5. I don’t know how.
While there are many veterans service organizations in existence, many veterans do not understand how those organizations can truly help them apply for benefits. Also, many veterans don’t know where to begin. One veteran said, “I always thought a VFW was a bar for veterans, and they sit around and swap war stories. I never knew they had staff on board that could help me apply for benefits.”
6. I make too much money.
There are many veterans who make over one hundred thousand dollars annually, and are receiving compensation for a service-connected disability. A veterans’ disability is independent from their income from other sources, and is not a factor to determine eligibility. There are a few millionaire politicians who are service-connected and receive monthly compensation from a service-connected disability. One veteran said, “I never applied for benefits because I always believed I made too much money to be eligible for compensation.”
7. I was denied after the war.
Sure, many veterans are denied after first applying for benefits, whether a few months after serving in a war zone or years later. Bottom line, sometimes it takes a few tries to get it right. One veteran said, “I applied for compensation after being diagnosed with PTSD and was quickly denied. I decided it wasn’t worth my time to try again.”
8. Don’t know what to apply for.
Some veterans have many post war ailments and aren’t sure which ones to submit for service-connected compensation, while other veterans appear healthy, except for a few nagging conditions, and aren’t sure if their condition would be considered for compensation. Discussing your issue with a respected and competent VSO is very important. They often know what is potentially eligible for
compensation and what is not and most importantly, how to get your benefits package started. One veteran said, “I have so many things wrong with me I don’t know where to start. If I submit claims for all of my conditions the VA will reject them all thinking I am not telling the truth.”
9. I can’t prove my health problems are related to my time in the military.
Finding a good VSO is very important in securing disability
compensation for a service-connected condition. The VSO will help you connect the dots. Some VSOs are very innovative in helping veterans find the appropriate proof needed for their claims. While other VSOs have great “inside connections” that may be able to locate documents needed to show proof for a veteran. One veteran said, “The VA can’t find my medical records so I can’t prove I was injured in Vietnam.”
10. Other veterans are more deserving.
Too many veterans take this stance to keep themselves from attempting to apply for benefits they may be eligible to receive. The forces and influences that kept many soldiers alive by watching each others’ back live with them forever. One veteran said, “It took guys in my group one year to convince me that I should apply for
compensation. I did, and six months later I was 80% service-connected for PTSD, depression, and diabetes. I never would have put in for benefits if they didn’t talk me into it.”