Posted on: 30 July 2015Share
After years of military service, your body could develop extensive wear and tear far sooner than your civilian counterparts. The military breeds a culture of being tough and forging through hardship because it's required for survival, but proper maintenance and support is as important for the mission and military machinery as it is for your body. If you're suffering from injuries or conditions that could have been caused by military service, be sure to explore a few of your support options that could make recovery and continued survival easier and more robust.
Financial Support For Qualifying Veterans
The Department of Veterans Affairs has services available to support veterans with injuries or conditions caused by military service. In order to qualify for financial support such as disability compensation, a condition needs to be considered service-connected.
A service-connected condition is any condition that happened during your military service or any condition that became worse during your years in the military. The category covers a wide range of conditions with the main concern being that military service was involved.
Your military service reaches from the day you signed your contract into the military to the end of your reserve duty or the End of Active Duty Service (EAOS). For servicemembers in the inactive reserve, the service-connected window doesn't end when you ended active duty; it continues to the day you're no longer part of the Department of Defense.
If your condition is service-connected, you also need to prove that the condition is worthy of disability--an issue that can be easier than proving service connection for some veterans. This happens through a compensation and pension (C&P) exam and a review of your condition with Veterans Affairs (VA) officials.
It's possible for a legitimate injury that happened during the military to be denied benefits. Although it can't be confirmed, some veterans even hold a VA claim denial as a rite of passage for a new veteran. If you've been denied compensation, don't give up; the VA understands that mistakes happen within its system and encourages veterans to seek assistance from more experienced veterans or even legal assistance from personal injury lawyers like True Guarnieri Ayer LLP.
Medical Services When Disability Isn't Yet Available
Some veterans were given a promise of continued medical support after leaving the military. Unfortunately, the services available to the general veteran population without a disability rating are limited to basic visits such as getting help with a cold, random aches and pains or other general medical practice issues.
Whether you're waiting for a response from the VA for a disability claim decision or figuring out what to do after a denial, don't let your health deteriorate in the process. There may be long wait times plaguing the system, but such issues are not the same across every VA hospital or clinic.
As long as you meet basic requirements for health benefits such as having an other-than-dishonorable discharge, you can at least try to get benefits that go beyond the basic healthcare support. There are some extended benefits for veterans who have recently left the military, such as receiving new glasses or dental checkups as you're getting settled into civilian life.
If you're working on a C&P exam, it's important to complain about every single issue you have, even if it has nothing to do with your claim. Despite the long wait times, local VA officials can fit you into detailed examinations and even refer you to specialists as your claim process continues.
You may not be able to get more complex care such as surgery during the process, but almost any non-invasive medical techniques can be scheduled if you're polite and ask as soon as possible. Let the long wait times work in your benefit.
For assistance in making your VA claim more successful or pushing for a better disability rating, contact a personal injury attorney for a detailed, personalized claim development.