STEP 7: CREATING YOUR CLAIM
The form itself is pretty self-explanatory. I won't cover that here since it is. One point I will make...when asked to describe your disease/injury refer them to the attachment.
Creating an Attachment
Besides filling in the form itself, you will want to compose an attachment that lists your disabilities and their proofs. This is where hopefully this website will prove worthwhile.
Step 8 >>
- ON THE TOP OF EVERY PAGE OF THE ATTACHMENT:
- Full Name
- Social Security Number or Claim Number
Write a brief paragraph describing your medical condition. Include everything that is wrong even if there is no rating for it. (It might be part of another disability.) DO NOT HESITATE to describe mental difficulties. It could all be related. Nor should you hesitate to describe past conditions that could be considered part of current conditions.
- Physical problems such as, but not limited to:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Problems sleeping
- Muscle weakness
- Mental problems such as, but not limited to:
- List all medications you are currently taking or have taken in the past (that might still be affecting you) and describe any side effects (very important) for the specific medication.
- Over-the-counter drugs such as aspirin
- If the medication were for a short period, include it if any side effects could be affecting you now.
- List dates and doctors who prescribed.
By listing the medications with dates and doctors and their side effects here, you can then just name the medication when you list each separate medical condition. This saves a lot of time for you and the adjudicator.
Length of Use: 10 years
Dr. Who's on First 7/07/00-7/15/06
Dr. What's on Second 5/10/96-6/07/00
|shakiness||dizziness or lightheadedness|
|sweating||nervousness or irritability|
|headache||numbness or tingling around the mouth|
|hunger ||clumsy or jerky movements|
|weight gain||sudden changes in behavior or mood|
- Now break down each medical condition.
Where possible, use the condition as listed in the Disability Ratings, including its number, as a heading and under it list any or all:
- All your symptoms in your own words
- How long you have had the condition
- How it affects you and working
- How it affects your relationships with others
- How does it affect activities you do or have done
- List all medical records and doctors (this is where your sheets for each disability become useful)
- List all medications you take for this condition. Be sure to include any medications that have side effects that could affect this condition.(This medication may not be prescribed for the specific condition, but the side effects could be detrimental or contributing to this condition.)
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of medication side effects!!!! Many prescriptions cause other problems that need to be addressed, whether physical or mental.
An example that is quick to show this is-
Insulin can cause weight gain. It also can prevent you from losing weight easily. This weight gain can affect your blood pressure. Even though insulin does not treat blood pressure, it still needs to be listed under the blood pressure condition you have since this side effect is pertinent.
Take time to look for the hidden factors in your condition that have been caused from medications not related to this condition.
- List all treatments taken or ongoing and any side effects if any. List again the doctor and date of record.
- List any nexus letter if it impacts this disability.
- List any buddy letter if it impacts this disability.
- Reference articles found concerning this condition if something in it pertains. (Include a copy with your claim.)
7101 Hypertensive Vascular Disease, 50% - I have had high blood pressure for many years. I am unable to do the lifting I normally do on the job. I have gained weight, which does not help. I snap at my spouse a lot. Insulin causes weight gain and prevents me from losing weight. This is not helping.
|Dr. Who Cares
||Weight 357, BP 190/100
|Dr. Who Knows
||When tested, patient is unable to walk far without blood pressure elevating dangerously high.|
Medications that affect this condition are:
|Dr. Blood Sucker||5/10/02||Very weak after being bled.
|Dr. Who Knows||8/10/02
|Dr. Who Cares||8/09/07
|Sgt. I. M. Leader||2/10/05
|Pvt. O. Deere||3/11/06
"How the Heart is Affected by Insulin," Oct. 3, 2008, The Know It All Magazine
- Repeat this formula as well as the documentation as necessary as you address each disability.
- If a condition does not have a rating, than just list it with all the pertinent information without worrying about the government's list. It could be part of a rating you are unaware is out there.
The important thing to remember is if you put it into your initial claim, then it goes on record as a condition and allows you to appeal for that if initially denied. If finally approved than the claim date should be this initial date for back reimbursement.
AT THE END OF THE ATTACHMENT PAGES, LIST ALL ENCLOSURES!!!!!
- Use the word "Enclosures" at the beginning of your list
- Include the following in the list of items being enclosed with claim:
- Claim Form
- Specific name/number of pertinent records such as
- Birth Certificate
- each Military Record
- List all Records being submitted
Break the medical records down according to your categories but listing the doctors and beginning date and end date of that group.
List the names of the authors of any letters also being submitted.
|Dr. Who Cares||6/10/76-8/29/06|
|Good Knight Hospital||2/15/89-7/25/04|
|Dr. I. Ball||3/29/04-8/6/06|
|Dr. G. Law Coma||4/25/02 -7/30/06|
Sgt. I. M. Leeder
Pvt. O. Deere
Dr. Who Knows
Dr. Who Cares
Remember a claim takes time to process and you will still be accumulating documentation while it is processing. You will be able to refer to this list to see if the VA has the most up-to-date information in the file.
Use title and date of article as well as source
A hard copy sent with the form means it becomes part of your claim. The adjudicator will probably never study an online site.
By breaking down the records and articles, you will always have a record of what you actually sent to the VA. This saves stress in the future since you will know what they actually received. You can, if necessary, submit articles and medical records later without duplicating your efforts.