One of the most honorable things a person can do is serve its country. Those who are willing to give their lives to protect others are to be respected and admired. After all, joining a military means going through a difficult and exhausting training process and traveling to dangerous places. Unfortunately, many veterans exit the service and come back home with serious medical issues.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) gives these individuals the benefits to help them cope with service-related health problems. To get access to these funds you have to go through the VA Disability Process. Based on the severity of your injuries, you will be given a certain amount of compensation.
Let’s see what are the possibilities for those who want to increase their VA benefits.
The thing about certain medical conditions is that they can get worse as time passes by. People who are going through this need to know that they have the right to request greater VA benefits. However, before you file for an increase in rating, make sure you get yourself informed and ready for a possible negative outcome.
There are three reasons you can file a claim for higher ratings:
- A new health problem has appeared due to your military service
- An already existing problem has become worse
- You disagree with the VA’s decision regarding your rating
If you’re experiencing new medical problems due to your time spent in the army, you have to request bigger benefits. You will have to file a new disability claim with the VA but you also need to be aware that some of them might have a time limit.
If your condition has become more serious than before or maybe the old injury is affecting your body and causing additional problems, you can request an increase. The procedure is pretty much the same as the first time you filed for compensation. A report from a VA or private doctor is necessary.
In case you go through a private physician, you will also have to enclose Form 21-4142 that allows information to be shared between your doctor and VA. However, this form will not be necessary if you are visiting a civilian doctor as part of the Veterans’ Choice program.
Focus on high-value claims aka those that have the likelihood of getting a rating of 30% or more. This is a great way to obtain a VA disability increase in less time. An experienced attorney will be able to explain this to you in detail, but these claims include mental health problems such as PTSD and major depressive disorder as well as respiratory problems and migraines, among other things.
Buddy Letter is another thing that can help you with this procedure. This is basically a statement written by a credible witness who is 18 years and older and who has first-hand knowledge of an event or injury. This can be written by a fellow service member, spouse, boss, or anyone who has witnessed the difficulties you are facing.
C&P is very important in this process. The results you get will have a big effect on the final decision. The truth is that VA representatives most of the time rely on the notes from this exam to make the final ruling. So, go in prepared.
Beginning this procedure in essence means opening your rating for reevaluation. The commission can lower or even terminate your current compensation if they conclude you don’t have the right to what you have been getting so far.
To terminate the benefits to those veterans who have been receiving them for 10 years and more, they need to show that you have been fraudulent in your claim. Something like this happens very rarely, but they can reduce your benefits if they prove your situation has gotten better.
Those who have been receiving this support for 20 years or more, they will not reduce your compensation below the lowest one you’ve got during that period. Also, if you miss the scheduled medical exam, be prepared to face rating reduction or even termination.
It will take several months before they make a decision regarding your claim so being patient is a must. You will also have to collect and send a lot of documents and fill in all sorts of forms and submit them.
Getting an increase in your VA benefits and compensation is not an easy procedure. It takes time and lots of paperwork needs to be filed for RVAR to come to their final decision. So, make sure all your documents are in order before you actually submit them and be patient.