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Do I Need to File a Separate Disability Claim For Each of My Conditions?

Published on April 21st, 2020

You must file a separate disability claim for each condition that you want compensation for. For many veterans, this requirement can delay their access to benefits and complicate the compensation process. According to VA data, veterans on average claim compensation for 5.3 separate conditions. Gulf war veterans tend to have even more, with 6.96 conditions on average. Therefore, cases where a veteran gets all of their compensation from a single claimed condition are relatively rare.

Filing and keeping track of your separate claims can be a challenge. To make matters worse, when the VA sends you a denial letter, it’s not always clear which condition you are getting denied for. If you are a veteran with multiple conditions who wants to appeal their disability case, the veterans benefits lawyers of Jackson & MacNichol can assist you today. Call us toll free at 1(800) 524-3339 for a free consultation about your case.

Simplify the Process by Filing Your Claims Together

The VA allows you to file as many claims as you want, and when you want. Oftentimes, this makes sense because your conditions may not all appear at the same time. Some conditions like COPD can take years and even decades to develop. But to the extent possible, you can give yourself a leg up in the process by submitting as many of your claims as possible at the same time.

One reason why this is advantageous is that the claims that you submit might involve the same issues. So when the VA makes a decision as to one issue in one claim, it can easily enter the same decision on your other claims. For example, you may claim that several of your conditions were caused by an in-service incident. If the VA recognizes that the incident was a likely cause of one condition, there is a strong chance that it will come to the same conclusion regarding your other conditions.

On the other hand, if you submit your various claims at different times, the VA may need to consider that same in-service incident again for each claim–and it may not reach consistent conclusions on each claim. To decrease your case processing time, and increase the consistency and clarity of the process, you should submit as many claims at the same time as you can.

If You Don’t File Your Claims Together, You Might Miss Out on Backpay

If you qualify for disability compensation, the VA may award you back pay. This puts you in the same position as if you had been receiving your disability payments from the month during which you first filed your claim. Since it often takes the VA years to decide disability claims, this back pay can add up into the thousands of dollars–especially when multiple claims are involved.

The issue of back pay gives you all the more reason to apply for every compensable condition you have. Many veterans miss out on back pay because they file their claims one at a time, which is understandable because the paperwork can get overwhelming. But those veterans who apply for compensation for all of their conditions as soon as possible are setting themselves up to receive significant back pay compensation.

Call a Veterans Benefits Lawyer Today

At Jackson & MacNichol, we can help you appeal the denial of your claim or help you challenge an unfairly low disability rating. Our experienced disability compensation lawyers can help you gather the evidence and make the arguments that can convince the VA that you and your family deserve benefits. For a free consultation about appealing a VA disability claim, call us today at 1(800) 524-3339.


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