Veterans Disability Claims

Helpful Tips for Filing South Carolina or Georgia Veteran Disability Benefits

If you are a veteran in Georgia or South Carolina, disability benefits can be challenging to obtain.
The process is frustrating and overly complicated, and it will look like the VA goes out of its way to deny or discourage credible claims. A credible claim is one establishing:
You were in active service and honorably discharged.
You received an injury or contracted a disease on duty.
You are now suffering from the effects of this injury or diseased.
You can establish a direct causal link between your current health condition and the in-service occurrence.

6 Tips To Improve Your Chance of Success

Below are some tips that will help you overcome some of the hurdles commonly encountered by veterans seeking disability benefits:

Protect Your Mail

The VA mailroom has a decent chance of losing at least some of your documents. If you cannot prove the VA received something from you, then the VA will say it was never sent. Take some of these precautions: Securely fasten together all your pages and medical evidence. Print your name and VA C-number or Social Security number on the bottom of each page, always make a backup copy of everything you send to the VA, and send your documents by certified mail with a return receipt required.

Gather Evidence

The job of proving your claim is yours, not the VA’s. It is up to you to locate and contact fellow soldiers who can provide testimony supporting your claim. You are the one who must gather medical evidence from doctors and medical facilities. You must prove your health is currently impaired, your health problem originated when you served, and your health problem was directly caused by a service event.

Obtain Sworn Statements

You will want any written support from a fellow service member to come in the form of a sworn statement before a notary. The VA will ignore buddy letters, but a sworn and notarized statement can only be disregarded if the VA has contrary factual evidence. These statements should support your case with facts rather than opinions.

Formal or Informal?

Do not submit a formal claim if all you plan to file is the completed forms. If you file a bare-bones formal claim, the VA will give you 60 days to assemble evidence and then will rate your claim on what has been received. Instead of trying to beat that nearly-impossible 60-day deadline, you should instead file an Informal Claim. You will then have one year to assemble a solid claim. And the filing of your Informal Claim will establish and protect the claim entitlement date.

Review VA Documents

Request a copy of every document in your claim file. After receiving the copies, try to visit your regional office and review your file. You want to make sure that no comments, notes, or other evidence present in your file that could help your claim were omitted from your document request.

If You Are Denied

If your claim is denied, appeal it. The VA is frequently wrong, and unfortunately has budget and personnel constraints that make it easier to deny claims than award benefits. In many cases, strong advocacy and evidence are needed before the VA will make the correct decision.

Professional Assistance

A big reason that many claims are denied or rated below their disability level is because the claimant does not understand the evaluation process and receives no help. We can make sure you avoid that common mistake. We understand the many hurdles between application and award of VA claims, and what it takes to get past those challenges. We are familiar with the level of proof likely to be required by the VA before your claim will be granted. If you want our assistance, or would like us to evaluate your potential claim, we would be happy to speak with you.