The Bob Richardson Law Firm proudly assists disabled veterans seeking disability compensation and other VA benefits. To help you get started, our veterans’ benefits attorneys have prepared a list of answers to frequently asked questions about benefits for veterans and disability.
For a free evaluation of the benefits you’re entitled to receive as a veteran, contact our veterans’ benefits lawyers toll free at 800-880-5100 or use our online contact form. We represent persons seeking VA benefits in Austin, Waco, Round Rock, Georgetown, Killeen and Temple.
Veterans of the military, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard, are entitled to disability compensation for service-connected injuries or illnesses acquired while on active duty or for pre-existing injuries or diseases aggravated by military service.
Certain veterans are eligible for disability compensation based on the presumption that their disability is related to their military service. For example, all veterans who develop Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, after leaving the military may be eligible for VA disability compensation. Gulf War veterans may receive disability compensation for chronic disabilities resulting from undiagnosed illnesses or chronic multi-symptom illness.
After determining that a veteran’s disability is service-connected, the VA assigns a disabled vet a disability rating based on the level of the disability. Veterans with multiple disabilities receive a composite rating. The amount of benefits depends on the severity of the disability. The monthly disability compensation for veterans ranges from $123 for veterans with a 10 percent disability rating to $2,673 for veterans with a 100 percent disability rating.
Should I get a veteran’s disability lawyer to help me with my initial veteran’s disability benefits application?
In the initial application process, disabled vets and their families typically are represented by veterans’ service organizations or VSOs. These service organizations have trained personnel who will help with your claim free of charge. Some VSOs are recognized by the VA Secretary for purposes of preparation and presentation of claims. Non-recognized organizations can give you information, but cannot represent you before the VA. Generally speaking, veteran’s disability attorneys do not represent clients in the initial application stage because by law no attorney fees may be charged for the initial application. You can find a directory of veteran’s service organizations here: http://www1.va.gov/vso/
The complexity of the individual VA disability claim affects the length of the review. But as a general rule, it takes about six months or longer for a disabled veteran to receive a decision on his or her veteran’s disability claim. The number of applications for VA benefits has increased significantly in recent years with thousands of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, and the complexity of the injuries and disabilities suffered by veterans in those theaters has increased.
Appeals take longer. In 2008, the VA took on average 776 days to process appeals of disability benefits for veterans.
I receive veteran’s benefits, but would like to appeal my veteran’s disability rating because I feel it doesn’t recognize the severity of my disability. How long will it take to appeal?
According to the Veterans Administration, appeals take about 25 months to complete. The time it takes to conclude appeals and decide benefits for veterans is getting longer because of the complexity of the injuries that many returning veterans have and the increasing number of veterans.
Veterans with disability ratings of 30 percent or greater are eligible for additional VA disability allowances for dependents, including spouses, minor children, children up to age 23 who are attending school and dependent parents.
Disabled vets who are unable to maintain gainful employment as a result of service-connected physical or mental disabilities may receive 100 percent disability compensation as a veteran’s benefit. Individual Unemployability is a way for disabled veterans to increase their VA disability compensation. To qualify, disabled veterans must have one service-connected disability with a 60 percent disability rating or two or more disabilities that total 70 percent. The VA defines gainful employment as work at which non-disabled individuals earn their livelihood with earnings comparable to the particular occupation.
Contact an Experienced Vets’ Disability Benefits Lawyer
The Bob Richardson Law Firm represents veterans and disabled vets who have been denied benefits in Austin, Waco, Round Rock, Georgetown, Killeen and Temple. Our veterans’ benefits lawyers also handle VA benefits and VA disability claims for veterans in Cedar Park, Lakeway, Taylor and Belton.
Whether you have a veterans’ disability claim for a physical disability such as a traumatic brain injury, a service-related illness due to toxic chemical exposure or a psychological or emotional disability such as post-traumatic stress disorder or depression, our veterans’ disability benefits lawyers have the knowledge and legal experience to help.
For a free evaluation of your claim, contact our VA benefits attorneys toll free at 800-880-5100 or use our online contact form. We are proud to serve those who have served our country.