After leaving the military, many veterans deal with pains, physical disability or psychological changes that may make civilian life more difficult. As they transfer to a civilian life, it's an uphill battle to fit into a completely different world from military life while managing conditions caused by military service. If you've been having to work harder than necessary just to keep up your old pace because of military-related conditions, consider a few ways that the Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits system and a personal injury lawyer can help.
Disability Available For Service-Connected Injuries
At the center of the VA benefits system is the disability compensation program. The disability program can deliver monetary compensation based on the severity of your injury as well as access to medical care referrals paid by the VA.
In order to qualify for these benefits, you need to prove that your injuries were caused by military service. The cause of your injuries may be obvious to you, but in order to keep as many funds available for legitimately disabled veterans, the VA needs to put all veterans through a screening process.
To prevent fraud, the VA uses a service-connection test to search your documentation for the exact ways that your injuries are related to military service. This includes reviewing your medical record, accepting any third-party medical evidence that you submit and performing a VA-managed compensation and pension (C&P) examination.
The C&P exam can give you a medical exam for every issue listed on your disability claim. Unfortunately, the VA may decide that the evidence in your records are enough for the exam, and you may not get a referral to a VA hospital. It's wise to insist that you receive a VA in-person exam in order to outline as much up-to-date, relevant information about your medical status as possible.
Get Extra Evidence At Every Opportunity
You can contact either your local VA clinic or the local VA hospital directly in order to request an in-person medical review for your C&P exam, or contact the main VA hotline at 1-800-827-1000. When you're able to see a doctor with the VA, keep in mind that you can receive care for most other outpatient issues. Do you have a cold, or are you in pain in ways unrelated to your claim? A quick checkup and prescription for other issues isn't out of the ordinary if you ask politely.
The information gained from the C&P examination is useful, but not definitive. Although major VA hospitals have access to impressive medical technology, you may need to seek a second opinion from a civilian medical team and legal help that could make your claim or appeal more successful.
Not all medical evidence may be relevant to your medical claim. You may be facing new, unique or rarely seen issues that have yet to be proven as a common problem among veterans. A personal injury lawyer can help by researching your medical information, searching for similar veteran disability cases and making comparisons that could change the success rate of your claim.
For more information, contact Gallagher Law Offices PC or a similar firm.