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Trusted Veterans Disability Lawyer in Huntsville You Can Rely On
Disabled veterans of the United States military can apply for disability compensation paid to veterans suffering the residual effects from a time of active military service. For Alabama residents, the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) handles all veterans' disability claims. These disabilities are considered to be service-connected, and while applications can be submitted independently, the chances of receiving the maximum amount of disability income improve with the help of a veterans' disability lawyer. If you are looking for assistance with your claim, consider contacting a veterans' disability lawyer in Huntsville, Alabama.
Veterans Disability Benefits Eligibility
For the United States military veterans that are injured or disabled, VA benefits are available for those with proof of both service and disability connected to military service. Here are some basic criteria for VA disability benefits, as outlined by the VA:
- Service in any US military branch: Coast Guard, Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force
- Veteran status: Discharge from active duty in any way other than dishonorable
- Direct correlation between service and the current disability
- Degree of disability
- Service records and supporting statements
If your circumstances fit these criteria, consider reaching out to a disability lawyer in Huntsville, AL.
Types of Service-Connected Disability
As the name suggests, a service-connected disability is a disability or injury that can be directly correlated to military service, or a pre-existing condition that was made worse by military service. Examples of service-connected disabilities include, but are not limited to:
- TBIs, or traumatic brain injuries
- PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder
- Toxic chemical exposure, including Agent Orange
- Military Sexual Trauma
- Concussions and Post-Concussion Syndrome
- Bodily injuries
- Mental disorders, including mood disorders, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, or dementia
If you are experiencing any of these conditions, contact a Huntsville VA disability attorney today to get the disability compensation that you deserve.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between VA disability income and a VA pension?
A VA pension is needs-based and age-based income for a veteran that incurred a disability, illness, or injury outside of military service that renders the veteran unable to work. Like a “normal” pension, it is meant to be the main source of income for its recipient.
VA disability income, meanwhile, is not needs-based and is only eligible to those with a service-connected disability. It is not restricted to a particular period of service, but is paid out relative to the determined severity of the disability, injury, or illness, also known as a “disability rating”. Moreover, VA disability income is not considered income and is therefore considered tax-free, meaning that eligibility for other means of income such as Social Security Disability benefits is not affected.
I was rejected for VA disability income. How do I file an appeal?
If you've been denied VA disability income, it's essential to act promptly. Within a year of your denial, you can initiate the appeal by filing a Notice of Disagreement. Once you've done that, it's advised to closely review the decision letter sent by the VA. If you identify any discrepancies or believe that an error was made, the following options are available:
Firstly, you could file a Supplemental Claim, where you provide new and relevant evidence that wasn't considered in the original decision. This could be in the form of additional medical records or expert opinions. If you believe there was an error in the initial decision and you don't have new evidence, you can request a Higher-Level Review. A senior claims adjudicator will then reevaluate your case.
If neither of these options leads to a satisfactory resolution, you can proceed to file a VA Form 9 to directly appeal to the Board of Veterans' Appeals. At this stage, while it's optional, you can also request a hearing with a Veterans Law Judge to bolster your case.
Given the complexity of the appeals process, it's strongly recommended to engage a veterans disability lawyer. They can guide you through each step, ensuring thoroughness and enhancing the chances of securing the compensation you merit.
It's also worth noting that the appeals process is distinct from requesting a reevaluation due to a worsening condition. If you believe your condition has deteriorated, necessitating a higher disability rating, assemble the essential medical and treatment records and formally petition the VA for a reevaluation.
Wettermark Keith Veterans Disability Lawyer in Huntsville
For disabled veterans in the Huntsville area, the Wettermark Keith law firm of disability lawyers are ready to work with the VA to help you get the repayment that you deserve for serving our country. You are welcome to receive a free consultation for your veterans' disability case and do not have to pay us anything unless we win your case. It would be our honor to help you.