There is more to filing a successful VA compensation claim than simply filing. While the VA will pull your service treatment and VA treatment records, that is rarely enough for you to get your condition service-connected. That is not to say that you should hold off filing, you should always file for compensation as soon as possible to ensure that you secure the earliest effective date for your VA benefits. When filing, you do not have to list your exact medical condition or provide detailed medical records rather you just have to give a generalized description of the medical condition that you are filing for, such as “lower back pain,” or “abdominal pain.” The exact diagnosis can be determined at a later date. You don’t want the VA denying your benefits because you filed for GERD and it was later determined that you actually have IBS.
Another important part of applying for VA compensation is obtaining a “nexus statement,” which is an opinion by a competent medical professional that connects your medical condition to your military service. This statement can be from a VA doctor, your private care provider, or a relevant medical expert and needs to explain not only that your condition is related to service, but explain in detail why. While the VA must consider your statements in determining if a condition is related to service, having a medical professional explain that you developed IBS as a result of exposure to contaminated drinking water while on active duty is much more likely to result in service-connection.
You also need to make sure that you provide the VA with any medical records from private care providers. This is especially important if you have not been receiving your medical treatment through the VA. If you are applying for a condition that has only been diagnosed and treated by a private care provider, the VA will not have enough evidence to grant your claim. Finally, write a statement to include with your claim that explains with as much detail as possible your claimed condition. Include as much information as you can remember, where you were stationed and when, when you condition first manifested, what symptoms you are experiencing and for how long, where you’ve sought treatment, and estimate if you have to but make sure to include it. This will create a narrative that places your condition in context with your military service and creates a timeline that can be instrumental in getting compensation for that condition.
If you have applied for VA compensation and been denied, please call our office and speak with one of our qualified Veterans’ Disability attorneys. Gardberg and Kemmerly is committed to helping injured and disabled Veterans obtain the benefits they deserve. If you need help with a disability claim, call our office at 251-343-1111 or 1-800-332-1529 for a free consultation. Gardberg and Kemmerly is proud to serve Veterans across the country from our home office in Mobile, Alabama. We would love an opportunity to discuss your claim.