Legal Aid has a proven track record of service delivery to Veterans and serves a vital role in the social service ecosystem.
Annually, Legal Aid assists more than 1300 U. S. Veterans or their family members in cases which impact safety, health, housing, economic security, education, and employment.
As part of your VA Disability benefits claim, you have to provide evidence to show that something happened to you in the service that caused or aggravated the disability that is currently bothering you. You have to include both evidence that the disease or injury was caused or aggravated in the line of duty AND that the disease or injury has been persistent or recurrent.
Evidence of the cause of the disease or injury should include both medical and “lay” evidence (Lay evidence means the reports, opinions, memories, or other documentation from non-medical people, including the veteran). Look at the following documents to make sure that the letters you include in your claim have all of the important information that you need for a successful claim:
- For "lay evidence"click here.
- For medical evidence click here.
- Click here for more information on evidence requirements.
In addition to a medical professional’s letter as evidence to support your claim, you can also have a medical professional fill out a Disability Benefits Questionnaire (DBQ). DBQs are not required for a Standard Claim, but they are required for Fully Developed Claims. Even though DBQs are not required for Standard Claims, we recommend that your health care provider fill one out in addition to the health care provider’s letter. The DBQ does not replace the letter, but it may strengthen your claim. DBQs are downloadable forms that are used in the evaluation process for disability benefits. The forms are designed to give veterans more control over the claims process. DBQs give veterans the option of visiting a primary care provider in their community, instead of completing an evaluation at a VA facility. The veteran will have to pay to see the primary care provider. The forms use check boxes and standardized language, so that the disability rating can be made more quickly and accurately.
- A qualified medical professional has to fill our the DBQ and veterans cannot fill out the forms themselves.
- To download the appropriate DBQ form click here.
- Instructions for your doctor are located click here.
- If you have any questions about the claims process, use the VA’s Inquiry Routing and Information System (IRIS). On the site, you can enter your question and your contact information and you should get a response within 5 business days: https://iris.custhelp.com/app/ask
- For an explanation of the appeals process click here.
- For an explanation of your rights to appeal a decision click here.
- For VA form 9-Appeal to board of veterans' appeals click here.