If you are grappling with a military service-connected injury or one that worsened during military service, you may be entitled to benefits reserved for Veterans. This is often a monthly, tax-free, disability payment, along with comprehensive healthcare.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) oversees the application and disbursement of these benefits. While it may seem straightforward, there can be a lot more involved in the process than you think, especially when you appeal a denial. For help applying for a claim or appealing one that has been denied, contact a VA-accredited Belpre Veterans’ disability lawyer.

Are You Eligible for Veterans’ Benefits?

Two facts must be true for a servicemember to be eligible for disability benefits: he or she must currently have a condition affecting their body or mind, and they must have served on active duty, inactive duty training, or active duty for training.

Servicemembers must also link their military service to an injury or illness contracted during that service, made worse during service, or that is related but did not manifest itself until after discharge.

Veterans do not have to prove a military connection if conditions are presumptive; the VA will automatically presume they are service related. These include a chronic illness that becomes apparent within a year after discharge, an illness related to working with toxic chemicals or materials, or an illness that Veterans routinely contract as prisoners of war (POWs). A person should consult a VA-accredited attorney in Belpre to discuss his or her eligibility for Veterans’ disability benefits. You may even check out or calculator for determining VA benefits.

Conditions Eligible for Veterans’ Benefits

Many physical and cognitive conditions qualify for a disability rating and benefits. Some are more obvious, such as cancers and lung problems attributed to working with asbestos in Navy shipyards, exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam, or battle scars, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and loss of hearing, sight, and limbs from combat. Other conditions that may qualify include:

  • Mobility issues
  • Ulcers
  • Chronic back pain
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety and Depression

Along with a monthly stipend and medical care, Veterans may qualify for housing grants, nursing home and assisted living care, and job training. A Belpre attorney can assess a Veteran’s disability claim, gather evidence of a service connection, and assist in filing for appropriate benefits.

Lack of Evidence Can Lead to a Denial of Benefits

Veterans must provide documentation to prove a condition is service-related, which can sometimes be more difficult than it seems. A VA-accredited attorney knows what the VA is looking for, including a DD214 discharge or other separation papers and evidence of military and civilian medical reports. Failure to meet the eligibility requirements or provide evidence of the nexus between the condition and military service will usually result in a denial of benefits.

Appealing a Veteran Disability Denial

Since about 30 percent of benefit claims are initially denied, Veterans may find themselves caught up in the appeals process. This process was streamlined under the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act, which took effect in 2019. If crucial evidence is available after a denial, a supplemental claim can include it, although any newly discovered evidence supporting a Veteran’s claim can be added even prior to a denial.

Veterans in Belpre can also ask for a higher-level review with a more experienced review officer who could reverse the earlier denial. No new evidence is permitted in this option. This appeal is preferred when Veterans and their attorneys believe the original reviewer did not assess a claim properly.

A Board appeal involves a Veterans Law Judge who, at the servicemember’s request, can either review the claim directly (like a higher-level review), review new information, or conduct a hearing to discuss the case with the Veteran and his or her attorney.

Put Your Trust in a Belpre Veterans’ Disability Attorney

Although the U.S. government streamlined the process and shortened the time it takes to apply for and receive Veterans’ disability benefits, it can still be a daunting task because you must provide specific documentary evidence. If your claim is denied, you have several options to appeal.

We have an experienced team of attorneys who only represent Veterans seeking their hard-earned benefits. We can cut through the red tape and provide exactly what the VA wants so your claim is successful. You are entitled to a monthly, tax-free check and healthcare if you meet the criteria – and a Belpre Veterans’ disability lawyer can help you get there.

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