What You Should Know If You Have Been Denied Your VA Benefits
If you or a loved one has been denied or underpaid VA disability compensation, it’s important to know your rights. Veterans’ benefits are notoriously hard to obtain and often involve numerous administrative and court appeals which may, sadly, drag on for years. In making disability determinations, the VA may also incorrectly evaluate the degree of disability imposed by a service-connected injury or medical condition. The VA may even decide to lower disability evaluations and compensation.
As a result, many veterans eligible for disability compensation through the VA go without the proper recompense they undeniably deserve after serving their country.
Having the right lawyer may help a veteran appealing the evaluation of a disability. Only attorneys accredited by the VA may represent veterans appealing their disability evaluations. Justinian & Associates attorney Amber M. Pang Parra, Esq., is accredited by the VA to represent such veterans. Lawyers with this accreditation can help make the process easier because they understand the complex nature of VA disability compensation law.
If you have suffered a service-connect injury or experienced an illness as a consequence of your active duty service in the Armed Forces, you should know that you may be entitled to disability compensation or other benefits. Without the right attorney, you could end up receiving less than you deserve, with claims frequently and unfairly, being denied time and again.
Who Qualifies For VA Disability Benefits?
In order to be eligible for VA disability compensation benefits, you must first be a United States Veteran or the dependent survivor of a veteran.
- The VA defines a veteran as “a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable.”
- Active military service may include certain full-time active duty in a branch of the U.S. military, attendance at a United States military academy, or even full-time commissioned duty with the Public Health Service or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or Environmental Science Services Administration.
In addition, to qualify for VA disability compensation benefits, the veteran:
- Must have become ill or sustained the injury during his or her time in active military service;
- Must have a current and verifiable medical condition; and
- The veteran’s disability must be related to the time spent in active military service (“service connected”). Service connection is determined based upon the all of the evidence of record.
In order to demonstrate service connection, the veteran must be able to provide legitimate medical records that establish the veteran’s current diagnosis and what caused it. The veteran may show that he or she either suffered from the impairment before being approved to join the military, or offer irrefutable evidence of injury either physically or mentally, during service.
Recent years have witnessed a great increase in VA disability claims. This is because today’s servicemen and women are much more likely to either witness a brutal battlefield scene, or survive the aftereffects of one.
In addition, cases that have been backlogged for years, including claims made by Vietnam War veterans, are being reopened and reevaluated because of the emergence of new evidence and because of greater concern by government officials and the public about the health and well-being of this country’s veterans.
Also, advances in medical research have shown scientific proof of the effects that traumatic events can have on a person’s psyche, regardless of whether they suffered a physical injury. These advances demonstrate how severely veterans have been impacted by such events and by the denial of disability compensation claims related to them.
Due to this, pursuing an appeal of the denial or underpayment of VA disability compensation benefits on your own, without effective and knowledgeable counsel can be tough. It is imperative to have those who understand the complexities of wading through the legal jargon associated with seeking VA disability benefits by your side during the process.
Types of Service-Connected Disabilities Reported for VA Benefits
If you believe your disability is service-related and your claim has been denied, it’s important to know the conditions others have reported when seeking VA benefits compensation. They include:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) sustained in combat
- Exposure to radiation
- Gulf War Syndrome (GWS)
- Exposure to Agent Orange (Vietnam)
- Gunshot Wounds
- Heart conditions
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Anxiety disorders
- Shrapnel wounds resulting in lacerations or severe burns
- Hearing loss
- Injuries to the spine
- Hearing impairments
- Loss of limb/s
This is just a short list of potential injuries that you may have developed throughout your time in the service. There are more, and each injury should be reported.
If you have been denied your hard-earned benefits, don’t be deterred; you have rights and this Firm is willing to fight for them.
Let us help you to investigate your rights under the Law. If you’re unsure about your rights regarding VA disability benefits, don’t worry. We’re here for you, we thank you for your service, and we will do everything we can to help you with your claim. We’re on your side.