Some denials are based on disability claim submission errors that were generated by the applicant. However, it has also been documented by the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) that a fairly high rate of claims have been denied due to claim processing errors made by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
That’s why it’s important that when you submit your claim, to not give the VA reason to deny your claim on a technicality. And, if it is denied, do not readily accept it. It’s possible that the denial occurred because of an easily fixed mistake or due to a claim processing error. Pursue other avenues to have that decision reversed. This post will focus on the pitfalls to avoid when submitting your claim.
The first consideration will be filing the claim under the deadline presented by the VA. For example, it was originally planned that the deadline for Gulf War veterans to claim a disability related to their service was to end on December 31, 2021. The VA has extended the deadline to December 31, 2026. When you file your claim, be aware of the deadline so that it is filed within the appropriate parameters.
Concise medical communication
The next consideration when filing a claim is excellent communication from the doctor and your medical records. The evidence in medical records or the doctor’s recommendations can make the difference between an approval or denial. Make sure that the medical records and doctor provide the following:
- Medical records should have clear evidence that your disability is service related/
- The doctor’s recommendation should include direct language as to why the disability requires compensation.
- The doctor’s recommendation should have evidence to back it up.
- The doctor should review the claim file and any other medically important service information as part of the recommendation.
- There should be a specific diagnosis of disabling conditions.
Claim submission errors
To start the claim process, the VA will set up a Compensation and Pension (C&P) exam to determine whether the condition is service-connected and whether it does qualify for compensation. If the appointment is missed, this can cause a denial of the claim.
Filing a claim with outdated forms can achieve a disability claim denial as well. To avoid any of these errors in the initial filing of your claim, reach out to a Veteran Support Organization (VSO) such as the VFW or the American Legion.