Many veterans don’t fully understand their rights when it comes to VA Disability Benefits. The Veterans Administration does not always do a good job of explaining what benefits are owed to you. Learn 10 Veterans Benefits secrets the VA may not tell you:
1. You can still get VA Disability Benefits even if you have missing service records.
If the VA told you that you cannot receive VA Disability benefits because of missing records, you are not alone. If your service-records are missing you can still get VA Disability benefits. There are ways to prove your mental and physical conditions are service-connected without your old records.
2. Many veterans are missing back pay and they don’t know it.
Lots of veterans who were wrongly denied could be owed years of back pay. That means you could receive the years of VA Disability payments that you should have been receiving. Many veterans who were approved for VA Disability payments also find they have missing back pay. Your effective date determines when you should have started receiving VA Disability payments. The VA does not always get effective dates right and many veterans don’t know how to correctly determine their effective date. Therefore, many veterans completely miss the fact that they may be missing back pay.
3. You can apply for VA Disability Benefits as many times as you like.
Many veterans filed a claim years ago, got denied, and never really thought about the entire VA Disability Benefits process for years. Then, like many veterans, your physical and mental disabilities worsened so you thought about applying again. You may not know this, but you can apply for VA Disability Benefits as many times as you like; there is no limit. If you were denied years ago you can apply for VA Disability Benefits again.
4. Individual Unemployability benefits pay the same as a 100% rating.
If you’re not able to work because of service-connected disabilities, but can’t reach a 100% VA rating, you might want to consider Individual Unemployability benefits. Some veterans do not even realize these benefits exist. For example, suppose you can’t work but all your mental and physical impairments only total 90%. As you probably already know, the difference between a 90% VA Disability rating and an 100% VA Disability rating is over $1,000 a month. Obviously, you would like to get the higher payment. The answer for you may be applying for receive Individual Unemployability benefits.
Read More: Individual Unemployability (IU) Disability Benefits
5. Your illnesses may be from contaminated drinking water.
Thousands upon thousands of veterans were exposed to contaminated drinking water at many different military bases. Probably the worst case was at Camp Lejeune where military members and their families were exposed to contaminated drinking water for decades. Veterans are reporting a long-list of illnesses that may be linked to contaminated drinking water.
Read More: See if you were stationed at contaminated bases here.
6. Some National Guard and Reservists are eligible for VA Disability Benefits.
Most National Guard and Reservists believe they are not entitled to Veterans Disability Benefits. If you served active-duty you may be eligible to receive Veterans Disability Benefits. Activation by a state government will not suffice for Veterans Disability Benefits. Your activation must have been by the federal government.
7. You can appeal bad Veterans Administration decisions.
If you disagree with your Veterans Disability Benefits decision you may be able to appeal. Veterans beware: you only have one year to appeal the VA’s decision. If you do not appeal within that period you probably won’t be able to appeal that decision. At that point you can submit another initial application and start the entire process over.
Read More: VA Appeals
8. Your mental or physical injury did not have to happen abroad.
Some veterans believe your mental or physical injuries must have started when serving in a foreign country; that isn’t true. Many veterans suffer injuries right here in the United States. Veterans can receive compensation benefits for old hip injuries that were from falling off a tank or PTSD benefits because they have trouble coping with a traumatic situation that happened on base. Many veterans suffer life-long injuries who never leave American soil.
9. You can get a free Veterans Service Officer (VSO) to help with your claim.
Many veterans rely upon the help of a free Veterans Service Officer (VSO). For simple VA Disability claims VSO’s do a great job helping veterans. However, when it comes to more complex cases with multiple impairments we highly suggest you hire a Veterans Disability Benefits lawyer. For example, Woods & Woods often hires experts to write reports to help prove you are disabled. Sometimes Woods & Woods even works with doctors to prove claims. Many free VSO’s do not have the resources to get veterans the evidence they need to win their claim.
10. Hiring a VA Disability Benefits lawyer won’t cost you a penny upfront.
When many people hear the word “lawyer,” they immediately assume they cannot afford one. That’s not true. Woods & Woods Veterans Disability Benefits lawyers only charge if you win your case. The fee is a percentage of your earned backpay and case expenses. If you hire Woods & Woods and fail to obtain VA Disability Benefits, you owe them nothing; not even a penny.
The way you learn Veterans Benefits secrets is to practice VA law every day. Our VA Disability compensation lawyers know Veterans Benefits secrets because we have researched VA law for many years. Veterans Benefits secrets aren’t really even secrets – they are the small laws that the VA doesn’t tell veterans about. Veterans Benefits secrets are learned through devout studying of the Code of Federal Regulations 38 (the laws pertaining to Veterans Benefits). If you need your Veterans Benefits, talk to an experienced VA Disability lawyer.
Want to learn more than these 10 Veterans Benefits secrets? Talk to our lawyers.
Woods & Woods Veterans Disability lawyers are proud to help disabled veterans and their families. For no charge, you can receive a free legal consultation on Veterans Disability Benefits. You can learn about your eligibility and what legal options you have. Ask our informative staff any questions you have; we will try to help guide you through the difficult process of obtaining Veterans Disability Benefits. You don’t have to do this alone.