Whether you are on active duty or a veteran, if you have a service-related disability you may qualify for disability benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. You are eligible to file a claim for your disability up to 180 days before leaving the service. Some disabilities from your duty do not appear right away. Service-related disabilities such as arthritis, diabetes, and high blood pressure can appear within a year after discharge. There is also no limit to filing a post-service claim. The sooner you file your claim, the sooner you will get your owed compensation.
This process can be somewhat confusing. Rob Levine & Associates are experienced Veteran Disability Lawyers and want to help you through this process. Below are the various claims within the filing process.
The first claim you file is classified as your original claim. This is when you prove your eligibility for these benefits to the VA through their filing process. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, you qualify for compensation if you have:
- Served on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty
- Have a disability rating for your service-connected condition
Through your service you must have also:
- Gotten sick or injured
- Had an existing illness or injury worsen
- Have a disability related to your service that did not appear until after you ended your service
How do I get a disability rating?
The VA will give you a rating from 0-100% of how disabled you are. This will determine the amount of compensation you receive in your benefits package. This rating is determined through the evidence you file within your claim, any evidence such as medical test results, and any other information the VA can compile from other sources.
You can file a new claim to request more compensation or a specialized payment plan. This will not be based off of evidence from your original claim but on new evidence alone.
If you are currently receiving benefits from the VA and your service-related injury has worsened, you can reapply for an increase in compensation. To do this, you will need updated medical reports and proof of the disability worsening. If approved this claim may affect your disability rating and your compensation for your disability.
Secondary service-connected claim
If your service-related illness or injury generates additional disability you may file a secondary claim. For example, if you developed a heart condition due to the high-blood pressure you were diagnosed with on duty, you may be eligible for additional financial compensation.
If your disability is not listed as a service-related injury or illness with the VA you would need to file a special claim. You can request additional compensation for special circumstances. For example, if you are unable to work due to your disability or a surgery repairing this injury, you may qualify for increased benefits. This claim also allows Veterans to file for compensation for dental care, time spent in the hospital, or even the replacement of damaged clothing by a prosthetic or orthopedic device.
You may also be eligible for Social Security Benefits
In many cases, Veterans who are receiving VA disability also apply for additional Social Security Benefits as well. Social security disability benefits are given to disabled citizens that are unable to work due to their injury.
If your claim was denied and you did not file an appeal, you need to file a supplemental claim. In order for this claim to pass, you must have new evidence such as doctor’s reports or lab results that have not been filed before. This evidence must be directly related to your claim and prove that your disability is service-related.
If your claim comes back less then you expected, call Rob Levine & Associates right away. The most efficient way to start getting the financial support from the VA that you deserve is to file an appeal. This is not a quick or easy process; you need an expert to help make sure you file correctly. Our Veteran Disability Lawyers are masters at the appeals process and can get you the money that you deserve.