Veterans Guide Videos

Challenges of Applying for VA Disability

Video Transcript

Well, every veteran has a unique set of facts related to their disability or their military story. VA disability ratings are fact specific. I was injured in the line of duty, assigned to an army hospital for almost 13 months. I had lots of x rays and surgeries and treatment. My medical records contained excellent documentation, which means my bureaucratic journey for a VA disability rating was easier than most. In my case, I received a Department of Defense disability pension and severance pay with my discharge. There was a direct nexus or connection between my injuries and military service. When I entered into the army, I was whole and complete with a high level of fitness, and upon discharge I was not. In fact, I was on crutches.

Back in 1979, I remember arriving at Fort Dix, and it was recommended that I waive my Department of Defense disability rating for a VA disability rating because the VA provided better and more generous benefits. So I did. The most challenging memory about the VA process dealt with medical records. In the 1970s, a veteran would carry their military medical records from one appointment to the next. One day, another veteran told me that I needed to make a duplicate copy because the VA was keeping the medical records. So I made a copy, and sure enough, at some point the VA regional office contacted me, explaining that they did not have any record of my military surgeries and that the VA was terminating my benefits.

Featured In This Video:

Linda Cosme | VA-Accredited Attorney & U.S. Army Veteran

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