Saturday, November 23, 2013

So you think you are entitled to a VA disability

You may have a service connected condition that should be compensated, but do you have the staff and writing skills to get the job done? 

You can submit doctor's letter, doctor's progress notes an Disability Benefits Questionnaires (DBQ) as documentation. Rightardia recommends using the DBQ whenever possible.

You may want to write a draft letter for the doctors consideration that uses VA terminology. For example, the VA wants to to see a medical conditions as more likely than not service connected.

Many vets make the mistake of trying to get compensated for every malady they have. Rightrdia has read the average vet files 20 claims. Now if you are filing for hearing loss, bursitis, diabetes melllitis, a back condition, flat feet, knee damage and other unrelated conditions, its like throwing mud balls against a wall and hoping some will stick.

The VA has a term for this: piling on. 

It's much better to file with primary conditions relating to secondary. For example, if you caught St. Louis encephalitis while in the service, you may be able relate that to the secondary conditions of high or low frequency hearing loss, tinnitus, and complex sleep apnea. In this case you are filing for one primary condition and three secondary related conditions.

Peruse the Disability Conditions (DC) in 38 CFR, Part 3 before you file. Don't waste time filing for three 10 per cent conditions when you may meet the 30 per cent criteria for sleep apnea. 

The trick is to tie your medical conditions to your service military records (SMR). Here you will need doctors opinions. You want board certified physicians on you team and you must indicate the doctors have reviewed your SMRs. You may have to go the the Board of Veteran Appeals (BVA) to get some of your conditions service connected.

Her is a sample letter you can use as a template.

Tampa Bay Xxxxxx and Xxxxxx
City and zip code

To: Whom it May Concern:                                                                    date:


I am Mr/Ms ___________'s primary care physician and he/she has been a patient here for several years. I have reviewed his military service records.

Mr/Ms ________ contacted _______________________________ on (date). A subsequent MRI indicated he had an _______________. After further testing he was diagnosed with ________________ with the related (secondary ) conditions of _____________________________.

The __________(primary condition)_________ was the likely causal factor in the related secondary conditions of _________, _______________ and ______________.

In addition, the ___(primary condition) ___ can lead to _______________. He also has chronic ______________ outbreaks and takes ________________ as required that I prescribe for him.

Mr/Ms ___________________ was hospitalized at _______________ in (date) for an ____________________ and he suffered a _______________ while he was in the hospital.

I receive correspondence from a team of doctors that care for Mr/Ms _________ on a recurring basis: an endocrinologist, a neurologist, a cardiologist, an otolaryngologist, an ENT and a urologist. He undergoes extensive blood lab work for his _________________ every 90-days.

Mr/Ms ___________________ has not worked for many years and his multiple medical disabilities are permanent and chronic. He/She is disabled, immuno-supressed, vulnerable to infection and to another ________________.

His condition had deteriorated after the last hospitalization that more likely than not caused his/her ___________. He has no prospects for improvement.

He is permanently and totally disabled. He has near constant debilitating symptoms from the ____________. In particular, the __________________ would preclude employment.



Nnnnnn Nnnnn, M.D.

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