When you’ve been disabled by either an illness or injury that began while you were in the service – or by a condition that worsened during your time in the military – in most cases you will be eligible for VA disability compensation. Still, the process of making a claim for VA compensation for disability benefits can be challenging at its worst, slow at best and is, for most veterans, a bit frustrating.
Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to simplify the Veterans’ Disability Compensation process.
1. The first and most simple step is to speak with an experienced representative that specializes in Veterans’ Disability Compensation claims. During these conversations, you’ll be able to ask the questions that you have about the VA Disability Compensation process, to get the answers that you need and to determine what you’ll need to provide along with your claim.
2. Be sure that you provide all of the documentation that you need to submit along with your claim for benefits. Simply by having all of the documentation that you need – marriage certificates or divorce decrees, your children’s birth certificates as well as the Social Security numbers for your dependents, your discharge or separation from service papers and medical records from both during and after your years in the service.
3. If additional information is required after you have made your initial claim, you’ll be able to expedite the process by including your claim number on all of the documentation that you submit and by providing it as quickly as possible.
4. Keep copies of all of the information that you send to the VA along with your benefits claim for your own records, and make sure to follow up with the VA to determine that each item has been received.
5. Be completely honest about your condition both while you are filing your claim and when you meet for a physical exam if one is required. Glossing over your experience will only complicate the claims process and may even hurt you when your case is fully reviewed.
6. Be patient. It’s important to understand that the Veterans’ Disability Compensation process can take time while your records are reviewed to ensure that you’re eligible for benefits and specifically for the disability benefit, to establish your disability rating and to determine the appropriate start date for your claim for benefits.
7. Recognize that you have the right to appeal the VA’s decision. The VA allows you to appeal if you have been denied benefits or if you believe that you are more limited by your disability than your disability rating suggests.