You’ve Seen Enough Battles. Let Our VA Disability Attorneys Fight for You
Veterans are the backbone of America. Men and women like you have served the United States with honor. Unfortunately, many have ended their service with disabilities, both physical and mental. Our VA disability attorneys consider it our privilege to help these heroes recover the compensation and pension benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that they deserve.
How To Get Veterans Benefits
The good news is that there is a system in place for veterans to obtain benefits for their disabilities. The bad news is that the process is long and may need many appeals. In fact, veterans and their families often wait for years dealing with the VA.
Veterans, their spouses and children are eligible for different types of VA benefits based on disability, including service-connected compensation. The disability must relate to a veteran’s military service for compensation benefits to be paid, and the amount of benefits paid is based upon the type and severity of disability.
Generally, a veteran has to pass a three-part test to qualify for service-connected compensation:
- There must be a current medical condition (what VA calls “a disability”) diagnosed by a medical professional;
- There must have been an injury, disease or event that occurred during service that brought about the current condition;
- There must be medical evidence of a connection between the current disability and the in-service occurrence.
How Do I Apply for VA Disability Compensation Benefits?
Before submitting a claim, you must gather the necessary evidence to support your claim. This could include:
- VA medical records
- Hospital records
- Other medical documentation
- Supporting statements from family members or other military service members
- Written statement of how your condition began and how and when it worsened
- Discharge papers
- Service treatment records
How Long Do I Have to File a VA Disability Compensation Claim?
If you are a disabled veteran, it is important to know that there is no statute of limitations (time limit) to apply for VA compensation benefits. However, you should file your application as soon as possible, because in nearly every case you cannot get retro pay before the date you apply for benefits. The VA process is long, and it can take months or years to have your application granted. As such, the sooner you start the process, the faster you can obtain the benefits you need and the further back in time your retroactive benefits will pay.
Types of VA Disability Compensation
VA disability compensation provides monthly benefits to veterans who suffered disability during military service. There are numerous types of VA disability compensation, including:
- Disability compensation. This is a monthly benefit to veterans based on their disability and rating.
- Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC). This is a benefit paid to surviving spouses, children or parents of service members who died during active duty or who died from their service-related disabilities. It is often called “widow’s benefits,” but is not just for widows and widowers.
- Special Monthly Compensation (SMC). This is a benefit paid to veterans who fall within certain categories. It is a money benefit paid over and above Disability Compensation. One common type of SMC is paid if a veteran needs to hire an aid or caregiver to help with their specific injury or disability.
- Claims based on special circumstances. Some disabled veterans are eligible for additional benefits, such as clothing allowance, automobile allowance and dental.
If you have been denied VA benefits, you are allowed to appeal some or all of the decision.
Unfortunately, the appeals process can be lengthy. It can take from many months, and sometimes even years, for VA to decide an appeal.
There are different forms that must be filed depending on the date on your denial. For claims decided before February 19, 2019, a Notice of Disagreement must be sent to the VA within a year of the Rating Decision date, and a Decision Review Officer reviews all evidence related to your appeal. The Decision Review Officer will either approve your disability application or will determine there is not enough evidence to grant your appeal. In this case, you can continue your appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.
For claims decided after February 19, 2019, there are three different types of appeals that may be filed – Higher Level Review, Supplemental Claim, or Notice of Disagreement to the Board of Veterans Appeals. Deciding which one is best for you should be done in consultation with an experienced VA disability attorney.
It can be extremely helpful to have solid legal assistance to help with such an appeal. We encourage you to speak to our VA disability attorneys about your claim. We can help you file a Notice of Disagreement or one of the new types of appeal, file your appeal and represent you in all proceedings after that.
Why Choose Our VA Disability Law Firm
Our VA disability lawyers help veterans and their families recover the VA service-connected compensation they deserve after a claim denial. No matter where you are in the United States, Tucker Law Group can help you win your case.
John Tucker, the firm’s lead VA disability attorney, is accredited to practice before the Department of Veterans Affairs. He is also admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. All of the firm’s VA disability attorneys are accredited to practice before the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The VA does not make benefit recovery easy. Our VA disability lawyers have extensive experience fighting VA for veterans. Because we handle many other types of disability claims, we also have the unique experience that many attorneys or non-attorney representatives do not have. We are also able to handle other types of claims for you. This makes our firm the top choice for navigating the government benefits systems.
We look forward to helping you get the compensation you deserve. Contact our nationwide VA disability attorneys today to discuss your claim. You can call us at (866) 233-5044 or contact us online. For more information and tips about VA service-connected compensation claims, visit our VA disability blog archives.