Macintosh describes the book, based on 20 years of research and interviews with 2,000 veterans, as a “practical, step-by-step field manual” for service members and veterans on how to “prepare, file, maintain, win and appeal a service-connected VA disability claim without going insane.
“This field manual will save you years of time, effort, money and heartache,” Macintosh says.
“There is enough intel in this handy manual to guide you through the entire disability claims process on your own,” Macintosh writes.
Understand what the VA is
In an interview with LawyersandSettlements, Macintosh says it is important for people to understand what they are dealing with when they begin a claims process.
“The VA is essentially an insurance company modeled after big insurance companies and that’s just how they operate. Every claim that comes to them, it is deny, deny, deny.”
Get professional legal help
Macintosh’s manual lays out in detail how to gather and file the necessary paperwork. However, he still recommends that claimants hire a lawyer, experienced with Veterans Affairs, to make sure everything is in order. And, when it comes time to tangle with the VA in the complicated appeals process, Macintosh says vets will definitely need a VA-accredited lawyer.
“Every VA-accredited attorney that I have spoken to works on a contingency basis,” says Macintosh. “Most of them will charge no more than 20 percent of the total award the vet receives from the VA. However, if you consult an attorney before the appeal process just to fill out the forms and submit the right information as my book shows you how, then you will have to pay an attorney up front.”
Ride your Harley
Veterans embroiled in disability claim disputes with the VA often get extremely frustrated. They may be dealing with health, financial and family problems at the same time. Macintosh’s advice is to stay cool.
“Just forget about the whole process. Do the best you can in the time you have, file the best and most accurate claim possible. Then get on with life. Ride your Harley. You can’t get angry at the VA, but what you can do is arm yourself with the best information,” he says.
Range of motion
Based on interviews with veterans, Macintosh writes that a veteran’s Range of Motion (ROM) is “the most important criterion the VA uses when assigning a disability rating.” Understanding how that determination by a doctor affects the outcome of a claim is extremely important.
Start gathering the intel now
From the day you put that uniform on, Macintosh says service members should “Keep a record of everything.” In the end, no one will thank you for “just sucking it up” if you are injured. Report and document what happened.
Young men and women entering the armed services, Macintosh advises, should prepare themselves for the time when they might have to deal with Veterans Affairs.
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About Jon Macintosh
Macintosh won’t discuss his own military background in detail. “I don’t like to talk about myself. It was sensitive special operations work and I prefer to focus on the book and how it can help veterans struggling with Veterans Affairs.”
VA Disability Claim is available from Amazon or it can obtained downloaded free of charge in a PDF format from Jon Macintosh’s website.