If you are a veteran and suffering from a disability, there are benefits available to you through the federal government. To secure these benefits, you will need to show proof of your disability, including medical records. It’s important to clearly communicate with your doctor to ensure that your illness or injury is accurately documented.
Who is eligible for VA disability compensation?
To qualify for VA disability compensation, you must:
- Have a current illness or injury (known as a condition) that affects your mind or body
- Have served on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training
Additionally, you must prove that one of the following types of disability claims applies to you:
- Inservice disability claim: You got sick or injured while serving in the military and can link this condition to your illness or injury.
- Preservice disability claim: You had an illness or injury before you joined the military, and serving made it worse.
- Postservice disability claim: You have a disability related to your active-duty service that didn’t appear until after you ended your service.
You will need to submit medical evidence related to your illness or injury, including doctor’s reports, X-rays and medical test results to support your claim.
How to work with your doctor on documentation
First, make sure your doctor knows you are planning to seek VA disability compensation. This will help your doctor ask the right questions about your condition, including what documentation is necessary. Additionally, it will encourage your doctor to have open conversations with you about their opinion on your disability status.
Second, your doctor might not be familiar with the requirements of a VA disability claim. Make sure that you explain the requirements for eligibility and the nature of your complaint, especially if you have a chronic condition. Your lawyer can help you prepare the information you need to provide your doctor.
Finally, make sure to report all your symptoms to your doctor. While some symptoms might seem minor or unrelated, you need to arm your doctor with all available information about your condition. Your doctor will document these symptoms in your medical file, creating strong documentation of your medical issues over time.
To build the strongest possible case for VA disability compensation and secure the necessary medical evidence, it is important that you clearly communicate with your doctor to ensure your symptoms and condition are thoroughly documented.