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Does Everyone Who Files for Vet Disability Need to Have a VA Claim Exam?
When you rely on your veterans’ benefits to pay for doctor’s visits, medical procedures and devices, physical therapy, and to maintain your quality of life, it can be aggravating and confusing to jump through all the hoops the VA requires. When you’re already dealing with the pain and frustration of injuries you sustained while on duty, the idea of dealing with further roadblocks to fair compensation can be exhausting.
One of the most common points of confusion people applying for veterans’ disability run into is whether or not they will need to have a claim exam. These exams are an important part of the claims process for the VA, and they play a big role in determining your future benefits based on the severity of your injuries and illnesses. These exams will, in large part, determine the level of benefits you’re eligible for — but in certain cases, they’re not necessary.
Do I Need a VA Claim Exam?
When you apply for benefits through the VA, you’ll be required to specify any disabilities and injuries you’re experiencing that developed during the course of your service. You will also likely be asked to submit recent medical records and your personal medical history as evidence of your disabilities. In some cases, the information you provide to the VA as evidence of your ailments is enough to begin your benefits, and you won’t be required to partake in an initial exam.
Generally speaking, the number of injuries and disabilities you claim increase the chance of requiring at least one official VA exam. With each claim you make, evidence will need to be provided to substantiate it, meaning if you don’t have substantial medical documentation for each of your claims, you may be required to go through one or more claim exams. Even in some cases where you believe you have enough documentation to support your claims, you may be expected to get an exam anyway.
Scheduling and Attending an Exam
When you file a disability claim with the VA, you should be contacted either by mail or a phone call from a VA contract examiner to schedule a visit. For this reason, it’s important to make sure your information with your local VA office has your correct contact information on file, as any missed communication could mean delays to your benefits. You may have some options when it comes to your exam, like the sex of your doctor, so be sure to contact your VA office to go over any details and options you’ve got before the day of your exam.
The exam itself isn’t like a typical doctor’s visit, as you won’t be given any treatment plan, prescriptions, or generally any of the standard advice you’d get from your normal doctor. The purpose of the exam is to document your injuries and evaluate your condition as it relates to your claims. They’ll likely ask questions about your injuries and abilities, conduct some basic physical examinations, and observe you. Once the exam is over, the doctor’s report will include any test results and medical opinions about your condition, which you have the right to request a copy of.
The test’s findings will determine, among other things, your VA disability rating. Your disability rating and other factors will be used to calculate the type and extent of benefits you qualify for. You can appeal a decision regarding your disability rating within one year of receiving results.
Seek Legal Assistance for Your Florida VA Disability Claim
The fact that not everyone needs to have a claims exam may give the impression that they’re not that important, but in reality, they can play a huge role in determining the benefits you are ultimately eligible for. If your examiner decides that certain injuries or disabilities you’re claiming aren’t substantiated in your exam, they may suggest lesser benefits than you feel you need to adequately recover.
In these cases, it’s extremely helpful to have the legal assistance of a seasoned Florida VA disability attorney. We can help you prepare for your claims exam, seek out every opportunity for benefits that can help you recover in the long run, and challenge unfair exams results while seeking out second opinions and other options.
The law firm of Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd, and Lloyd have been helping injured veterans recover finances for their injuries for decades and want to help you too. If you’re concerned about your VA disability claim or just need someone to represent you throughout the process, we can help. Call us at 866-460-1990 or contact us online today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
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