Veterans' Disability Lawyers in New Jersey
Veterans who suffer from a service-related condition may be eligible for veterans’ disability benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). These monthly benefits are vital to those whose life has been partially or fully affected by their condition.
Our New Jersey veterans’ disability lawyers understand the sacrifices you made for our country, which is why we are committed to helping you obtain the benefits you need. Unfortunately, the application process for obtaining VA disability benefits can be complicated and may not initially provide the disability rating you think your condition deserves. Because our lawyers are knowledgeable in the process, we can help you apply for the benefits you need or appeal a denied claim or disability rating.
Contact Lynch Law Firm today for a free, no obligation consultation and review of your claim.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form today.
Why Hire a New Jersey Veterans’ Disability Lawyer?
Because the application and appeals process for veterans’ disability benefits can be complicated and has many rules and regulations, working with an experienced New Jersey veterans’ disability attorney can prove to be a valuable asset.
We are familiar with all of the laws and requirements for obtaining benefits and can help guide you through the process. We will:
- Work diligently on your behalf in building and advocating for your claim
- Answer all of your questions and help you understand the process
- Help gather the evidence needed to support your claim
- Help ensure your claim is accurate and complete with all of the evidence and documentation necessary
- Determine the best and most efficient path for getting you the benefits you need
- Represent you throughout the appeals process and ensure you are prepared for every step
If you are considering applying for or appealing a claim for disability benefits, do not hesitate to contact our attorneys as soon as possible for professional help with your VA disability benefits claim. We are experienced personal injury lawyers in Hasbrouck Heights who have your best interests in mind and will do everything we can to help your claim.
Call (800) 518-0508 to schedule a free consultation.
Who is Eligible for VA Disability Benefits?
VA disability benefits are a monthly tax-free benefit paid to veterans who are disabled because of a physical or mental injury or disease that occurred during their time in service.
Eligible veterans include those who:
- Served in the Uniformed Services on active duty, active duty for training or inactive duty for training
- Received a discharge other than dishonorable
- Are at least 10 percent disabled
Those who were on inactive duty for training must have a disability that resulted from an injury, stroke or heart attack.
Some of the most common disabilities that cause veterans to apply for VA disability benefits include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Brain injuries
- Loss of hearing or vision
- Back injuries
Applicants must be able to provide medical evidence that they are currently suffering from a disability that has a clear connection to their military service. This will require that you provide your medical records and the opinions of medical professionals.
The VA will presume a disability for veterans who:
- Were former prisoners of war
- Have specific serious or tropical diseases that developed within a certain amount of time after discharge
- Were exposed to mustard gas, ionizing radiation or Lewisite while in service
- Were exposed to specific herbicides while in service, especially in Vietnam
- Served in Southwest Asia in the Gulf War
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form for help determining if you are eligible for VA disability.
Applying for VA Disability Benefits
If you believe your disability was caused by your service in the military and that you qualify for VA disability benefits, you should consider applying for disability benefits.
However, the application process can be complicated. Our New Jersey veterans’ disability attorneys can help you with your application by gathering all of the necessary evidence, compiling everything in a complete and accurate way, and helping make sure everything is submitted on time.
The VA requires that you submit a variety of evidence to support your claim, including:
- DD Form 214 discharge papers
- Service treatment records if you have them
- Medical records from your doctors and hospitals
It is always recommended that you submit as much information in your possession as possible with your claim to ensure the VA has the evidence needed to properly evaluate your claim.
If it does not, the VA will make every reasonable effort to obtain relevant documents from any federal agency. However, it is the claimant’s responsibility to obtain relevant documents from any agency or organization that is not a federal agency, such as from state or local governments, your doctors or hospitals, or your employer.
If you choose to submit a fully developed claim, you are solely responsible for gathering all of the required documentation and records and submitting them with your claim. The VA expects that these applications are complete upon submission and will not obtain any additional documentation unless you identify them.
Because it can sometimes be difficult to obtain all of the evidence you need and submit it to the VA, our New Jersey veterans’ disability lawyers can help you with gathering everything you need to support your claim.
Call (800) 518-0508 to learn more.
How to Appeal a VA Disability Benefits Claim
Unfortunately, despite the amount of work required for applying for benefits, many veterans are denied. Fortunately, you have the right to appeal a denied claim.
There are generally two reasons that VA disability benefits claims are appealed:
- The VA denied your claim stating that the disability was not service-connected
- You believe your disability is more severe than the VA rated it
If you wish to appeal one of these decisions, you should consider hiring a New Jersey veterans’ disability attorney, as the appeals process is complicated.
The appeals process consists of five steps:
Step 1: Notice of Disagreement
This form must be submitted within one year of the date on the letter notifying you of the VA’s decision. If you miss this deadline, you will not be able to appeal the decision.
