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Don't Let Your Service Go Unrecognized: You Deserve VA Disability Benefits.

Pursue Justice With Our Experienced Veterans Disability Lawyers


From the spirited patriots who carved the foundations of American independence to the brave men and women who navigated the minefield jungles of Vietnam and the unrelenting sands of Iraq, our veterans are more than mere symbols—they are the embodiment of American resilience. They've met extreme adversity with unyielding strength and unspoken sacrifice. Our veterans know the cost of peace - they have listened to the deafening silence before a battle, slept with one eye open and a gun in hand, and witnessed horrors that push the bounds of human cruelty. Heroes in every sense of the word, these veterans return from their years of duty forever changed by their experiences.

Unfortunately, the transition back to the civilian world can feel like yet another battle. The physical and invisible scars of military service makes reintegration into a changed working and social landscape an incredibly daunting task. This is especially true for disabled veterans who are forced to navigate the complexities of VA disability benefits. While this system was designed to help, it all too often presents yet another roadblock, strewn with red tape and unexplained denials.

You deserve the benefits you need to regain your sense of stability. Our accredited VA disability attorneys are prepared to guide you through every step of the process, from initial paperwork to administrative hearings. At Wettermark Keith, we know this is not just about compensation—it's about honor, dignity, and the acknowledgment of the sacrifices you've made. You have stood on the front lines of conflict to defend our freedoms. Now, it’s time for us to stand by your side, advocate for your rights, and ensure you receive the disability benefits you earned.

Understanding VA Disability: What It Is and Why It Matters

VA disability is a program initiated by the Veterans Administration (VA) to provide financial assistance and care to veterans who have incurred a disability due to their military service. These disabilities span a broad spectrum, ranging from the physical—such as limb loss, traumatic brain injury, or auditory impairment—to the psychological, including conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression. Each of these disabilities carries its own unique challenges, and the VA disability program seeks to acknowledge these struggles and provide necessary support.
The VA assigns disability ratings ranging from 0% to 100%, representing the level of impairment. These ratings are given in 10% increments. Typically, the higher the rating, the higher the monthly compensation. If a veteran has multiple disabilities, they may receive what is known as a combined disability rating. However, it’s important to note that these ratings don't stack up directly – two disabilities rated at 50% each won't result in a 100% disability rating.

The Importance of VA Disability Benefits

The importance of VA disability benefits cannot be overstated. At their core, these benefits exist to compensate veterans for any lowered earning capacity resulting from disabilities. However, the importance of these benefits extends far beyond that. They serve as a tangible acknowledgement of the sacrifices our veterans have made, helping them meet fundamental needs and providing a safety net that can help bridge the gap between their disabilities and the demands of everyday life.

More than that, VA disability benefits help promote both dignity and stability in the lives of our veterans, whose physical and psychological challenges can make reintegration feel like an uphill battle. These benefits ensure veterans can maintain their independence, seek necessary medical care, and maintain their overall well-being. Perhaps most importantly, the VA disability program serves as a crucial reminder that our nation's obligation to its veterans does not end when they leave the battlefield. Honoring our veterans is not merely about recognizing their past service—it's about supporting their present and future, too.

Common Disabilities Eligible for VA Disability Benefits

When assessing eligibility for VA disability benefits, the VA considers a wide range of conditions that may have been caused or worsened by military service. Below are the most common service-related disabilities that are eligible for disability benefits:

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): This is a mental health condition that may develop after exposure to traumatic events such as warfare. Symptoms can include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and intrusive thoughts about the traumatic event.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): This refers to brain damage resulting from a violent blow or jolt to the head - not uncommon in combat situations. Symptoms can vary widely, depending on the severity of the injury, and can include motor issues, cognitive difficulties, and emotional or behavioral changes.

Hearing Loss and Tinnitus: These conditions are particularly common among veterans due to exposure to loud noises from firearms, machinery, and explosions. While hearing loss refers to a diminished ability to hear sounds in one or both ears, tinnitus is characterized by a constant ringing or buzzing in the ears.

Orthopedic Injuries and Disorders: This category includes a wide range of conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system. This could include fractures, joint injuries, and degenerative diseases like arthritis.

Agent Orange-Related Diseases: For veterans who served in the Vietnam War, exposure to Agent Orange, a toxic defoliant used widely in the conflict, has been linked to a host of diseases. These include various cancers, Parkinson's disease, and ischemic heart disease, among others.

Mental Health Disorders: Apart from PTSD, other mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia can also be recognized for VA disability benefits. Military service, with its unique stresses and challenges, can sometimes trigger these conditions or worsen pre existing ones.

Respiratory Disorders: These include a range of conditions that affect the lungs and the ability to breathe. They could be caused by exposure to harmful substances or environmental hazards during military service. Examples include asthma, chronic bronchitis, and lung disease.

