VA disability provides cash payments to veterans who are disabled due to their military service. To receive VA disability, a veteran must prove three things: 1.That they have a disabling condition due to a disease or injury, 2. That there are current symptoms related to the disability, and 3. That the disability is related to an occurrence during military service. The third prong of the test, called service connection, is frequently that most difficult prong for a veteran to prove. Proving service connection is particularly difficult when there is an injury that is not service connected.
When a veteran makes a claim for VA disability, the VA will look through the veteran’s records to see if there is a more recent cause to the symptoms that occurred after military service, and if the VA finds such a more recent cause, the claim will be denied. We currently are working on a case of a veteran who is claiming disability for back injuries he sustained in his military service in the 1970’s. his problem is that he was involved in a serious ca crash in the 1980’s that also caused issues with his back. The VA has denied his claim saying that his back symptoms are caused by the car crash and not from his military service. We are going to investigate his claims, and there should be evidence to show that the back symptoms existed before the car crash. We will combine medical evaluations shortly after service with statements from family and friends to show that his back injury existed before the crash.
Veterans seeking disability when there is a subsequent event affecting the same body part are advised to request a copy of their claims file from the VA. In that claims file, there are often medical records to support the position that the symptoms were present before the intervening injury.