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VA Disability Claims That Cannot Be Proven

Veterans over 65 who have served in the military may be eligible for VA disability benefits. However, claims that cannot be proven may not be approved, even if the veteran has proof of service and injuries. This can be frustrating and confusing, especially when veterans try to get the benefits they deserve.

All VA disability claims must be proven. All VA claims rely on evidence to be approved. If you cannot provide proof, your claim will likely be denied. First and foremost, you must make sure you satisfy the requirements to be eligible for VA disability benefits.

No one knows what the future holds. You may have a disability claim that you are waiting on the VA to decide, but what if they can’t prove it? Don’t worry. There are still ways to get the benefits you deserve. Keep reading for more information.

What VA Disabilities are Presumptive?

There are a few different types of presumptive disabilities. One type is called “direct service connection.” This means that if you have a disability that was caused by something during your time in service, it is presumed to be service-connected. 

Another type is called “secondary service connection.” This means that if you have a disability-related to another service-connected disability, it is presumed to be service-connected. Lastly, there is an “aggravated service connection.” This means that if your service-connected disability was made worse by something during your time in service, it is presumed to be service-connected.

Certain VA disabilities are presumptive, which means that if you have the disability, it is assumed to be service-connected. This is important because many Veterans have difficulty proving that their injuries or illnesses are connected to their military service. Presumptive disabilities can make the claims process much easier and help Veterans get the benefits they need and deserve.

If you have any of these presumptive disabilities, it is important to apply for VA benefits as soon as possible. Veterans with presumptive disabilities often have an easier time getting approved for benefits, as the VA does not require as much evidence to approve the claim.

Can You Claim VA Disability Without Medical Records?

The first step is to try and get your hands on some sort of documentation that can help substantiate your claim. This could include personnel records, service treatment records, private medical records, and more. If you need help obtaining any of these records, you can contact Veterans Affairs for assistance.

If you still don’t have any luck, a few other options are available to you. The Veterans Affairs may be able to decide on your claim without medical evidence if:

  • You have a condition that is listed on the Veterans Affairs Schedule for Rating Disabilities
  • There is clear evidence of your condition in your service records
  • Your condition is well-documented in lay statements from people who know you well

If you can’t find any medical evidence of your injury, don’t worry–you may still be able to win your case if you have other types of proof. For example, the documents and other records in your file may provide evidence of a sudden decline in health or an absence from work that justifies your argument that something happened. Veterans Affairs will also often look at your post-service medical history to see if there is a connection between your current condition and your time in the military.

Suppose you don’t have any medical records to support your claim. In that case, contacting Veterans Affairs for assistance and exploring your options is important. With the proper evidence, you may still be able to win your case and get the benefits you need and deserve.

What are the Most Common VA Disability Claims?

  • Tinnitus– Tinnitus was the most common VA disability claim in 2018-2019, based on VA disability claims statistics. A total of 57,152 people received compensation. Tinnitus is a condition where you hear a sound even when there’s no external noise. The maximum VA rating for Tinnitus is 10%. Those most likely to get Tinnitus work in loud conditions.
  • Hearing Loss– If you don’t get your hearing loss service-connected, it is very common for hearing loss to be rated at 0%. If you have hearing loss, that doesn’t automatically mean that the Veterans Affairs office will compensate you. The very first procedure is to see an audiologist for a hearing exam.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)– Veterans who have experienced trauma during their service may be diagnosed with PTSD. This condition can be very debilitating, but there are treatments available. Conditions like PTSD, depression, anxiety disorder, and somatic symptom disorder are “high-value” claims. This indicates that your monthly payment will be larger if you are eligible for VA benefits.
  • Scars– Scars are the fourth most common injury for which Veterans receive compensation. Almost 4 in 5 Veterans have a 0% skin condition rating, and almost 2 in 10 have at least a 10% rating.
  • The knee’s inability to move past a certain point– Many veterans have knee pain that limits their mobility. This might make daily activities challenging, but therapies are available to help.
  • A lumbosacral or cervical strain– Lumbosacral or cervical strain is commonly caused by overuse and trauma. Although this condition is frequently treated with pain medications you can buy without a prescription, it can be very painful. This pain often causes veterans to have a limited range of motion in their necks.
  • Paralysis caused by sciatic nerve– Back injuries, musculoskeletal injuries, and Sciatica (severe radiating pain) is unfortunately common among veterans.
  • Restricted movement in the ankle– Veterans may have restricted movement in their ankles due to an injury or condition. This might make walking or standing for lengthy amounts of time difficult. Most VA ratings for the ankle are between 0 and 10 percent. Some cases warrant a 20 percent rating, but this is less common.
  • Migraines– Veterans may experience migraines due to their time in service. The term “prostrating” is important for VA ratings because it determines how frequently you experience Migraines. Prostrating means that your migraines are so bad you can’t stand up.
  • Spine Degenerative Arthritis– It is a serious condition where the protective cartilage that covers and cushions your joints breaks down and degenerates. Osteoarthritis causes immense pain and results in the swelling of one’s joints. Furthermore, it has been known to lead to the growth of osteophytes, more commonly referred to as bone Spur.

Can VA Deny Presumptive Conditions?

The VA will only approve claims for disabilities with a clear in-service connection. The VA has a list of conditions called presumptive conditions. If you have any of these conditions, you don’t have to prove that it’s related to your time in the service or that it appears on your medical records.

If a POW suffers from any of the following ailments, they are eligible for benefits, regardless of how long they were in captivity.

  • Anxiety
  • Osteoporosis
  • A dysthymic disorder
  • Stroke
  • Post-traumatic osteoarthritis
  • Heart disease
  • Psychosis

Furthermore, POWs who endured capture for 30 days or more can receive compensation for maltreatment such as:

  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Beriberi
  • Peptic ulcer disease
  • Pellagra
  • Malnutrition
  • Chronic dysentery
  • Helminthiasis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome

To be eligible for benefits, the POW must have a disability rating of at least 10% due to their time as a POW. Veterans who were held captive for less than 30 days can still receive benefits if they have a disability rating of at least 50% caused by their time as a POW. These veterans must also have evidence of maltreatment, such as a physical injury or psychological diagnosis.

How Hard is it to Prove Service Connected Disability?

It can be challenging to prove service-connected disability. The Veterans Administration needs evidence that an injury or illness is connected to military service. However, there are some cases that simply cannot be proven, no matter how much evidence is submitted. These cases are often rejected, leaving veterans without the benefits they need and deserve.

When it comes to service-connected disability, Veterans Affairs looks at a few key things. First, they want to know if there was an injury during service, its severity, and if there is any evidence that the injury is still present. Veterans Affairs also needs proof that the injury or illness is connected to military service. This can be hard to demonstrate because many injuries are not visible. To substantiate their claims, veterans may be required to present medical records, witness testimony, and other data.

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