Service Connection
For Disability Tip

Service Connection For Disability Tip What you need:

FIRST

 

  • 1. Current treatment VA medical records
  • 2. Service Medical Records ( time of injury)

If you have no service records of the injury: You must fine a former service member that served with you that can corroborate the incident related to the injury. The statement can be short, but it must state clearly the injury, time of injury, unit and year. The statement should also detail related facts that were a direct result of the injury i.e. you wore an arms-sling, cast, used crutches, or were in the hospital. These facts substantiate that there was an occurrence and consequences. The witness must be deemed credible and reliable. Any old service buddy will qualify obviously—they were there. Strength of corroborating witnesses:

  • 1. Doctor or medical staff (present during time of injury)
  • 2. Superior officer or NCO (present during time of injury)
  • 3. Soldier in your platoon, unit or battalion (present during time of injury)
  • 4. If none of the above were present during that time; then any of the above three that can speak to your ailments related to the injury within a reasonably near time-frame of the incident (days or weeks of the injury). Any indication from them that can validate the occurrence and time-frame of the injury.

Many veterans have been said to concoct letters from family members. If they were not present during the injury, friends or family can not corroborate the occurrence. As with example 4, if there is anyone who served with you in some capacity that can speak to your mention of the injury or related ailments, you should obtain statements from them. Family members can speak to complaints, ailments, symptoms and doctor’s appointments that they witnessed historically. All statements should include:

  • Witness full name and rank
  • Time of injury
  • Unit
  • Circumstances
  • Condition of environment – example: combat or training exercise
  • relation to you
  • Your condition after incident – example: cast, stretcher, wound dressings
  • Signature and contact information

The VBA will not likely contact your witnesses so long as the letter appears authentic with signature and phone number. They can verify that that the individual served with you. If the witness notaries the letter that is outstanding, but not necessary. What you need:

SECOND

Current doctors statements that connect your current medical condition to your historical injury. In other words, the current medical condition is a direct result of the past injury. The doctor’s statement can either be a progress note, appointment / examination summary or a letter specific to addressing the service connection (the latter being the best). All three is ideal. Each claim must be addressed individual as a service connection. The doctor MUST state in the letter these words: MORE LIKELY THAN NOT. The medical condition is “more likely than not” a direct result of said injury.  What you need:

THIRD

Each medical condition must be addressed as a separate “cause an effect” of said injury. The VBA will not do you any favors. Let me give you an example: Service Injury

  • A = Main medical condition
  • B = 1st Secondary condition to service injury
  • C = 2nd Secondary condition to service injury
  • D = 1st Secondary condition to B – secondary condition

1. The VBA must acknowledge your injury as “service connected.” 2. The VBA must connect A (main medical condition) to service connected injury. 3. If the VBA grants service connection for main condition A. They will not be so gracious as to grant either secondary injury. 4. B condition would have to be treated with the same process as A condition. A separate doctor’s statement has to now connect B condition to A condition on a “more likely than not” basis. 5. C condition can be granted simultaneously with B, but both conditions must be itemized separately in the same letter or each outlined on separate statements. 6. D condition can only be adjudicated when B condition has been granted as a service connection. This process must be repeated for each and every separate injury and its consequential medical condition. What you need:

FOURTH

You must obtain a competent and “accredited” VA representative.

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