While proudly serving your country, you become disabled or unable to continue working. Having to deal with serious injuries and your health insurance is already stressful enough. Now, you need to figure out a way to provide for yourself and family. Thankfully, there are government benefits you can apply for. Many veterans find their Veteran’s Application for Compensation/Pension (VA) denied despite its purpose. Know your rights as a veteran, and get every penny you and your family deserves.
In this article, you can find out more about:
- How to apply for veterans disability
- Programs for veterans disability
- Making appeals
- How to receive back pay on your disability
- What to do if you’re denied benefits
How to Apply
You can apply for yourself or someone else either online or at your closest Veteran Affairs office. Once you’ve completed all the necessary paperwork, the Board of Veterans Affairs (BVA) will review your application. The BVA will either approve or deny the application, and rate your disability from a 10 to 100 percent. This rating determines the monthly rate of pay per month. It ranges from $140 to $3000 depending on the severity of your disability. If you have a family, you’ll receive additional support for every dependent if you’re deemed more than 30 percent disabled.
From there, you’ll receive monthly tax-free payments to support you and your family. The US government provides these payments. You can apply for additional benefits if you have a physical disability or a chronic illness that requires additional services like therapy, rehabilitation, or travel expenses.
To qualify for VA, you or the veteran you’re applying for must have:
- Served for the US military
- A medically diagnosed disability or illness
- Been in an incident during active service
- A disability that’s “service-connected,” or injury correlated to the injury
Active members with an impending discharge between 180 and 60 days of service can still apply for disability through the Benefits Delivery Discharge (BDD) program.
Benefits Delivery Discharge Program
Any service member discharging and filing for disability make their claim before separation with the BDD. This program allows veterans to file for VA disability benefits while still serving. All claims should be filed 180 to 90 days before separation. To apply for BDD, you must:
- Know your separation date
- Have a copy of your service treatment record
- Be available for 45 days after the claim is submitted to attend VA exams
Unfortunately, you do not qualify for the BDD program if you:
- Are seriously ill or injured
- Are terminally ill
- Have Lost a body part
- Have claims that require the VA exam be taken in a country outside the US, Landstuhl, Germany, Camp Humphreys, or Korea
- Have claims for Service members awaiting discharge while hospitalized in a VA or military treatment facility
- Have claims for pregnant service women
- Have claims that require a character of discharge determination
To apply for the BDD program, access the VA website and apply with all the necessary information.
Disabled Veterans Over 65
If you’re a veteran 65 or older who is permanently or totally disabled, you can apply for the Disability Pension. This program provides income for these disabled veterans based on specific needs. To qualify, a veteran must have actively served for 90 days, and at least one day or more during wartime. If the veteran served in a war after September 1980, they will have needed to serve longer.
What to do If You’re Denied
If you are denied after filing a claim, or have received a less than satisfactory response, you can make an appeal. For the appeal, you’ll need to gather evidence of your disability and how it’s impacted your life. Find copies of medical evidence that outline your illness or disability. Look for things such as doctors and therapists statements, along with medications and therapies you’ve needed for your disability. From there, you’ll begin the appeal process.
Making an Appeal
Sadly, many veterans are too often denied or have parts of their disability and illness underestimated by the BVA. If you’re unable to work, or have lost various skills preventing you from working, you should receive disability benefits. You’ve spent time serving your country for the greater good, and that shouldn’t be forgotten.
My Case Helper offers free over the phone consultations and legal advice with qualified personal injury lawyers. Our Premier Partners can help you navigate the appeal process, and let you know what evidence you might need when making an appeal. Remember you can appeal a denied claim, or an underestimated claim.
When accessing your disability, the BVA should also consider your need for:
- Vocational experts
- Psychologists and therapists
- Physical therapy or other physical treatments
- The total impact the disability has on your life including time spent caring for your illness
- Doctors visits and necessary surgeries
- Ongoing medical bills
- The impact on your family and livelihood
How to Receive Back Pay
Veterans with a disability rated as 80 percent or higher will receive much higher benefits. However, it’s incredibly difficult to meet the BVA’s standards even with a highly debilitating disability. If you believe your disability should be rated as 80 percent or higher, you can receive back pay after you’ve made an appeal. Back pay is payments for the percentage of benefits that should’ve originally been paid.
Even if you’re unsure about your eligibility or disability rating, speaking with a personal injury lawyer can help clarify any uncertainties. Your personal injury lawyer can help you navigate and negotiate with the BVA to get you what you deserve.