VA claim filing – suggestions for a possible beneficial outcome:

Many Veterans filing a disability claim with VA simply fill in the 21-526EZ, Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits, list the disabilities they are filing a claim for, cross their fingers and hope for the best. Here are some suggestions to help you be successful with your claim the first time it’s submitted.
Intent to file – It may take some time for you to gather the information to support your fully developed claim, such as private treatment records and written statements. You can hold your effective date by filing a VA Form 21-0966, Intent To File A Claim For Compensation and/or Pension, or Survivors Pension and/or DIC. The date this form is received by VA is used as your potential effective date for payment purposes. You have a year after it’s received by VA to file your completed claim application.
Write a Statement in Support of Claim -When filing your claim, include a VA Form 21-4138, Statement in Support of Claim. Do a separate paragraph for each disability you are claiming, and explain the event in service (be specific) and your current disability or symptoms related to your injury or illness. Provide any evidence available on the event, such as personnel records, award narrative, and medical records .
Compensation and Pension (C&P) Exam.- Even if you submit all of your medical records, you may be scheduled for a C&P exam. This is not a typical doctor’s exam, and in some cases, the doctor may just review your records – including any statements in your file – and ask you a few questions. While this may seem unusual for an exam, the doctor is actually filling in a Disability Benefits Questionnaire (DBQ), which the rater will use to determine if your claim can be granted, and at what percentage. Some information for the form will come from your medical records, and additional information is gathered from you. Failure to have this examination may result in an immediate disqualification of your claim.

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