Are you a veteran?
The first question to be answered is whether the applicant is a “veteran” according to the Veterans Administration. A veteran is generally defined as someone with “active service” who was discharged or released “under circumstances other than dishonorable.”
Competent Evidence of Current Disability
Next, there must be competent evidence of a current disability. Competent medical evidence is usually a medical opinion. Fortunately, the VA has a duty to assist a claimant by providing a free medical examination. This medical exam can prove very helpful to the claimant. Lay observation is rarely enough to establish a current disability.
Evidence of in-service occurrence/aggravation
There must be medical or lay evidence of a in-service occurrence or aggravation of a disease or injury or this can be called the “something happened in service” requirement. A statement from the veteran, service medical records, buddy statements, newspaper articles and letters are some of the evidence that can be used.
Finally, there must be competent evidence of a link or nexus between the -in-service occurrence or aggravation of the disease or injury and the current disability. This is the most common reason why VA claims for disability compensation are not successful. There are five different ways to show that a disability is linked to service: direct service connection, aggravation, presumptive service connection, secondary service connection and if the current condition is a consequence of an injury caused by VA health care, VA training or a VA compensated work therapy program.
The first step for any veteran who wants to apply for service-connected disability is to file online through benefits or call/go to their regional office. The Veterans Administration requires that you receive a decision from the VA and notice of disagreement be filed before an VA Accredited Attorney assists you with your claim.
If you need help attaining your veteran disability benefits and have already received a decision from the VA , give us a call today, (919) 615-3095