The price of freedom has always been paid by those brave enough to go into battle. Over 4 million United States Armed Forces veterans leave the field with life-altering disabilities that prevent them from returning home to life as they knew it.
If you’re a United States Armed Forces veteran who has been injured during service and are currently suffering from a resulting disability or disease, you should be eligible to apply for veterans disability benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
You have the greatest chance of receiving the maximum benefits owed to you if you begin your application working with a VA disability lawyer with knowledge about the progression, system and rulings. The VA disability lawyers at Wilson & Reives are ready to guide you through the process.
What veterans disability benefits are available?
VA disability benefits are monthly payments made to you by the U.S. government to compensate you for your disability. Your payment amount is determined by your degree of disability—with a greater disability, such as blindness, earning a higher monthly payment.
Compensation benefits can also include travel expenses for rehab and treatment. Importantly, these benefits are not taxed on the federal or state level.
Call (919) 775-5653 or contact us and set up a consultation to speak with one of our experienced attorneys about your case.
There are five main types of disability benefits available to veterans:
- Service-connected disability – administered through Veterans Affairs (VA)
- Social Security disability – administered through the Social Security Administration (SSA)
- VA pension – for lower-income individuals with disabilities
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability – for lower-income individuals with disabilities
- Disability Pension – a needs-based program for permanently and totally disabled, low-income veterans over the age of 65
Working with a VA disability lawyer who has knowledge about the shades of difference in these benefits will help ensure that you are able to apply to receive all the benefits that you can possibly qualify for.
How do I apply for veterans disability benefits?
First, determine your eligibility. You may apply if you are or have been:
- A veteran of U.S. military service
- An active service member with an impending discharge between 180-60 days through the Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) program
- An active service member within 60 days of impending discharge through the BDD Quick Start claim process
Then, make sure you meet ALL the following criteria for disability:
- You have been diagnosed with a disability or disease
- You suffered a personal injury or an incident during active service
- Your disability is service-connected, meaning there is a link between the incident you suffered during active service and the disability or disease you have been diagnosed with.
Lastly, begin filing your forms:
- VA Form 21-536, the Veteran’s Application for Compensation and/or Pension
- Form DD214—separation or discharge paperwork—for all your periods of service
- Copies of your medical records
- Medical evidence of your claimed disability or disease
- Medical evidence showing that your disability or disease was caused by active service
- Copies of any documents that prove your dependents, including: marriage certificates, divorce records, birth or adoption records for all dependents and, if applicable, nursing home records
- If you’re an active service member approaching discharge and applying for benefits through the BDD program, you’ll also need to have a medical separation examination, and submit all the paperwork related to that exam to the VA as well
A VA disability lawyer can help you file these correctly and completely, so your case moves through the system quickly, and re-filing and correcting paperwork don’t hold up your case.
Can I file for veterans disability benefits and Social Security benefits?
Yes. It’s not unusual to apply for veterans disability as well as claim Social Security benefits. Since VA disability benefits are not based on income, you can receive them as well as Social Security benefits at the same time.
A VA disability lawyer can help you qualify for that compensation and for Social Security Disability insurance, both of which generally offer a more substantial subsidy than a VA pension and/or Social Security Disability Insurance.
The VA disability lawyers at Wilson & Reives are here to provide you with trusted, effective legal counsel. We’ll help you navigate the legal rulings and ensure that your claims have the best chance of being granted.