Well that is your choice...some veterans jump into a claim with out proper evidence, and then get denied and then the appeals start.
However if you been injured or came down with a disease while in the military I recommend for all veterans to file a claim!
Get your medical records and Dr's opinions to support your claim and any other possible evidence together before submitting a claim, you can file a ITF(Intent to File) before you actually file for your contentions , you have a year before you have to submit it as a claim but do file as a ITF It gives you some time to be gathering up your evidence and when you submit your claim do in in an organized way it makes it a lot easier for them to work your claim.
I recommend you request your C-FILE and all STRs ASAP
Just remember its the medical evidence you need to prevail in your claim.
Maybe Jerrel Cook & Jbasser can get him on the hadit blog talk radio show here in the near future as their guest speaker and you can call into the show & talk with him.
I'll check with them.
I separated from the Army in May of this year and have had a pretty quick process with my claim. I was seen in July and today received my ratings but that is where things take a ridiculous turn (as I'm sure is not uncommon). See, I don't have any combat injuries. In fact, my only "injuries" resulted from a completely non-necessary wisdom tooth extraction that was completely botched. While removing my teeth, they pierced my sinus cavity and damaged my trigeminal nerve (the one that controls basically half of your face). As a result to the nerve trauma I developed (and was diagnosed by Army Neurologists with) Paroxysmal Hemicrania; a very rare headache condition consisting of extremely painful one-sided head aches lasting only a few minutes but occurring near daily. Important to note that, by the way, my diagnosed headache condition states that I get headaches almost daily. As for the nerve damage...Ever bitten into something cold and had that horrible pain in your teeth? I have that in my bottom front teeth constantly combined with a burning sensation along my left side lower jaw. Again, this is diagnosed and I take 900MG of a nerve pain pill called Gabapentin (Neurontin) daily. On top of that, I have semi-paralysis of the left side of my face. I can't really feel it and I cannot fully close the left side of my mouth. When I smile, its not crooked because that side just doesn't do as much. This is all massively documented.
The decision I received from the VA stated that I got 0% for the nerve pain because "not warranted for neuralgia of the 5th cranial nerve unless the evidence shows the nerve damage is moderate". So constant pain that must be treated daily combined with partial facial paralysis does not constitute "moderate" damage?
For sinusitis 0% (infection from the piercing of my sinus cavity, they said I don't have "three to six non-incapacitating episodes of sinusitis characterized by HEADACHES, pain, and purulent discharge or crusting." Well, headaches are covered and I get a sinus infection at least every few weeks with crusting and purulent discharge...all documented.
For episodic paroxysmal hemicrania 0% (claimed as migraines, which is cool because they are completely different from migraines but whatever) I would need "characteristic prostating attacks averaging one in 2 months over last several months". Remember the whole "almost daily" thing about my headaches? Not sure how almost daily doesn't qualify as one in 2 months.
Basically, I have the evidence to prove all of this. Hell, THEY had the evidence and somehow managed to ignore all of it and decide things that made no sense. So should I get a lawyer? Should I get seen by another medical provider for further evidence? I'm baffled here because they literally looked at my medical records and said "We're going to just ignore that". I am furious and confused and I need help.