What Evidence do you need for a service connected disability?

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What is a service-connected disability, and what do you need? What evidence do you need for a service-connected disability? The first thing you need if you’re a veteran filing for disability benefits is a current chronic medical condition diagnosis. Chronic is important. You can’t have benefits for something that’s acute and goes away. You have to have something that lasts longer than six months.

The second piece you need is evidence of a nexus for your VA disability claim. A nexus is simply a link, and the burden of proof is low. You only have to show that it’s at least as likely as not that you would not have your current condition if it were not for your active duty military service. And for a lot of things that can be pretty easy. That hurdle can be relatively easy for some conditions.

You really have to trigger that duty to assist by showing that you have a well-grounded claim and that you currently suffer a chronic condition that causes a loss of function. There is plausible evidence that it’s related to your active duty military service.

At Vet Comp and Pen Medical Consulting, we specialize in helping veterans develop clear and unmistakable evidence. I recommend that if you don’t use our services, that you follow my guidance and develop the best medical evidence. This will help you meet that burden of a well-grounded claim to trigger the duty to assist, have a compensation and pension exam, and get the best opportunity to get service-connected for your disability that you medically qualify for. If you are denied, and you feel like you’re medically qualified, look us up at Vet Comp and Pen Medical Consulting and see if we can help you.

How to Understand my VA Disability Rating

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How does the VA disability rating work? Understanding VA disability ratings can be confusing. If you’re a veteran, I highly recommend that you get a VA disability rating calculator app on your phone. That way, you can punch in your ratings, and you can come up with your overall rating. Most veterans know that you don’t just combine your individual ratings to get your overall rating.

Many veterans want to know what does permanent VA permanent and total mean? That’s a very common question. A veteran who’s 100% rated overall can be deemed permanent and total. So the VA has basically said, you have 100% overall rating, and we don’t consider any of your disabilities may improve. You also will not be called in for any more CNP examinations. Now, this is a huge load off of many veterans’ shoulders. Every veteran who’s rated 100% wants to be permanent and total.

It’s not something you can apply for; it’s not something any fancy company is going to get you. You can’t apply for permanent and total designation. However, at Vet, Comp, and Pen Medical Consulting, we provide the best medical evidence to maximize your ratings based on your medical disability and medical evidence. Now we can’t promise any veteran that they will become permanent and total with our help. But I can tell you that by maximizing your benefits, getting you all of the benefits you deserve under the law is an excellent way to show the VA that you deserve permanent and total.

What Will Happen If I File a VA Claim Without Evidence?

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The VA has a duty to assist, meaning that they’re required to develop a Veteran’s claim fully. What veterans don’t understand is when you file a claim for VA disability benefits, you have to substantiate that claim and show that it’s well-grounded. You can’t just submit claims without submitting any medical evidence or documents that prove the condition is in some way related to active duty service.

Evidence doesn’t need to be fancy. Many veterans think they must have a Nexus statement and expert medical opinion to file a claim, or they won’t get approved. None of that is true. There are three most common reasons for denial:

– There’s no evidence that you currently suffer a chronic condition

– There’s no evidence of continuity symptoms

– The VA doesn’t see how your current condition is related to either active duty service or a current service-connected condition

Remember, it doesn’t need to be fancy. You don’t have to have perfect evidence, but you have to submit something to show that your claim is well-grounded to trigger that duty to assist.

In our opinion, we believe the best way to get the VA disability benefits that you truly medically qualify for is to submit some evidence to show that you suffer a chronic condition. If you want help developing the best medical evidence for your VA disability claim, contact us at Vet Comp & Pen.

Presumptive Claims: Gulf War

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The VA has amended Title 38 to provide additional benefits for Gulf War veterans who suffer from some of these conditions. But the law was written to make it very difficult for veterans to receive benefits for Gulf War illness. The law is written to provide benefits to veterans that have certain diagnosed conditions and certain undiagnosed conditions.

There are three significant diagnosed conditions that they can receive benefits.

– Chronic fatigue syndrome

– Fibromyalgia

– IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)

Let’s talk about the undiagnosed things that the VA has said are covered under the Gulf War Bill.

