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How Hard Is It To Get VA Disability Claims?

Last updated: April 12, 2023

Though the Veterans Administration offers disability benefits that can help veterans and their families, it is undeniable that the process can be confusing. Some of its complex rules and regulations can be hard to understand, especially if you have no legal background.

Ultimately, the question is: How hard is it to get VA disability claims? The answer is it can be quite a challenge, but only if you don't prepare. Here's a quick guide that can help you understand VA disability claims.

What Are The Key Components To Get VA Disability Claim Approval?

If you are a disabled veteran filing for VA disability benefits, you need three key components to have your claim approved. After proving these three things, you have a good chance of approval. Let's take a closer look at each of these critical components:

1. A Diagnosis From A VA Doctor

A diagnosis from a VA doctor is the first key component. For it to be approved, the VA must recognize the diagnosis as an eligible service-connected condition. The diagnosis must also be supported by medical evidence.

2. Caused By Service Connection 

To get VA disability benefits, you need to prove that your military service caused your disability — this is called a service connection.

There are three ways to establish a service connection:

  • Direct Service Connection – This is when there is a clear link between your disability and your military service.
  • Presumptive Service Connection – This is when your disability is presumed to be service-connected due to certain conditions, such as exposure to Agent Orange or radiation.
  • Secondary Service Connection – This is when another service-connected condition causes your disability.

3. A Medical Nexus Between The Diagnosis And Service Connection

A medical nexus is a link between your medical condition and your military service. There are two ways to establish a medical nexus:

  • A Doctor's Opinion – This is when a doctor says that it is more likely than not that your disability is linked to your military service.
  • Medical Evidence – This is when there is evidence in your medical records that links your disability to your military service.

What Is A VA Disability Rating?

A VA disability rating is a percentage that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) assigns to a veteran based on the severity of their disability. The higher the rating, the greater the level of benefits the veteran is eligible for.

The VA rates disabilities on a scale from 0 to 100% in 10% increments. A 0% rating means the veteran has no disability, while a 100% rating indicates the veteran is entirely disabled.

The rating system is designed to ensure that veterans receive the benefits they need to live a comfortable life based on the severity of their disability. Veterans with a higher rating may be eligible for more benefits, including higher monthly payments, housing allowances, and access to health care.

What Are The Factors That Affect VA Compensation?

There are a variety of factors that can affect the amount of VA compensation an individual is eligible to receive. Some of these factors include the severity of the disability, the veteran's employment status, and the veteran's number of dependents.

The severity of the disability is the primary factor that determines the amount of VA compensation an individual is eligible to receive. The more severe the disability, the higher the compensation will be. The VA will look into the type of injury, the injury's location, and the damage's extent.

The veteran's employment status is also a factor that can affect the amount of VA compensation they are eligible to receive. Veterans who are unemployed or underemployed due to their disabilities will generally receive a higher salary than those still employed.

The number of dependents the veteran has can also affect the amount of VA compensation they are eligible to receive. Veterans with more dependents generally receive higher compensation than those with fewer dependents.

The veteran's marital status, the veteran's dependents, and the veteran's place of residence can also affect the amount of compensation. If the veteran is married, has children, or lives in a high-cost area, the veteran may be eligible for higher compensation.

How Do You Make Getting VA Disability Claims Easier?

One of the most important things you can do is ensure you have all the necessary documentation. This includes your military discharge papers, medical records, and any other documentation that may be relevant to your claim. When you have complete documentation, it is easier for the VA to process your claim.

It's also crucial to be as organized as possible when submitting your claim. Make sure to complete all the forms, including any supporting documentation. If you have any questions about the forms or the process, don't hesitate to ask for help from a VA representative.

Finally, it is essential to be patient and persistent when applying for VA disability benefits. The process can take several months, and it is not uncommon for claims to be denied initially.

What If The VA Denies The Disability Claims?

The VA does not always approve every disability claim, and you have the right to appeal the decision if your claim is denied.

There are several reasons why the VA may deny a disability claim. The most common cause is that the VA does not believe that the claimant is actually disabled. The VA may also deny a claim if they believe the disability is not service-connected, meaning it is unrelated to the claimant's military service.

If your claim is denied, you will receive a notice from the VA explaining the reasons for the denial. You will then have the opportunity to appeal the decision. The appeals process can be complex, so it is important to seek the help of a qualified attorney.

Getting VA Disability Claims Can Be Easier

While it can be difficult to obtain VA disability benefits, it is not impossible. The key is to have a strong case and to be prepared to fight for your benefit.

If the process seems overwhelming, don’t worry — you don’t have to do it alone. Finding a veteran disability lawyer to work with you on your case will increase your chances of getting your VA disability claims.

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Cheri Hermanson
Cheri leads our team of writers in producing the best quality content there is regarding society and disability, most especially those that helps ease the quality of life for our differently-abled loved ones.
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