VA Disability Compensation

Common Pitfalls

Not applying for VA Disability Compensation soon enough

The longer you wait to apply, the more difficult it can be to prove that your disability began during, or was made worse by, your military service. And the longer you wait, the later your effective date of claim (the date when your claim starts) is. explains how to file a claim.

Waiting until you’ve gathered all the information

You don’t have to have every bit of information when you first apply; you can always do that later on. A claims representative can help you decide what’s important to submit. Applying immediately helps you get the earliest possible effective date (the date when your claim starts).

Waiting on another diagnosis when you already have other conditions you can claim now

You don’t have to do all your claims at the same time. Claim each disabling condition as soon as you can. This helps you get the earliest possible effective date.

Doing your claim without an accredited representative

It’s okay to file your claim right away on your own so that your claim starts earlier (has an earlier effective date). However, it’s best to get help from an accredited claims representative as soon as possible.

Applying for and showing that you have a right to benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) can be hard. Most people need help from someone who understands: the benefits the VA offers; the related laws, regulations, and VA policies; the kind of evidence needed to support a claim; and how best to submit that evidence.

Individuals or organizations that have been accredited by the VA have done special training, and have the VA’s permission to represent veterans in the claims process. You can search for accredited veterans service organization representatives, agents, or attorneys on the VA website.

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