1. Assist current
Medical Doctor in treating you,
2. Identify "in-service" first experience with illness, or related illness, to develop your claim.
3) Three parts to a VA claim for Disability Compensation: (VA Form 21-526)
happened to you in the form of injury or illness while you were in the
2. Problem has chronic and persistent aspects that continue to bother you, as evidenced by continuous medical treatment or clear medical evidence linking what happened in service with what you are experiencing now ( called: RESIDUALS).
3. Disability impacts adversely on employment.
4) The VA pays disability compensation to close the gap in dollars between what you earn now and what you could earn if you did not have the disability (HCV in this case).
5) Seek qualified help in filling out VA Form 21-526! Qualified help can be obtained from your County VA Office.
6) Focus on BOX # 17, on VA Form 21-526, by carefully listing first sick call or treatment in-service for the illness.
1. For example
hepatitis infection (date of first awareness in service) and then see continuation
2. Use plain bond paper to list chronologically each in-service treatment for all illnesses that may be related to hep.
3. Attach photocopies of service medical records that support your outline.
4. County director will help you fill out rest of the form omitting last sections dealing with pensions.
7) You are applying for disability compensation. Recommend discussing award of limited power of attorney to a service organization like VFW or American Legion to represent your claim at the VA regional office in your state. If not, you will have to go to the regional office whenever your paperwork is needed to be signed or initialed.
8) About 2-3 months after submitting your claim VA will send you a letter asking for medical evidence.
9) Through your County Director's Office send VA medical evidence - clearly linking HCV to Hepatitis. This allows a copy of your paperwork to be keep on file at your local office. This is a good idea for your protection.
10) About 2 months later you will be directed to go to a VA Med Center to be given a C & P exam (Compensation and Pension). You must make that appointment!!
1. Bring medical
evidence of current medical problem and literature linking illnesses. Share
these with your examiner.
2. Stress affects of illness on your everyday life especially on your job.
VA has no current rating table for HCV. We have no idea, yet, how the rating officers will rate HCV.
It is VERY important for you to keep all copies of every medical treatment for this illness for future requests for upgrades in disability comp.
The court does not hold trials or receive new evidence. The court reviews the record that was considered by the Board of Veterans Appeals. Oral argument is held only at the direction of the court. Either party may appeal a decision of the court to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and to the Supreme Court of the United States. Appellants may represent themselves before the court or have lawyers or approved agents as representatives.
The court decisions are published in West's Veterans Appeals Reporter, in the WESTLAW and LEXIS online services, and in the court's electronic bulletin board, which can be reached at 202-501-5836. For information about the court's rules and procedures, contact the Clerk of the Court at:
625 Indiana Ave. NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20004, or call 1-800-869-8654.
VA Fraud & Abuse
Hotline ~ 1-800-488-8244
VA Regional Offices do not accept phone claims. Do not waste time sending
in what are called an informal claim unless you anticipate a long wait
for medical evidence which supports the claim. Authorize a power of attorney
to the VFW or American Legion so their service officers can represent your
claim at the regional office. Success with VA comes when you present a
completed staff action which includes the substantiating medical documentation.
You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Correct
about not appealing. Always ask for reconsideration based on new medical
evidence or some material error in VA's decision.