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After leaving the military, many veterans enter the workforce as part of a sometimes difficult transition. The issue of translating military skills to civilian understanding is a known problem, but the underlying health issues of veterans can work their way into civilian jobs. If you're dealing with aches, pains, mobility issues or other health problems that seem to be a little too soon to be blamed on the job, take the time to understand the Veterans Affairs (VA) disability system and the workers compensation system to figure out which may be best for you.
What Does The VA System Provide?
Veterans Affairs disability compensation provides monetary compensation and medical support for veterans suffering because of service-connected conditions. A service-connected condition is any condition that was caused by military service or could have been made significantly worse because of military service.
Proving a service-connection requires documentation that supports a connection claim. You'll either need medical records that were recorded during your military service--preferably near the time of the incident or condition discovery--or medical evidence as close to leaving the military as possible.
It's understandable that some issues aren't noticed until after leaving the military or that some service members can't get to a medical facility due to the nature of their deployment or the incident. Unless you have documented, official evidence in the form of a medical record, make sure to have an attorney on your side to build connecting evidence and to argue your side.
Monetary compensation depends on the type and severity of the injury. A legal professional may be necessary to increase these rates if you feel that you deserve more.
Workers Compensation For Conditions Unrelated To The Military
Now that you know about service-connected injuries, it's easier to decide if your condition is eligible for VA compensation or not. If you were injured on the job, workers compensation is the most likely system for compensation. Unfortunately, you can't double dip between the two systems. You should, however, examine your medical evidence to see what could have been caused by the job injury and what could have existed during the military.
After a job-related injury, workers compensation should either give you a voucher for medical care, handle the medical care arrangements for you or reimburse any unplanned medical costs that are relevant to the injury. If you haven't received any of these services, get in contact with an attorney as soon as possible.
A workers compensation attorney (such as one from McMullen & Ochs PLLC) and a financial professional team can examine your treatment and look through your medical evidence. With their help, you can isolate the job-related injury from any pending or potential VA injury claims, allowing you to get all of the compensation you deserve. Contact a workers compensation professional to discuss what you could gain as a result of your condition.Share