For any veterans’ disability lawyer, there is one question that comes up time and time again: How can I speed up my benefits claim?
The question is completely understandable. The VA backlog is well-known to anyone with even a passing familiarity with veterans’ issues. While there’s nothing we can do to immediately ease that problem, there are steps you can take to increase the odds of a more quickly processed application.
Read on for some tips to help speed up your veterans’ disability application.
Get the Care You Need
If you have a disability dating back to active duty, it is essential to tell your doctor and obtain all of the recommended treatments. Follow your doctor’s advice.
The key here is the paper trail. Every visit to a medical professional to discuss your condition creates a record that can later be used to support your claim. Detailed medical records allow the VA to draw a timeline from your active duty service to your claimed disability. If this can be done through official documentation included in your application, you are one step closer to an efficiently processed application.
Remember, you have to show that it is as likely as not that your current disability began in the service. Medical records provide the necessary link.
File Your Claim According to the Letter of the Law
Equal to the need for strong medical records is the absolute necessity of following your application instructions exactly as written. All applications require:
- Medical reports from both military and civilian institutions;
- Any separation documents you may have; and
- Records of children, spouses, and other dependents
Additionally you will want to fill out all required fields with accurate information. If you’re in doubt about whether to include a document or piece of information, it is usually best to include it. List all of the medical conditions you believe arose while you were in service. If you have not received a medical diagnosis for a symptom, it may be best not to include it. List all conditions that apply to you. The VA will consider each one.
Know Your Rights
Many VA offices offer special fast track status to qualifying applicants. This status can cover a range of conditions and prior history. Those who have suffered post-traumatic stress disorder or military sexual trauma may be eligible, along with former POWs, homeless veterans, and other veterans facing extreme financial hardship. Additionally, the Agent Orange Fast Track Claims Processing System offers special fast track status to veterans with disabilities resulting from exposure to Agent Orange. If you have a special need, advise your attorney.
Find a Skilled Greenville Veterans Disability Attorney
The VA carefully considers each claim for benefits. The VA may schedule a C & P exam for you. Make sure you attend. If your claim is denied, it can help to talk to an experienced attorney about the appeal process.
Attorney J. Robert Surface has years of experience fighting for veterans in their pursuit of disability benefits. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your case, call his Greenville office at 864-235-0886.