VA Disability Claims Pro-Tips #2
For those of you who are first starting this process, you need to understand one thing. The Department of Veterans Affairs sadly has a whole team of lawyers who work for them to represent them at these hearings. It also seems that these lawyers have another purpose which is to make sure that they can decline as many claims as possible.
According to information that I have found online, Per the VA’s own data, they report 2018 as one of the most successful years for the VA’s decision-making team. The number of veterans claims approved in 2018 was around 35.75 percent. Of that 35.75%, 19.61% were approved with zero remand issues, and 16.14% were allowed with at least one remand issue. (Source)
Let’s stop for a second and think about those numbers. There are a reported 16.2 million U.S. veterans, in 2022, the VA processed and approved 1.7 million claims, which broke the previous year of 12% of the claims being approved. I don’t know about you, but these numbers just plain suck, if you ask me.
As a veteran, this means to me, and it should mean to you, that they are more interested in denying a claim than they are approving it. If the military broke me, then they should have to pay to fix me and pay me if they can’t.
What all this means, is that you may very likely come to a point where you will have to fight fire with fire and hire a lawyer to help you with your claim.
If you don’t use the right words or terms, then your claim very well could get rejected. I’m currently at that very point in my claim process. I’m at 80% but the path to 100% is going to be a fight. I certainly have enough illnesses, but the service connection part is a little iffy for some of them.
Some illnesses like Multiple Sclerosis, or Autoimmune disorders like those that I have, do not always manifest overnight. The VA knows this and they even have a rule for this very thing. They call this presumptive condition: A chronic (long-lasting) illness that appears within 1 year after discharge. An illness caused by contact with contaminants (toxic chemicals) or other hazardous materials. An illness caused by your time spent as a prisoner of war (POW).
Basically, the VA knows that there are certain situations in the military such as stirring a burn pit and if you have one medical condition like MS, then it is “at least as likely as not” that the military caused or contributed to your illness.
However, sometimes these medical conditions do not always show up right away or get diagnosed right away. In my case, I got out in 1998 and the first time I saw a doctor for anything related to my current medical conditions was in 2002 or four years later. Now, the question of did I have any of these symptoms prior to 2002, and I will tell you that I have no clue. Do you recall how you felt in 2002? How about what you said in 2002, lol. See where I’m going here.
This is part of a Veterans Affairs Disability Claim series:
- Veterans Affairs Disability Claim Process
- Veterans Affairs Disability Claim Uses Fuzzy Math
- Find Accredited Attorneys, Claims Agents, or Veterans Service Organizations (VSO) Representatives
- Military Medical and Health Records
- Playing the VA Disability Claim Game
- VA Disability Claims Pro-Tips
- VA Disability Claims Pro-Tips #2
- A Look Deep Into The Veterans Affairs Disability Claims
- VA Most Commonly Approved Disability Claims