Virginia Veteran’s Disability Lawyers
Fighting wars on foreign shores is physically tolling and emotionally painful for those brave men and women who signed up to protect our freedom. Given the degree of military service provided by these individuals to our great nation, one would assume giving veterans financial and medical assistance wouldn’t be questioned if they sustained service-connected injuries.
Each day in America, veterans of war are denied benefits they were promised before enlistment. With CHASENBOSCOLO working alongside each veteran that reaches out to them, the chances they’ll finally get the medical care, and monthly financial help greatly increases.
Have you, a real hero of our country, been denied VA benefits and disability? Are you the loved one of a veteran? Call our office today at (703) 538-1138 to schedule your free case analysis with an experienced Virginia veterans’ disability lawyer.
What is an Unemployable Veteran?
Some service-related injuries have kept veterans out of work for many years. These injuries are both physical and mental, and often require medication, therapy and in some cases assistance with performing daily activities like bathing, walking, eating and using the lavatory. If you’re unable to find gainful employment due to an injury sustained while on active duty, you may be entitled to certain financial and medical benefits.
Secondary service-connected injuries would also qualify veterans to receive benefits. For example, if you were diagnosed with cancer due to exposure to Agent Orange, the complications and treatment needed to cure cancer would be considered service connected by the veteran’s exposure to the herbicide.
Benefits Available to Disabled and Unemployable Veterans
Once the VA office gives veterans their disability rating, several benefits could be made available to you. Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU) payments, now at least $2,978.86 per month, would be given to the veteran until they were able to work again or pass away. TDIU payments are:
- For veterans with service-connected injuries who cannot return to work;
- For veterans who are disabled; and
- Unlike SSD applications in that veterans can reapply as often as they’d like.
Veterans who qualify for this payment may receive extra benefits if they have qualifying dependents and parents. Medical insurance, vocational rehabilitation and other services offered to qualified veterans would be available to those who were approved for TDIU benefits.
TDIU Application Process
Before beginning the application process, make sure your condition is one the Office of Veteran’s Affairs would deem “unemployable”. Currently, the rules of eligibility are:
- For veterans with one qualifying service-connected disability, their VA rating must exceed 60% for that condition; or,
- For veterans with more than one qualifying service-connected disability, their combined rating must exceed 70% both all disabilities (but one must be at least 40%).
Once you’re ready to apply, you’ll want to complete VA Form 21-8940, a claim for monetary benefits based on unemployability. The process is pretty straightforward, although requesting the assistance of an attorney may also streamline this process and minimize your chances of denial.
Veterans who are currently employed are not barred from applying; however, income from all sources must be below the Federal Poverty Level during the time of application.
In proving your disability, be prepared to present evidence of service-connected injury and medical evidence supporting your unemployability. If you feel the application process is too difficult, or you aren’t sure how to collect the required information, CHASENBOSCOLO would be honored to assist in getting your application processed and approved.
Understanding the VA’s Schedular Rating
VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities (VASRD) is used to determine the level of unemployability the veteran has, and what benefits the disabled veteran may be entitled to. Basic ratings are calculated on the Veterans Affairs’ schedular rating system of 0% to 100% disability, with 60% the mandatory level to reach with only one qualifying service-connected injury.
If the normal system can not gauge the veteran’s disability, an extraschedular system will be used to determine how close to 100% disabled the veteran may be.
Veterans can provide information that their situation is unique enough to get their ratings bumped to 100% through the extraschedular rating system, thereby affording them full TDIU benefits and the ability to apply for extra assistance under the Social Security Administration. This method is how many who usually wouldn’t qualify can secure benefits.
How the VA Appeals Process Works
Life would be much easier for veterans if the VA approved their TDIU applications without giving veterans the runaround. Unfortunately, some denials could slow down the benefits disbursement process. Here’s an overview of how that process works today, thanks to improvements to the appeals process enacted by the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act:
- Disabled veteran sends VA application.
- The VA regional office, RO, sends a letter regarding disability rating and the notice of its decision in the same letter.
- Claimant files notice of disagreement. Veterans must file NOD within one (1) year of mailing of rating decision by VA.
- The veteran can then file a supplemental claim with additional evidence to support their application directly to the VA department, who then forwards the claim to the BVA.
- Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA) will then make their determination within 125 days.
- Denials can be appealed to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims within 120 days of the BVA’s decision.
The steps above are abbreviated; it takes significant work at each level of appeals to offer enough information to climb the ladder to the next office.
Why Should I Hire a Veterans Disability Lawyer?
There are many steps involved with every TDIU application, many which require gathering information and understanding how to convey legal terms to normal individuals at the VA office who have a strict protocol to follow. As many veterans are in dire need of financial help, there is little room for error. That’s reason enough to compel the many veterans of Virginia to call CHASENBOSCOLO.
The appeals process can also be stressful, tiring and emotionally tolling for many veterans who are legitimately disabled. Sending appeals, making phone calls, filing additional appeals and playing the “waiting game” are often more than most could handle. Attorneys, on the other hand, are adequately equipped to weather the storm before, during and after the appeals process.
Frequently Asked Veterans Disability Questions
Many veterans are approved for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits before they apply for TDIU compensation. Using an approval from Social Security to strengthen a VA application is quite common in Virginia.
According to 20 C.F.R. § 404.1567(a), sedentary work involves lifting at or below 10 pounds, with occasional sitting, walking and standing. It’s the category the VA puts people in who may have partial disability, but are still able to perform some manual labor for six (6) out of eight (8) hours in a typical workday. This type of work is based more on speculation than facts.
Self-employment does not count toward the VA’s definition of substantially gainful employment. Regular employment that exceeds the $12,140 poverty level (as of 2018) would be considered such, however.
If you were denied immediately after applying, you’re not alone. Many calls to CHASENBOSCOLO come from veterans who are frustrated that the benefits they feel should have been approved were denied without merit. Joining forces with us, many veterans get their applications approved over time.
One great benefit of using our services is that we will not charge veterans until they’ve won their TDIU cases. We do all the work to assure the application, and subsequent appeals are completed correctly and in an expedient manner.
If you’ve been discharged in any manner other than dishonorable, and have at least one service-connected disability with a greater than 60% VA disability rating, you will qualify for TDIU benefits. However, dishonorable discharges and injuries not directly (or secondarily) connected to your military service are generally not payable.
If you are approved for enlistment, have a preexisting mental or physical condition, and your deployment or active duty work aggravated your injury, you would qualify for TDIU benefits as it would fall under a secondary service-connected injury.
CHASENBOSCOLO Stands Up for Veterans
Veterans spend hours in heat, rain, in trenches, and in tents fighting for the liberties Americans enjoy today. Who will stand up for them when it’s time to see to it the VA is assisting them financially? CHASENBOSCOLO will, and we’ll do so with the same level of integrity these men and women deserve.
Have you been denied benefits you are owed to you because of your disability? Tired of being given the runaround by VA representatives, just to be denied down the road? Let our team of lawyers work to get your claims approved. Call us today at (703) 538-1138 or contact us online to schedule a free, confidential case review.