An Overview Of VA Disability Benefits
The Department of Veterans Affairs offers many benefits to veterans and their families such as educational and home loan programs, healthcare, and disability compensation and pensions.
Applying for VA disability compensation can be a difficult process. While the VA has an affirmative duty to assist veterans and there are a variety of Veterans Service Organizations such as the Disabled American Veterans, The American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars who can help a veteran with his or her application, some cases need the experience and knowledge of an accredited VA attorney.
What To Do After Being Denied Benefits
If you have applied for VA disability compensation benefits and have been turned down, it is important to understand the process.
The VA must find that a veteran has an injury or illness that was service connected. This most often means that the impairment either occurred on active duty or was made worse by something that occurred on active duty. However, the rules for awarding VA service connected disability compensation can be confusing and it is important to have an experienced advocate who knows VA rules and how to fight for your benefits.
Non-Service Connected Pension
One benefit that many eligible veterans and surviving spouses of veterans do not know about is the non-service connected pension. Many people call this Aid and Attendance but actually this is a three-part benefit and Aid and Attendance is the highest level. Wartime veterans and their spouse who need the assistance of others for activities of daily life may be eligible for a non-service connected pension.
To be eligible for the VA non-service connected pension, a veteran must have served for at least a period of 90 consecutive days on active duty and at least one of those days must have occurred on a specifically designated period of wartime. There are also medical and resources requirements to be met for the VA to award these benefits.
Changing A Disability Rating
If you have a VA service connected disability rating and your conditions has gotten worse, or if you have developed other impairments that are related to the service connected impairment, then you may be eligible for an increase for your raring or for new and secondary impairment ratings.
A perfect example would be if you injure your left leg while on active duty and receive a 30% rating. Years later, your right leg and back have developed problems because of the stress caused by your service connected left leg injury. In this hypothetical case, the veteran may be entitled to secondary ratings for his right leg and back due to his left leg injury.