which a Veteran may receive an overpayment. One of the most common situations results when a Veteran receives severance pay from the military, and then later receives VA disability compensation. In some instances, the Veteran may have to pay back their severance pay in order to receive their monthly compensation. Another instance that is common involves dependents. For instance, if you were married when you were granted benefits, but failed to notify the VA of a divorce, the VA may have overpaid you. This can amount to thousands of dollars’ worth of overpayments. The VA will want that money back. So, what are you to do?
There is a helpline operated by the VA that is very helpful. It’s not a myth. It exists, and it may help you when you are in dire need of help. This helpful center within the VA is the Debt Management Center. It’s located in St. Paul Minnesota, and they have helped many of the Veterans our firm has referred to them.
We’ve dealt with the VA Debt Management Center directly many times since we started representing Veterans a decade ago. Also, several of our clients have had positive interactions with VA Debt Management. We’ve seen instances in which they’ve helped a Veteran in need who could not pay back an overpayment. They actually work with Veterans to help resolve the issue. So, instead of having to pay back a $1,000.00 overpayment with one month’s check, the VA may make arrangements for you to pay a smaller amount over several months.
This probably won’t surprise any Veteran, but the VA makes mistakes. Sometimes they will say that you owe them money even though you don’t. In this circumstance, the VA Debt Management Center will do what they can to fix the issue.
One of the best things is that the VA Debt Management Center has a direct line. You may still have to wait when you call them, but it shouldn’t be as long a wait as if you called the main 1-800 number. They even outline on their website the best time to call, and explain that the first Monday of every month is their highest day for call volume. They are even open on Saturdays to take calls. If you need to call them, their number is 1-800-827-0648.
If you do find that you have an overpayment, do not ignore the issue. The Debt Management Center will work with you. There are options. We discussed making payments earlier, but there are some situations in which they will waive an overpayment. This doesn’t always occur, but it is a possibility. In some situations, you may even be able to request a hearing.
Overpayments can be frustrating, but the VA is usually accommodating. If you would like to know more about this subject, or if you would like to know more about the services we offer, call us today. Our toll-free number is 1-877-526-3457. If you can’t talk now, fill out this form so that a member of our team can call you at a later time.
Most national reports state that, on average, 22 Veterans take their lives every day. Obviously, this is an alarming rate, and that number may actually be on the rise. However, many people don’t realize which Veterans are at risk. Some suggest that Veterans with depression and/or PTSD are more at risk, but simply saying that Veterans with mental health issues are at risk for suicide is too broad. There are a lot of Veterans who suffer from PTSD and depression, and there are varying degrees of severity for both conditions. Many Vets are able to manage the symptoms of their mental health conditions with medication or other alternative treatments. Simply stated, a diagnosis of either condition or both does not mean a Vet is at risk for suicide. Instead, there needs to be more data to show other factors. Recently, the Department of Veterans Affairs released data to show geographic factors that can contribute to higher suicide rates among the Veterans community. The news is dire for Veterans who live in rural areas.
Recently the VA released data on suicide rates by state for the first time. The study found the following states are among the highest for Veteran suicides: Montana, Utah, Nevada and New Mexico. The four states mentioned averaged 60 per 100,000 individuals or higher, which is far above the national Veteran suicide rate of 38.4. In other words, the rates in those four states are nearly twice that of the rest of the country. The VA found that other states with high suicide rates, including West Virginia, Kentucky, and Oklahoma, also have the highest rates of opioid use.
When compared to their civilian counterparts, female Vets are two and a half times more likely to commit suicide, and male Veterans are at an even higher risk. The suicide rate among male Veterans is 19% higher than in civilian males. Age is also a contributing factor for many Veterans, with VA reporting that 65% of Veterans who commit suicide are 65 or older.
Suicide rates for individuals who live in rural areas aren’t just an issue for Veterans. As a whole, people living in rural areas are more likely to commit suicide than those who live in urban areas. One main reason is a lack of access to medical care. Some reports state that there is also more of a stigma attached to mental health conditions in rural areas.
In addition to a lack of medical care and the stigma associated mental health issues in rural areas, there are other reasons that Veterans in rural areas are more likely to commit suicide. One such reason pertains to the isolation Veterans may experience in rural areas. Many Veterans struggle to find other individuals with shared similar experiences, especially for those Vets who served in combat. There are fewer social organizations, like the VFW, for Veterans to find companionship.
While this news is disturbing, the fact that VA is doing research and producing reports means that they are trying to identify problems and create solutions. If you are struggling with PTSD, depression, or a TBI, you may be able to get compensation for your disabilities. Pursuing a claim can be very frustrating. If you’d like to learn what an attorney can do for you, give Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law a call today for a Free consultation. The toll-free number is 1-877-526-3457. If you can’t talk now, fill out this form so that a representative can contact you at a better time.
When individuals are asked to recall the last time they felt really nervous, many situations come to mind. Perhaps it was a wedding or joining the military, or even buying a home for the first time. What do all of these situations have in common, besides their ability to induce a case of nerves? They happen with the help of others. Weddings include a new spouse. Many who join the military joined with a friend or quickly got to know individuals while they were in boot camp. Those buying their first home likely turned to their family and friends for help. While scholars like Robert D. Putnam assert that our society is becoming more isolated, most still tend to approach uncertain situations with others.
