There are various veteran disability benefits that you have a right to receive as a disabled veteran. For example, there are healthcare benefits and benefits to cover nursing home care, daily living assistance, or nurse visits for yourself or a disabled spouse. Yet, many people don’t realize that they even have a qualifying disability, especially if they have attempted to seek benefits, but were denied. Some of the most frequently diagnosed disabilities in veterans include psychiatric illness and personality disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries, back injuries and chronic back pain, Gulf War Syndrome, heart disease, and pulmonary disorders. It is entirely possible, however, to be denied, when you are actually entitled to receive the benefits that you seek. This is where it is incumbent upon you to speak to a South Carolina veterans’ rights and disability attorney to explore your options.
How to Proceed with a Veteran Disability Claim
Before you initiate your claim, you’ll want to fully understand the process of doing so. It begins with filling out an application at the VA office in your area and waiting for them to issue a ratings decision. You can appeal their decision with a Notice of Disagreement, filed at the same VA office within a year of receiving the decision.
At that point, a Statement of the Case will be provided to you, and you will have a chance to offer more evidence for the VA office to complete a Supplemental Statement of the Case. If this still does not come out in your favor, then you will need to appeal Supplemental Statement of the Case with the Board of Veterans Appeals by requesting a hearing within 60 days of receiving the Supplemental Statement of the Case. It is at this point where if you are denied, it will be called the final denial. If you receive a final denial of your claim, then you have a right to pursue a lawsuit with the US court of Appeals for Veteran’s Claims within 120 days of the denial.
Do You Need an Attorney to Help with Your VA Claim?
You are not legally required to hire an attorney to assist with your VA claim. However, it is very important to give serious consideration to this matter. The process of filing a VA claim and dealing with denials and appeals can be overwhelming, especially when you are already dealing with health concerns and financial challenges. While some people make it through the process on the first try, without any trouble and no appeals, many are denied for benefits that they are rightfully owed. A veterans’ rights and disability attorney understands the system and can help you navigate through the various legal challenges and hurdles that you’ll face.
It is also beneficial to have an attorney on your side to give the case a fresh perspective. Your experienced veterans’ rights lawyer won’t be as weight down by the stresses that you’re dealing with, but will be just as committed to ensuring that you don’t fall through the cracks of the system. They won’t be facing the trauma that you’ve lived through or trying to make it through each day without the needed medical care and support that you require and aren’t receiving. Your attorney will have the benefit of an objective view of your claim and the associated evidence, and will be able to evaluate your position and your next steps with care and legal expertise.
Some of the reasons that a claim may be unsuccessful include using the wrong evidence, failing to present more convincing evidence that is available, and not adequately linking the medical condition and healthcare requirements to the service that you provided to the country. Your attorney will be able to determine how best to overcome these obstacles, which evidence needs to be presented, how to present it, and how to establish a causal or supportive link between the service and the condition that has left you disabled and in need of care.
In some cases, it will be necessary to link one condition with another that is already covered. For instance, a veteran may have an injury covered by veterans’ disability benefits, but another condition denied for coverage. Yet that second condition may be related to the first. If one condition results in decreased movement and that condition is covered, then another condition, like diabetes, could be linked to the decreased movement associated with the covered condition. In another example, image that the same covered injury, resulting in decreased movement, has contributed to mental health issues, such as depression. In this case, the two could be linked, and the depression could be covered, where it was previously denied because you couldn’t establish a causal link directly between the service and the depression.
Let J. Robert Surface Attorney at Law Take the Pressure Off Your Shoulders
Dealing with a disability is a high-pressure situation all by itself. Trying to go up against a denial for veterans’ disability benefits that you are entitled to puts a whole other weight on your shoulders. Far too many people are not in any position to fight for themselves. There are veterans who are very ill, unable to work, without family support, and even homeless. Dealing with such circumstances puts you in no condition to fight for your rights and navigate the complex process of appeals, organizing and providing evidence, and proving causal links.
Even if you are in a more capable position, it is still too much pressure for any one person to deal with while they are also dealing with the challenges of living with a disability. Far too many people fall through the cracks, never get the coverage that they require, give up within the first stages of the process, or end up spending years going through the steps over and over, never to reach a successful outcome. Don’t let this happen to you or your loved ones. Improve your chances of a positive resolution, receiving the benefits that you need, by contacting a skilled South Carolina veteran disability claim attorney at J. Robert Surface Attorney at Law for a free consultation.