In April of 2022, I had a buddy reach out, telling me about these services that help increase your VA disability rating. After getting out of the Marine Corps in 2014, I thought my 30% was dandy. An extra $400 a month at the time while going to college? That’s weekend money!
Sure, I had been content with keeping my 30%, but why not aim for something higher? After all, my condition worsened year after year, and more problems were being introduced. Back pain turned into leg pain. Hearing loss doesn’t recover over time. This arthritis developing in my knees isn’t stopping.
So I reached out to the company my buddy was using, but the communication was absolutely terrible. I won’t drop names, but I gave up and continued life.
Come October, he called me up, telling me he got his letter for 100%, up from the 70% he had. Okay … this stuff works. Let’s try again.
But instead of using the company he worked with, I did a quick Google search and found Vetlink Solutions. Here’s my experience working with the company.
My Vetlink Solutions Timeline
Here is a rough timeline of my experience with Vetlink Solutions.
Oct 7th, 2022: I submit my contact information to Vetlink Solutions, and they reach out within hours. After that initial contact, I was sent a questionnaire about what was wrong. This took the longest out of the entire process, about two hours, because I filled it out in great detail. I figured the more information they have, the better they’ll be at representing me.
At some point between the first contact and the second, we had a call with the VA where I was instructed to tell them I had a representative that would speak on my behalf after being told, “thank you for your service.”
Nov 29th: This was a brief conversation where we discussed the next steps and how frequently I wanted to be updated about the process.
Dec 27th: My appointment with a local area doctor. I’m assuming they are part of the REE Medical network. This was a quick appointment where they asked me to verify some of the information on my forms and did mobility checks, verifying that I was, in fact, broken.
Jan 20th, 2023: The uploading of the paperwork.
Feb 7th: I log into VA.gov to check my claim. Status: closed. Oh boy, this is it. I can download my Automated Decision Letter. It’s long, about 21 pages, plus the formatting is all messed up on the first page.
But alas, scrolling to the top of the second page:
Those cheeky busters!
You may look at those dates and wonder why they’re from 2022, even though I was approved in February 2023.
It’s because back in April, when my bro first reached out, and that company ghosted me, I went on the VA website and clicked one button to start the appeals process. So the guy is getting back pay.
Back pay for back pain.
Overall, I think Vetlink Solutions did a great job of handling this for me. Before I started the process, I was aware of all the resources available to veterans. Nonetheless, it felt overwhelming and time-consuming to go through multiple YouTube videos or articles to familiarize myself with what had to be done next. I don’t want to have to learn who to talk with next or what docs need to be filled out.
That makes the service fee worth it to me. At the time of writing, that service fee was based on a contingency basis (meaning you don’t pay anything unless service is fulfilled) and calculated at five times the difference in your compensation.