Details, Details! Why It’s So Crucial To Keep Documentation Of Every Medical Visit
After bravely serving your country honorably, it can be very frustrating to find that you have to spend so much time convincing VA of exactly what happened to you, when, and how, in order to receive VA disability benefits. As you struggle to take care of yourself, battle health issues, and work to claim disability benefits, it may seem that the only thing that matters is paperwork, paperwork, and more paperwork. This is true to some extent, and managing it all can be daunting. At Chisholm, Chisholm & Kilpatrick we have been helping veterans file claims and win appeals for decades, and we know that organization and strategy are crucial to any legal case.
Get Organized From the Beginning
The documenting on your end really should begin as soon as you are injured or fall ill, before you may even be aware that you are going to file a claim. In addition, if you have multiple injuries or medical conditions, you may end up filing more than one claim. You may feel very alone in this process, and you may find there is a lot you don’t understand. You may also find that working with an experienced attorney will make life much easier.
As you navigate through the claims process, you will find there is a lot of paperwork involved. The best practice is to keep a copy of everything for your own records. Upon filing a claim, you’ll want to acquire all relevant medical records regarding your disability. It helps to keep all your documentation clearly labeled and in one location.
Keep Everyone Else Up to Date
While you will be collecting and keeping information from all of your doctor’s appointments, it’s important to make sure you also have the basics to give to your doctor—or each doctor– as you go in for a medical evaluation. If you are given medical reports or opinions, it’s important to make sure these get submitted to VA. Make copies of everything and never take the originals to appointments or submit the originals to VA. Keep in mind that as VA requests your relevant medical records and service records, different branches of VA do not always communicate as efficiently as you would like. It may be up to you to track down records and get them to the correct place—and again, this is definitely in your best interest.
Note All Communication
It’s also important to document all phone calls that occur throughout this process. You may also find that rather than uploading and submitting documents online or through email, it is much safer to go the old-fashioned route with certified mail so you will have proof of receipt.
You may feel that the disability claims process puts all of the responsibility on you to prove your case. If you start out organized from the beginning and educate yourself regarding each step in the process, you’ll have a much easier time than most.
Even when we put forth our best effort to fight our own battles, we still get overwhelmed and can feel defeated. Know when to seek help; don’t take on VA by yourself. Consulting with an experienced veterans attorney at Chisholm, Chisholm & Kilpatrick can greatly improve your experience of navigating the complicated VA claims process. We believe that your health should be your first priority, and as we work together on your case, you can focus on healing and recovery while we handle the legal matters.
For immediate help, call us at 401-331-6300 or contact us online.
Category: Veterans Law