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Veterans Disability Benefits Attorneys Chicago

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Veterans Disability Benefits Attorneys Chicago

Veterans of the United States Armed Forces make several sacrifices to protect the freedoms of the residents of their country and deserve rewards for their service. Veterans could qualify for many benefits through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), including disability compensation for mental or physical health issues stemming from their service. Any veterans who experience denial of VA compensation should seek legal representation from an experienced Chicago veterans disability benefits attorney.

Veterans may be dealing with multiple types of disabilities affecting their ability to work and function in their daily lives. A veteran whose health issues are directly connected to their military service could qualify for VA disability benefits. But far too often, the VA either denies a veteran’s disability claim or assigns them a disability rating not accurately reflecting the severity of their condition.

The VA Disability Claims Process

When a veteran has service-connected health issues, they can apply for disability compensation. To determine the severity of the veteran’s condition, the VA could call for a Compensation and Pension examination, otherwise known as a C&P exam. An examiner will determine whether a veteran has the claimed conditions, whether the conditions stem from military service, and the severity of those conditions. Based on a C&P exam and other relevant evidence in the VA file, the VA decides if compensation is warranted and, if so, will assign a disability rating for every condition. 

The ratings take the form of percentages, determining the amount of disability compensation the veteran will receive every month. When a veteran has multiple conditions, the ratings for these conditions will not be added up but instead combined. Combined ratings will be rounded to the nearest 10 percent. When a veteran disagrees with the disability rating the VA assigns, they can appeal the rating. 

Qualifying for Individual Unemployability

Disabilities in some cases can prevent veterans from working, and these veterans could qualify for a VA maximum disability benefit called “individual unemployability.” Veterans will need to satisfy certain qualifications to receive individual unemployability, and the VA frequently denies these applications. 

If a veteran has a service-connected condition preventing them from working, even if the rating is under 100 percent, they may still be eligible for Individual Unemployability, in which the VA will pay them at the 100 percent rate.

To obtain individual unemployability, a veteran has to prove that their service-connected disabilities make them unable to maintain substantially gainful employment and earn above the federal poverty level. Even when a veteran can work part-time or is employed in a protected or sheltered workplace where their disabilities are accommodated, they can still qualify for individual unemployability. 

Appealing a Denied VA Disability Claim

When a VA disability claim is denied, veterans can use the appeals process to have their case reviewed. A veteran will have three options for decision review:

  • Supplemental claim — A veteran may submit new and relevant evidence to the VA to have their claim reexamined and hopefully be eligible for an updated rating. 
  • Higher-level review — A senior claims adjudicator will review the existing evidence to determine whether any errors were made or if a disability rating can be adjusted based on a difference of opinion when interpreting the evidence. During the process, a veteran or their advocate will have the option to request an informal conference with a senior reviewer to identify any errors that may have been made when determining the disability rating or denial of benefits.
  • Board appeal — A veteran can appeal their case to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, which offers three review options. Veterans may request a hearing in which they offer testimony and new and relevant evidence. There is also direct review in which a judge will review the evidence already on the record and make a new decision. Finally, a veteran can forgo a hearing and submit new and relevant evidence for a judge to evaluate in their new decision. When the Board denies a claim again, a veteran can file a supplemental claim or appeal to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with a Chicago Veterans Disability Attorney

Appealing a VA disability claim can be a long and confusing process, but working with an attorney can increase your chances of success.

Comerford Law Office, LLC works tirelessly to help clients obtain the veterans’ benefits they need and deserve. Our firm assists clients with all kinds of qualifying disabilities, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), illness from Agent Orange exposure, Gulf War syndrome, traumatic brain injury (TBI), loss of hearing (tinnitus), loss of vision, loss of a limb, and other physical and mental impairments. Call us or contact us online to set up a free consultation so we can review your case and answer all of your legal questions.

Helping Veterans For Over Twenty Years. You Don’t Have To Do This Alone.

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