Filing Veterans' Disability Benefits Claim | Dreyer Boyajian LLP

Veterans Affairs Disability Appeals

Military veterans who have proudly served this country are entitled to compensation for their service-related disabilities. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was created to provide a system of benefits for soldiers, including disability compensation and healthcare. Its mission is to fulfill the words of Abraham Lincoln, to “care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and orphan” by serving and honoring the men and women who are America’s veterans.

To be eligible of VA disability compensation, you must have a current illness or injury and have served on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training. You must also have gotten sick or injured while serving in the military, or if you had preexisting illness or injury, your military service must have made that condition worse. The VA also recognizes post-service disability claims, which are service-related medical conditions that appear after your service is complete.

The VA provides disability compensation for a variety of physical and mental health conditions including but not limited to: 

  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Major fractures, including to the vertebra
  • Certain cancers from exposure to chemicals or hazardous materials (e.g., Agent Orange related illnesses)
  • Vision and hearing loss
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Certain respiratory conditions such as sleep apnea, asthma, and emphysema
  • Depression and anxiety

Filing claims for disability compensation and navigating the rules of the VA system can be complex. The process can be lengthy and on average takes nearly five months to complete. Many veterans are denied the benefits they are entitled to or given a lower disability ratings, leading to a loss in monthly compensation and other benefits.

If you disagree with the determination of your disability claim, you have the option of requesting a decision review by either filing a supplemental claim with additional evidence of your service-related medical conditions that were not considered at the initial review; requesting a higher-level review, where a senior reviewer considers your claim; or appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals where a judge reviews your claim.

Service-related disabilities can significantly interfere with your normal everyday life. It is important to obtain the benefits and services you qualify for and have earned as a veteran.

Hiring an attorney can help guide you through the VA laws and regulations can provide you with a significant advantage with your appeal. An attorney can help you achieve a better result after being denied or getting a rating that is too low.

For more information and resources, visit the VA website.

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