|Matthew Hill:||Hello, and welcome to another Hill & Ponton Veteran’s Video Blog. I’m Matthew Hill here with …|
|Carol Ponton:||I’m Carol Ponton.|
|Matthew Hill:||Today we want to talk to you about a common mistake we see veterans make when they’re pursuing or not pursuing their VA benefits claims. We have quite a few that we’ve seen over and over again, so we want to actually create a series on what we’ll call big mistakes. The first one we’re going to talk about today, Carol, is what?|
|Carol Ponton:||Not filing. I have so many veterans who have had a wonderful claim. They go to whoever, I don’t know where they go, but whoever advises them, I don’t know if it’s a VA, if it’s a VA help person, and they tell them, “You’ll never win that,” but if you think that your disability is related to the VA, file the claim. It’s just so sad when I have somebody come to me eight years later and they said, “Well, I tried to file it but they told me I wouldn’t win,” and so they didn’t file it.|
|Matthew Hill:||And they lose all those back benefits.|
|Carol Ponton:||All of those back benefits.|
|Matthew Hill:||The area that I see this very often is with Agent Orange benefits that unfortunately some of the veteran service officers could be misinformed in that if it’s not on the VA’s list of disability that is related to Agent Orange, then they’ll never get the benefits. Well, they don’t the presumption in that instance, meaning you still have to get a doctor’s letter showing how it’s related, but the other, to me, devastating thing is is that the VA is constantly adding new presumptions on there like they added Parkinson’s and heart disease a little while ago. Well, we’ve had plenty of vets who’ve had …|
|Carol Ponton:||Heart disease for 30 years.|
|Matthew Hill:||And they wanted to apply and they were told, “Oh, you’ll be denied.” Well …|
|Carol Ponton:||They would have been denied, but now under the new law they would go back to when … If they had filed a claim, the VA would go back and pay them all that time period. There are a lot of claims that are going to be awarded in the future. There are going to be presumptions they come up with. If you really think that’s what happened to you is related to the VA, file the claim.|
|Matthew Hill:||Get it out there. You know the VA has a duty to assist you with your claim. I will say on the downside, though, you need to think it’s related to service. You don’t just put something on there just because you have that problem, you have arthritis. You need to think that there was something that happened in service that’s causing that now or that you already have a service-connected disability that’s causing it like diabetes causes neuropathy. Don’t just throw something on there to throw it on there, but if you have a disability and you feel like there’s nothing other than service that would have caused that, then go ahead and put it on and if you win, then great. If you don’t, well then it’s a claim you can hopefully re-open one day.|
|Carol Ponton:||In the future.|
|Matthew Hill:||Thank you for listening and again tune in to this space for more information, specifically on the series of big mistakes we see.|
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