VA's Duty to Assist

VA Claim Appeals

VA's Duty to Assist

May 20, 2024
Question

If you have a medical condition noted on your military exit exam and you don't claim that condition until years later, has VA failed in their duty to assist because the information for the claim was in your record but the VA did not raise it as a claim? 

Answer

The VA has a responsibility to help veterans gather the necessary information for their benefits claims. When a veteran submits a claim, the VA must look at not only the specific benefits mentioned by the veteran but also any other benefits the veteran might be eligible for based on the available evidence. The VA has to review the claim, supporting documents, and any spoken testimony in a generous way. They need to identify all possible claims suggested by the evidence. So, depending on the details in your records and the benefits you are seeking, the VA might consider your situation as a claim they should have reviewed, but more details are needed to make this determination.


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