VA Disability Claims

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Veteran Affairs Disability Claims

Veterans are unjustly forced to suffer through an exhausting process to ensure that they receive benefits for their military service and injuries that have rendered their quality of life.

Veterans do not have to suffer alone from injuries that they have incurred during the time of their service.

There are little-known options out there that can help gain disability claims, further extend benefits, and appeal denials.

The claims process can be tricky and is not common knowledge.

Thus, it is best to have an experienced VA disability claims lawyer by your side to help you through it all.

Who is Covered by VA Disability?

According to the VA government website, disability compensation is a monthly tax-free benefit paid to Veterans who are at least ten percent disabled because of injuries or diseases that were incurred in or aggravated during active duty or active duty for training.

You may be eligible for disability compensation if you have a service-connected disability and were discharged under other than dishonorable conditions.

If you are a surviving spouse of a disabled veteran, you may be entitled to benefits as well.

What Injuries are Covered by VA Disability?

You may be able to get VA disability benefits for conditions such as:

  • Chronic back pain resulting in a current diagnosed back disability
  • Breathing problems resulting from a current lung condition or lung disease
  • Severe hearing loss
  • Scar tissue
  • Loss of range of motion
  • Ulcers
  • Cancers caused by toxic chemicals or other dangers
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

However, the VA also covers more injuries that are not listed here.

More information regarding injury coverage

How Do I Apply for VA Disability Compensation?

Before you begin the application process, you should gather evidence to submit when you file your VA disability claim.

Be sure that your VA disability claim is filled out completely and contains all the necessary supporting documents or additional forms.

You can either file your VA disability claim by mail or in person:

Filing your claim by mail:

File your claim by mail using an Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits (VA Form 21-526EZ).

Send a hard copy of the completed form to this address:

Department of Veterans Affairs

Claims Intake Center

PO Box 4444

Janesville, WI 53547-4444

Filing your claim in person:

Bring your application to your local VA regional office.

Find a VA office near you.

Additionally, you can submit your intent to file the form in writing or by phone.

If you file your claim online, you do not need to separately send an intent to file form, because it is already included in the online application.

Veteran Affairs Disability Claims Process

You can support your VA disability claim by providing documents, such as medical records, hospital reports, and statements from witnesses that can tell the VA more about your condition’s beginning and progression.

You have up to a year from the date your claim is received to turn in any evidence.

The VA will also review your discharge papers (DD214 or other separation documents) and service treatment records.

On average, it takes the VA approximately 154 days to complete disability-related claims.

Starting your VA disability application does not show your intent to file.

You will need to submit an intent to file form, which sets the day you can begin receiving benefits.

An accredited VA disability claims lawyer can help you through the legal proceedings.

Why Did the VA Deny My Disability Claim?

The VA needs very detailed and specific information and evidence when making a determination on the viability of someone’s disability claim.

Therefore, there are several instances in which those with viable claims get rejected.

Some of the most common reasons for VA disability claims being denied include:

Incomplete Information on Your Claim

If you fail to complete a form or section of a document, the VA may issue a denial of your claim.

The VA favors “fully developed claims” which are complete claims with plenty of information that can help the VA make a decision as quickly as possible.

Missed Deadlines

The VA may give you deadlines for providing evidence and necessary forms to process your claim.

Also, it may also require you to schedule a doctor’s visit to support your claim within a specific time period.

Failure to comply with these regulations in the allotted time period could result in a denial of your claim.

Lack of Medical Evidence

The VA requires sufficient proof of disability to consider your claim.

When you cannot show sufficient evidence of a disability or a doctor fails to fill out forms correctly or provide enough detail – your claim is likely to be denied.

What Can I Do if my Claim is Denied?

If your initial claim is denied, you are not at the end of the road.

You have the right to appeal the decision.

Veterans must appeal the denial within one year.

By appealing within the time constraints, you will not have to file a new claim and the effective date remains the same.

If your initial claim was denied and you did not appeal, but have gathered new evidence, you may file a supplemental claim.

