The Veterans Administration (VA) was created to fulfill President Lincoln's promise: “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan." As a result, the VA has a number of programs providing financial, medical and other assistance to veterans and their families. Veterans of our nation’s armed forces often have to deal with disabling physical and mental conditions far more severe than those experienced by most other Americans. For this reason, there exist a range of different programs intended to provide targeted assistance to veterans who suffer from disabilities. Unfortunately, it can often be difficult to go through the process of applying for and receiving these benefits on your own.
Nearly 5 million Veterans suffer from a service-connected disability. A Veteran may qualify for VA disability benefits for physical or psychological impairments. Service-connected injuries often do not become severe until years after the Veteran has left the military. Service-connected disabilities are not always incurred during combat, either.
In contrast to other disability programs that require a finding of total disability, Veterans can be awarded a partial disability rating and receive benefits while employed.
When a Veteran is found to have a service-connected disability, the VA will assign them a disability rating. This is a numerical assessment expressed as a percentage and is based on the severity of their condition. This rating is used to determine how much money the Veteran will receive from the VA each month.
Although Veterans Law was intended to help and protect the men and women who have served our country, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) does not always rule in favor of the veteran. If you have received a rating decision from the VA and have been unfairly denied VA disability compensation, or you are not satisfied with the disability pay you were awarded, we can help at Phillips and McCrea, PLLC.
There are several levels of appeal in the Veterans disability claim process. In order to prevail over the VA and win your appeal, you should be represented by an attorney who is experienced in Veterans disability benefits law and has a proven track record at the Veterans Court.
Most appeals begin with filing a Notice of Disagreement (NOD) with your VA Regional Office. The NOD, usually due within one year of a rating decision, notifies the VA that you disagree with the decision that has been made. NODs can be as simple as filling out the form and commenting “I disagree” or can include dozens of pages of supporting material.
The Regional Office will reply with a Statement of the case (SOC). The SOC presents the state of the case and is sent to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA). The BVA will issue a decision that may or may not satisfy the Veteran. If you feel that the BVA has made an incorrect ruling, the next step is to appeal to the CAVC.
We serve veterans across the United States, and we do not charge for initial consultations.