VA Disability Claims

Posted by Michael E. Lyons | Oct 18, 2018 | 0 Comments

Patriots Law Group represents clients in every type of disability caseVeteran saluting American flag!

VA Disability Claims:  Representing clients with service-connected disabilities is one of Patriot Law Group's top priorities. As a veteran owned law practice, we have seen and lived through the VA disability system and know what you are going through. To be sure, we understand that when the VA wrongfully denies your claim (in full or in part) it adds insult to your injury; and, as brothers-in-arms, we will fight to get you the benefits – and respect – you deserve from the VA. If you are initiating a VA claim or feel you have been wrongly denied benefits for a service-connected injury call our office for a consultation.

Overview of VA Claims Process:  The VA claims process begins with your initial application for benefits. The initial application must identify all of the disabilities that you currently have and which are the result of your military service. If filed within one year of your separation from active duty service, then your benefits will be paid from your date of separation regardless of how long your claim takes to process through the VA.  After receiving your application, the VA will obtain and review your medical records to determine whether the condition is “service-connected” (caused by your service) and, if so, assess the extent to which the condition is disabling (from 0% to 100%).  The VA may also schedule a physical exam as part of its review.  If you are found to have multiple disabilities, then the rating for each will be combined into a single total disability percentage.  Disability compensation will be paid based on your total disability percentage. CLICK HERE to see the current disability payment schedule.

Once the VA renders a decision regarding your right to compensation you have the right to demand a review of its decision by filing a Notice of Disagreement (VA Form 9).  As part of the review, you may request a hearing.  If you file a Notice of Disagreement, the review will be conducted by the same local office that originally processed your claim.  If the local office review does not resolve your concerns, then you have the right to appeal to the Board of Veterans' Appeals (BVA).  The BVA will review the decision made by the local office and determine whether the local office made a mistake in refusing to change its decision based on your Notice of Disagreement.  You have the right to request a hearing before the BVA.  While the BVA is located in Washington, DC, Patriots Law Group attorneys can request that your hearing be conducted via a teleconference or in person at your locate VA office.  Finally, if the BVA denies your appeal you can file a second appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veteran's Claims.

How We Can Help:  The lawyers at Patriots Law Group either lived through the disability process or have seen it first hand and know how to maximize your award.  At the beginning of your claim, we can brief you on the specifics of your claim and offer some tips to ensure your claim is fully and fairly decided.  The true legal work; however, does not start until the VA has denied all or a portion of your claim and you are confronted with deciding whether to appeal.  At this stage in the process, our attorneys will review the VA's decision and determine if it is correct under the law.  If not, then we will file your appeal and help you gather evidence to prove your disability.  Of course, we will participate in the appeal hearing to ensure your case is presented in a complete and persuasive manner.  We have lawyers accredited to handle VA disability cases across the entire United States.

Who Do We Help:  It is sometimes overlooked that the VA offers benefits to more than just veterans.  In fact, in certain circumstances, the veteran's surviving spouse and children may also apply for compensation.  Under VA regulations the following individuals are eligible for benefits:

-Veterans. A veteran is a person who served in the active military, naval or air services, including the Coast Guard, and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable. This means veterans with dishonorable discharges may not apply for VA benefits at all.

-Surviving Spouses. The VA offers Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) and Death Pension Benefits to spouses of active service members and veterans who die of service-related injuries — as long as they meet certain criteria. If your application for these benefits has been denied, please contact our office to see if we can help you appeal.

-Surviving Children. DIC and Death Pension Benefits are also offered to surviving children of service members and veterans. Children must be under 18, or 23 for students, and unmarried. Certain helpless adult children are also entitled to DIC benefits.

How We Get Paid:  An important question you should ask before retaining a lawyer on a non-hourly basis is “how does the lawyer get paid?”  At Patriots Law Group, the answer to that question in VA cases depends on the outcome of your case.  If your VA appeal is unsuccessful and additional benefits are not awarded, then Patriots Law Group is not paid.  On the other hand, if your appeal is granted, then the VA will pay Patriots Law Group a part of your award.  The amount the VA will pay Patriots Law Group from your award is based on the amount of back compensation you receive as a result of the appeal  For example, if the appellate court determines that you should have been paid an extra $300 per month, then the VA will pay you back the $300 you were not paid each month and start paying you the extra $300 per month moving forward.  The amount it must pay back is paid as a lump sum and from this lump sum , the VA will pay Patriots Law Group 20% as attorney's fees.  In this example, if the VA failed to pay the $300 for 20 months, then you would be due $6,000 in back compensation and Patriots Law Group would receive $1,200 from this amount directly from the VA as attorney's fees.  It should be pointed out that no portion of your future benefits are paid as attorney's fees.

DISCLAIMER:  The contents of this website are intended to convey general information only and not to provide legal advice or opinions.  No action should be taken in reliance on the information contained on this website and Patriots Law Group and its affiliated attorneys disclaim all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this  website to the fullest extent permitted by law.  An attorney should be contacted for advice on specific legal issues.

About the Author

Michael E. Lyons

“As a veteran, I bring my core values of service, integrity, and excellence to every client, every case, every time.” Background: Michael E. Lyons (“Mike”) handles cases in Maryland and Washington D.C. fr...


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