Many US military veterans who live with physical disabilities resulting from their time on active duty qualify for disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), but the claims process is not always simple. In fact, most initial claims for disability compensation denied by the VA.
Understanding the nature and severity of a veteran’s physical condition is the first step in successfully obtaining disability benefits from the VA. Let a Parkersburg lawyer assist you in filing veterans’ physical condition claims.
The most important factor for veterans seeking monetary benefits for physical conditions is proving that their impairment stemmed from a in-service incident. Without a service connection, the VA is not obligated to approve a veteran’s physical condition claim. In other words, a physical disability must be service-connected, meaning it must be linked directly to an incident that took place during the applicant’s time on active duty. Physical conditions in former servicemember commonly result from combat and non-combat situations, including vehicle collisions, explosions, and exposure to harmful chemicals.
There are two different types of physical condition claims: primary and secondary. A primary service-connected impairment is one that directly results from an illness or injury suffered while on active duty. For example, a broken leg sustained during training qualifies as a primary impairment.
A secondary physical condition is that which develops as a result of the primary impairment. For example, a veteran who suffers a leg injury on active duty might walk with a limp for the rest of his or her life. If this change in his or her gait eventually results in hip pain, that hip pain could be considered a secondary service-connected disability.
Physical conditions which developed as a result of active duty service may qualify a veteran for a monthly monetary award through the VA. The amount of benefits a former servicemember will receive each month varies depending on the severity of his or her disability. The higher the rating for a veteran’s physical condition, the higher the amount of monthly payments he or she will receive.
Furthermore, the benefits a veteran is entitled to receive do not start the moment a claim is approved. Instead, benefits could be owed for as long as the condition existed. This means it is possible to recover back pay from the date of a veteran’s physical condition diagnosis.
Not all physical condition claims involve injuries that occurred during the course of a veteran’s active duty military service. It is also possible to seek benefits when military service worsens a pre-existing physical condition.
While VA benefits are not available for injuries that occurred prior to military service, disability compensation may be awarded when an underlying condition is made worse due to military service. Benefits would only cover the difference in the severity of the disability before and after service, however.
If you are living with physical conditions as a result of your active duty military service, you might be entitled to recover benefits through a VA disability claim. The claims process can be difficult to navigate on your own, so you should not hesitate to enlist the help of a Parkersburg lawyer who is well-versed in veterans’ physical condition claims. Call right away to discuss your options with an attorney.