Veterans who are disabled as the result of a disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active military service are supposed to be awarded compensation. Compensation may also be available for post-service disabilities occurring in service or presumed to be related to circumstances of military service. Veterans disability compensation is not subject to state or federal income tax. In addition to compensation, veterans with disabilities may also qualify for housing and insurance benefits.
In some cases, veterans, their spouses, or parents can receive additional Special Monthly Compensation (SMC). This is a higher rate of compensation for special circumstances, such as where the veteran needs an aid or attendance by another person. It can also apply when the veteran has lost the use of a hand or leg.
The amount of compensation may depend on the degree of disability and the number of dependents the veteran has. A veteran's disability is measured between 10% and 100%, with the monthly compensation rate based on the percentage of disability.
The government covers disabilities related to military service. Certain conditions are considered presumptively arising out of military service within a specific time limit. This includes certain chronic, tropical, prisoner of war related disease or disease associated with exposure to certain herbicides. This includes tuberculosis, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's disease, Parkinson's disease, and cancer.
If a service member is disabled by a service-related injury, they can apply for veteran's benefits. Applications can be made online, through an accredited representative or agent, or through a regional VA office. An application should include discharge or separation papers, Service Treatment Records, and medical evidence. If necessary, the VA will provide a medical examination or get a medical opinion. The applicant may also have to provide evidence of a relationship between their disability and military service.
Veteran Disability Compensation Appeals
Many veterans may not understand why their Veterans Disability application is denied. There could be a number of reasons why the office reviewing the application denied the application. They claim may be denied because the injury is not deemed to be service-related, for medical reasons, or the applicant is not eligible.
In many cases, a claim is denied by mistake, and the veteran has to appeal the decision to receive compensation. If your veteran disability application was denied, an experienced attorney will be able to advise you on why your claim may have been denied, and take the steps to appeal the decision, to get you the compensation you deserve.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the two most common reasons for an appeal includes the VA denying benefits for a disability, and the applicant believes the disability is more severe than the VA rated it. Appealing a decision starts with a Notice of Disagreement (NOD). Veterans have 1-year from the date of the letter notifying them of the decision on their claim to file an appeal.
The local VA office will review the appeal, and explain why the claim was denied through a Statement of the Case. If the applicant disagrees with the Statement of the Case, they can file a substantive appeal with the Board of Veterans' Appeals, for a hearing before a Veterans Law Judge. A hearing may take place in-person, or via video teleconference. After reviewing the evidence, the judge will make a decision on the case, and grant, remand, or deny each issue.
If the judge granted the decision in favor of the veteran, they will receive a decision from the VA. A remand usually means that there was not enough information to make a decision about the applicant's claim. The local VA office may gather additional information, such as additional medical records, or perform a new VA examination.
If the Veterans Law Judge denies the claim, the applicant can file a new claim, file a motion to reconsider the appeal, or file a Notice of Appeal with the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Your attorney can advise you on the appeals process, including any timelines for pursuing your claim.
Veterans Disability Attorney
Do not give up if you were denied a disability claim by the Department of Veterans Affairs. 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 for a free consultation so you can get the compensation you deserve.