Visual Aids Help Veterans Win Disability Claims

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21 July, 2019 By Elizabeth Harding

Visual communication involves the use of visual elements, such as drawings, illustrations and electronic images, to convey ideas and information to an audience, especially a VA rater. Seeing a good visual aid is a powerful way to engage a VA rater and galvanize attention to your claim documentation. Not only do they provide supplementary information to VA raters, but good and relevant visual aids show images that allow the VA rater to connect a disability to a specific scene that may be responsible for the disability. Furthermore, solid and compelling visual aids can promote deeper thinking about your claim and build more credibility about your case. In fact, as our source reported to us, including a visual aid in your claim documentation stimulates the raters thinking, promotes critical thinking about your claim, and ties together your disability with a very powerful and compelling images.

For example, one veteran who made the case for hearing loss and tinnitus, included a diagram of his office building while serving in the Air Force. The diagram showed that his office was next to the base flightline, and for 10 years the veteran breathed in JP4 jet fumes. The veteran included a research article that showed JP4 was linked to tinnitus and hearing loss. His case was won, and a compensation award granted.

Another example, a veteran included a drawing of a very elaborate battle scene where he was drawn (not his actual body) being blown away from an exploding storage tank. The veteran was granted 80% for TBI.

Prior to submitting a battle scene drawing, the veteran submitted in his own words details about his explosive event, Stressor Letters, Buddy Statements, and Lay Statements. Nothing seemed to work until he submitted clear, concise, and effective visual aids.

Written by

Elizabeth Harding

Elizabeth is a USVCP staff writer.