Veterans experience and endure physical and mental hardships in service to our Country and it should come as no surprise that the effects of those hardships stay with Veterans long after their separation from service. Conditions such as Tinnitus, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), plantar fasciitis, depression, anxiety, and sleep apnea are commonly experienced by veterans. Service-connected orthopedic injuries such as broken bones, herniated discs, and muscular injuries often result in arthritis, sciatica, and limited use or range of motion in a veteran’s back neck arms, and legs. Certain diagnoses such as Diabetes, Gulf War Syndrome, and various forms of cancer may be presumptively linked to the Veteran’s service if exposed to substances such as Agent Orange (expanded to include veterans of the Blue Water Navy in 2019) or contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. When you or your loved one require disability compensation for a service-related injury or illness, trust in a New Jersey veterans disability attorney at Team Law to fight to secure the disability benefits you need and deserve.
Contact us today for a free consultation. Whether you are working on your first claim for veterans’ compensation or have been denied, our trusted VA lawyers are highly committed to ensuring that you get the best chance at obtaining your VA disability benefits.
Veterans with an honorable discharge are entitled to all VA benefits. Those with general discharges under honorable conditions are entitled to most VA benefits. A Veteran with a discharge other than dishonorable is not necessarily precluded from VA benefits, however, the VA will conduct a character of service determination to assess eligibility for benefits. It would be wise to consult an accredited New Jersey veterans disability attorney in such circumstances.
A Veteran can file a claim for a service-connected disability: a current diagnosis that is related to or caused by some injury event occurrence or exposure from their time in active service. Or a Veteran can file a claim seeking an increase of a previous rating or even Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU).
TDIU is an entitlement to a total disability rating if the Veteran can prove that service-connected limitations preclude gainful employment, even if they do not have a 100% scheduled rating. Due to “VA Math” achieving a scheduled 100% rating can be a daunting task. In order to be entitled to a 100% rating through TDIU, a veteran must not be gainfully employed and have either one service-connected disability rated at 60% or a combination of service-connected disabilities that equals 70% where at least one of the service-connected conditions is at 40%. It is important to note that entitlement to TDIU or a 100% VA disability rating is not the same thing as Social Security Disability and a Veteran may be entitled to both, although entitlement to one does not necessarily mean automatic entitlement to the other. The Social Security Administration does however provide expedited processing of disability claims filed by veterans who have a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Compensation rating of 100% Permanent & Total. The attorneys at TEAMLAW are experienced Social Security practitioners and can represent the Veteran through the process.
A Veteran can initiate a claim by filing a form 21-526EZ online, through the mail, or at a VA Regional Office. If the Veteran has all the information that they want the VA to consider, service and personnel records, medical records and reports, buddy statements etc., they can file a Fully Developed Claim. If the Veteran files following the standard claims process the VA has a “duty to assist” the veteran in gathering evidence. A fully developed claim tends to move quicker through the system since all the evidence is provided upfront. If a veteran files a fully developed claim and then augments it with additional information after filing, the fully developed claim will be transferred to the standard track. A good tip is to file an “intent to file” Form 21-0966. This document preserves the Veteran’s effective date. The veteran will have one year from the date that the 21-0966 is filed to complete their claim application and the filing date will be that of the 21-0966, not the date the application is finally filed if within the one year thereby possibly increasing the Veteran’s back-due benefits.
Are you a Veteran who has filed a claim for a service-connected disability, an increased rating, or Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU)?
Have you received a Rating Decision Narrative and Notice of Action from the VA? If so you have one year from the date on the Notice of Award to file an appeal.
The Appeals Modernization Act of 2017 has revamped the appeals process available to veterans. Following an unfavorable rating decision on an initial VA compensation claim, VA’s new disability appeals process allows veterans to choose from different review options when filing an appeal:
The veterans disability claims appeals process is a labyrinth of rules regulations and different routes. Which of the above appeal routes is best for the individual Veteran is case-specific. You should consult a New Jersey veterans disability attorney at Team Law if you have applied for disability benefits and received a denial letter and intend to file an appeal.
Not just any attorney can assist a Veteran in prosecuting their appeal before the VA. An individual generally must first be accredited by The US Department of Veterans Affairs to assist a claimant in the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of a claim for VA benefits. The VA accreditation program exists to ensure that Veterans and their family members receive appropriate representation on their VA benefits claims.
Accredited Attorneys charge on a contingency basis and do not get paid unless the Veteran is awarded retroactive benefits. The accredited attorneys here at TEAMLAW charge a 20% contingency fee and the initial consultation is always free. Accredited attorneys are prohibited from charging fees based on future benefits. Accredited attorneys cannot charge for assistance in filing initial claims.
Contact Team Law for a free, no-obligation consultation to go over your options with a New Jersey veterans disability attorney at our firm today.
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