You may wonder why your VSO has not recommended that you hire a medical expert to provide an independent medical opinion in your disability case. The VA doctor has already performed a Compensation and Pension exam, completed a Disability Benefits Medical Questionnaire and you have all of your medical records available for the agency to examine—shouldn’t that be enough to prove the extent of your condition?

What many claimants don’t realize is that many doctors who work for the VA are not invested in getting you the benefits you need—in fact, quite the opposite. An independent medical expert can provide many benefits in your VA disability case, such as:

  • Examine your claims file. A doctor who has experience with your condition should examine your service treatment records and post-service treatment records to fully develop your case. The medical professional should also have experience in VA claims cases to be sure that you have enough evidence to meet all of the disability criteria. If your medical records show a gap between the time of your injury and the onset of treatment, a doctor can provide an explanation (such as late-onset symptoms) that can help establish a link between your military service and disability.
  • Reject other possible causes of your disability. The VA is required to consider all possible theories supported by the evidence in your case. For example, if you are suffering from arthritis that has been linked to a shoulder injury, the VA may decide that your disability is only partially linked to your injury. However, if your service required repetitive motion (such as mechanical or overhead work), a doctor can provide a written opinion asserting that the nature of your military work current is directly related to your condition, possibly increasing the percentage of your disability.
  • Explore other disability diagnoses. Many veterans will make their initial disability claims based on a single injury diagnosis. However, further medical evidence may support a different diagnosis that is more likely to be approved for benefits or will afford a higher disability rating. A medical expert can ensure that all possible medical conditions that fit your symptoms are included in your claim, giving you the best possible chances of compensation for your disability.

We Advance the Costs of a Medical Expert So You Can Win Your Claim

Many claimants are wary of hiring private medical experts because they can be costly. If an independent medical opinion is needed in your case, our veterans’ disability lawyers will advance these costs, taking the financial burden away from you until your benefits have been placed in your hands. Contact Cuddigan Law today at (402) 933 5405, to have us explain your legal options at no cost to you, or learn more in a free copy of our book, The Essential Guide to VA Disability Claims. We represent veterans throughout the United States


Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska