Veterans Affairs Or Personal Injury? Why Not Both?
Military veterans face a unique challenge when dealing with the Department of Veterans (the VA) for disability compensation. Many veterans are told that they'll be taken care of for their military service, but well-documented scandals and slow service make it difficult. Some veterans are tempted to give up the VA fight and stick to civilian-only methods of getting help, but why choose? Here are a few ways to keep your potential rights as a veteran who deserves compensation without waiting on backlogs--and without going totally broke.
What Can The VA Do For You?
In order to qualify for disability with the VA, your condition must be both severe enough for disability and related to military service. If the condition isn't service-connected, the VA may give you basic medical assistance while helping you find a solution to pay for yourself, or in some cases, they may give you the treatment you need. You won't, however, get any money unless your disability claim is approved.
Many veterans get burned out because they count on the VA as their only solution to get better until the VA lets them down. This isn't an excuse for the VA, but until the problems are solved, you still need to look out for yourself.
Thankfully, you can do this while continuing to use the VA's system, since filing a disability claim creates an obligation to bring you in for an examination. These are fact-finding examinations, but they're with contracted doctors who can work on finding a solution while giving an administrative report at the same time. Whether you're approved or denied, you got the care.
Don't swear off the VA completely. Contact local medical professionals about your condition and consult them, but continue to request appointments. Thanks to the VA Access to Care Act of 2014 (extended in 2017), you're entitled to get a referral to nearby professionals if the VA takes too long to set your appointment.
Get A Lawyer To Juggle Your Care And Claim
Unfortunately, "too long" is more than 90 days, and you may need medical care before then. By all means, get immediate care if needed. Just keep the VA in the loop and see if they can refer you earlier. If so, you don't have to worry about medical costs. If not, at least some of your visits will be at no cost as it comes up in your disability claim examination.
This can be difficult to balance, and is a lot easier in text than when you're dealing with real life pain, mobility issues, and financial problems. This is where a lawyer comes in, and as long as your claim is the core issue, you're safe from costs.
A personal injury lawyer can examine your situation and look for events in your military history that link up with your condition. The lawyer can arrange the evidence from your military history, your current medical examinations, and may even send you to their own medical colleagues who know how to write reports for disability systems in your favor.
If for some reason you already have a perfect claim and it was still denied, the lawyer has a better chance at finding out why. It could have been oversight, and the lawyer can underline the rules to show where the decision was wrong. If it was gross misconduct, a lawyer can bring bigger legal challenges to the VA to make sure that you get what you need and that other veterans are safer.
Contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your claim for a more successful appeal.