Individuals who have served in the United States military may be entitled to certain benefits. This is especially true for disabled veterans. Laws surrounding the VA benefits system are often complex, difficult to comprehend, and may be subject to change. Individuals who wish to file for disability benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are encouraged to do so with the representation of an experienced and knowledgeable veterans benefits attorney.
Types of Veterans Benefits
There are different types of veterans benefits that veterans may be eligible to receive. Among the most frequently compensated veterans benefits is disability benefits. Veterans disability benefits may be awarded to veterans who experience diseases, disabilities, or injuries that were sustained or exacerbated during their active military service. Additionally, veterans disability benefits may provide compensation to others in the event of the veteran’s service-connected death during service or after discharge. These benefits may be available for surviving spouses, dependent parents, and dependent children of the veteran.
Other Veterans Benefits
The Department of Veterans Affairs provides a wide range of other benefits. These may include educational assistance, home loans, health care, insurance, pension, vocational rehabilitation and employment, and memorial and burial services. Benefits may also be available for retired or separated personnel of the U.S. armed forces, their survivors, and their dependents.
Veterans Disability Benefits
Veterans disability compensation is provided in the form of a tax-free monetary benefit. The amount of the benefit is graduated based on the degree of disability the veteran experiences. This graduation occurs in increments of 10 percent, ranging from 10 to 100. Veterans may be eligible to receive benefits for disabilities that may not have occurred during service. This may occur when the disabilities are deemed related to service circumstances, or disabilities that are related to or secondary to disabilities that occurred during service.
Veterans may be eligible for federal veterans benefits if they experience service-related disabilities including, but not limited to, the following:
- Psychiatric disability
- Personality disorders
- Neurological disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Severe back injury
- Severe heart disease
- Exposure to agent orange
Orlando Veterans Benefits Attorneys
In many cases, applying for veterans benefits does not require the assistance of a veterans benefits attorney. The main need for veterans benefits attorneys occurs in cases where a veteran’s application for benefits has been denied. When this occurs, veterans benefits attorneys can help individuals to file an appeal. Another reason that individuals may need a veterans benefits attorney is when individuals would like to change their military discharge.
An appeal is essentially a formal request to reconsider the applicant’s denial and provide the applicant with the benefits he or she is seeking. In some cases, an individual may need to file multiple appeals before he or she is approved for veterans benefits. This can be a time-consuming, complex, and often confusing process. Veterans benefits attorneys have the skills and expertise to navigate the legal process of filing for appeals and earning veterans benefits. As a result, these attorneys can help to simplify the process for the individual while relieving some of the stress that may be associated with the application process.
Questions for Veterans Benefits Attorneys
Before selecting a veterans benefits attorney, the individual should ensure that the attorney has a strong background in veterans benefits cases. These cases have strict requirements and often require special considerations as opposed to other types of appeals processes. Hiring an experienced and knowledgeable veterans benefits attorney with a proven track record can increase the chances that the individual will receive the benefits that he or she is entitled to.
When selecting a veterans benefits attorney, individuals should ask the following questions:
- Is the attorney accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs?
- How long has the attorney been practicing veterans law?
- When did the attorney last attend training for veterans law?
- Will the attorney help to obtain the highest possible rating for the individual’s disability?
- Will the attorney help to obtain the earliest possible effective dates for the benefits?
- Will the attorney represent the client through the entire appeal process?
Glotfelty, Richard. “Veterans Benefits.” PN – Paraplegia News 55.4 (2001): 44. Academic OneFile. Web. 1 Apr. 2014.
Gottfried, J.C. “Howell, Terry. The military advantage: the Military.com guide to military and veterans benefits.” CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries Sept. 2011: 86. Academic OneFile. Web. 1 Apr. 2014.
Walus, John E. “Veterans benefits: effective advocacy.” Brief Spring 2013: 40+. Academic OneFile. Web. 1 Apr. 2014.