One of the most honorable things people can do is serve their country in the military. That said, the job of a soldier is not an easy one and many who have served suffer disabilities as a result. If you were injured while on active duty, you may qualify for veteran’s disability benefits. The Veterans Administration is a government agency, though, and is prone to bureaucratic difficulties. For this reason, you may find it in your best interests to work with a New York veterans disability lawyer as you seek to obtain benefits.
A New York Veterans Disability Attorney on Who Is Eligible
In order to be eligible for benefits, you must have been on active duty when the disabling condition occurred. You do not need to have been in combat or stationed in a dangerous area. If you were injured on a base in the United States during training exercises, for instance, you may qualify. Your New York disability lawyer will tell you that an additional eligibility requirement is that if you have been released from active duty, your discharge must be something other than dishonorable. In addition, you do not need to have been released recently. Claimants are deemed eligible for disability benefits years after leaving service. This is because some conditions, such as mesothelioma, do not manifest themselves until many years after the fact.
A New York Veterans Disability Attorney on Available Benefits
As of this writing, disability benefits range currently from $127 to more than $3,100 per month. Your New York veterans disability lawyer will provide you with any updates to these figures and explain how much you are likely to receive. Factors which affect the benefits award include:
- The nature and extent of your disability;
- Whether you have a spouse and/or dependents; and
- If your spouse is seriously disabled.
The Veterans Administration will rate your disability on a percentage scale. If your condition ranks you as more than 50 percent disabled, you may be able to collect retirement along with disability. Your New York veterans disability lawyer can help you through the application and approval process to make sure you include all the necessary materials in your package. The process begins when you fill out VA Form 21-526. Make sure to include records of your medical treatment as well as those that show dependency.
A New York Veterans Disability Lawyer on Serious Injuries Leading to Disability
As mentioned previously, one factor which determines how much a claimant may receive is how serious the injuries were. A condition that is deemed serious is one that causes significant impediment to participation in normal, everyday activities. Usually a major organ or part of the body has been compromised, such as the loss of one’s sight or hearing. Sadly, many veterans who see combat return with terrible injuries, such as lost limbs, severe burns and even paralysis. Your New York veterans disability lawyer will tell you that many soldiers return with multiple conditions. The VA’s rating of severity increases dramatically when this is the case.
Among the more disabling of conditions that veterans often suffer are brain and spinal cord injury. These injuries almost always lead to at least some degree of permanent disability. A veteran who suffers brain damage when shrapnel strikes him across the head, for instance, may lose certain body functions.
Your New York veterans disability lawyer will tell you that one condition that has received much attention in recent years is post-traumatic stress syndrome, or PTSD. While initially many looked upon this condition as dubious in nature, PTSD is now a recognized condition that can have devastating effects upon military personnel once they return from service.
Work With a New York Veterans Disability Attorney
If you provided honorable service to this country in the military and suffered injury as a result, you may be eligible to collect veterans disability. This is not a handout from the government. If you were truly disabled, you earned assistance for all that you sacrificed. Call a New York veterans disability lawyer today with Hermann Law Group, PLLC at 1-877-773-3030. We offer a free case evaluation.
Types of Veterans Disability Explained by a New York Veterans Disability Attorney
There are many different types of veterans disability benefits that may be available to veterans. For assistance determining which type of veterans benefit you may be entitled to, you will want to work with a New York veterans disability attorney. Generally, a veteran may be entitled to monthly benefits related to an injury or diseases that is tied to military service. A veteran’s family members may also be entitled to benefits.
Common Types of Veterans Benefits You May Be Eligible For
Some of the more common veterans benefits that a New York veterans disability lawyer can help you collect include:
- Disability Compensation. Disability compensation typically covers benefits for a veteran injured during active military service. The Veterans Administration will calculate the amount of damages that you may collect based on how severe your injuries are;
- Dependency Compensation. Surviving family members of a veteran may also be entitled to benefits. This benefit is not available in all circumstances where a veteran dies, and you will want to consult with an attorney if you believe you are entitled to this benefit; and
- Compensation for Special Circumstances. In some unique cases, a veteran may be entitled to special compensation for disabilities related to military service. For example, if an injury renders a veteran unable to work, that individual may be entitled to compensation for unemployability. Similarly, a veteran in a unique circumstance may be entitled to benefits for clothing, modified vehicles and any birth defects to children due to military service.
These are just some of the common veterans disability benefits you may be entitled to. To learn more about your case, you will want to talk to an attorney.
Contact a New York Veterans Disability Attorney
If you have any questions about collecting veterans disability benefits and the type of benefit you may be entitled to, you will want to consult with an experienced attorney. You can reach a New York veterans disability lawyer at Hermann Law Group, PLLC by calling 1-877-773-3030 to discuss the specifics of your case.
The Claim Process
Veterans disability benefits are generally available for veterans who became disabled as a result of impairments sustained or made worse while on duty. In order to award benefits, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) must find that an applicant: was honorably discharged; suffered a service connected disability – or had a condition made worse while on duty; and continues to suffer from the disability; based on competent medical and other evidence
The disability benefits claim process can be complicated and confusing. An experienced veterans disability benefits lawyer can provide vital assistance to a person seeking benefits by guiding the claimant through the process from the initial denial and appeal to award, and beyond.
Filing a Disability Benefits Claim
The VA disability benefits claims process starts with the application, or the filing of the claim. A person seeking benefits must complete a claim form (VA 21-526) and submit it to the VA for review either online or by mail.
