If you have an injury or illness that’s been directly or indirectly caused or aggravated by your time in service, you may be entitled to receive VA disability benefits. Unfortunately, navigating the application process can be incredibly confusing, especially for those dealing with neurological injuries and disorders, vision-related conditions, or other ailments that make it hard to think, see, or interpret information effectively.
If you need help in completing and submitting your application, you have access to several reliable options for support. Keep scrolling to learn more about how you can get help with the application process.
Reach Out to Veterans Advocacy Groups
Veterans advocacy groups are non-profit organizations that exist to meet veterans’ needs that are not being addressed by the VA or other support services. These groups can help you find legal support and research platforms that are in line with the circumstances and requirements of your case.
These groups can also assist you in connecting with private medical services if you’re unhappy with the care that the VA has provided. Disability applicants who are seeking compensation with VA malpractice as their service connection often work with advocacy groups to obtain free or affordable medical care from private practitioners.
Get in Touch With a Disability Attorney
One of the best things that you can do when filing a disability claim is to align yourself with a reputable disability attorney. A good lawyer can help you by:
- Establishing a service connection
- Assessing your private and in-service medical records for evidence
- Drawing upon past cases for supporting information
- Ensuring that all necessary forms are completed and filed in a timely fashion
- Helping you prepare for your C&P exam
- Assisting you in pre-determining or anticipating your likely disability rating for VA benefits
It’s important to note that working with a disability attorney rarely requires upfront, out-of-pocket spending. These professionals frequently take cases on a contingency basis, which means that they don’t get paid until their clients do.
Contacting a disability lawyer will also allow you to have the details of your injury reviewed to determine whether or not your claim is a valid one. Veterans can even work with attorneys after their claims have already been denied to ensure better results when submitting appeals.
Consider Working With a Veterans Service Officer
Working with a Veterans Services Officer (VSO) is an alternative to hiring a lawyer for anyone who needs a lesser amount of legal support. These professionals can detail the application process, and assist you in identifying, completing, and filing all forms that are necessary for your claim. They can additionally assist you with the appeals process if your claim has already been denied.
How to Determine Which Form of Support Will Work Best for You
Depending upon your level of disability, your disability type, and how comfortable you are in compiling evidence and completing forms, you may want to choose more than one form of support to assist you with your application.
As a rule, disability attorneys tend to offer the most comprehensive range of services for disabled veterans who are applying for benefits or appealing benefit denials. However, they are also the only for-pay providers on this list. Their willingness to defer payment until successful outcomes have been achieved ensures that their services are just as accessible to those with valid claims as are support services that are offered for free.
It is often in the best interests of applicants with presumptive service connections to align themselves with veterans advocacy groups. With many presumptive service connections, it can take multiple disability applicants to show a clear connection between specific wartime environments or exposures and uncommon illnesses or injuries. Veterans advocacy groups can assist applicants in identifying similar cases and can share their accumulated research with disability attorneys or VSOs.
Although navigating the application process for a VA disability claim can be confusing, you don’t have to do it alone. There are many affordable and accessible forms of support that you’re able to pursue. With the right help, you can both limit the likelihood of claim denial and expedite the review and approval process.