Last time we discussed the C&P Exam. We have also talked about the VA’s “duty to assist” you in proving your Veteran’s Disability Claim. However, your claim doesn’t end there. You must provide the VA with enough information to find records and data that will assist you in proving your claim.
The case of Cline v. Shinseki, No.10-3543 from the Court of Appeals for Veterans claims illustrates what limitations apply to the VA in assisting you in proving your VA disability claim. In that case, the veteran suffered from PTSD. He informed the VA that his stressors included seeing the death of a buddy while in Viet Nam. He did not provide any additional information about this incident. The VA failed to find any records supporting the veteran’s stressor and they denied his claim. Years later, the veteran returned to the VA, seeking disability benefits for PTSD. This time, the veteran included additional information about the death of his buddy. The VA was then able to find the records and approve his claim. The veteran’s benefits were granted.
When you are seeking disability benefits from the VA, provide the VA with enough information to assist you. You should never depend or trust the ability of the VA to get it right for you. The VA representative that handles your file may take the easy way and give up on research. You are the one that will suffer for this. If you find it difficult to follow through in the pursuit of your claim, by all means, get some assistance. You will be greatly relieved when you employ a professional to assist you. Whether you hire an accredited veterans disability lawyer, like myself, or obtain the assistance of a Veterans Service Officer, you will benefit. Why risk it?
In the words of my old Boy Scout Troop…”Be Prepared.”