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Serving Those Who Served: Veterans Disability Attorneys in Panama City

If you're seeking Panama City VA Disability Lawyers, contact Wettermark Keith as soon as possible.

Panama City is paradise on earth, featuring pristine beaches, exotic animals, and scenic nature. With a rich history dating back to the early 19th century, the charming coastal city has more than enough to offer to those who call it home, making it even more traumatic when any of its residents experience the shock of military deployment for the first time. Panama City’s veterans are no strangers to the struggles faced by many veterans who return home after serving their country. The violence, tragedies, and situations that soldiers face while deployed is beyond comprehension for those who have not experienced it firsthand. Studies show that when returning to civilian life, a significant number of veterans experience severe symptoms of PTSD, as well as other diagnosed disabilities post-combat. 


Although veterans face many struggles upon returning home, they are not alone. Panama City disabled veterans are entitled to apply for government benefits, yet the process can be long and stressful. Unfortunately, many veterans face unjust denials of their applications by the VA, leading to appeals that can take an additional year or more to review. This bureaucratic process can take a significant emotional and stressful toll on veterans who have already put their lives on the line for their country.


Fortunately, veterans and their loved ones do not have to face this alone. At Wettermark Keith, our Attorneys are accredited by the Veterans Administration to represent veterans in claims for benefits before the Department of Veterans Affairs. They have plenty of experienced helping Panama City veterans navigate the complex appeals process. We deeply value the sacrifices made by veterans and are committed to ensuring they have the resources they need to live comfortably. Any veteran who has been denied benefits should not hesitate to reach out to Wettermark Keith's experienced veterans affairs attorneys by calling (877) 715-9300 or submitting a form through our website.



What are Veterans Disability Benefits?

Disabled veterans who have been injured, physically or mentally, as a result of their service can receive compensation and other benefits through Veterans disability benefits. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is responsible for providing eligible veterans with disability compensation when that disability is directly related to their service. In 2020, over 5.5 million veterans and their dependents received benefits, with disability benefits being the most common. Again, to qualify for compensation, veterans must have a disability that is linked to their military service and have been discharged under non-dishonorable conditions.

In addition to compensation, veterans with service-connected disabilities may also qualify for other benefits such as healthcare, employment services, and housing assistance. As of 2020, more than 9 million veterans were enrolled in the VA healthcare system, with over 700,000 receiving educational benefits annually, and over 24 million VA home loans being guaranteed since the program's inception.

The application process for VA disability benefits is complex and requires medical evidence and military documentation. If denied, it is advisable for veterans to seek assistance from an experienced veterans disability lawyer, such as those at Wettermark Keith, to ensure fair compensation

How do former Panama City military members qualify for VA disability benefits?

In order to qualify for veterans disability benefits in Panama City, FL, you must meet a few guidelines set up by the VA. In general, veterans must have served on active duty and received a discharge for any reason except dishonorable. You must also have a current illness or injury that affects your mind and body. Along with that, at least one of the following must apply: the veteran became sick or injured during their military service and can link this condition to their illness or injury (an in-service disability claim), they had a preexisting condition that was worsened by their service (a pre-service disability claim), or they have a disability related to their service that did not manifest until after their service ended (a post-service disability claim).

There are various disabilities that qualify a veteran for VA disability benefits. Some, but not all, include:

  1. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): A mental health condition that often develops after experiencing a traumatic event.

  2. Traumatic brain injury (TBI): A condition caused by a blow to the head that can result in long-term bodily and mental symptoms.

  3. Hearing loss: Damage to the ears from exposure to loud noises or explosions.

  4. Vision loss: Visual impairments caused by injury or disease.

  5. Infectious Diseases: Veterans who served in areas where infectious diseases were prevalent may have contracted these illnesses during their service and may be eligible for disability compensation.

A veteran’s disability must have been caused or aggravated by their time in the military, and medical evidence is needed to support their claim. It can be challenging for many veterans to prove that injuries are service-connected, especially without formal medical records or military reports. This is why you must collect all documentation regarding the veteran's medical history prior to submitting an application. This speeds up the initial review process and improves the chances of your acceptance. If you are denied, a Panama City veterans disability lawyer at Wettermark Keith can help you receive disability benefits. 

The VA benefits application process can be stressful, which is why veterans should seek the assistance of a qualified VA attorney from Wettermark Keith to help with the appeals process as soon as they are denied. 

In Panama City, FL, how do veterans apply for disability benefits? 