Step 2: Statement of the Case
Once your local VA office receives your Notice of Disagreement, it will review your file again and provide a Statement of the Case, which will provide an explanation about why your claim was denied.
At this time, it is also possible to submit additional evidence or ask that the VA obtain additional evidence. If you do this, the VA may send you a Supplemental Statement of the Case after reviewing the additional evidence.
Unless you submit additional evidence, there is nothing for you to do during this step, as everything is completed by the VA office.
Step 3: Substantive Appeal
If you disagree with the Statement of the Case, you can file a substantive appeal with the Board of Veterans’ Appeals by submitting VA Form 9. You can also choose to have an optional hearing before a veterans law judge, however, this will delay your claim.
You have 60 days from the date of the letter with your Statement of the Case or one year from the date on the original decision on your claim, whichever is later.
Step 4: Optional Hearing with a Veterans Law Judge
If you chose to have an optional hearing before a veterans law judge, the hearing will be scheduled at your local VA office or in Washington, D.C.
You will have a choice between two types of hearings:
- In-person hearing – You will provide testimony on your claim before a veterans law judge at the location you chose.
- Video teleconference hearing – You will provide testimony via live video from your local VA office to a veterans law judge in Washington, D.C. This option is generally easier to schedule.
After hearing your testimony and reviewing any additional evidence that has been submitted, the veterans law judge will make a decision on your case. He or she will either:
- Grant your claim if it is approved
- Remand your claim if there is one or more issues with it and send it back to your local VA office to collect more evidence or to correct procedural errors
- Deny your claim
If your claim is denied, you can file:
- A new claim
- A motion for the Board of Veterans’ Appeals to reconsider you appeal
- A motion for the Board of Veterans’ Appeals to review your appeal again because there was a clear error in the decision
- File a Notice of Appeal with the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims within 120 days of the date on the decision from the Board of Veterans’ Appeals
Step 5: Board of Veterans’ Appeals
If you chose not to have an optional hearing, your claim will be sent by your local VA office to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, where a decision will be made and mailed to you.
VA Disability Rates
One of the most common reasons veterans appeal their claims is because they are not happy with their disability rating. This is because your disability rate determines what your VA disability pay will be.
The VA bases its rate of pay on the severity of the veteran’s disability, or disability rating, which ranges from zero to 100 percent in increments of 10.
If the VA finds that a veteran has more than one disability, it will combine his or her rate by using the Combined Ratings Table. This can include disabilities that are related or secondary to disabilities that occurred during military service.
Once you know your combined rating, you can determine your VA disability pay online.
Because your disability rating is so influential in determining the monthly benefit you will receive, it is important that your rating is accurate. If you feel that you should have a higher or different rating, do not hesitate to contact our New Jersey veterans’ disability attorneys. We are familiar with the VA’s criteria for determining ratings and can help you file an appeal for a change to your rating.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form.
Types of VA Disability Benefits
If you are eligible for VA disability benefits, both you and members of your family may be eligible for a variety of benefits depending on your situation.
The types of compensation offered by the VA include:
This is a tax-free monthly benefit for veterans with disabilities that were caused by a disease or injury that occurred or was aggravated by military service. This is the benefit most think about when referring to veterans’ disability benefits.
The degree of compensation you can receive is based on your disability rating. Each degree of disability provides compensation for considerable loss of a veteran's ability to work based on the severity of the disability.
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation
This is also a tax-free benefit that is available to a surviving spouse, child or parent of a servicemember who was killed in the line of duty or as a result of a service-connected disability.
Parents who were financially dependent on a veteran or servicemember who died from a service-related condition may also be eligible for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation.
Special Monthly Compensation
This is an additional benefit that is available to veterans, their spouses, surviving spouses and parents who require higher compensation for special circumstances, such as requiring aid or help from another person.
Once a veteran has been awarded disability compensation, he or she may also become eligible for additional special claims, such as:
- Automobile and clothing allowance
- Dental care
- Birth defects
In addition to ensuring you are receiving the right disability rate, it is important that you and your family are receiving the benefits you need for your circumstances. By reviewing the details of your claim and medical condition through a free consultation, we can help you determine all of the benefits you are eligible for and should apply for. We can then help you put together your application.
Contact Our New Jersey Veterans’ Disability Lawyers Today
No matter where you are in the process of applying for veterans’ disability benefits, you should strongly consider contacting our New Jersey veterans’ disability lawyers. We can help you gather the necessary documentation for your initial application or guide you through the appeals process.
Our attorneys are committed to helping veterans who bravely served our country.
Contact Lynch Law Firm today for a free, no obligation consultation to learn more.
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Lynch Law Firm
Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07604
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