If you were hurt or became ill during your active-duty military service and now struggle with long-term physical, emotional, or cognitive impairment, you may qualify for financial benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Unfortunately, many former servicemembers who qualify for these benefits receive multiple denials before obtaining them, often as a result of inexperience with the VA disability claims process.
Whether you are filing for the first time or looking to appeal an unsatisfactory decision on a past claim, representation from a Charleston veterans disability lawyer may be vital to achieving the maximum benefits available to you. Once retained, your dedicated attorney will work tenaciously on your behalf throughout every interaction with the VA, ensuring your claim is as comprehensive as possible while demanding that you get the benefits you deserve.
While numerous additional factors could play into a particular VA benefits claim, there are three broad criteria that a disabled veteran must meet to receive compensation for a service-related injury or illness. The most important of these is documentation of a specific incident, illness, or injury taking place during their military service, whether it was an accident during active-duty training, an active-duty combat mission, in an administrative role, or exposure to toxic chemicals during non-combat duties.
Second, a veteran must receive a formal diagnosis of their condition from a qualified medical professional, ideally (but not necessarily required) affiliated with the VA or the particular military branch in which they served. Importantly, former servicemembers do not need to be 100 percent disabled from a service-related illness or injury to receive benefits, but they do need to show that their condition interferes with their personal or professional life to some degree and that they were discharged under honorable conditions.
Finally, a comprehensive application for VA benefits should include an opinion from a medical professional affirming a causal link between the aforementioned service-related incidents and the veteran’s disability, also known as a “nexus letter.” A Charleston attorney can help a disabled veteran gather and compile each component of a successful claim and assist in effectively presenting relevant evidence to prove their eligibility.
The financial value of disability benefits awarded to an injured or sick veteran will depend on the disability rating they receive, which is based on the criteria outlined in the VA’s Schedule for Rating Disabilities. The VA rates disabilities in increments of 10 percent from a minimum rating of zero percent to a maximum of 100 percent, with a 100 percent rating reflecting a veteran who is completely unable to hold gainful employment and/or care for themselves on a daily basis.
For 2022, the maximum monthly payment available for veterans rated at 100 percent disability with no dependents is $3,332.06 per month, with additional compensation available based on the number of dependent children and/or parents the applicant has. A veterans disability lawyer in Charleston can clarify during an initial consultation how much compensation a particular former servicemember might be entitled to based on their unique circumstances.
Applying for compensation from the VA for a disability you suffered while serving in the military can be a deceptively complex process, even if you have extensive evidence connecting your current condition to something that happened during your active-duty service. Assistance from skilled legal counsel can therefore be vital to effectively pursuing the disability compensation you need and deserve.
Let one of our Charleston veterans disability lawyers help you file a comprehensive initial application and, if your application is rejected, work tirelessly to appeal that decision through appropriate channels on your behalf. Call today to learn more.