When soldiers have given up so much in service, the least they deserve is to be cared for after they leave active duty. When a soldier is injured, becomes disabled, or contracts a disabling disease, they should be entitled to disability benefits when they return home. Disabled veterans who are unable to work should receive veterans disability benefits to take care of themselves and their families. Unfortunately, many veterans are denied benefits for unknown or bureaucratic reasons. Talk to an experienced Philadelphia veterans disability attorney about your case to fight for the benefits you deserve.
Benefits Through the VA
Veterans benefits are handled through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This applies to veterans who claim a disability that occurred as the result of an injury or disease that was incurred or aggravated during military service. Injuries or diseases that meet these conditions may make the veteran eligible for disability compensation. The disability does not have to arise during active duty service. Some injuries or diseases take years to be identified as relating to active duty service. The disability could be covered if it arises after military service as long as it was related to service.
Benefits for disabled veterans depend on a number of factors, including the degree of their disability, and if they have a spouse, children, or dependent parents. Compensation is calculated based on the percentage of disability, at 10% increments from a minimum qualifying 10% disability, up to 100% disability. Benefits may include financial payments, as well as housing and insurance benefits.
Additionally, some veterans and dependents can receive Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) if the veteran's disability requires the assistance of an attendant or another person. Veterans who have lost a limb may qualify for SMC payments.
What is a Qualifying Disability?
In order to qualify for veterans disability benefits, the disability needs to involve a disease or injury which was incurred during active duty, during training for active duty, or training during inactive duty. This may include physical injuries, such as a shoulder injury, back injury, or a traumatic head injury. Additionally, mental health issues, such as those related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may also be included.
Under the VA rules, certain veterans have a presumption of disability, including veterans with certain chronic or tropical diseases, former prisoners of war, veterans exposed to radiation, mustard gas, certain or Lewisite, as well as veterans who served in Vietnam and were exposed to certain herbicides, like Agent Orange.
Applying for Disability Benefits
The VA has an online application website to help veterans apply for benefits through the Veterans Online Application (VONAPP). However, applicants may also file a paper application, or apply through an accredited representative, agent, or at the local VA office. Applicants initially submit a “Fully Deployed Claim”, which involves submitting medical evidence, dependency records, all supporting documentation, and other required documentation.
When the benefits are approved, the veteran will soon start receiving payments. However, if the claim is denied, the disabled veteran may be left wondering where to turn next. Fortunately, there is an appeals process to get benefits after an application is denied. You may want to speak to an experienced Philadelphia veterans disability benefits attorney about how to handle your case and your appeal.
Benefits can be denied for any number of reasons. An applicant may have been dishonorably discharged or the injury does not qualify as a disability. Unfortunately, some claims are denied because of a clerical error, mix-up, lost paperwork, or because the staff reviewing the claim does not understand the injury or they have not been properly trained.
Your attorney can help to investigate your claim, identify reasons why it may have been denied, obtain the right paperwork and documents, get the necessary medical records, and file an appeal. Even if you have been approved but at a lower than appropriate disability rate, you may be able to appeal the percentage disability. In most cases, the applicant has one year from the date they are notified of the decision on their case to file a Notice of Disagreement.
Philadelphia Veterans Disability Attorney
If you were denied a disability claim by the Department of Veterans Affairs, you have a need to fight for the disability benefits you deserve. A veterans disability lawyer can fight for you to get your claim approved. If you are injured or disabled related to military service, the VA is supposed to protect you by providing you compensation and benefits. Your veterans disability attorney will help advise you of your options and guide you through the claims process. Call Gilman & Bedigian today at (800) 529-6162 for a free consultation so you can get the benefits you deserve.