Whether you’re just starting your initial claim with the VA, or your in the appeals process, you have several options to tackle the VA system.
In this article, we will compare the 3 best ways to get the disability compensation you deserve.
What Are Your Options?
You have 3 choices when it comes to tackling the VA:
- Do it yourself
- Get a VSO
- Hire a company, claims agent, or attorney
FREE Options to File for VA Disability
Do it Yourself
Many veterans file their own disability claims. Although this option can be a lot of work, you will learn much more about the benefits you’re entitled to as a veteran.
Like any battle, we suggest you prepare before you dive in. You’ll need to do research on the VA system and understand the documents you need to submit. We recommend gathering information from credible sources, so we’ve compiled a list of the best organizations to trust when it comes to VA disability.
We are a free resource for veterans fighting the VA system. We are a veteran-run company that can help you discover benefits you’re entitled to. Most of our veterans have spent years fighting the VA system by themselves and have earned a VA rating of 100% T&P. Now we just want to spread our knowledge to help other veterans do the same.
We have done it all ourselves already – read our blog or call us today for completely free knowledge. Don’t waste your time researching a question that we can answer for you. Give us a call.
The DAV is a nonprofit charity dedicated to helping Veterans. They help more than 1 million Veterans. The DAV annually provides more than 600,000 rides to Veterans to help them get to their medical appointments. Also, they have assisted Veterans with over 200,000 benefit claims. In 2018 the DAV helped Veterans win more than $20 billion in earned benefits. DAV offers its services at no cost to Veterans, their families, or survivors.
The American Legion has Service Officers who are specially trained to give Veterans and their families expert assistance, free of charge. Service Officers mostly help with applications for VA disability benefits. But they also provide information, such as referrals or resources on education, employment and business, death benefits, and other vital topics.
The largest organization of combat veterans is the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). They know that transitioning can be hard when leaving the military and especially when filing a claim with the VA. The VFW doesn’t recommend Veterans navigating the VA process alone, so that’s why they established the National Veterans Service (NVS) to help Veterans and their families.
Their service officers are highly-trained and professional. The VFW has helped Veterans recoup more than $9 billion in earned benefits, including $1.4 billion in new claims in 2019 alone.
They can help you apply for disability compensation, rehabilitation and education programs, pension and death benefits, and employment and training programs. If necessary, they can also request hearings before the VA and the Board of Veteran Appeals.
Wounded Warrior Project
Wounded Warrior Project is another excellent organization that helps Veterans with claims processes, among other things. They are VA accredited and offer help navigating through both the VA and the Department of Defense (DoD).
When you go to the Wounded Warrior Project for claims help, they’ll have someone sit down with you walk you through each step of the claim process. They work with you after you file your claim to make sure it gets processed by the VA. They’ll stick with you to answer the questions that you have.
American Veterans (AMVETS)
AMVETS helps Veterans with claims through their National Service Department. Their service department consists of AMVETS service officers, State Department of Veteran Affairs employees, and County Veteran Service Officers. They provide an alphabetical list for each city in their directory, so you know which one to contact. You can then follow their three-step process for getting started with claims.
Military Order of the Purple Heart Organization
This organization has a service program for Veterans to help them with filing VA claims to receive the benefits available to them. The program offers Veterans’ Benefits Experts at various Veterans Administration Regional Offices, hospitals, Vet Centers, State and County Veteran Facilities.
They assist all Veterans, their dependents, widows, and orphans. They help process claims for compensation, pension, medical care, education, job training, employment, Veterans preference, housing, death, and burial benefits.
They have a National Appeals Office in Washington, D.C. as well. The national office provides professional representation for veterans whose benefits have been denied at the local VA regional office level.
Get a Veteran Service Officer
VSOs must undergo training and testing for certification first before they can help you handle VA claims and appeals processes. VSO’s and accredited representatives are a natural choice because they work on your behalf as well as for your dependents and or survivors.
It is helpful to understand what a VSO or an accredited representative can do that is so beneficial for you. They can help you understand and apply for VA benefits such as the following:
- Financial Support (monthly payments)
- Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment
- Home Loans
- Life Insurance
- Health Care
- Burial Benefits
They can also:
- Help you gather supporting documents, such as medical test results and doctors’ reports.
- Do the filing of a claim or appeal for you.
- Provide additional support, such as helping with transportation to your medical appointments or emergency funds.
Find a VSO near you
To find a VSO, you can use eBenefits or fill out a form and mail it in.
Find your VSO from eBenefits and make a request here: https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/manage/representative
Or, download, complete and mail form in for VSO help: https://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-21-22-ARE.pdf
If you’re concerned about the amount of work and time that will need to be put into your claim, there are paid services available for you. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you decide to choose a paid service:
- The service cannot guarantee anything that is ultimately the VA’s decision.
- The service will still be forced to adhere to the VA’s schedule (even if they promise quick turnarounds)
There are too many paid services to list, but we recommend finding one that you feel comfortable with and that you trust. For specific recommendations of paid services to help with your VA disability claim, reach out to Strategic Veteran today and we can provide suggestions that we trust.
The Bottom Line
Help is out there. You do not need to feel alone. The key to finding the right assistance for your situation is much like using the right tool for a construction job. We can hand you the tools you need so you can build the life you desire.
Strategic Veteran provides free resources to empower Veterans. We’ve been where you are. We can answer your questions, discuss the pros and cons of all your options, and give you additional resources. Give us a call at 800-761-9004 and talk to one of our Veterans today.