Gathering Evidence for Disability Compensation and the VA’s Duty to Assist You

Person using Laptop Computer

The Department of Veterans Affairs (the “VA”) has a legal duty to help you prove your service-connection for disability compensation. For more information on the service-connection compensation requirement, click here.

Congress requires the VA to inform you about what information is necessary to prove your service-connection and to assist you in gathering the evidence required to prove it. The VA must inform you of what types of evidence are necessary and which evidence the VA will provide. The Veterans Claims Assistance Act of 2000 (VCAA) legally binds the organization to this duty.

The VA must reasonably assist you in providing the requisite information in your claim, including the duty to:
Obtain documentation that you authorize them to access;
Furnish service treatment records;
Furnish relevant medical treatment record the government has access to;
And in certain instances (explained below), schedule a medical exam to speak on the veracity of your claim.

For scheduling a medical exam, the VA must find certain requirements, first. The four requirements that trigger the VA’s duty to provide the exam are:
1. Evidence of your disability;
2. Evidence of your disability beginning or being contracted during a reasonable time frame for service;
3. Reasonable belief that your disability could be associated with your service; and
4. Insufficient medical documentation currently on file.

Because of these requirements, the VA has the authority to refuse a medical examination if the requirements are not all met.

If you need assistance with disability eligibility or filing with confidence, please contact us today at 855-312-5575.