Discharged less than 365 days
If you will be discharging less than one year from now or have discharged within the past year, you are in a critical stage in regards to your VA claims. This is due to the time sensitivity of your unrecognized potential claims and previously undiagnosed conditions. All foundational claims must be fully developed and supported with the appropriate lab, diagnostic test or formal diagnosis no later than 365 days after discharge to qualify as valid medical evidence.
You certainly deserve to be compensated for any legitimate disability connected to your active duty service. Unfortunately, you are only legally entitled to compensation for disabilities that are appropriately documented.
One of the most common and most costly situations veterans find themselves in is the realization that their medical file does not contain the necessary documentation needed to support all their valid disability claims.
Many factors can contribute to this problem:
- The veteran may have been deployed and the medic simply treated an injury, yet failed to document the treatment in the medical records. Medical records may have been lost during a PCS or a move between duty stations (this is very common before the shift to electronic medical records.)
- The vast majority of medical providers are not experts in pathophysiology and very few consider possible medical conditions that their patients are not currently complaining of.
- Many Military medical providers are not worried about properly documenting your medical encounter to support a future disability claim. Many providers simply treat your symptoms and record minimal documentation in your medical record.
- The most common factor is the veteran’s failure to seek medical treatment due to concerns associated with the negative impact seeking treatment. There may be concerns about being unable to deploy, getting passed over for advancement, the loss of flight status or loss of security clearance if PTSD or another condition is reported. Others fail to report Military Sexual Trauma (MST) due to concerns about retaliation or ridicule.
Many veterans who are discharging from active duty file for the Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) program and simply hope for the best. Unfortunately, many BDD applicants receive a disappointing VA Rating Decision Letter that highlights the reality that the veteran lacks the necessary evidence to show the disability was linked to active duty service. In a number of cases we’ve seen, the veteran receives their VA Rating Decision Letter with a number of denied claims after the 365 days post-discharge period has expired. This prevents the veteran from being able to get the disability properly linked and receive service connection and compensation.
The key for veterans who are still within the 365-day-from-discharge window is to have your medical files thoroughly reviewed by a competent medical professional who has a strong understanding of biomechanics, pathophysiology and pharmacology.
We review all the medical evidence in your file, cross-check that with your medical history and review symptoms from our intake questionnaires. This analysis allows us to confirm that you have all the required medical documentation in your file. We will also send you to the appropriate appointments to establish valid evidence supporting your existing and future claims.
We have never had a single retiring veteran fail to hit a 50% or higher VA service connection disability rating when we reviewed their medical records while they were within the 365-day window. With our help, those veterans file an average of 25 – 35 valid claims that are fully supported by medical evidence. Versus an average of 5-15 claims, with many lacking supporting evidence, when using a VSO.
Discharged more than 365 days
If you've been out of the service a year or more, you should talk to us first. If you already applied for benefits and are service connected, then Vet Comp and Pen will review the prior decision to determine if it was a fair and accurate rating assignment.
We will check to see if you qualify for any CUE (clear and unmistakable error) claims and review all of your medical records to uncover and develop additional claims that may be linked to your existing service connected disabilities as secondary condition claims. For veterans who have been out of the military more than a year, secondary claims often represent as much or more total awarded compensation than their initial foundational claims.
Finally, we also review your records to determine whether potential claims based on lay statements or civilian records might be available to you. In turn, helping you receive all the VA disability benefits you’re entitled to.
Appeals & Law Firms Seeking Assistance with Medical Nexus and Medical Opinions
Are you an attorney interested in working with Vet Comp & Pen?
We write fully-developed medical opinions using VA-compliant language, which include the requisite nexus between disability and military service substantiated with the most current medical evidence.
There is no risk to you, no up-front costs, and no risk to your client if we don't win. If you have an active appeal pending at the VA, we may be able to help you dramatically strengthen your appeal and win your claim.