Boosting Your Disability Claim Potential With Presumptive Claims

17 May 2016
 Categories: Law, Blog


If you've been denied disability for an issue that was caused by military service, it can be hard to get started again. Although you can request a second look at your existing evidence, it's not likely that your claim officials will suddenly change their mind. Unfortunately, getting "better" evidence can be difficult if you've done everything within your knowledge to prove your claim. That said, unless you're a professional lawyer or claims official, there are a lot of techniques and system issues that you don't have an absolute understanding of. Take a look at presumptive claims to figure out another angle that you and a legal professional can use to get the help you deserve.

What Is A Presumptive Claim?

A presumptive claim (as documented in this PDF from Veterans Affairs) supports the idea that a veteran may be disabled because of their circumstances rather than with direct evidence. The claim presumes that because a veteran was in a situation that lead to specific issues, has documentation of the events surrounding the issue and claims to be suffering because of the problem, disability should be granted.

Such a claim should only be used if a standard claim fails. If you have a condition, be sure to include all problems that you're suffering from, evidence that dates back to the time of the injury other injury cause and the timeline of your military service. Only after a denial or rejection of part of your claim should you consider a presumptive claim.

The big issue with a presumptive claim versus a standard claim is that some conditions simply can't be proven with conventional standards, or at least the specialists you're using can't find the problem. Many forms of pain lack physically observable causes, so it's difficult to know if you're legitimately suffering. This is important because the Veterans Affairs (VA) officials must filter out fraud in order to efficiently help all veterans.

With a presumptive claim, you can link your conditions to issues that other veterans in your situation may have suffered. You'll still need to seek additional evidence, but it's understandable that the burden of additional evidence may be too expensive for a suffering veteran--especially if the condition makes getting work more difficult.

How Can A Lawyer Help?

With a lawyer's assistance, your claim can include language that more specifically details your condition. Even though you're the most knowledgeable about your suffering, a lawyer will generally have better skills when it comes to digging through your case file and other related information.

A lawyer can also connect you with civilian medical professionals outside of the VA system, which can help you get a better set of evidence. Different opinions and documentation such as X-Ray copies can help your claim, and medical professionals who have dealt with disability systems will know how to point to evidence in their reports more clearly so that claims officials will be able to come to a decision more efficiently.

Contact a personal injury law firm, such as Hornthal Riley Ellis & Maland LLP,  to discuss ways to increase your disability compensation chances with a presumptive claim.