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Service Connected

Brandon Gonzalez

Service Connected

Overview of a VA Service Connection.What does it mean?

The Myth behind service connection.

   I was asked today what made me an expert. I was compared to VSO's, and VA claims reviewers etc. Normally I wouldn't care about what these people thought of me, but today I believe they struck a nerve. Yes, some of those people they mentioned might be very useful to veterans, but I still believe that we are our strongest asset. No, I am not an "expert" to some people, but I have helped multiple people be successful in their claims process and I gave others the courage to take the next step. That to me is more important than what anyone can try and say. It shows that instead of embracing someone that is trying to help, they are pushing away, and I do not know why. I thought I would mention this because this is the territory you may come across during your process of filing claims. You will have some that are extremely helpful, and you will have others trying to gain from your suffering. Moving on.

    People, the only thing that holds us back is ourselves. It frustrates me to see homeless vets, or soldiers that finished their tours but never claimed anything because they didn't feel like they deserved it. Submitting these claims to the VA is not just for the money. While it is a nice perk of it, the important part is that for the rest of your life (unless the VA deems you healed) you will have FREE medical coverage for any ailment that is SERVICE CONNECTED.

   The VA will look at your submissions on a case by case basis, and all individually. For example, if you claim your back, your neck and your hearing, they are are all separate conditions. Take my service rating for example. I am service connected for my neck, my back, PTSD, and a couple others. I applied for my hearing to be rated as well but they decided that my hearing loss was not enough to be able to blame it on the military. What this means is that the VA recognizes my back, neck and PTSD but they do not recognize my hearing loss. I can go to a VA health care center for any of my service connected disabilities for the rest of my life if I do not recover but if my hearing goes, I'm on my own. To recap, "Service Connection" means that the VA recognizes the disability as service related. Not service connected is the opposite. One last tip related to service connection. You may be rated at some point 0% but if it says that it is service related all that's needed in the future is an appeal or an increase. This is important to know because it means that you do not need to be limping, deaf in one ear and going bald to have a VA Service Rating, it could be something quite small but also be aggravated down the road. I will have more in upcoming posts on what to claim and how to claim it. It is a relatively simple process once you understand it.

   I am going to cut this particular post short as I feel that the main point to get across is simple. Having something service connected is important for any Veteran who did more than their training in the military. It is a way to ensure that you are taken care of for as long as you live. We worked hard, we sacrificed and some of us have given more than others. It is not easy assimilating into society after serving in the military, but remember that you are not alone. There are so many of us out there, all with knowledge and a helping hand. Don't forget to subscribe for helpful tips, and feel free to head on over to my contact page if you have any questions about service connections. Until next time!

-Brandon G.