By Chris Johnson
When I ask people why they don’t apply for VA benefits they might be entitled to, I often hear things like this:
• It will be too hard.
• It will take too long.
• I don’t have the time.
• I won’t qualify, so why bother.
• No one ever gets these benefits, so why try?
If you might be eligible for VA benefits like service-connected-disability, non-service-connect pension, VA aid and attendance, or Disability Indemnity Compensation, but you haven’t applied because you agree with any of the previous statements, I ask you to reconsider.
It’s no secret that the process of applying for and qualifying for VA benefits can be very challenging. It’s a given that the VA’s bureaucracy makes things harder than they need to be. There is no shortage of horror stories about lengthy delays, lost information, and senseless denials. It’s no wonder so many people want to quit before they even start.
Very few things are certain in this life. If you apply for VA benefits, you might get them—and you might not. However, if you don’t apply, you have no chance of getting VA benefits. I can tell you that for certain.
What do you have to lose by applying? You might lose a little time, but would that be so bad? The worst thing the VA can do is say no, and if that happens, you can appeal their decision if you believe the VA made a mistake. Unfortunately, the VA makes a lot of mistakes, most likely due to the sheer volume of claims they process.
A VA claim may seem like a roll of the dice, but it’s a chance you owe it to yourself (or your loved one) to take. Quality of life—for yourself, for a loved one, or for someone else—might be hanging in the balance.
Take the time to find out which VA benefits you or your loved one might be eligible for. If it seems like too much to take on, get help. You don’t have to go it alone. Call your local VSO, visit a VA accredited attorney, or call your local Life Care Planning Law Firm.
If you don’t apply the answer will always be no. And that would be a tragedy if the answer could have been yes.
Chris Johnson is a VA accredited attorney and partner at Takacs McGinnis Elder Care Law, a Life Care Planning Law Firm in Hendersonville, Tennessee.