The Veterans Affairs (VA) disability system can be difficult. In addition to being a strict system that has to protect funds for veterans in need, there are systemic problems and scandals that can ruin even a legitimate and well-prepared claim's chances of success. If you've been denied, keep in mind that you can appeal as much as you need to--and that you can ask for help to make sure the job gets done. Here are a few points to help you get the evidence you need for a successful appeal, as well as ways to get help if your local VA offices seem to be less than legitimate:
New And Material Evidence
If your claim is denied, the VA basically doesn't agree with the evidence you have on hand. You can apply for reconsideration and push for a hearing with an in-person panel, but this can take a long time.
That doesn't mean you can't file for reconsideration, but make sure you're getting new, material evidence at the same time.
Many claims that are legitimately denied are simply without the right type or amount of information. For example, a person blaming head pain on military service will need to have proof that the pain exists, the cause of the pain, and some kind of timeline showing that the cause happened during military service. If you miss any of those parts, a denial is likely.
You'll also need more than a basic treatment statement. It's not difficult to make friends with someone in military medical who are willing to write down that a problem happened, but there needs to be medical evidence such as blood tests, external pictures, or internal scans to show that it's actually happening. Simply going to medical and complaining about the issue sets a precedence and show that you're not making up a new problem, but it won't win an appeal.
Visit new doctors who have experience with your symptoms and proper documentation. The second part is hard since you'll need to see a sample of their reports and know what injury claim professionals want to see. A personal injury lawyer is probably your best ally in this situation, as they will know the kind of language needed for claim success.
Getting Legal Assistance For Better Appeal Documentation
Evidence and wording are two of the most important parts of claim and appeal success. Your medical professionals need to spell out in both medical terminology and plain English that you have a problem, and that the problem is related to military service.
Unfortunately, medical professionals who weren't there for your military service won't be able to confirm the military service connection part easily. Except for extreme and obvious situations such as being exposed to chemicals only involved in military operations--which were once part of major scandals, but obvious to the point of not needing a lot of effort in modern times--there isn't much about many conditions that prove a military connection.
A personal injury lawyer is well-equipped when it comes to tracking down your connections. If you know that you've complained about an issue in the past or have some record of an issue, but don't know how to work a connection, a lawyer can gather your records and generate a report.
If there's no evidence, a presumptive claim (explained in this VA pdf/document) can be used to show that you have symptoms typical of your duty station or line of work. Contact a personal injury attorney office like Spesia & Ayers Attorneys At Law to discuss your appeal plans to reach for faster success.