There is no greater honor than serving your country. However, being in the armed forces is not an easy feat. Apart from physical endurance, you must tackle mental and emotional challenges to achieve your purpose. You may sustain serious injuries that can hinder your transition from military life back to a civilian one.
Some of these wounds may require extensive surgeries and lifelong physical therapy, or they may confine you to the bed. This trauma can make adjusting to your new home and embracing life outside the armed forces highly complex. As a result, you’re eligible to file a VA claim for benefits. Gus is a legal process that highlights what you endured during service. To file this legal document, here’s what you need to know:
When Can You File a Claim?
Any injury incurred during your service in the military, including an illness or an infection that requires elaborate treatments, means you can file a claim for financial assistance from the military. In the claim, you specify the type of injury, the resulting disability, and how it interferes with your everyday life. For example, mesothelioma is fatal cancer caused by the excessive buildup of microscopic asbestos fibers in your body. Asbestos was used extensively in the military to protect machinery and weapons, and servicemen in the air force, the army, and the navy were exposed to asbestos.
Mesothelioma is expensive to treat. Therefore, by exploring options the military offers for veterans with mesothelioma, you can learn about funds to help you pay for treatment. This claim enables you to deal with your health issues and don’t need to dip into your life savings. Therefore, you can file a VA claim if you’ve served in the armed forces and got an injury on the field.
What is The Process of Filing A VA Claim?
The legal system is very particular, so you cannot claim without backing it up with evidence.
An attorney can only help you when they see potential in your case. So, here’s how you can build a VA claim:
1. Document The Process
Gathering evidence is all about documentation. You need proof in the form of receipts, medical diagnoses, and treatments to exhibit that you have an injury that is getting worked on. You should also use your armed forces records to explain the hazardous material you were exposed to while on active duty.
Use your file as a reference to compare your health before and after military service. You should also document how your ailment interferes with your life. These effects include treatments that take more than eight hours a day, fatigue, and, in some cases, nausea. You have a lawsuit as long as you can show these symptoms and emotions on paper.
2. Seek An Attorney
When you have the documentation in order, you should seek out a lawyer to help you submit a claim. Lawyers know the legal jargon to draft a proper proposal highlighting the claim and the injuries sustained as a veteran. These include PTSD from participating in the war, occupational hearing because of loud machines, and emotional damage from losses suffered while you were away from loved ones. Additionally, you need to know the type of form you need to submit. For instance, if you’re unemployed and have dependents, you must fill out VA Form 21-8940.
3. Ensure The VA is in the Loop
The Veterans Affairs department is responsible for listening to your claim and submitting a response. To receive a response, you need to submit accurate and updated information. Any address changes should be notified to the department since they will mail you essential documents, including your social security number. Your marital status also determines the amount you’ll get. When you have minor dependents or recently had a baby, you need to mention these details, so your case may yield an even higher claim, but if you are divorced, they might dock the cash awarded. In such cases, you’ll have to pay the extra money back.
4. Know Your Deadlines
The legal system follows specific deadlines. You must submit your paperwork within a designated period. You have a year to appeal your case if an initial decision is unfavorable. You can make an additional claim, which also takes a year, a higher review appeal, or submit a notice of disagreement. Your other route involves using the court appeals for veterans’ claims within a deadline of 120 days before your case becomes invalid. However, you should know when to file since a final decision cannot be revoked. This restriction is why you have multiple routes to withdraw and appeal your case.
5. Understanding Response Letters
After you submit a claim, your veteran regional affairs office will send a response to your letter. This document identifies the officer in charge of your case and why your claim was approved or dismissed. You will receive a detailed review of presiding officials and the evidence they considered before they assign a rating. If your case gets rejected, you can submit a supplemental claim, higher level review, or board appeal to restart your case. However, you’ll also need to submit fresh evidence and new paperwork. Most veterans go for a supplemental claim, VA Form 20-0995, as it has the fastest timeline.
When you retire from the armed forces, you face numerous challenges, including inconsolable losses and injuries or traumas induced during the service. Serving in the military is not easy, but you must confront the various aspects of a return to civilian life with the help of the Department of Veteran Affairs.
You can appeal to the veteran’s affairs to compensate you for damages. To submit a claim, you must fill out an appropriate form and attach documentary proof of your wounds, injuries, and illnesses. An attorney can make the process of filing and accountability faster and ensure that you don’t miss any essential deadlines for claim submissions. Finally, inform veterans affairs about the final status of your case, as they will compensate you.