Gulf War Syndrome: This is a group of unexplained illnesses observed among veterans of the Gulf War. Symptoms can include fatigue, headaches, joint pain, indigestion, insomnia, dizziness, respiratory disorders, and memory problems.

Keep in mind, there may be additional service-connected conditions that are eligible for VA disability benefits. If you have questions concerning your particular disability and its eligibility, don't hesitate to reach out to our seasoned team of VA disability attorneys at (877) 715-9300. You deserve answers, and we're here to provide them.

Types of Veterans Disability Benefits

Excluding disability compensation, The VA offers a host of different types of disability benefits, including:

Disability Pension: This is a benefit paid to wartime veterans with limited income who are permanently and totally disabled or age 65 or older. Unlike disability compensation, the disability doesn't have to be connected to their military service.

Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Services: These services are provided to help with job training, employment accommodations, resume development, and job seeking skills coaching. Other services may be provided to assist veterans to start their own businesses or independent living services for those who are severely disabled and unable to work in traditional employment.

Education and Training: Post-service, veterans may receive benefits to cover the cost of degree and certificate programs, vocational or technical training, apprenticeships, and on-the-job training programs. This also includes tutoring and reimbursement for licensing and certification tests. The most well-known programs are the Post-9/11 GI Bill and the Montgomery GI Bill.

Home Loans: VA provides guarantees for home loans to help veterans buy, build, repair, retain, or adapt a home for personal occupancy. They also offer loans for Native American Veterans to purchase, construct, or improve homes on Federal Trust Land, or to reduce the interest rate on a VA loan.

Life Insurance: Various life insurance options are available to veterans and their families to provide financial security. These include Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance, Veterans' Group Life Insurance, and Family Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance, among others.

Health Care: The VA provides a range of healthcare services to veterans, including preventative, primary, and specialty care. These services are offered through VA medical centers and outpatient clinics across the country. Mental health services, treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse services, and treatment for military sexual trauma are also included.

It's important to remember that eligibility for these benefits varies based on factors such as the length of service, discharge status, disability rating, income level, and more. It's recommended that veterans reach out to the VA or a VA-accredited attorney or representative to discuss their specific circumstances.

Understanding the VA Disability Claim Process - a Quick Guide

Unfortunately, some veterans have been targeted by scams that involve companies offering assistance with the claims process - for a fee. Know that you should never have to pay to file your initial VA disability claim. The 2023 GUARD Act provides veterans with substantial protection from these scams - under this legislation, it's illegal for any individual or company to charge veterans for assistance with their initial disability claims.

During the application process, remember to stay vigilant, informed, and know that you are protected by law. Furthermore, while the VA disability claim process may seem overwhelming, carefully following the steps below can help you obtain the benefits you deserve.

    How to Apply for VA Benefits:

    Confirm Eligibility for Benefits: First, you must confirm that your disability is service-connected and eligible for VA disability benefits Consult with your healthcare provider to establish a clear link between your military service and your disability. Please note that a veteran with a dishonorable discharge is not eligible for any VA benefits.

    Gather Disability Documentation: Collect all necessary evidence of your disability, its relation to your service, and its impact on your life and earnings. This evidence can include medical and service records, incident reports, and statements from family, friends, and fellow service members.

    Complete the Necessary Forms: Fill out VA Form 21-526EZ and any other supplementary forms specific to your case. It is crucial to be thorough and accurate on these forms when detailing your service-connected disabilities and their impact on your life.

    Submit Your Claim: Submit your completed forms and documents either online through the VA eBenefits portal or via mail to the closest VA office.

    VA Review: The VA will then evaluate your claim. Keep in mind, they may request additional information or schedule a Compensation & Pension (C&P) Exam to assess your disability.

    Rating Decision: Post-review, the VA assigns a disability rating reflecting the severity of your disabilities and their impact, determining the monthly compensation you'll receive.

    Notification of Decision: The VA sends a letter outlining their decision, the specific disability rating, the benefits effective date, and the monthly compensation amount you will receive.

    Appeal of Decision (if necessary): If you disagree with the VA's decision, you can initiate an appeal by filing a Notice of Disagreement within one year. This will start the appeals process, where you can opt to file a supplemental claim with new evidence, request a higher-level review of the existing claim, or appeal directly to the Board of Veterans' Appeals. Consult with an attorney to evaluate your options.

    It is also important to note that submitting an intent to file a disability claim to the VA can potentially secure retroactive disability compensation payments. Online applications automatically notify the VA of your intent to file. However, you can also complete and mail the Intent to File a Claim for Compensation form or contact the VA directly. Post notification, you have one year to complete and submit your claim.


