“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” -Benjamin Franklin
This is one of my all-time favorite quotes. And a perfect quote to apply to this blog post. Today we’ll examine a few ways you can prepare to win your VA compensation claim. If you are thinking about filing a claim for disability compensation, consider these tips to set yourself up to win.
Mindset is everything
First off, you need to have the proper mindset to win. Know that you are entitled and deserve your disability rating. Too many times, I hear from vets that they feel ashamed or feel as if they are taking away from a much more deserving veteran. That is complete hogwash. Throw that feeling out immediately. There is no quota nor a maximum number of veterans who can receive disability compensation at any one time. Like my father always told me, “Stop worrying about the next man and worry about yourself.”
It’s going to take some work on your part. Sophocles said, “Without labor, nothing prospers,” and filing your own VA disability claim can be a little bit of work to do and can get a bit overwhelming at times. Take a deep breath and once again prepare yourself mentally to win.
Now that you are mentally prepared, you need to know if what you want to claim is eligible for compensation.
Ask these three questions:
- Do you have a current diagnosis?
- Was it caused by an event, illness, or injury in service or aggravated by an already service-connected disability?
- Do you have a “Nexus” connection to show the development of your disability?
A nexus is a central link or connection to your service-connected disability. You will need a medical professional to provide a letter or fill out a Disability Benefits Questionnaire (DBQ) for you supporting your claim. Our company specializes in those, send me a message to find out how!
Military Disability Made Easy is a great place to start learning just exactly how your disability is evaluated and rated by the VA. Knowing this information ahead of time will also help you prepare for possible compensation and pension exam by the VA or contracted examiner.
Explore your VA options
Do you have any secondary conditions that your service-connected disability you are filing for causes or worsens? Do you have any of those issues or symptoms of any of the secondary limitations you’ve discovered.? You can file for anything you feel that is aggravated or caused by an already service-connected disability.
Create a VA game plan
Do you have anyone who witnessed the incident that caused your disability or has been a witness to your health before and after the incident or disability has caused? Buddy letters will add more credibility to your claim. You shouldn’t be debating about getting back in touch with someone or asking someone if they would write a buddy letter or a sworn statement for you in the middle of the claims process. You should have a game plan going in.
Or grab your VA medical records from My Health eVet.
Also, hop into eBenefits and get familiar with the disabilities you are already rated for. If you do not have an eBenefits or My Health eVet account get those activated immediately. Looking for you your DD-214 try here.
What can I file a VA Claim for?
This may be an obvious question, but finally, what can you file for? This is probably the one thing veterans ask the most. Take a look at these disabilities to discover if you have a commonly claimed disability.
The top 10 most common disabilities that veterans have a rating for (500,000 or more vets have one of the following):
- Hearing Loss
- Lumbosacral Strain
- Cervical Strain
- Limit of Flexion of Knee
- Sciatic Nerve Paralysis
- Limited motion of Ankle
- Diabetes Mellitus
- Migraine Headaches
In this post, I’ve outlined a few tips for you to get ready to file a winning VA disability claim. If you would ever like to get more advice or guidance, please don’t hesitate to contact me or our fantastic company of fellow disabled veterans helping fellow disabled veterans get the ratings and compensation they rightfully deserve!
Brett is apart of the VA Claims Insider Team and a retired U.S. Air force Master Sergeant of twenty years and calls Orlando, Florida his home nowadays. He is a husband to his wife Catherine and proud father to twin boys Mason and Cannon. Ready to work with him? You can sign up here or you can contact him at [email protected]