– Weight loss

– Chronic fatigue

– Chronic muscle and joint pain

– Skin Symptoms

– Respiratory conditions

There are some significant issues with this law, and my company Vet Comp and Pen has studied this. And we found that certain things do qualify, and we’re able to help veterans when, but many things just aren’t going to qualify.

Don’t give up; I know you’re frustrated. We’re here to help, and we’re going to be the best we can for you.

What is a 90% VA Rating?

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Frequently, many Veterans miss out and don’t understand the massive jump between a 90% and 100% VA disability rating. The difference between overall 90% and 100% is $1,200 more dollars. That’s a considerable amount of money!

Many Veterans get to 90% and think, I only need ten more percent, but is it really like that? No, because of VA math, frequently 90% is not 10% away from 100% overall rating. Let’s give you an example. Let’s say you’re a hypothetical veteran, and you’re rated for PTSD, at 70%. Now, this hypothetical veteran also has sleep apnea at 50%. With VA math, the extra 50% is 50% of the leftover. What’s leftover from 70 to 100? 30%, so half, 50%, of 30% is 15. You add 70 plus 15. You get 85 points. That’s the point total. That hypothetical veteran is paid at 90% because the 85 is rounded up.

Now, it sounds like this veteran is very close to 100%, this hypothetical veteran. In fact, at 85 points, this veteran needs 70 more points to increase to 100%. Seventy more percent, that’s a huge hurdle. Now, I’m not saying that the hypothetical veteran can’t get there with secondary and other conditions that they may be eligible for. However, that’s a long way from 100%.

I hope you’ll let us review your disabilities and your case and let us see if there’s medical evidence that could support an increase. You have nothing to lose. We review your case for free. If we can’t help you increase your ratings, you don’t pay us anything. Many veterans are leaving money on the table, missing out on valuable monthly compensation that they could be getting for their disabilities.

What is Concurrent Retirement Disability Pay (CRDP)

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Let’s talk about a veteran 20 years retired. Twenty years, he’s going to get 50% of his pay in retirement. If he was making $40,000 a year when he retired at 20 years, he’s going to get about $1,660 a month in retirement pay. Now let’s say this veteran has a 30% disability rating. Instead of adding the disability pay to the $1,660, they subtract about $500 at 30%. So then this veteran’s now going to get $1,160 in retirement pay, and they’re going to get $500 in tax-free, so this is untaxed, and this is taxed.

At Vet Comp & Pen, We help many retired veterans. If we can’t provide medical consulting to show that you should be paid at a higher rate than 50% overall, if you don’t get up to the 50% rate and make more money, you don’t pay us a thing. You only pay us if your monthly compensation increases.

What is a VA GERD Rating?

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GERD stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease, otherwise known as heartburn. They call it heartburn because it feels like it’s happening in your heart. It’s actually happening in your esophagus, but it feels like it’s right where your heart is, and many people end up having severe heartburn end up in the ER because they think they’re having a heart attack.

Some acid reflux symptoms or GERD are pain, epigastric pain, regurgitation, where you get this sour taste in your mouth, especially if you lie down after a meal. Substernal pain right underneath your sternum, or it can radiate into your arm and your shoulder, sometimes, the pain from acid reflux.

To get the 10% rating, you have to have two of these symptoms. Most people who suffer from GERD qualify because it’s very common to have at least two symptoms.

For 30%, you have to have all of those symptoms, plus you have to show a considerable impairment of health. Now considerable impairment of health is not well-defined by the VA, of course, like many things. If it’s affecting you to the point where you lose a little bit of weight, or you can’t eat certain things, or you can’t lay down and sleep well, things like that can be a significant effect on your health.

For 60%, you have to have all of those symptoms above, and you have to have severe impairment of health. Severe impairment of health could be beginning development of Barrett’s esophagus, which is an abnormal tissue growth in your esophagus that actually can lead to cancer. It’s a significant problem, and it can be caused by severe gastroesophageal reflux disease. Or a low blood count, you’re actually losing blood, chronically bleeding. You have blood that shows up in your stool, called melena. That shows that you have significant GERD problems that are causing you to lose blood in your gastrointestinal tract.