    How to Appeal a Denied Disability Claim

    Should your VA disability claim be denied or if you disagree with the assigned rating, you have the right to an appeal. Our attorneys are accredited by the VA and know this process well, having successfully secured benefits for countless veterans. Your VA disability attorney can help you gather additional evidence, identify initial decision errors, and present a compelling argument that improves your chances of success. Follow these steps when considering how to appeal your claim denial:

    Carefully review the decision letter sent by the VA. If you disagree with any part of the decision or believe the VA made an error, you may want to consider an appeal. In this situation, it’s wise to consult with an experienced VA disability attorney, as they can analyze the decision letter and ensure all conditions are properly considered.

    One option before appealing to the Board is to file a supplemental claim. This involves submitting new and relevant evidence to support your case that was not previously considered. Your attorney can help identify new evidence, like medical records or expert opinions, and file a strong supplemental claim on your behalf.

    Alternatively, you can request a higher-level review of your existing claim file without submitting new evidence. This has a senior claims adjudicator complete a new look at your case. Your lawyer can request this review if they believe the initial decision contained an error.

    If unsatisfied with the results of a supplemental claim or higher-level review, you can appeal directly to the Board of Veterans' Appeals. At this stage, experienced legal representation is critical to present compelling arguments on your behalf.

    When filing your Board appeal, you can request a hearing with a Veterans Law Judge, though this is not required. Your disability lawyer can request a hearing for you, help you prepare your testimony and arguments, and represent you at the hearing.

    If you disagree with the Board's decision, you may be able to appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims or reopen your claim with new evidence. Some VA disability attorneys can continue assisting you through these further appeals.

    Consult with a VA-accredited lawyer to discuss your options for appealing a denied disability claim. The appeals process can be complex, but the right legal representation can help you navigate it effectively.


    Our 3-Step Process

    Step 1: Contact Our Team

    Call us at (877) 715-9300 or message us through our website form to arrange a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with our accredited VA Disability lawyers.

    Step 2: We Review Your Claim

    In our initial case review, our experienced team will assess your claim and explore your options. If you've been unjustly denied compensation for a service-related disability, we'll assign a dedicated VA-accredited attorney to your case.

    Step 3: We Defend Your Rights

    As one of the Southeast’s top Veterans Disability firms, Wettermark Keith is committed to ensuring your rights to compensation are upheld. You’ve served us - now let us serve you. 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    The VA uses a scale from 0 to 100 to rate disability. This rating is meant to represent the severity of your disability and how much it impacts your ability to work. These ratings are given in 10% increments - the higher the rating, the higher the monthly compensation. If you have multiple disabilities, you may be eligible for a combined disability rating - the VA uses a complex calculation that factors in the combined loss of efficiency from having multiple disabilities. If you have a 100% disability rating, you might also qualify for additional Special Monthly Compensation (SMC), designed for veterans with specific disabilities who are housebound or need assistance with daily activities.

    A 100% disability rating indicates that the VA recognizes the veteran's disability as total and permanent, resulting in an inability to work. The veteran will receive the maximum monthly compensation.

    Yes, veterans who receive VA disability benefits can still work, unless they receive benefits due to Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU).

    A VA disability lawyer can guide you through the entire VA benefits appeals process. They can help gather evidence, prepare for hearings, and make persuasive legal arguments on your behalf. It’s important to note that skilled legal assistance can significantly increase your chances of a successful claim.

    The time frame can vary significantly, depending on the complexity of the case and the workload of the VA office handling the claim. Generally, it takes several months to over a year.

    Yes, you can receive both VA disability benefits and Social Security disability benefits at the same time. They are separate programs and do not affect each other.

    No, you don't need to have served during wartime to qualify. The VA provides benefits for disabilities related to military service, regardless of when that service occurred.

    Yes, the VA can decrease your disability rating if they determine that your condition has improved. However, this usually involves a thorough review and medical examinations.

    If your disability worsens, you can file for an increased rating with the VA. You'll need to provide medical evidence to support your claim for an increased rating. A VA disability lawyer can help with this process.

    Why Are Some VA Disability Claims Rejected?

    Unfortunately, not all valid VA disability claims are approved on the first submission. However, knowing the common causes of rejection can help veterans avoid delays in their benefits and increase their chances of a successful claim. The most common reasons the VA rejects a disability compensation claim include:

    Insufficient Medical Evidence

    Inadequate Service Connection

    Errors or Incomplete Forms

    Missed Deadlines

    Lack of Clarity in Describing Disabilities

    Failure to Attend Medical Examinations

    Inadequate Link Between Disability and Service

    5 Ways a Veterans Disability Lawyer is Essential to Your Case

    Having a veterans disability lawyer on your side can be absolutely crucial in ensuring that you get the VA disability benefits you deserve. Below are some of the key advantages an experienced attorney can bring to the table:

    1. Expertise and Guidance

    Our accredited VA disability lawyers have extensive experience dealing with the VA. They understand the intricacies of the law and how to present your claim in the most effective way. They can help guide you through the maze of paperwork, ensuring all your appeal forms are complete and properly filed on time.

