The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) allows veterans who suffered injuries or developed illnesses in the line of duty to apply for benefits and other forms of compensation. However, the process of applying for these benefits can be incredibly complicated, especially if you have never interacted with the VA before.
Guidance from seasoned legal counsel is often essential when filing a veterans’ disability claim, as even a small mistake could leave you with fewer benefits than you need or potentially no benefits at all. A qualified veterans’ disability claims attorney on our team can walk you through each step of the application process, ensure you provide all the information the VA needs to make a decision, and help you appeal a denial if necessary.
In addition to veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. military, VA disability compensation is also available to former servicemembers who participated in active duty training. Qualified dependents may also be able to receive benefits from the VA through an application filed by a disabled servicemember, depending on the circumstances.
In order to qualify for compensation from the VA, you must have a disability rating of at least 10 percent and have been discharged from the Armed Forces under honorable conditions. It is also possible to file a veterans disability claim for a condition that existed prior to enlistment which was exacerbated by active duty service.
A variety of documents are necessary to include when filing a veteran’s disability claim, most notably medical records from VA hospitals, private healthcare facilities, or both confirming the existence of a qualifying injury or illness. A successful claim will also need to highlight a specific event or events that occurred during service which directly caused the qualifying condition or made it noticeably worse.
Finally, you will need to provide information about the impact your disability has on your daily life – specifically, the degree to which it interferes with your ability to earn a living, complete day-to-day tasks, and care for yourself. Supporting statements from employers, family members, friends, and other individuals close to you can provide critical context regarding the short- and long-term effects of a service-connected disability.
The simplest way to file a new claim for VA disability benefits is online through the VA’s website. However, it is also possible to apply for benefits by filling out a paper copy of VA Form 21-526EZ and either bringing it to a VA regional office in person or mailing it to the VA’s Claims Intake Center.
Once your application is submitted, you must wait for the VA to either grant the claim, deny it, or send you a letter requesting additional information. Since it often takes several months to get a response from the VA, it is best to make sure a claim is as airtight as possible the first time it is submitted, which is why working with dedicated legal counsel can be so important.
While the process of filing a veterans’ disability claim is complex, hiring the right legal team can make all the difference in your ability to obtain benefits. If you do not provide sufficient information to the VA about your service-connected disability and how it has affected your life, your claim could be met with a denial regardless of whether you actually qualify for benefits.
From start to finish of the filing process, the lawyers at our firm can help you draft a strong claim for benefits and maximize your chances of reaching a favorable outcome. Call us today to discuss the possibilities in your situation.