Veteran On A Budget? A Chiropractor Can Still Help
After leaving the military, there are a lot of aches and pains that can creep up without warning. Many of the hardships from combat experience or hard labor to cramped living conditions and ill-fitting uniforms can lead to back, neck and spinal problems and agonizing pain. If you've been considering digging into your wallet for massages, physical therapy, medication or chiropractor visits on a limited budget, consider consulting with a chiropractor and discussing different options you may have as a veteran.
You Could Be Entitled To A Referral
The Department of Veterans (known as the VA) exists to help veterans with not only transitioning to civilian life, but maintaining a healthy and productive civilian life. Although there are some hardships such as the long wait times at many clinics and offices, the general purpose is clear--the VA can help you.
For most veterans meeting basic eligibility requirements, the VA gives medical clinic access as well as referrals for veterans who are too far away from official VA health centers. If you're having problems with joint or back pain, you may be able to have a referral sent from the VA to a chiropractor of choice.
Depending on the type of care given and the amount of time you allow the VA to research your issue, a referral to a chiropractor could be free or with a low co-pay. It isn't guaranteed and you may be limited to basic consultation and medication suggestions, but it's a step in the right direction.
If a chiropractor suggests that you may have a problem that requires chiropractic or surgical attention, you need to ask yourself about the cause of the problem. Is the pain new, or could it have been caused by the wear and tear of military service or specific military injuries? It may be up to opinion, but you should at least give yourself the chance to explore the option.
Service-Connection Proof Can Give You Better Benefits
Whether you're sure of the cause of your pain or not, you need to consider the possibility that your body could be wearing down due to military service. It's an issue that the VA should be able to determine, and with a chiropractor's opinion, you could qualify for more health benefits.
After receiving consultation from a chiropractor, ask for the results to be sent to your local VA administration. Keep a copy for yourself to file an injury compensation claim or appeal and allow the system to consider your claim.
In order to be successful, your injury needs to be service-connected. This means that your injury or condition must have been caused by military service, but it also means that conditions could have been made worse by military service.
For late-discovered issues such as back pains after the military, you may have a more difficult time proving that the condition is related to military services. If you'd like to pursue the issue for increased compensation and pension, there are presumptive conditions (explained further in this PDF document from the VA) that could support your claim. A personal injury lawyer may be able to help your claim as well.
If you receive any disability rating from the VA, you'll be entitled to ask for referrals to the medical staff of your choice. Be sure to contact a chiropractor like North Star Chiropractic Center to discuss the required paperwork and future chiropractic needs.