This post describes the VA disability appeals process for decisions issued prior to February 19, 2019. Decisions received after that date are subject to the new VA appeals process.
Both federal and state law provides veterans with disability benefits, access to healthcare programs, and pensions. However, before a veteran can begin collecting these benefits, he or she must go through a complicated application process.
If you believe that you might qualify for veterans benefits and live in Chicago Heights, you should contact an experienced VA benefits attorney who can ensure that your claim is filed properly and on time.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), provides qualifying veterans with a wide range of healthcare services, benefits, and programs. These benefits include access to the following services:
In addition to these benefits, veterans who served in combat zones have access to free counseling, referral services, and outreach programs, all of which are also available to their family members.
Before veterans can begin receiving these benefits, they must be able to demonstrate that they were not dishonorably discharged and also served in the active military. The only exception to this rule applies to veterans who enlisted after the fall of 1980 or who entered active duty after the fall of 1981, as these individuals must also prove that they served at least 24 months of active duty service or for the full period of time for which they were called to serve.
Aside from healthcare benefits, some veterans also qualify for monthly pensions. Under federal law, the only veterans who can collect these payments are those who were injured while on active duty, which means that many veterans who suffered injuries while not on active duty are left without monetary assistance. Fortunately, Illinois veterans can collect disability pensions even if they were not injured while on active duty, but while:
However, even Illinois veterans are required to prove that their disability is service-related and that they were not dishonorably discharged before they will begin receiving payments.
In addition to health-related benefits and services, the VA offers veterans and their families help when transitioning to post-service life. For instance, disabled veterans who seek further education could receive assistance with paying for tuition, books, supplies, and housing through the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program. Similarly, the Montgomery and Post-9/11 GI bills help veterans earn traditional and non-college degrees, pay for licensing and certification, and obtain on-the-job training and apprenticeships.
As a VA accredited attorney, James R. Comerford is well-versed in the issues facing veterans and their families who seek benefits once they have completed their military duty. For help filing your own claim or filing a Form 9, please call The Comerford Law Office, LLC at 312-863-8572. Initial consultations are offered free of charge, so please do not hesitate to call or contact us online today.