Veteran (VA) Disability Lawyer Serving Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
Our nation’s veterans have put their lives on the line to protect our country, and many of them suffer from illness or injury stemming from their time in service. Unfortunately, some veterans are denied a grant of disability benefits by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA).
However, if you believe you have a valid disability claim, you have the right to appeal VA’s decision. The attorneys and professionals at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD may be able to help. Contact the CCK team serving Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania at (800) 544-9144 to see if we may be able to assist with your appeal.
VA Regional Office Serving Punxsutawney, PA
The closest VA regional office to Punxsutawney is the Pittsburgh Regional Office, 80 miles away. It is located at 1000 Liberty Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15222. There you will find resources and staff to assist with your initial application for benefits. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
VA Medical Centers Near Punxsutawney
There are several healthcare and outpatient services facilities to assist you in the Punxsutawney area. They can help you with your current medical care, depending on the services each site provides, and have staff who can assist you with completing your initial application for VA disability benefits. Those sites include:
- Erie Vet Center Field Office
- Westmoreland County Community Based Outpatient Clinic
- DuBois VA Clinic
- Clarion County VA Clinic
How to Obtain VA Disability Benefits
Even if you have a valid claim, you may still receive a denial for veterans disability benefits if the information was incomplete, inaccurate, or if you did not provide enough evidence linking your injury or illness to your time in service. This situation is not uncommon, and you may be able to resolve it by appealing the decision.
Generally, a grant of disability benefits requires proof of three things:
- An in-service event, injury, or illness;
- A current diagnosis by a medical professional; and
- A medical nexus, or link, between your in-service event, injury, or illness and your current diagnosis.
Proof of Your Current Health Condition
It is important to note that, while you must have a current diagnosis from a medical professional, it does not necessarily have to be from a VA doctor. VA accepts records from your private physician as well. This option is important if you do not qualify for VA medical care, or if you prefer to see a private doctor or a specialist for your condition.
It is imperative, however, that your doctor thoroughly and accurately document your condition in your medical records to ensure there is medical evidence to support your diagnosis, as well as any treatment plan. These records will be crucial evidence in your claim for VA disability benefits.
Provide Evidence Linking Your Condition to Your Military Service
To strengthen your claim, it is often helpful to submit supporting evidence that provides VA with more information about your condition. Such evidence might include:
- Medical records
- Laboratory reports
- Statements from your physician(s)
- Statements from other medical experts
- Interviews with family, friends, and people you served within the military
- Military records
Understanding VA Disability Ratings
When you submit an initial claim or an appeal, a rating specialist or other VA employee will review your application and assign you a disability rating based on the rating criteria for your particular condition. If you have multiple conditions that VA agrees are service connected, you will receive a combined disability rating. Typically, the more severe your health condition, the higher your combined rating.
Based on the doctor’s report, medical tests, and other information, as well as the results of your VA Compensation and Pension exam, VA may assign a combined rating between 0 and 100 percent, depending on the rating scale for your condition.
If you have dependent family members who live with you, including a spouse, children, or parents, and your combined rating is at least 30%, you may be entitled to additional compensation.
Contact a VA Disability Attorney to Protect Your Rights
The process of filing an appeal after you receive a denial for VA disability benefits does not have to be overwhelming. Our team may be able to answer your questions and help you develop the strongest possible case for appeal. For a complimentary initial consultation, contact a veteran (VA) disability lawyer serving Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania from Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD at (800) 544-9144.