At the Law Offices of M. Stanley Whitehead, we have extensive experience assisting veterans whose claims for disability benefits through the Veterans Administration have been denied. This isn’t an uncommon occurrence; many applications are rejected the first time around. Why?
In a lot of instances, their claim gets rejected based not on its validity, but rather based on a failure to supply the evidence the VA requires to make their decision.
Are You Eligible to Receive VA Disability Benefits?
To qualify for veterans disability benefits, you must prove your eligibility. You are eligible to collect benefits if:
- You served in the U.S. armed services in an active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training capacity;
- Received an honorable discharge; and
- You are at least 10% disabled by an injury or disease that was incurred in or aggravated during active duty, active duty for training or inactive duty training.
Evidence that Supports Your VA Disability Claim
Discharge or Separation Papers
These documents show the condition of your discharge – honorable, general, other than honorable, dishonorable or bad conduct. Generally, the condition of your discharge must honorable to qualify for disability benefits.
Service Treatment Records
Your service treatment records are important in proving that your condition is the result of an injury or disease that was incurred in or aggravated while in the service. Depending on your disability, you can submit any of the following records to support your claim:
Physical examinations, including entrance and discharge physical examinations
- Your medical history
- All dental examinations and records
- Clinical record cover sheets and summaries
- Entries from outpatient medical and dental treatments
- Physical profiles
- Medical board proceedings
- Prescriptions for eyeglasses and orthopedic footwear
Other Medical Evidence Related to Your Physical or Mental Disability
This can include reports, medical test results, treatment notes, diagnoses, medical evaluations and opinions, etc. from civilian healthcare professionals that support your claim that you are currently disabled and your disability originated while on duty.
Gathering the evidence that proves your claim is probably easier than you think, even if you aren’t in possession of the original documents. In these situations, the VA is responsible for gathering any records from federal agencies (including the military), other VA medical centers and the Social Security Administration) that are relevant to your case. In addition, the VA can also arrange for a medical exam to get a doctor’s opinion if it is necessary to decide a claim.
However, you are responsible for supplying any evidence that is not from a federal source. These may include records from:
- State or local governments
- Private (non-VA) doctors and hospitals
- Current or former employers
Still Have Questions? Speak with an Accredited VA Attorney in Houston
While it is not required, getting help from an experienced VA disability lawyer can greatly increase your chances of successfully appealing a claim denial. Houston Veterans disability attorney M. Stanley Whitehead has been helping disabled veterans get the benefits they deserve for over 25 years. He will represent your interests in every phase of the appeals process, including submitting the evidence that will be crucial in deciding if your claim is approved or denied.
If you are a disabled veteran and have been denied disability benefits, contact the Law Offices of M. Stanley Whitehead to get help today.