Veterans who believe they may qualify can apply for VA disability benefits through their local VA office, VA medical center, or online. Here are the main steps to file a disability compensation claim:

  1. Gather Documentation - Have ready all relevant medical records, military service records, personal statements, and supporting documents.
  2. File the Initial Claim - Submit your claim and evidence through the VA website, by mail, or in-person. For new claims, you must show an injury incurred during military service that still impacts you today.
  3. Wait for the VA's Decision - Monitor your claim status online or by calling VA. Initial decisions often take 3-6 months.
  4. File an Appeal if Denied - If your claim gets denied, quickly consult with a VA disability attorney to file an appeal within one year and maximize your chances of approval on appeal.
  5. Consider a Supplemental Claim or Higher-Level Review - Your attorney can help determine if a supplemental claim with new evidence or higher-level review of the existing claim is appropriate before appealing to the Board.
  6. Proceed to a Board Appeal if Required - Your attorney can represent you before the Board if needed and request a hearing with a Veterans Law Judge.

Having an experienced attorney guide you through the complex VA disability process can significantly improve your chances of success. Don't wait to get legal help appealing a denial - call our Panama City veterans benefits attorneys today for a free consultation.

How are disability benefits calculated for veterans?

The VA uses a formula to calculate the veteran's disability rating by adding up the total percentage of their conditions using a disability calculator. The veteran does not need to be completely disabled to receive compensation, and veterans with an overall rating of 70% or higher are eligible for full compensation. The VA rates disabilities on a scale from 0% to 100%, with each percentage point corresponding to a specific compensation rate. The calculator takes into account each individual disability, if the veteran has more than one, and assigns a percentage to each. This assignment is based on the severity of the disability, how much it impairs one's ability to work, and whether one can carry out daily activities. These individual percentages are then combined to give an overall disability rating. It is important to note that VA disability calculator is not a guarantee of benefits since each case is evaluated on an individual basis. If you have received an adverse decision, you should get a VA disability lawyer from Wettermark Keith in Panama City to help navigate the appeal process and ensure that you receive just compensation based on your service-connected disabilities.

Common reasons for benefits denial by the VA

VA disability benefits claims may be denied for many reasons, and the most common include: 

Lack of Evidence

Medical and service records are required as evidence to support a claim. If there is insufficient evidence to establish a connection between the disability and the veteran's service, the claim will be denied.

Failure to Attend VA Medical Exams

The VA may require a veteran to get a medical exam that determines the extent of their disability. If a veteran fails to attend the exam, the VA will deny the claim.

Pre-Existing Conditions

If the VA determines that the disability existed prior to the veteran's service, or was not caused by the service, the claim will be denied.

Discharge Status

Veterans who received a dishonorable discharge are generally not eligible for VA benefits. Other types of discharges, such as bad conduct, may also impact eligibility for benefits.

Unemployment or Incarceration

Certain VA benefits, such as disability compensation or education benefits, may be affected by unemployment or incarceration.

Incorrect Information

If a veteran provides incorrect information or omits important details, the VA may deny the claim.

Wettermark Keith: Panama City VA disability lawyers  

Wettermark Keith’s attorneys are a team of knowledgeable, compassionate individuals working for you to get the disability compensation that you deserve. With offices located throughout Alabama, Tennessee, and Florida, Wettermark Keith has a reputation as one of the most accomplished personal injury and VA firms in the country. We have a diverse range of practice areas, including VA Disability claims. Our legal team makes sure that we understand your disability and convey that to the VA as best as we can. Our attorneys build strong relationships based on constant communication, trust, and dedication to the truth. Caring for you is our goal, and winning is just how we show it. Contact us to set up your free consultation with our Panama City, FL legal team and attorneys at Wettermark Keith at (877) 715-9300 or through our online form.

If our disability attorneys produce no recovery, then you pay no fees- guaranteed! 

At Wettermark Keith, we understand your disability, even when you feel like no one else does, which is why we operate on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not need to pay us until we win your case. If your attorney fails to win your case, you don’t pay a single thing. With our experienced VA attorneys, you only have the potential of money to gain. If your disability claim was denied, contact a veterans affairs attorney from Panama City at Wettermark Keith as soon as possible to begin filing your appeal.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The length of time it takes to get disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs can vary widely depending on the complexity of your case and the backlog of claims at the VA. In general, it can take several months to several years to receive a decision on claims for veterans benefits. Working with a Veterans Disability Lawyer can help expedite the process using their excellent resources.