If the appeal results in a reversal of the denial, the VA must pay the veteran retroactive benefits starting from the effective date.

Common VA Errors that You Can Appeal

Sometimes you are not responsible at all for the reason that your claim was rejected.

The VA is legally required to take certain steps to help you build your case.

However, the VA is not perfect and may make a mistake or two along the way, which ultimately can end up resulting in the denial of your disability claim.

Some of the most common appealable legal errors made by the VA include:

Failure of DA to Notify You of Required Evidence

The VA is required to tell you what evidence is necessary to prove your claim.

The notice must specify what evidence you are responsible for submitting and which evidence the VA will gather for you.

If you are able to demonstrate that you would have submitted satisfactory evidence had you been given appropriate notice, you have a firm basis for appeal.

Failure of DA to Obtain Records

Legally, the VA is required to help you obtain records that support your claim.

If you have identified these types of records adequately, the VA has a duty to gather them for you.

This is only relevant if the records are related to your disability claim.

Failure of VA to Provide Medical Examination

Under certain circumstances, the VA is required to provide you with a medical examination to obtain an opinion about the relationship between your disability and service.

The VA must administer an exam when there is not sufficient medical evidence and there is evidence that you have a current disability or evidence that you experienced an in-service event or injury.

The same applies when there is evidence that the in-service event might have caused the current disability.

Inadequate Medical Opinion

If the VA did provide a required medical examination, it must meet specific standards.

The doctor must explicitly explain the reasoning behind the medical opinion about the relationship between the disability and service.

They must give an opinion on whether the two are linked together.

Inadequate Explanation of Decision to Deny

If you appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeals, the BVA must include a discussion of the facts and law upon which the decision was based upon.

You will need a VA disability claims lawyer’s assistance in determining whether the BVA failed to properly address evidence.

Filing a VA Disability Lawsuit

Va disability benefits are often denied because veterans do not seek help from a qualified VA disability claims lawyer.

Veterans’ disabilities can also hinder them from filing a claim.

VA disability lawsuits are filed all across the country in an effort to compensate veterans for their service.

A successful VA disability lawsuit won’t take the disability away, but it will provide the veteran with monetary and physical support that will help them cope with their injuries.

Benefits of Hiring a VA Disability Claims Lawyer

A VA disability claims lawyer will be able to help you through all of the complicated paperwork and legal procedures.

The civil lawsuit process is extremely time-consuming and detail-oriented and can be overwhelming to those who are already coping with disability.

An experienced VA disability claims lawyer will work with you to make sure that you have the best shot possible at receiving benefits for your disability.

If you are considering filing a lawsuit, you should get in touch with an expert VA disability claims lawyer today to see what they can do for you.

TorHoerman Law, VA Disability Claims Lawyers

At TorHoerman Law, our team of expert personal injury attorneys specializes in VA disability claims lawsuits.

We want to help handle your claims.

The cost for our services will not come out of your coverage, but rather will be tacked onto the VA bill.

We have won more than $4 billion in verdicts and negotiated settlements for our clients.

TorHoerman Law operates on a contingency fee basis.

Thus, you do not owe any payment until you have been appropriately compensated.

You do not have to fight your battles alone.

Contact us today to discuss your legal options.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much does it cost to hire a VA disability lawyer?

    Legal fees can be expensive.

    However they do not have to be.

    TorHoerman Law Firm operates on a contingency fee basis, which means our clients do not owe any payment until they have been compensated.

  • What percentage of VA disability claims are denied?

    Today, 31 percent of claims are denied—and 60 percent of those denials are in error.

    The injured veterans who have honorably served our country deserve disability benefits when entitled to them.

  • Can you sue the VA for disability?

    You can file a claim with the VA for disability compensation (commonly referred to as a Section 1151 claim), and/or you can seek money damages under the Federal Torts Claims Act (FTCA).

Written By:
Tor Hoerman

Tor Hoerman

Owner & Attorney - TorHoerman Law

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