Veterans Share How They Won
Nick Paczkowski, Navy Veteran (Continued)
You won't get 100% for toenail fungus cause you walked through rice paddies in Vietnam. You won't even get 10% for that. Second, Don't give up cause your initial finding was a low percentage. If you know you qualify for more, then fight for it, but do it intelligently. If you have 10% for a shoulder injury while in service and 10 years after leaving the service, it bothers you more and more, request an increase in benefits. Get doctors letters stating that your condition has worsened and never forget to use the term "residuals". If you didn't have the initial injury, then you wouldn't have residuals or complicating issues due to the initial injury. Finally, stay in touch with your representative. Contact him or her regularly. Once a month is about right. If your rep. fails to answer your calls or return them, you need to find another representative who will stay in contact with you. Educate yourself! You can find chapter 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations on the computer for free. This chapter is all about veterans and veteran benefits.
This is the LAW! It may make for some boring reading, but it sure will help when you are checking to see if you have any benefits coming to you. The last thing to remember, is that your representative can do all the paperwork correctly, and file for everything you have coming, but in the end, the WORK is up to you. If you have PTSD, then you need to go to your treatments with your counselor and shrink. If you have physical issues such as alcohol or drug issues, then you need to get into the Veteran Programs at your local V.A. Health Center. Some have a waiting list, but most can get you in quickly. Bottom line, you have to WANT to get better. If you follow this advice, things will happen much smoother than sitting and waiting for it to happen. None of this is overnight. Remember, you can always contact your congressman or senator once your claim is filed and it continues to drag on and on. Many times they can speed things up a bit, but in the end, it's your Regional Office that will make the determination and it's that office that will get you through it. Don't give up. When you give up, they win!
Will Green, Navy Veteran
I owe my success in the VA to a Master Chief who put in place a program of where your retirement/exit exam was a dual exam for the Navy and the VA.
Stories of inspiration and education