    2. Experienced Legal Representation

    If your initial claim is denied, don’t lose hope. Your experienced VA disability lawyer can guide you through the appeals process, helping to gather additional evidence, prepare for hearings, and make persuasive legal arguments to overturn the decision. Whether your case is before the Regional Office, the Board of Veterans' Appeals, or the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, an experienced VA disability lawyer can represent you at all levels of the appeal process. They can ensure your voice is heard, your rights are protected, and your case is presented in the best light.

    3. Access to a Network of Resources

    Our VA disability lawyers often have access to a broad network of resources, including medical professionals and expert witnesses, which can be beneficial to your case. They can leverage these resources to gather the necessary evidence, obtain expert opinions, and build the most compelling case possible for your disability claim.

    4. No Upfront Fees

    Our disability lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning they don’t get paid unless we win your case. This allows you to seek the legal representation you need without worrying about upfront costs.

    5. Compassion and Understanding

    One of the most overlooked, yet significant, advantages of having one of our veterans disability lawyers on your side is the element of compassion and understanding they bring. A good lawyer is not only proficient in their field, but they also empathize with the challenges their clients face. Veterans often have unique needs and experiences, which can make navigating the legal system even more complex. Our disability lawyers understand the difficulties veterans face, including the psychological and physical challenges that can arise from service-related injuries, and will offer you emotional support and understanding throughout the process. They will take the time to listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and alleviate any fears or anxieties you may have.They understand what you're going through, and they're committed to fighting for your rights.

    Why Choose Wettermark Keith VA Disability Lawyers?

    Trust is not given; it's earned. At Wettermark Keith, we've earned the trust of countless veterans through our unwavering dedication to their rights and our steadfast commitment to their cause. We aren’t just lawyers; we are compassionate advocates. We understand the immense physical, emotional, and financial burden carried by those who have served, and work tirelessly to alleviate this burden and fight for the VA disability benefits you deserve.

    Wettermark Keith, with offices located throughout Alabama, Tennessee, and Florida, has an excellent reputation as one of the most accomplished personal injury firms in the country. Our reach is not only regional but includes a diverse range of practice areas, including personal injury cases, auto wrecks, trucking wrecks, medical malpractice, on-the-job injuries, social security disability, and veterans’ disability claims. At Wettermark Keith, we believe in taking cases personally. Our purpose is to practice with care and compassion - to tell our client’s stories and make their voices heard.

    Stand Up For Your Rights: Reach Out Today

    Don’t let the complexities of the VA system deter you from seeking the compensation you are entitled to. Don’t hesitate - reach out to Wettermark Keith’s accredited VA attorneys to act as your advocates and support system through this process. You can contact our legal team through our website or by calling (877) 715-9300.

    Wettermark Keith was extremely professional and helpful. This personal injury law firm helped my husband over 10 years ago when he fell and broke his foot on vacation. I called them first because I liked their TV commercials. They are very nice people and I would call them again if I needed a lawyer.

    - Juanita

    Law firm Wettermark Keith has exceeded my expectations! I recommend these lawyers to anyone and everyone I come across. Their commitment to their clients is outstanding. Communication is easy. And I got my settlement very fast. I definitely recommend working with Lee Hawker. He is very gracious and kind. He looked out for me and my family and went above and beyond for us. I’m very grateful!

    - Alexa

    My personal embattlement with the Social Security Administration went downhill. From a personal recommendation, I reached out to Wettermark Keith law firm. Brian Smith and his team took my case and throughout the whole process, I felt more than just another number. Frequent updates were provided, and emphasis was placed on ensuring all needed documentation was in place. In the end, the accident case resulted in a favorable victory. A big thank you to my lawyer Brian Smith and the team at Wettermark Keith for the hard work throughout the entire personal injury process.

    - Dallas

    I had the pleasure of working with Mr. Mark English at Wettermark Keith law firm after my car accident in December 2021. He was very thorough in everything, did a wonderful job of explaining everything that was happening, and was super easy to get in touch with when I needed him. I never had a question that was left unanswered by this lawyer. He's very kind and patient, and he made the personal injury claims process so easy for me. I absolutely recommend him, it was a pleasure working with him!

    - Rose

    I am so elated that I utilized Mr. Muhammad Abdullah’s services. In the beginning, he told me the compensation that I would receive for my personal injury claim and I actually received more than that! After my car wreck (in my brand-new vehicle), I was actually surprised that I was in the pain that I was in. Mr. Abdullah made sure I saw the necessary people for therapy and worked hard to get me back into my car after the accident. I felt that he was diligent, listened to my concerns, and quickly got me back in my car and compensated! I will be utilizing Mr. Abdullah again and again, anytime I ever have to hire a lawyer.

    - Madinah