Andover, NJ – Two days ago I received another familiar call. It was a veteran at his wits end over the way the VA has repeatedly denied him. “I’m tired of fighting this on my own”, he said. “I cannot understand why they keep denying me. I know this happened in service, but they just keep denying me over and over again.” He explained to me that he had been fighting his claim for over 5 years.
To help veterans avoid some of the common pitfalls that lead to repeated denials, I wrote this article to explain the 7 secrets to maximizing your chances of winning against VA.
Secret #1 – Obtain your entire service treatment records and personnel file. Review everything carefully to make certain there is a reference to something that could have caused your current disability.
Secret #2 – Make certain you have a definite current diagnosis (in writing) from a doctor.
Secret #3 – Make sure you have evidence detailing ongoing symptoms of your injury or disease from service to the present time. If there are gaps in treatment, make sure you have an explanation.
Secret #4 – Obtain lay statements from friends or family members who can describe the ongoing nature of your problem since service discharge until the present time.
Secret #5 – Obtain a written letter from a medical expert explaining how and why your current disability is linked to military service. You should make sure that the doctor has reviewed your service and post service medical records. His letter should state that he has reviewed these documents.
Secret #6 – Make sure your medical expert addresses any VA medical opinion that may be against your claim.
Secret # 7 – Make sure you and your doctors respond to any VA doctor who gives an opinion against your claim.
In my experience, most claims are denied because they lack one of the 3 elements for service connection. If you follow the secrets in this article, you will have a greater chance of making sure you have proven all the elements of your case.