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Veteran’s Disability Benefits

Veteran’s Disability Benefits
The United States of Veteran Affairs offers benefits for those with disabilities as a result of their military service. They also offer a pension for disabled wartime veterans but only if they have limited income and are disabled or over 65 years of age. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs offers many other benefits for veterans, service members and their families. To see all of the benefits available, you should go to the VA website. You can find the website link at the bottom of this page.

In this section, we will explain who qualifies for VA benefits and discuss the new legislation recently passed that will allow veterans to hire attorneys to help in their pursuit of VA disability benefits.

Eligibility

To be eligible for VA benefits you must be a veteran, a veteran’s dependent, a surviving spouse, child or parent of a deceased veteran, an active duty service member, or a member of the reserve or national guard.

Veteran Compensation Benefits

If you are at-least 10 percent disabled as a result of your military service, the VA can pay you monthly compensation. The amount of VA benefits paid is dependent on the percentage of disability. In other words, if the VA finds you 10% disabled, you would get less money than if they found you 80% disabled. Remember, the disability must be “service connected”.

Three Part Test

To get VA compensation benefits for service connected disability, there is a three part test.
First, you must have a disability at the present time that has been diagnosed medically.
Second, there must have been a disease, injury or event in the service.
Third, there must be a nexus. This means that the current medical condition is related to the in service medical condition. This may include disabilities that are secondary conditions, due to a disability that is service connected.

Veteran Pension Benefits

You can receive a monthly pension if you are a war time veteran with limited income and you are permanently and totally disabled or are at-least 65 years old. The disability does not have to be “service connected”. This is needs based and the veteran must have limited income. These pension benefits are available to those who served during a period of war.

Veterans Administration Process
  • The process can be long and involve many “appeals.”
  • The first step in all cases, is to file a VA claim at a regional VA Office.
  • If the veteran does not like the results of the Rating Decision, then a Notice of Disagreement can be filed. After the VA receives the Notice of Disagreement, the VA may ask the veteran if he or she would like a re-review of the case.
  • At this point, the veteran can now request a hearing. This hearing would be held by a hearing officer.
  • If the veteran is still disagrees with the decision, he or she can file an appeal with the Board of Veteran Appeals before an Administrative Law Judge. This can take an extremely long time – presently, it is about a 2+ years wait.
  • If the veteran decides, s/he is still unhappy with the decision s/he can file an appeal with Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
The last appeal is to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Attorneys and Experts in Veteran Disability Benefits

New legislation passed that allows veterans to hire attorneys to represent them for benefits before the Veterans Administration. Prior to this recent legislation, attorneys have been prohibited from charging a fee to represent veterans at the administrative level. This new legislation, if signed by the President, would allow veterans to hire lawyers to help with their veteran benefit claims. This is significant because it allows veterans to get the same advantage of legal representation that Social Security Disability claimants have.

Disability Law Office

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(503) 868-4748