Valor Firm’s VA Claims Manual

This manual is designed to help veterans understand how VA decides disability claims. At the left, there are links to all the articles in the manual. Using the search bar below, you can search for specific terms like “PTSD” or “DBQ.”

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Getting Started

Welcome to the Valor Firm’s VA Claims Manual. The purpose of this manual is to help veterans get a peek behind the curtain on how the VA decides disability claims. To the left are links to all of the articles in this manual. Above you can enter specific search words like “PTSD” or “DBQ.”

Eligibility for a disability rating is simple: You must be a veteran who currently has a disabling condition that is connected to your military service. But there is a lot packed into that one sentence. We hope to simplify that somewhat with our manual.

There are no secrets to success in a VA claim. There are no shortcuts. The only “secret” or “shortcut” is submitting a tightly worded, well-supported claim. Your goal is to be the VA’s low hanging fruit.

Real talk: Evidence wins claims. The VA’s duty to assist a veteran develop the evidence necessary to support a claim is limited. Often the evidence developed by the VA is negative and adverse to the veteran. A veteran can submit new claims, call senators and representatives, and post angry comments on Facebook. But this does not win claims. Get the evidence. If that doesn’t work, then call Congress.

A constant theme through this manual (and, in fact, the reason for its existence), is that veterans are often left to do the VA’s job for it.  If you’re going to be successful in a VA claim, be prepared to roll up your sleeves and do the homework. A veteran should understand, at minimum, what is required to substantiate his or her claim, then work to gather the best evidence they can to satisfy those requirements.

We’ll never charge for our advice unless you become a client. This VA Claims Manual is made available to help veterans understand the VA claims process to aid in their success.

Our VA Claims Manual is not a static document.  Articles will be updated and revised as the law changes. That said, for the latest and greatest on VA law, follow our blog here.

If this is your first time here, we recommend starting with the Claim Checklist.

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The Claim Checklist

Let’s Get Started

If the VA denied your claim, you didn’t get the rating you deserve, or have lost an appeal before the Board of Veterans Appeals, we can help. Contact us by filling out the following form.