If you are seeing any doctors outside the VA health system it would be a good idea to make sure you get any medical evidence
from these sources that could be helpful to your claim. If you provided the VA with the information on where you are receiving
treatment and received treatment in the past you cannot assume the VA has sent for and received all your medical evidence.
Usually, most of the treatment you got at VA facilities will make it to your file, but there is also a chance some of these
records will not make it into your file. I have found the bigger problem to be when you give your outside treating sources
information to the VA. Many times this medical information does not make it into your file, which is why I suggest you take
it upon yourself to make sure your treating sources records outside the VA make it into your file before a decision is reached.
One particular type of evidence you cannot count on the VA to get for you is "nexus letters" from your doctors.
Nexus letters are letters from your doctor that explain that your present medical condition is in some way connected to your
time in service or another medical condition that has already been found to be service-connected. To better understand what
a nexus letter is and what it should include you should visit my page that describes service connection and nexus letters
. Something else you can do while waiting for a decision is to get "buddy letters" (letters from people you served
with) or letters from friends and family who can describe how your medical condition affects you in day to day activities,
or explain any changes they have noted from the time period before service compared to your physical or mental condition when
you left service. What these letters say or who you get them from depends on your particular case, and what you have to prove
to not only win your case, but also to get as high a percentage as you are entitled to. This leads me to another thing you
should be doing during this time, and that is becoming knowledgeable about your claim and what you will have to show to be
found service-connected for your medical conditions, and how the rating system works for your particular medical condition.
This is also a good time to start looking for a VA disability lawyer if you plan on getting one should your rating decision
not turn out as you hoped it would. You might be wondering why you would want to do this now. There are a couple of reasons
why you should start looking for a VA compensation lawyer
now. First, you can ask the potential lawyer questions about your case and in doing this you will learn a couple of things.
If the lawyer is unwilling to answer any of your questions, and simply tells you to call them back when you are denied, then
you learned that this might not be the right lawyer for you if they can even take the time to answer a few questions. If the
lawyer is willing to answer your questions, you not only found a lawyer you may want to consider hiring later on, since he
took the time to answer your questions, but also the information you learned could possibly be used to help improve your chances
of winning at application. The second reason you may want to look for a lawyer now, is so you don't have to waste any time
after receiving your decision to find a lawyer to evaluate that decision and help you decide whether or not you want to appeal
that decision and to start taking the next steps necessary for your particular claim.