Filing a claim for disability benefits can be a difficult process, especially for those who are suffering from serious injuries or illnesses, so if you were injured while serving your country, it is important to consult with an experienced Northwest Indiana VA disability attorney who can ensure that your claim or appeal is filed properly and on time.
Veterans who sustain injuries or who contract certain illnesses during their time in the military are often eligible for a monthly disability payment, the amount of which depends on how severe their injury is rated. The VA assigns severity ratings based on specific forms of evidence, including:
Military service-related disabilities are rated on a scale of 0% to 100% disabling, with the latter representing total disability. These ratings, however, are not the only factors that the VA considers when deciding how much a person can receive in disability benefits, as the agency also takes into account whether a veteran is married or has minor children when making these determinations.
In most cases, disabled veterans who are seeking compensation for their injuries or illnesses are required to provide evidence that a specific injury was connected in some way to their military service before they can begin receiving benefits. However, this is not always required, especially for veterans who served in specific wars, including the Gulf and Vietnam wars, as these individuals are presumed to have been exposed to dangerous herbicides, such as Agent Orange, which causes deadly illnesses, such as respiratory conditions and certain cancers.
Similarly, veterans who were held as Prisoners of War (POWs) for more than one month are automatically presumed to have suffered from certain medical conditions, such as chronic dysentery, malnutrition, peripheral neuropathy, and irritable bowel syndrome. Finally, veterans who participated in atomic testing or worked nearby an atomic testing site and were later diagnosed with leukemia or lymphoma automatically qualify for a monthly payment.
It is important to keep in mind that federal benefits are not the only types of benefits that are available to injured veterans, as Indiana law also provides qualifying veterans with additional services, including:
The eligibility requirements for these benefits are different than those for their federal counterparts, making it especially important for Indiana veterans to speak with an attorney who is well-versed in state law before applying for or appealing a denial of disability benefits.
Veterans who honorably served their countries and who were injured as a result, can and should collect benefits compensating them for their losses. To speak with an experienced Northwest Indiana VA disability lawyer about your own claim, please contact The Comerford Law Office, LLC for a free consultation.