Domestic violence was a part of my family's life for years. When I made the decision to leave with my children, I had to rely on the law to provide the protection we needed. Sometimes, the system does not work as fast as we want. I soon learned that going at it alone without any guidance caused significant delays. I created this blog to help others who are seeking legal means to deal with an abusive ex. By making the right moves, it is possible to get the necessary protections in place so that you can also live a happier and healthier life.
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Being an injured veteran is a unique situation in that there are a lot of services available, but those services are sometimes hard to get to. The Department of Veteran Affairs (the VA) specifically has a compensation system for disabled veterans that provides monetary compensation and enhanced medical support, but there are a few forms of proof that need to be presented first. If your condition is related to military service, or if you're not sure about how your condition could be compensated, here's a bit of information to point you in the right direction.
Service-Connection and Your Compensation
If you're interested in getting money for your condition, there are two tests that you must pass: the severity test and the service-connection test. The severity test is like any other disability system that proves how severe your disability is in terms of financial and medical need, while service-connection tests whether the condition is related to military service.
The VA only pays out disability compensation to veterans with service-connected disabilities, and even then, the pay rate does start until 10% disability. You need documentation to prove that your condition is related to military service, and that proof can come in many forms. Unfortunately, the VA can't just take your word for it or accept your expressions of pain or suffering as proof.
If you have leg problems, you need to have an incident showing that you were treated for something leg-related that could lead to a disability. The second best proof would be a report showing that something happened to your leg, but with no treatment record. Both are preferable, but the VA understands that veterans aren't always able to ensure medical record entries, especially in remote duty stations or posts without administrative personnel.
Mental conditions are more difficult, but need the same context. Although there are many case-by-case situations that determine whether your claim will be accepted, you'll need to point to somewhere in your service record, medical record, or an official statement from any chain of command connected to your service that a triggering event occurred. The key is past documentation.
An Attorney Makes Evidence Gathering Easier
If you're missing any of the vital documentation for a successful claim, or if your claim was denied despite the evidence, you'll need deeper research that pins down the decision-making options of the VA.
There are certain rules that apply to VA decisions, such as providing enough evidence to push a likelihood decision as listed in the Clinician's Guide on the VA documentation webpage. An example of such pinpoint evidence would be getting a doctor to state that an injury is "at least as likely as not", or 50% likely. The guide states that if the condition is 50% or greater, the decision goes in the veteran's favor.
Such evidence can be gathered by connecting with a personal injury attorney's medical associates and figuring out what would constitute 50% or greater for your specific condition, then finding a VA route that would agree with the decision. If your local VA doesn't seem to be agreeable, an attorney would have more resources to figure out another area to visit that may be more receptive to your evidence.
Contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your claim success, as well as other options if VA disability isn't the right path for your condition.Share