The Veterans Affairs claims system can be a confusing and frustrating ordeal to navigate. A lot of the required information depends on how accurately the medical personnel documented your injuries in the service--which can be difficult if there were no medical personnel or no administrative personnel during your original issue. If you're lacking information or the VA doesn't seen to be satisfied with your information, take the time to understand why your evidence may be a problem and how presumptive claims can help.
Service-Connection Makes Claim Approval Difficult
The biggest barricade between many veterans and their disability approval is the service-connection test. To be considered service-connected, your injury or condition must have been caused during your military service or made worse during service. It doesn't matter if the service was active duty or reserve, just that you were part of the military when the claimed issue began or became worse.
Unfortunately, some veterans may have been stationed in areas that lacked sufficient administrative personnel. Your injury could have been understated or not documented at all, which means the more complex details about your injury may be lost.
For example, you may have problems walking because of the normal wear and tear of your specific duty. Not all veterans have the same experience, but your career and certain missions may have put you through greater hardship than other service-members. Unfortunately, without specific documentation of your incident, your claim may be more difficult.
After filing your claim, a medical examination takes place during the compensation and pension (C&P) exam process. The C&P exam needs to narrow your complaints of pain or walking difficulty to a specific cause. If you're complaining about aches and pains, a detailed report of specific military events can prove your case easily. If you don't have relevant documentation, you may be facing a denial.
Many similar conditions suffer the same threat of denial because it's easy to fake a leg pain, limp, headache or other body pains. If there's no current proof of a problem that can be observed and no past report of something that could have caused it, the VA can't simply presume that you're telling the truth without further evidence--such as evidence in a presumptive claim.
What Is A Presumptive Claim?
A presumptive claim covers certain injuries or claims that can't be easily observed, but can be linked to past events. Headaches, leg pains and psychological problems may require more in-depth analysis than what the VA has available. Especially with long wait times and rushed appointments, you may not be getting as much attention as you need to prove your claim.
Some presumptive claims (with additional categories explained in this PDF document from the VA) may not be obvious even to the veteran until years after a damaging incident occurred. Incidents such as Agent Orange exposure or many strange conditions stemming from Gulf War syndrome are considered to be presumptive conditions and are not so quickly denied if the veteran continues to pursue compensation. The key is to be involved in those larger military campaigns such as the Vietnam conflict, the Gulf War or the ongoing Global War on Terror.
Context is everything, and you may be one of the first sufferers of a presumptive condition that hasn't been discovered. Get a legal professional specializing in personal injury claims like the Law Office Of Daniel E Goodman and prepare to get as much organized information from past events, new research and medical professionals who know the best practices when it comes to documenting your condition.