In a VA Disability claim, Veterans can feel isolated and alone. This is especially true for those who attempt to pursue claims on their own. The complexity of the VA disability process can often spell failure for those trying to navigate the process on their own. But many Veterans turn to the legal team at Jan Dils Attorneys at Law for guidance. Our attorneys and staff pride themselves on customer service and the ability to help Veterans at every stage of their claim, including attending a hearing for the first time.
One way in which the Jan Dils Legal Team helps Veterans alleviate the stress of a hearing is by holding a prehearing. Think of a prehearing like a practice test or a wedding rehearsal. In its simplest form, a prehearing is a structured conversation with an attorney to prepare the Veteran for his or her hearing. It’s like getting tips from Tom Brady prior to starting the Super Bowl, or Gordon Ramsey working as your sous chef. During a prehearing, the attorney advises the Veteran on everything from the temperament of a judge or decision review officer to how to dress. It may seem silly to advise someone on how to dress, but it can help alleviate a lot of stress if you know what to wear in advance. Since 1994 this team has represented thousands of individuals in cases, and they know what questions come up most often.
Speaking of questions, the attorneys also use this time to answer any questions the Veteran has prior to the hearing. For instance, attorney Heather Vanhoose may be asked about specific questions to expect during the hearing. Attorney Angie Lowe is often asked how to navigate the VA Reginal Office during her prehearings. They also use this time to answer questions about how the hearing will take place. A lot of Vets have more concerns if the hearing takes place via video as opposed to in person. So they address this as well.
It’s normal for a Veteran to be nervous before a hearing. In all honesty, most attorneys were nervous before their first hearing, too. It helps to meet with someone who has been through the process before. These attorneys aren’t volunteers. They have a vested interest in the cases they argue. They are also passionate about law. A Veteran interested in learning more about the services available at Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law should call 1-877-526-3457 for a Free Consultation. If this isn’t a convenient time to talk on the phone, fill out this form and someone will reach you at a better time.
The Greek philosopher Socrates once stated, “The beginning of wisdom is a definition of terms.” While some detractors state that this quote is ubiquitous, others call it timeless. Regardless of how you interpret the quote, you’ll likely agree that conflict and confusion can result from failure to understand and define terms. And one term that is often misunderstood when it comes to VA disability is “evidence”.
Due in large part to the emergence of legal dramas in pop culture, the noun “evidence” is omnipresent. When most think of the term, they think of a blood-splattered glove or “exhibit B” on the latest episode of Law and Order. When applied to Veterans disability, evidence is not as complicated. The following examples will help clarify how evidence is incorporated in a VA disability claim.
The first, and arguably most important, example of evidence is that of medical records. A Veteran’s medical records paint a picture of his or her time in service and provide a roadmap of their medical journey since discharge. Medical records are forms of evidence that prove a Veteran has been diagnosed with a specific condition, has been treated for that condition, and can also prove the extent of an injury or medical condition. Medical records can also confirm the date in which a condition was diagnosed.
While medical records are an important form of evidence for a VA disability claim, they aren’t the only type of evidence that can be submitted for a claim. Administration records are another form of evidence. Most Veterans who served will confirm that the military keeps track of their every move. Some will say, in a hyperbolic fashion, that the military even keeps track of their sneezes. While this sentiment is meant to be humorous, it shows how aware military personnel are of their administrative records. The military keeping such a watchful eye on individuals can help establish where they were when a condition occurred. This, too, is evidence, and can help prove that a Veteran was in an area in which Agent Orange was sprayed, for example. The legal team at Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law has used this type of evidence in countless cases to verify an individual’s location during the Vietnam War and succeeded in getting them the benefits they deserve. The use of administrative records as evidence does not stop there. Sometimes the VA will argue that an injury is not related to a Veteran’s time in service. If this occurs, a Veteran’s administrative records may verify that an injury occurred while serving. Also, if he or she has military medical records to confirm this claim, they too can be used as evidence.
Statements in support of the claim are a final example of evidence. The layman may refer to this type of evidence as a “buddy statement.” Essentially, a buddy statement is simply a witness statement claiming that a Veteran had an injury in service, or that someone witnessed the injury occur. For example, the Veteran who is filing the claim states that he or she was injured due to a rocket-propelled grenade attack. He or she states that their head injuries are a direct result of this blast. However, his or her administrative records are not able to confirm this claim because it happened in the middle of combat. This Veteran can turn to his or her fellow Veterans who served alongside for a statement. Their statement can be used as evidence to prove that the blast occurred, and possibly caused the head injury. These statements may also be provided by non-Veterans, too.
There are other types of evidence that can be used for a VA Disability Claim, but the examples covered here are the most common. Veterans reading this post need not fear the terminology used by the VA. They likely have more than enough evidence to prove their claims. Sometimes they just need a little help to find it. For this reason and more, many Veterans turn to the team at Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law. Since 2008, we’ve helped thousands of Veterans get the disability benefits they deserve.
Socrates also said, “Every action has its pleasures and its prices.” This can apply to calling Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law for a VA Disability Claim Consultation. The pleasure involves learning about the services they provide and possibly gaining peace of mind for your case. The price, though, is free. Just call 1-877-526-3457. If you don’t have time to talk currently, fill out this form and a member of the team can contact you at a better time.