When you file for disability benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), you will need to provide evidence that proves you qualify for that monthly check. The VA will obtain some of your records if you give them permission to do so, but it could be quicker if you send them the supporting documents directly.
Applying for VA disability benefits can be challenging and frustrating. Many people get denied on their first application. A Michigan VA Disability attorney can advocate for you and appeal an adverse decision or help you prepare your initial application.
Supporting Documents the VA Requires with Your Application for VA Disability Benefits
The VA requires specific documents from everyone who files for disability benefits. Regardless of the injury or illness for which you are seeking benefits, you will have to send in these items or authorize the VA to obtain them:
- All medical evidence involving your injury or illness. For example, your hospital file, doctors’ records, imaging studies like x-rays or CAT scans, and results of other relevant medical tests.
- Your DD214 or other documents concerning your separation from military service.
- Records of your service treatment.
Veterans who got discharged from the Army before 1961 or the Air Force before 1965 might have difficulty obtaining their records because of a massive fire at a record center in 1973. Your lawyer can help you file your claim if your records got destroyed in that event.
Reasons You Might Need to Submit Evidence of Your Disability to the VA
There are five different situations in which you might need to submit a claim with supporting documentation to the VA proven your disability:
- Your original claim for disability benefits; in other words, the first time you file seeking benefits for a service-related injury or illness.
- An increased claim, which is a claim for a disability that got worse after the VA awarded you benefits.
- A new claim, in which you request additional benefits or other benefit requests in connection with your existing qualifying disability.
- A secondary service-related claim, which is a new disability claim that has a link to your existing service-related disability.
- A supplemental claim, in which you submit additional supporting documentation regarding a disability claim that the VA previously denied.
The required evidence will depend on your type of claim and the facts of your situation.
What Your Documents Need to Show to Win Your VA Disability Case
Your supporting documents will need to prove both of these factors to win your VA disability claim:
- You experienced an illness, injury, or event during your military service that caused your disability. The illness, injury, or event must be service-connected.
- You currently have a physical or mental disability. Put another way, something happened during your military service that caused damage to you physically or mentally. This damage prevents you from being gainfully employed or limits your ability to function and perform everyday tasks.
You do not have to battle the VA by yourself. A Michigan VA Disability attorney can handle your VA disability claim or appeal so that you can focus on your health and well-being. Contact our office today for legal assistance, we offer a free consultation.