Do I Qualify for VA Compensation?
There are a variety ways to qualify for VA compensation based on any disability that was incurred in service, caused by service, or is secondary to a different service related condition.
How do I know if I have a good case?
Usually we can tell if the case is viable if you have some of your paperwork in terms of recent VA decisions, and medical records from your service, the current time period, and other medical opinions from your doctors.
How do I prove service connection?
Typically you need to prove an in service incurrence of disability, and that the disability has continued to the present time. That is to say you still have the same disability that you had in service. Usually medical evidence is useful for proving service connection in terms of creating a nexus between the current time period and service.
What type of evidence do I need to win my case?
The formal rules of evidence in courts don’t apply to this process so one can be very creative in terms of evidence. Medical evidence from service is usually helpful, current medical evidence, letters from family and friends, or even newspapers from a period of service could prove useful. A newspaper article for instance could be used to prove the occurrence of an in service stressor that may not be documented in another place.
How long will it take to win my case?
This is a common question that is difficult to answer. It really depends on the strength of the evidence and what stage in the process a veteran is in. It can take anywhere from a few months to several years. Unfortunately, some veterans have had to wait many years, perhaps had to reapply, or appeal to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, and go through several remands. A remand is where a higher court or board sends a case to the lower level to be re-adjudicated. This can significantly slow down a case, but is a typical remedy when the VA makes an error of law or fact.
Why do I need an attorney?
An attorney can be used to identify what evidence is missing to win my case and can actually get this evidence. An attorney may be useful for arguing that a disability should be “presumed” to be service connected, and raise the relevant rules and regulations under chapter 38 of the US code and code of federal regulations. There are many different rules in the VA system including various manuals and statements of policy. An attorney may also be able to identify additional claims that the Veteran may not even know they have.
Is is expensive to hire an attorney?
Cases are taken on a contingency whereby you pay no fee unless you win. If you do win then the fee amounts to 20% of the past due benefit.