Dealing with Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals and clinics can be a far bigger chore than their private sector counterparts. Sure, they're free for disability-related conditions or even if you're putting in a claim to get disability in the first place, but the wait times and systematic problems can turn your medical visits into an ordeal that isn't worth the savings. There's a safe way out; private sector physical therapists can help you get the disability claim evidence and referral paperwork necessary, and a few details about VA-to-private sector interactions can help you get the most out of the deal.
The Challenge Of Making Pain Work
Before looking through medical quality, many veterans need to know if they can afford care in the first place. Although every veteran's story is different, the presence of crippling pain and limited mobility can make it harder to make money. Working in a warehouse versus working in an office makes no difference; pain that requires physical therapy is enough to distract, slow down, and otherwise limit efficiency.
Simply put, it doesn't matter if you can "deal with it" or "make it work." You're at your best when you're not under attack by a condition, and that affects the wallet in some way.
With a VA disability decision, you can get the care you need without negotiating for care versus price. At 0% disability, although veterans don't receive money, any medical care related to the condition is covered by the VA. This includes referrals.
How Can Physical Therapists Help Veterans?
You'll need evidence to make the decision stick, and there's still a wait time for claim decisions. For the best chance at success, you'll need to prove that your condition is severe enough for disability and related to military service.
Military service connection requires some sort of proof that you were injured or affected during your military service. It doesn't matter if you were in a workshop, on a training field, in combat, on leave, or out in town after a shift in a peaceful port; if you were still in the military, it counts. Just have documentation that it happened, or bring it up as soon as you're out of the military to reduce the chance of blaming your condition on something in your civilian life.
To prove that the condition is severe, you need a medical professional's opinion. Don't rely on the wait times at VA hospitals; contact a physical therapy team and explain your situation. They need to exam you to figure out how to best help you recover, and this means connecting you to relevant specialists who can gather the evidence you need.
Take their evidence and deliver it as part of your disability claim or appeal. If you're approved, you can pay it forward by getting third party referral paperwork. That same team can be your new, permanent physical therapy team--all paid for by the VA. They get paid, and you don't have to pay out of pocket.
Contact a physical therapy professional like Rehab Solutions Physical Therapy to discuss your situation, and prepare for a disability claim that supports the tougher parts of recovery.