How Does the Department of Veterans Affairs Determine the Effective Date of your Disability Claim?

One of the most contested issues in VA disability claims revolves around the effective date of a disability. Many veterans believe that because their current disability is directly caused by an in-service event or occurrence, the effective date of their disability claim should be the day after they leave the service. Unfortunately, many are disappointed when they learn that in most instances, the effective date of their disability compensation benefits will be a later date. The General Rule The

How to Reopen a Previously Denied Claim

Some veterans are unaware that they may reopen a disability compensation claim that has been denied by the Department of Veteran Affairs. In this blog post, I will explain to you what you need to reopen a previously denied claim. What is the Difference Between a New Claim and a Reopened Claim? At the outset, it is important to understand the difference between a new claim and a reopened claim. Generally, a new claim is one that has never been

Is Your Disability Entitled to Secondary Service Connection?

Many veterans know that they are entitled to service connection for disabilities due to injuries incurred while they were in service. What some may not know, is that it’s possible to receive service connection for additional disabilities that are either caused or proximately due to their service connected disabilities. The important thing to remember is that VA disability compensation is a monthly payment designed to compensate veterans for any impairment in earning capacity. Thus, any additional conditions resulting from your service connected disabilities or

Getting a Higher Schedular Rating for Your VA Benefits

In a recent decision, King v. Shulkin, the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) ruled that the Board of Veterans Claims (Board) cannot deny a veteran an extraschedular rating simply because there are higher schedular ratings available for more severe symptoms. The CAVC decision involved a Vietnam War Veteran who was granted a noncompensable rating for hearing loss in 2009. The VA examiner found “significant effects” on the Veteran’s occupation and noted poor social interactions and hearing difficulty. The veteran

What You Need to Know About Social Security Disability Insurance

Under the Social Security Act of 1935, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal program that provides a mechanism for disabled workers to receive monthly benefits. The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) administers this program, employing defined criteria to determine whether an applicant qualifies for SSDI benefits. What are the Eligibility Requirements for SSDI? In order to qualify for SSDI, there are two requirements – work credits and medical disability. We will discuss the parameters of each requirement below. First, there is a

What is Supplemental Security Income?

Under the Social Security Act of 1935, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program that provides a mechanism for disabled workers to receive monthly benefits. The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) administers this program, employing defined criteria to determine whether an applicant qualifies for SSI benefits. These benefits are available to individuals who do not have enough work history to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Who is Eligible for SSI Benefits? Disability benefits under the SSI program are generally geared toward

VA Personality Disorder Disabilities

VA Personality Disorder Disabilities The Veteran’s Affairs Office diagnoses many veterans with personality disorders (PD). A PD, however, is not a recognized disability by the Veteran’s Affairs Office. In situations where a veteran’s behavior becomes abnormal or erratic, military physicians often diagnose a veteran with a PD so that claims can be denied. In situations involving veterans with personality disorders, it is frequently a wise idea to retain the assistance of legal counsel to help make sure that disability

Hearing Loss & Blindness Veterans Benefits

Veterans Benefits for Hearing Loss or Blindness Hearing loss & blindness are disabilities that deserve compensation through benefits.  A large number of veterans experience hearing loss and tinnitus or ringing in the ears. Other veterans experience vision loss or other eye-related problems. For each of these elements, it is vital for a veteran to establish that a disability is service-connected. To establish a service-connected disability, a veteran must establish that a current hearing or vision condition exists, that there

VA Form 21-4138

If the Veteran’s Affairs Office sends a veteran a request for additional information to support a claim or a more detailed explanation of an element in a person’s claim, the veteran file a Statement in Support of Claim or VA-Form 21-4138. These statements frequently include or describe the evidence that supports a veteran’s claim. While these documents are not required to be a certain length or format, Form 21-4138 is frequently used to explain why certain documentation is missing in

Decision Review Officer Hearings

A Decision Review Officer is an employee of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs who review certain types of appeals concerning veterans’ disability benefits. Obtaining a DRO review is much faster than appeal to the Bureau of Veterans Affairs. In handling a decision review officer hearing, however, individuals frequently find it essential to retain the assistance of skilled legal counsel. Contact a Veterans Disability Lawyer The Role of a Decision Review Officer Hearing Decision Review Officer Hearings do not come