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In order to receive disability compensation from the VA, you will need to demonstrate that you were honorably discharged from the U.S. military and that you have a condition that is connected to your military service: a direct connection, an aggravated connection, a secondary connection, or a presumptive connection. 

In order to prove you have a disability, you will need medical records supporting your claim. There are other records that you may need, but actual medical evidence is critical. Medical documentation can demonstrate your actual medical condition and paint a picture of the symptoms and the severity of your disability. 

Collecting your Medical Records

The 100% disability rating is the highest level of disability the VA offers, providing monthly payments along with full medical care for service-related conditions. Other benefits and compensation are also available. This rating can be reached in a number of ways. 

Severe conditions

If you have an extremely severe service-connected condition that makes you unable to work and, in some cases, unable to provide yourself with personal care without help, this condition may be rated as 100% disabled. 

Applying for disability through the Veterans Administration can be a daunting task. In fact, many veterans make common mistakes that delay their claims or create incorrect denials or low disability ratings. You can avoid this delay by avoiding these common mistakes. 

Waiting to file: Please don’t wait until you have collected enough evidence or your symptoms worsen to get a higher disability rating. The sooner you file, the sooner your effective date will begin. This effective date will set your date for retroactive benefits when you finally are awarded a claim. You can submit supplemental evidence as it becomes available, and you can always apply for an increased rating as your symptoms worsen, so start the process now. In addition, your filing triggers the VA’s “duty to assist.” They are required to offer assistance in obtaining your medical records from VA hospitals and your duty records. However, we do not recommend you wait for them, since they have hundreds of claims to process and you only have your own. So try to find the information yourself, but know that the VA is a good backup. 

Completing forms incorrectly: The VA allows you to file online, via mail or fax, or at your VA Regional Office, with the help of the staff there. The forms can seem long and confusing. Take some time to research how to complete them accurately to avoid delays. If you do make a mistake and are contacted by the VA, complete the corrections as quickly as possible to maintain your effective date. 

Veterans with a 100% disability rating may be able to work, but depending on how you were awarded the rating, there may be limitations to how much you are allowed to earn. A 100% disability rating can be reached in several ways:

  • One service-related condition that is rated at 100% disability
  • Several conditions that together reach the 100% disability level

Depression occurs in veterans at a much higher rate than in the general population. It’s estimated that up to 14% of service members experience depression after deployment. However, many veterans have a problem proving a service connection to their depression. 

Symptoms of depression include:

  • Fatigue or lack of energy

If you are looking for help with your VA disability claim it is probably because you are frustrated by the process. After helping countless veterans with their disability claims, we know how confusing it can be. It is particularly difficult if you have received a denial letter and you do not understand why your claim was rejected or what the process is for moving forward. We can help you sort things out. 

First, keep in mind that there are certain requirements that must be met in order to be eligible for disability benefits from the Veterans Administration (VA). Those requirements are:

  • You must be a veteran of the U.S. military

If you were disabled due to your military service, it can be hard to receive the compensation you deserve from the Veterans Administration. The U.S. Census reports that in 2014, 19% of all veterans had a service-connected disability. Considering that many veterans are often wrongly denied disability payments by the Veterans Administration (VA), this number is likely to be higher in reality. Here at the Law Office of Robert B. Goss, Veterans’ Attorney, we help veterans build their cases to get the compensation they deserve from the VA.

Most Common Disabilities of Veterans

Some of the most common disabilities that veterans have may go unnoticed if symptoms are mild or if the vet does not make the connection to military service. Mild disabilities may not get very high ratings; however, if you have multiple disabilities, your combined rating will be higher, so it’s worth addressing these issues with your doctor. Some of these common medical conditions include:

If you receive a disability rating from the VA, you will likely receive some retroactive benefits or back pay. Retroactive benefits are paid in a lump sum after the grant of benefits. Your regular benefits will then be distributed to you on a monthly basis. 

You can apply for disability any time – there is no “statute of limitations” on VA disability. Nevertheless, the sooner you file after leaving the service the better your case may be because it will be easier to collect records and testimonies to support your claim. It may also affect how far back your back pay will go. 

The calculation of the retroactive benefits date is determined by several factors, as follows:

How do you file a disability claim with the VA and tie it to your military service? There are four categories of disability claims that veterans can file:

  • Direct service connection
  • Service connection through the aggravation of an existing condition
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