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That is what I asked the VA to do 10 years ago when processing my disability claim.In reality, the VA disability claims process is very complex and time consuming for the veteran and the Dept of Veterans Affairs. This is your job if you choose to take it, or you’ll be older and fatter still fighting the good fight, like me. For disabled veterans with copies of their SMRs, you should get moving.I generally bring all documentation relevant to the specific injury or injuries with me along with a summary sheet. However, do not get cute and diagnose something that is not stated in your SMRs.Avoid dropping your whole file on the person’s lap with the expectation that they will sort through it for you. One thing your evidence should have is a Nexus letter (hopefully from a doctor) explaining how the evidence in your file is relevant to the condition you have now. List the symptoms, not the diagnosis (back pain with numbness down the legs, for example).Write up a summary of all the conditions and include dates of treatment while in service and after. According to , “Contrary to the Veterans’ Court, the relevance of lay evidence is not limited to the third situation, but extends to the first two as well.” To that point, the VA had been guilty of largely disregarding personal statements because they were not “objective.” They were wrong and the Federal Circuit had the last say, binding future VA decisions. Talk to the VSO about how to further document your claim prior to filing it.You do not need to seek medical attention for every issue in order to document it. But always remember, the condition needs to be currently impacting you in order to count. On that note, I would question anyone claiming ” too, given that the government takes an unjustified position in 70 percent of veterans denials. If the VSO feels confident that you’re ready to go, go for it.This is yet another case of ‘do what I say, not what I did.’ It is important to not repeat the following because it will cause a lengthy appeal process – and there is nothing worse than a 10-year appeals process.It’s like waiting for your IRS tax refund, except it’s more money and, like Rip Van Winkle, I look a whole lot older.
Your documentation will be in addition to this (doctors’ opinions – civilian, VA, military). One misunderstanding of many is that lay evidence counts very little because it is not “objective.” (lay evidence is a statement from the veteran or buddy letter that supports a claim). Again, this depends on your specific situation and comfort level.Decide where you currently fall into the rating schedule.Then, you can Google the condition on either regular Google or Google Scholar.Whether fighting for a higher disability rating or filing your disability claim with Dept.
of Veterans Affairs, this article has insider tips that win.
Filing disability claims with the Dept of Veterans Affairs is tricky.