Filing a disability claim with the Veterans Administration (VA) can be a challenging and confusing process. Knowing where to start when understanding your rights and filing for benefits can be difficult with so much information. This blog will answer some commonly asked questions many veterans have when it comes to filing a disability claim. Let’s take a look at what you need to know about VA disability claims.
Where Can I Find Basic Information on VA Services?
The best place to start is the Department of Veteran Affairs website. Here you can find information on the different types of benefits offered by the VA and detailed instructions on how to apply for them. The website also has more detailed answers to frequently asked questions and contact information for local offices in case you need more help or have specific questions that are not covered in the FAQ section.
How Do I Apply for Healthcare Benefits?
The application process for VA disability benefits varies depending on the type of benefit you are applying for. Generally speaking, all applications must be made through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs online portal or via mail using the VA Form 10-10EZ. You may also choose to file your claim in person at a local VA office or through an accredited representative such as an attorney or veteran service officer (VSO).
How Is The Amount of Disability Compensation Determined?
When applying for disability benefits, there are several factors that will be taken into account to determine the amount of compensation you are entitled to. The first thing that will be considered is the severity of your disability. The VA will likely have you undergo an examination with one of their doctors and will review your medical records thoroughly.
A person can ask for an additional allowance if they have dependents and their disability is over 30%. Under some circumstances, an allowance can be increased if transportation or clothing is needed.
What Is the Difference Between Compensation and Pension?
Compensation refers to monthly payments awarded by the VA based on medical evidence that shows an injury or illness is related to military service. A pension plan can be defined as a fixed sum of money paid regularly to a person, typically following retirement from service.
For veterans, a pension can be a beneficial source of income, as it can help to offset the loss of earnings from military service. The Veterans Pension program will provide monthly payments to wartime veterans as long as they meet certain requirements. You can find out if you’re eligible, including more information here.
What Injuries and Illnesses Can Lead To The Need For A Disability Claim?
Any injury or illness sustained during active duty or training can potentially qualify you for disability compensation from the VA if it has impacted your life in any way since returning from service. If service has caused an injury or illness you developed before enlisting, you may also be eligible for benefits.
Common conditions that may lead to filing a disability claim include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), musculoskeletal injuries such as back pain, hearing loss, vision problems, and traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Can Survivors Receive Benefits?
Yes, they can! Survivors can receive something called Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC). Children under 18, surviving spouses, and even parents can receive benefits in the event of your passing from a service-connected disability or non-service-connected disability.
How Soon Can I Expect my Benefits?
It can take up to 125 days for a decision to be made about your disability claim. But don’t get discouraged; some claims move faster than others. Once your claim is approved, the VA will provide you with an effective date. If you have not heard back from the VA after 125 days have passed, you may want to reach out to your local office to have them check on your claim.
You can find your local VA office here.
What if I Need to Update my Application?
Applicants can update their personal, financial, or insurance information from their recently submitted application through the Health Benefits Update Form (VA Form 10-10EZR). Here in this link, you can find the downloadable form, including helpful links on changing your address, direct deposit information, and more.
What Should I Do If My Initial Claim Is Denied?
If the VA denies your initial claim, don’t give up! You can appeal any denial by submitting additional evidence, such as medical records or statements from witnesses who can attest to your condition before and after military service.
You can also request that an experienced veteran’s disability attorney review your case. Here at Lanier Law Group, P.A. we can assist you with filing an appeal. We have an extensive history of fighting for our veterans and can clear up any other questions you may have.
We are also accepting consultations for victims of Camp Lejeune’s water contamination. Veterans can receive compensation for injuries and illnesses related to the base’s water contamination on top of their VA benefits.
North Carolina Veteran’s Disability Lawyers
Filing for disability compensation with the VA isn't always easy. Still, with some research and patience, you can ensure you receive all the benefits you deserve from proudly serving our country! Knowing where to find basic information about navigating the VA system is key to a successful claim.
If you’re in need of assistance with your application, feel free to reach out to our team today at Lanier Law Group, P.A.. You can call us at (855) 757-4204 or contact us through our website here.