The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a variety of benefits to those who have served in the military. These benefits range from healthcare and disability compensation to education and housing assistance. However, securing these benefits is not always straightforward. Many veterans find their claims denied for various reasons. This article aims to shed light on some of the common reasons why a veteran may be denied VA benefits.
A claim for service connection requires three elements:
1) A current medical issue that has been diagnosed,
2) An in-service event concerning the medical issue,
3) Finally, a connection between the two sometimes known as a medical nexus or nexus connection.
Lets look at what is needed to prove each of the above requirements to prove your case
Lack of Current Diagnosis
One reason why a claim for service connection might be denied is due to insufficient medical evidence. The VA needs to see concrete medical evidence of a disability and how it impacts the veteran's daily life. Medical records, doctor's reports, and other supporting documents are crucial in proving a claim. A Veteran or family and friend's lay statement about how these medical issues affect you as a Veteran can also be helpful. If you do not have documentation of a current diagnosis, this may be a hurdle in getting that particular medical condition approved.
Lack of In-Serice Event
If a Veteran seeks to show that their condition is directly related to their time in service, they must show that an in-service event occurred. This could be a specific injury such as falling off of equipment or being injured during duties. It could also be repeated wear and tear injuries incurred over time. The injury does not have to have been caused by your service duties as long as it occurred during your active-duty service or active-duty training. If your service treatment records do not document an in-service event, you can still prove this element of your claim via lay statements, buddy statements, and testimony in front of a Veterans' Law Judge.
Lack of Nexus Connection
One of the most common reasons for a denial is the lack of proof of a service connection. The VA requires a proximate link between the veteran's illness or injury and their military service. If a veteran cannot prove that their disability was caused or aggravated by their service, the VA is likely to deny the claim. Often times a medical opinion, also known as a nexus opinion, will be crucial in proving how certain in-service events or injuries are related to your current medical conditions and ailments. Often times, a person's regular medical provider will not have the knowledge and detail required to write a well-supported nexus opinion. Having a skilled attorney-representative who can help obtain a detailed nexus opinion for your case can be very important in proving your service-connected disabilities.
Our attorneys and staff are happy to discuss these above elements with you to see if we can help.
Contact Affleck & Gordon for Help
Being denied VA benefits can be disheartening, but it's essential to remember that you have the right to appeal. Many denials are due to a lack of evidence or misunderstandings about the VA's rules and regulations. An experienced VA disability attorney can help navigate through the appeal process, ensuring all necessary evidence is provided and all procedures are correctly followed.
Remember, it's your right as a veteran to access the benefits you've earned through your service. Don't let a denial discourage you. Reach out to a professional who can guide you through the process and help secure the benefits you deserve.
Contact us today at (404) 990-3945 to take the first step toward securing your VA disability benefits.