Easy VA Disability Claims: Tinnitus and Back

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Veterans seem to believe that tinnitus is the easiest claim to win. So many veterans are service-connected for tinnitus because their medical evidence supports that they should be service-connected. Veterans can’t wear adequate hearing protection on active duty because they have to hear their commanders or other team members. Hearing protection doesn’t always allow good communication, so to function and perform well at their duty, frequently veterans take it out or don’t wear it.

Your medical evidence must show that you currently suffer a disability or chronic problem that affects your life somehow. You must show how these effects are related to your active service with examples of a specific event, injury, illness ex.

Any VA disability claim that is supported by medical evidence can be easy. It doesn’t matter what it is. I hope that you’ll come to Vet Comp and Pen and let us review your case and let us help get you all the disability benefits that you’re medically and ethically qualified for.

Easy VA Disability Claims: Knee Hypertension

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Let’s talk about a veteran that came to us for medical consulting. He knew about one condition he wanted to win on appeal, but he didn’t realize that high blood pressure was also qualified for coverage.

That Veteran injured his knee playing basketball during active duty. He saw the doctor, was given an ACE wrap, and ordered a high dose of ibuprofen pain medicine. Eventually, the Veteran got better and served the rest of their military career with occasional pain in the knee. Later down the road, this Veteran developed hypertension in the military and got put on medicine unrelated to the knee. When he got out, he was service-connected for hypertension at 0%, and that was it.

Later in life, he starts having more and more problems with his knee. Finally, he goes to the doctor and gets diagnosed with arthritis. The Veteran went in to get compensated for his disability. But, unfortunately, the VA looked in the Veteran’s records and saw no record of the injury in service and, therefore, can’t get compensated.

Unfortunately, this can be common. Records aren’t complete; service records don’t always show medical evidence of any injury. That’s unfortunate, but it does happen. The Veteran came to us, and we said, “let’s develop evidence to show that the injury occurred, let’s get buddy statements, let’s get whatever evidence we can that you had the injury.” He eventually got a buddy statement, in which a buddy remembered he had that basketball injury. The buddy also recalled that, frequently, he would limp in the mornings. The Veteran wrote a statement about his injury, and eventually, he was able to win his knee on appeal. The Veteran ended up getting the service connection for his knee that he deserved.

In addition, we scored another win for this Veteran: he suffered from high blood pressure (unrelated to the knee), which had caused stage 1 kidney disease. He didn’t know it then, but when he contacted us and we searched his record. We put the pieces together and discovered a service-connected condition he wasn’t even aware of. Hypertension is no joke; left untreated, even minor symptoms can lead to a stroke or heart attack. But we found a way to get compensation before anything got worse.

And he won that claim for 60 percent! Because it was a service-connected condition, with solid evidence and a medical link between the condition and its effects, VA helped him get the treatment he needed.

Frequently, we find conditions related to veterans’ service that they didn’t even know about. So I hope you’ll come to our company and let us review your case and let us get you all of the disability benefits that you’re medically and ethically qualified for.

Can I get a VA rating without a C&P exam?

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Can I get a rating without a VA C&P exam? Do all VA claims require a compensation and pension exam? This is a great question. Many veterans have this fear or this desire to stay far away from a compensation and pension examination. The first answer to the question, do I have to go to a compensation and pension exam to get a VA rating? The answer is sometimes no, but usually yes.

There are three reasons to go to a C&P examination:

1.) Determine if you have a current chronic disability

2.) Is your condition related to active duty military service

3.) If you can get those two things answered with medical evidence, do you have a chronic disability

It seems simple. The reality is that the VA is required to look at your overall disability rating. Sometimes, based on your overall disability picture, your rating will be bumped up to a higher level.

Suppose you can provide that information along with a nexus statement, along with a diagnosis. In that case, hopefully, you can provide all of the evidence needed to rate your condition and make a determination on service connection. Hopefully, you can avoid a compensation and pension examination. It doesn’t always work. Sometimes it does. Most veterans will have to attend a compensation and pension examination to get evaluated for their claim.