For many Veterans, starting their pursuit for VA disability benefits can be a very daunting task. In this episode, Robin Hoon speaks with a former Army Veteran, Dan Schmidt, about the steps you should take before you begin pursuing VA disability benefits.
As soon as you decide you want to pursue your VA disability benefits, you should file an intent to file. If your VA disability claim gets approved, you will receive backpay to the date you turned in your intent to file, even if you don’t get approved until months later!
Tune in to hear other tips on starting your VA disability claim
[01:02] – Robin Hoon introduces this episode’s guest, Dan Schmidt. Dan is a former Army Veteran who is joining us today to discuss the steps that’ll help Veterans become more equipped when filing their disability claims.
[03:55] – Robin and Dan share several ways for a Veteran to acquire complete and detailed medical records to help them have a better advantage in filing their claim.
[08:18] – Dan explains how Veterans active before January 1st, 2004, can acquire their medical records since most of them still cannot be accessed online.
[12:08] – Robin and Dan share insights for when a Veteran is experiencing joint pain even years after their service. Some of these cases can be linked to their active duty.
[17:46] – Dan recalls a time when he medically retired due to a back injury in Iraq and how he pleaded to get an MRI that led to surgery two weeks after.
[22:57] – Dan shares more tips on how to get your medical records faster. He also advises visiting ebenefits.gov, a website full of information for Veterans who are thinking of filing a disability claim.
[26:15] – Robin reminds the audience why a Veteran must have a clear view and be transparent when sharing their medical records with the VA.
[30:21] – Robin and Dan list the crucial initial steps a Veteran must make before filing a disability claim.
[33:00] – Dan shares how important it is to see your doctor regularly for checkups.
[35:25] – Dan urges Veterans not to give up and fight for what you rightfully deserve. Robin encourages listeners to visit vetcompandpen.com for more information on how they can help Veterans in finding proper medical evidence.
Checklist of Actionable Takeaways
File an intent to claim before proceeding with the full disability benefits claim. Doing so will establish the effective date and give the Veteran a more precise timeline for processing their claim.
Be proactive and start taking the appropriate actions to collect all the documents needed, so all your ducks are in a row when you decide to file.
Ensure that you get a full copy of your service medical records before proceeding with the claims process. Having complete documentation may give you a greater advantage when filing your disability claim.
Consider the processing timeline. The turnaround time is anywhere from 12 to 14 months before you get your medical records back.
In case your service-connected ailment is drastic, know that it’s a possibility to reach out to your local Senator or Congressman to see if they can provide some assistance.
Don’t diagnose yourself based on your assumptions. Request a diagnosis from a medical expert by truthfully sharing your symptoms.
Get medical tests such as MRI, ECG, etc., whenever you feel chronic pain. Getting the results from these tests can help give you more options for treatment.
Visit ebenefits.gov for more insight on Veterans’ benefits administration. It’s an excellent outlet for getting the latest information needed in filing a claim.
Start processing your disability claim as early as you can. The earlier you start, the faster you’ll get what you deserve from your service to the country.
Disclaimer: Trajector Medical does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of the information contained in this podcast episode. Nothing contained or provided in this podcast episode is intended to constitute advice or to serve as a substitute for the advice of a licensed healthcare provider, attorney, or agent accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to assist with the filling of disability claims. Any reliance you place on this information is strictly at your own risk.
Always seek the advice of your qualified medical provider, attorney, or VA agent, to address individual circumstances. This podcast episode is for general information purposes only. All uses of the term “you” are for illustrative purposes regarding a hypothetical Veteran. TM disclaims any control over, relationship with, or endorsement of the ideas expressed by viewers of this content.