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Tips for VA Disability Claims

5 Tips for Filing a VA Disability Claim

Veterans with service-connected disabilities may be eligible to receive benefits through the VA. Here are 5 tips to keep in mind when filing a VA Disability claim.

You can file a VA Disability claim while on active duty

If you have 180 to 90 days remaining of active duty service, you can file a claim for VA Disability through the Benefit Delivery at Discharge (BDD) program. Once filed, an in-service exam will be performed to establish the cause and severity of your medical conditions.

Filing for disability compensation prior to separation is advantageous for two reasons. First, it is easier for examiners to establish a service connection of your medical condition. The evidence will be fresher because the onset of the disability will have been recent. Second, the process tends to move more quickly.

You can file for VA Disability Compensation at any point 

There is no time limit in which you must apply for VA Disability. A veteran may separate from the military with no perceived disabilities, but later develop injury or illness as a result of service. These post-service disabilities can qualify you for VA Compensation. Furthermore, a recently separated disabled veteran may not want to collect benefits, but as time goes on and the condition worsens, decide to do so. Veterans who meet either of these classifications are encouraged to apply as they see fit. As a disclaimer, these claims may take longer to process. The VA will need to develop more records, and, the ability to establish a service connection may be more challenging.

Do not miss the C&P Exam

The Compensation and Pension (C&P) exam is required to garner more information about a veteran’s medical condition(s). It is important to show up to this exam to ensure that the VA has all necessary evidence to make a disability determination. Furthermore, missing your appointment will delay the claims process. Visit Compensation and Pension Exam for more information.

Be proactive and collect your records

A veteran can obtain his/her Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) from the National Personnel Records Center. Although the VA can request these records on behalf of the claimant, it can take several months. It is beneficial to request your OMPF prior to filing the VA claim as this may have useful evidence.

Furthermore, a veteran should personally request records from private providers. There are two reasons why this is recommend. First, the VA is inundated with claims. Despite you signing a release, the VA may overlook the need to request private records. Secondly, private providers may ignore the VA’s request. It will be faster and more efficient for the veteran to personally request their own medical records.

Hire an Attorney

It is always beneficial to have an experienced lawyer on your side. This is particularly true for veterans who have been fighting the VA for quite some time.

Victory Disability can help to simplify the process and ease the burden of applying. To speak with our team about your VA claim, call 866-350-7229.

Information about eligibility, required documents, and how to apply can be found at VA Disability Compensation.