Hammonton Veterans’ Benefits Lawyer
Hammonton Veterans’ Benefits Lawyer
When veterans suffer from a service-related condition, they are eligible to receive disability benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). These benefits are paid monthly and are crucial to the life of veterans that have been partially or wholly affected by their injury or condition. Our Hammonton veterans’ benefits lawyer knows the sacrifices our men and women in service have made for our country and is committed to helping veterans obtain the benefits they deserve.
Why Work with a Hammonton Veterans’ Benefits Lawyer?
No one is required to work with an attorney when applying for veterans’ benefits. However, the process is complex and many rules and regulations governing these claims. When working on a claim, a lawyer will:
- Work diligently and advocate for the claimant
- Answer all questions to ensure individuals understand the process
- Collect evidence to support a claim
- Ensure all claims are complete and accurate and contain all documentation and other necessary evidence
- Determine the best path for obtaining the necessary benefits
Determining Eligibility for Veterans’ Benefits
Veterans’ benefits are paid monthly to veterans who suffer from a disability due to a physical or mental injury or disease sustained during their time in service. Veterans must be considered eligible for obtaining these benefits and the eligibility requirements are as follows:
- Served in the Uniform Services on active duty for training, inactive duty for training, or active duty
- Was discharged as anything other than dishonorable
- Is considered at least ten percent disabled
Individuals who were on inactive duty for training must have suffered a stroke, heart attack, or injury to claim veterans’ benefits.
Some of the most common disabilities suffered by veterans that result in them seeking benefits include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Loss of vision or hearing
- Brain injuries
- Back injuries
It is crucial for anyone applying for veterans’ benefits to provide medical records that show they are suffering from a disability due to their time in service. In some instances, the VA will presume a veteran has a disability. These include veterans who:
- Have specific tropical or serious diseases they developed within a certain amount of time after they were discharged
- Were former prisoners of war
- Were exposed to certain herbicides during their time in service, particularly those who served in Vietnam
- Were exposed to ionizing radiation, Lewisite, or mustard gas during their time in service
- Served in Southwest Asia during the Gulf War
How to Apply for Veterans’ Benefits
While veterans that suffered a disability during the time they were serving their country are eligible for benefits, the application process is complex. A Hammonton veterans’ benefits lawyer can help collect the important evidence, compile everything accurately and completely, and help ensure the application and all supporting documents are filed on time. The VA also places many requirements for the evidence submitted with claims. This evidence includes:
- Service treatment records, when possible
- DD Form 214 discharge papers
- Medical records from hospitals and physicians that provided treatment
Most attorneys recommend that individuals submit as much information as possible with their claims. The more documentation provided to the VA, the better able they are to evaluate a claim. When the VA requires more documentation from a federal agency, they will make every effort they can to retrieve it on their own, within reason. However, claimants are responsible for obtaining any documentation necessary that is not from a federal agency, such as those from physicians or local or state governments.
Individuals who wish to submit a fully developed claim are completely responsible for obtaining all the necessary evidence, regardless of where it must be obtained from. The VA assumes that when these claims are submitted, they are complete and they will not try to obtain any records on their own.
Appealing a VA Disability Benefits Denial
Even though many veterans are eligible for disability benefits, too many are denied every year. Anyone who has been denied must understand that they can appeal the denial. The two most common reasons for appealing a denial are because the VA stated that the disability was not connected to the claimant’s time in service, or because a person’s disability is more serious than the VA rated it. There are five stages of filing an appeal and they are as follows:
- Notice of disagreement: The Notice of Disagreement is a form that must be submitted to the claimant’s local VA medical center or VA office.
- Statement of the case: The Statement of the case is provided by the VA office once it has received the notice of disagreement. This will explain the reason behind the denial.
- Substantive appeal: When a claimant disagrees with the statement of the case, they can file a substantive appeal with the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, which requires submitting a VA Form 9.
- Optional hearing: People can choose to forgo the substantive appeal and instead attend a hearing at either their local VA office or in Washington, D.C. This can take more time, but can also happen in person or through a video teleconference hearing. While virtual hearings are generally quicker, the process of requesting a hearing usually takes longer than filing a substantive appeal.
- Board of Veterans’ Appeals: Claimants who choose not to have an optional hearing will have their appeal sent to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, which will make the final decision on the case.
Call Our Veterans Benefits Lawyer in Hammonton Today
If you were injured during your time of service, you may be eligible to receive veterans’ disability benefits, but you should not file your claim on your own. The process is arduous and complex, and the chance of denial is high. At Scott Counsel, P.C., our Hammonton veterans’ benefits lawyer will help you throughout the entire process and give you the best chance of success. Call us today at (856) 485-4585 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more about how we can help with your case.
– When my son, who has Cystic Fibrosis and CF related diabetes, was suddenly and unexpectedly removed from his Medicaid program, we were devastated and frightened not knowing where we would get the resources to pay for his extremely high priced prescriptions. Justin was the attorney who handled our case. From the very beginning, he proved to be very thorough and experienced with navigating the process of reversing the Medicaid decision. However, it was his apparent kind, caring nature that made us feel the most at ease. Justin was successful in securing a continuation of benefits for my son, and we are extremely grateful for having his expertise during this most stressful ongoing process. Thank you, Justin!
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