Many Veterans do not apply for VA benefits because of popular misconceptions about the VA claims system. One misconception is that a Veteran cannot obtain benefits because of “clean” separation exams. The thought is that because they did not mark any conditions on these physical exams, they cannot receive benefits. This is not always true. Even with a “clean” separation physical, it is still possible to receive VA benefits. A skilled advocate can help you, even if you did not mention your condition on your separation exams.
Explaining the Reasons for Clean Separation Exams
It is important to carefully and articulately explain why you did not mention your condition during your separation exams. In some instances, the Veteran may need to explain how the condition had a delayed onset. This may be true in cases involving exposure to toxic substances, such as asbestos, herbicides, or radiation. In other instances, the Veteran may need to explain why the condition existed, but believed the condition was not severe enough to claim at the time of the separation exams. This could exist in where the veteran has experience chronic pain, but the veteran manages the pain using self-care remedies. It is important to clearly articulate your specific circumstances.
Clean separation examinations are extremely common in mental health cases. In mental health cases, Veterans often report they faced fear of reprisal or pressures associated with the stigmas associated with mental health as reasons for not claiming the condition when leaving the service. Sometimes, the claimed mental health condition may be a “secondary condition” that did not exist at the time the Veteran left active duty. In other instances, the developed condition may be some other special case that VA must properly consider. Other times, the Veteran simply may not have known something was wrong at the time, and did not mention the problem. If the Veteran did not mention the condition on their separation examination, VA will likely need the Veteran to clarify this discrepancy before granting the claims.
Once the reasons surrounding the clean separation examination are explained, a veterans law attorney can draft legal arguments explaining why the law requires VA to grant your claims. VA is legally required to give Veterans the benefit of the doubt. Also, VA must give weight to any statements you submit that describe facts you can readily observe. These facts include measurements, feelings of pain, and anything else you can readily observe. Failure to follow these principles is a violation of your due process rights.
Veterans Law Attorneys can help if VA has denied your claims because of clean separation exams
VA is intended to be a “Veteran friendly” claims system. Veteran Esquire Legal Solutions holds VA to these legally required principles of fairness for Veterans. Even though you should not need an attorney to complete a VA claim or appeal, often times, the assistance of an attorney early in the process can save years of appeals. A skilled veterans advocate can help the VA see that the law and the facts require them to grant your claims when your separation exams are clean.
Veteran Esquire Legal Solutions, PLLC, has experience obtaining VA benefits for Veterans with “clean” separation exams. If VA denied your benefits because of clean separation examinations, Veteran Esquire Legal Solutions may be able to help. Please contact the firm to schedule a free consultation with a veterans law attorney. Veteran Esquire Legal Solutions may be able to help you appeal your denial with no upfront costs.