Answers to the most common questions Veterans have about VA Disability
It’s no secret that our firm helps a lot of Veterans. Since 2008 we have helped thousands of Vets get the benefits they deserve. In that time we have gained a lot of knowledge about the process and we’ve noticed a few trends along the way. Since we’ve worked with so many Vets, we have compiled a list of the most common questions new clients ask when they call. Use this blog as a guide. Veterans new to the VA Disability process should find it very helpful.
- How long will the process take? Practically every Vet will ask this when they call our office for the first time. Sadly, the answer really has not changed in my time with the firm. It takes anywhere from 2-4 years for most Veterans to be completely satisfied. That is absurd. If I had a child the first day you came to me for help, it would be old enough to resent me by the time your claim was completely over. Now, if someone tells you they can you get connected quicker, they are a liar and really shouldn’t be trusted. Why? The reason is that there are really only two ways to speed up a case; terminal illness and economic hardship. Honestly, the latter is pretty rare. We have seen some clients get connected because of economic hardship, but it is as rare as a good Nicholas Cage film that this is actually successful. However, if you are facing an economic hardship, we encourage you to pursue the expedited process.
- I didn’t treat in service, can I still get connected? Honestly, it depends. Certain issues like PTSD don’t require treatment or a diagnosis in treatment. If you are treated and diagnosed on some mental disabilities after service, you can get connected. Also, some physical issues can be dx and treated after service. An example of this would be someone who was an Airborne Ranger is likely to have several jumps in service. They may not have immediate issues with their ankles, feet and back, but shortly after discharge they will most likely have some level of pain in these areas. With any physical condition though, getting treatment is important. If you get discharged, have back issues, and then don’t treat, you aren’t likely to get connected.
- Is there a secret to getting approved? Actually, there is one thing Veterans can do to get approved: seek treatment. I’ve seen so many Veterans get denied because they either didn’t get treatment or they had huge gaps in their treatment history. Let’s say you want to file for your knee. If you were discharged in the 80’s and then didn’t see a doctor about your knee until 2013, the VA will determine that it’s not a chronic issue. If your condition is not chronic, then the VA will not grant service connection.
- Why did my friend get service connected on claim X, but I was denied on it? The simple answer is that every claim is different and everyone’s medical history is different. Unless you and your friend had the exact same experience, you’re not going to have the same results. For instance, I recently had a client who claimed several Gulf War Illness Presumptive Conditions. The issue was that he was in Turkey. The country of Turkey is not recognized as a Gulf War country. However, Iraq borders Turkey and is covered under Gulf War Illness. So, an individual serving just a few hundred miles away from my client would have valid claims, but my client does not. Sometimes slight differences like that make a world of difference. VA Disability is nuanced.
- Can I still work? That answer can be quite simple. For the most part, Veterans receiving VA Disability can still work full time. This is true even if you are 100% service connected. The only exception would be if you were receiving Individual Unemployability. This is a special claim for Veterans who can’t work, and meet other eligibility requirements. Also, Veterans receiving Pension need to pay special attention to how much they receive. This is a separate, needs based program, which is separate from VA Disability Compensation.
- Do I make too much money for VA Disability Compensation? No you don’t. The reason is simple: VA Disability is not income based. So, even if you are a billionaire, you can still receive VA disability compensation.
These questions are the most common questions we receive. We are often asked more specific questions depending upon the Veteran. We are always happy to answer questions for our clients. Our consultations are free, so if you have a question, call me today for a free consultation. Our toll free number is 1-877-526-3457. If you are available right now, fill out this form for a free consultation.