At minimum, the claims package should also include copies of discharge papers, medical records, and dependency documents, such as a marriage license and/or birth certificates for your children
Discharge/Separation paperwork is necessary to show that you’ve been honorably discharged from military service. This includes service members otherwise discharged under honorable circumstances. A person dishonorably discharged must appeal the determination before seeking VA disability benefits.
Medical records are central to a successful claim. The information contained in them should clearly explain the nature and extent of your injury or impairment as well as any treatment you’ve received. The records should also describe the effect of the impairment on your day-to-day activities and ability to work.
The VA also requires dependency records to show whether you are married and/or have children. An applicant with a spouse and dependent children is eligible for more benefits than one who is single.
VA Disability Benefits Claim Legal Assistance
After an application is denied, or the veteran is dissatisfied with the impairment rating or effective date of the disability, an experienced veterans disability benefits attorney can help you bolster your claim by compiling evidence showing the extent of your illness or injury, its relationship to your military service, and the limits it imposes on your ability to work. This may include statements from witnesses like colleagues, family members, and fellow military professionals with whom you served.
While the VA is supposed to make reasonable efforts to obtain relevant records and documents, claimants are well advised to obtain this evidence through their own efforts in order to ensure that it is in front of the agency at the time of review. The VA is often overworked and understaffed. The agency receives thousands of claims each year; don’t assume that it will obtain the information necessary to document your claim.
VA Disability Claim Appeals
The VA initially denies scores of claims, including many filed by veterans who are eligible and should be approved to receive benefits. In other cases the veteran may disagree with the percentage of impairment found, the effective date or other aspects of the various claims that have been made. In the event that your claim is initially denied, you have the right to file an appeal. It is at that point that the veteran should obtain representation form an attorney, even if they had the assistance of a VSO (Veteran’s Service Organization) in preparing the initial application.
At Hermann Law Group, PLLC, our veterans disability benefits lawyers serve clients throughout New York as well as in Connecticut and New Jersey. With more than 50 years of combined experience, we understand what the VA is looking for in a disability claim, and we can help you present your claim in the most clear and convincing light. We are happy to discuss your particular case in an initial consultation. Call us at 877-644-9710 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.
NEW JERSEY VETERANS – YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO $3,000
NEW JERSEY VETERANS PLEASE READ
$3,000 NJ EXEMPTION AVAILABLE
You are eligible for a $3,000 exemption on your New Jersey Income Tax return if you are a military veteran who was honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States by the last day of the tax year. Your spouse (or civil union partner) is also eligible for an exemption if he/she is a veteran who was honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances and you are filing a joint return. This exemption is in addition to any other exemptions you are entitled to claim and is available on both the resident and nonresident returns. You cannot claim this exemption for a domestic partner or for your dependents.
You must provide a copy of a Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (please see below for a list of acceptable forms) the first time you claim the exemption. This form does not need to be provided each year.
|DD 214||Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty|
|DD Form 256||Discharge Certificate|
|WD AGO 53||Enlisted Record and Report of Separation Honorable Discharge|
|WD AGO 53-98||Military Record and Report of Separation Certificate of Service|
|WD AGO 55||Honorable Discharge from the Army of the United States|
|NA Form 13038||Certificate of Military Service|
|NAVCG 553||Notice of Separation from U.S. Coast Guard|
|NAVMC 78PD||U.S. Marine Corps Report of Separation|
|NAVPERS 553||Certificate of Separation/Discharge from U.S. Navy|
|County Veteran ID Card||Veteran identification card issued by any of the New Jersey counties|
|Federal Veteran ID Card||Veteran identification card issued under the Veterans Identification Card Act|
You can certify for the exemption by sending a copy of one of the above and the completed copy of the Veteran Income Tax Exemption Submission Form (click here for form) to the NJ Division of Taxation IMMEDIATELY. It can take up to 90 days for you to receive approval; therefore, prompt submission will facilitate the timely filing of your tax return.
For further information, visit the website at: http://www.state.nj.us/tr
Veterans’ Disability Compensation
On this Veterans’ Day, we all honor those who have bravely served in the armed forces in both their accomplishments and their sacrifices. Unfortunately, sometimes those sacrifices include debilitating medical conditions for which the veteran may be entitled to VA Disability Compensation. This is a benefit paid to a veteran based upon injuries or diseases incurred while on active duty and includes exacerbations of pre-existing conditions while on active duty. So long as the veteran has been discharged under non-dishonorable conditions, he or she may apply for these benefits.
The amount paid is based upon the degree of disability represented by a percentage of service-connected disability. Additional amounts can be paid for especially severe disabilities such as the loss of a limb, and may even be paid to family members. The application process may be commenced by filing a VA Form 21-526 and by presenting discharge papers, dependency records, and medical evidence.
As with Social Security Disability benefits and Long Term Disability benefits, medical documentation is especially important to establishing the degree of disability as well as the degree to which an exacerbation of a pre-existing condition may be service-connected. As such, good medical documentation is one of the most important evidence that can be presented to maximize the veteran’s potential benefits amount.
Understanding The Veteran’s Disability Claims Process
Claimants should draw on a variety of evidence, including medical and military records and witness testimony, in order to establish these elements of a successful benefit claim. Click the image above to find the required details to understand the veteran’s disability claim process.