Veterans, Keep Your Injury Compensation Options Open
If you're a veteran suffering from pain, mobility issues, or other problems that make it hard for you to make a living or enjoy your life, what are your options? Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation is a big opportunity, as the potential payments aren't impeded by the hours you work, unlike the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) system. Personal injury claims are another way to find assistance for your pain and disability, but for any major system, you'll need the right types of proof and a legal argument just in case. Here are a few ways that the VA and a personal injury lawyer can help you get the assistance you need.
What Can The VA Do To Help?
Veterans Affairs disability is designed to help veterans with service-connected disabilities. The compensation system provides medical assistance at no cost to the veteran, but higher percentages of disability grant higher amounts of money. It depends on severity, and you can complain about multiple conditions at once for separate, potentially payable conditions.
Service-connected means that the condition has some kind of proven link to military service. This means that you have documentation showing that the incident was caused by any event during your military service, which can be a fairly wide range of situations. It isn't just workplace injuries or combat-related injuries; whether you were on leave, off duty, on liberty in a peaceful, foreign port, or performing cushy duties in the United States, if it happened during your military service, it counts.
Making sure the proof is official is the difficult part. The best proof will be in the form of a military medical record or your service record, with civilian hospital records being a close second. The statement has to be by a certified medical professional, and should show the exact problem--preferably with a cause.
Simply complaining about an issue to medical and getting it documented isn't always enough, but it's a great start. If you don't have concrete evidence that a condition exists, but you're on record with complaints about the issue, your only job is proving that the problem exists to the VA.
Finally, if you have no evidence and made no complaints, you have your work cut out for you. Thankfully, lawyers are there to guide you.
How Can A Lawyer Help?
If you have official evidence from a certified medical professional showing that a condition you complained about is real and related to military service, there's few reasons for the VA to say no. The biggest reason would be suspected fraud and collusion with a doctor, which--while not impossible--is an unlikely scenario you should only fight with a lawyer at your side.
The burden of proof against fraud is significantly high. It means that you need a medical professional that the VA can trust, and even if the results match up, you may have to prove that the issue started in the military as you said. Very unlikely, but not something you want to tackle without legal assistance.
For situations with reports, but no concrete evidence from your military days, the medical testing is still important. You don't need a lawyer to begin with, but if medical professionals can't find a problem, a lawyer can help you find specialists who can pinpoint the issue and document it in a way that the VA understands.
Many doctors are good at healing, but not necessarily pointing out cause and effect for legal purposes. Contact a personal injury law firm, like The Bernstein Law Firm, to get the research and arguments needed for a successful claim.