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5 Tips for a Successful VA Disability Claim

Navigating the VA claims process can be frustrating. It can take many months, even years, before you receive an award or denial letter. That is why it is extremely important to make sure your claim for benefits is complete and thorough. There is nothing more frustrating than to wait many months for a decision, only to have your claim denied for lack of evidence.

Here are 5 things that you can do to increase your chances of a successful outcome in your VA Disability Claim.

Keep a journal.

When you are ready to submit a claim, it can sometimes be difficult to remember specific details of your symptoms. Keeping a journal can help you with that. Are you in pain? Write it down. Did you have an anxiety attack? Write it down. Frequent nightmares? Write it down. At the time of your claim, this anecdotal evidence will help you better describe your symptoms.

Document, document, document.

Keep a dated copy of every document you submit to support your claim. If you speak with someone on the telephone about your claim, write down the date, the representative’s name, and the specific questions he or she answered for you. In the event there is a dispute, your notes can be helpful.

Be completely honest with your doctors.

Do not exaggerate your symptoms, but do not minimize them either. Your disability rating will be determined largely based on your doctor’s impression of your illness or injury. By being honest about your symptoms, you will better enable your doctor to support your claim for benefits.

Ask again.

Were you denied for veteran’s benefits? Has your illness or injury gotten worse? Do not be afraid to ask to be re-evaluated. It is not uncommon for your disability rating to change over time. If you have already been given a rating, the re-evaluation process is more streamlined than the initial rating process; however, it can still take many months to receive a decision.

Ask others to advocate on your behalf.  

Your family, friends and employer can submit evidence of your illness or injury during the VA claims process. While their statements do not hold as much weight as your physician’s statements, they can be very powerful in supporting your claim. If your performance at work is lacking due to chronic pain, your supervisor can attest to that. If you wake frequently due to nightmares, your spouse can attest to that.


While the claims process can be long and arduous, there are steps you can take to minimize the frustration and increase your chances of success. Danielson Law Firm has attorneys who are accredited to practice before the Veteran’s Administration, with both the handling of claims and court appearances. If you have been denied benefits, please contact us to schedule an appointment to discuss your situation.





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Fayetteville, AR 72703

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