A Brief Overview Of The Va Disability Claims Process
The VA official site describes VA Disability compensation as a tax-free benefit paid to qualifying vets with disabilities that are the result of a disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active military service.
But VA disability pay may also be awarded for disabilities that are an issue post-military service if those conditions, illnesses, or other issues are considered related or secondary to disabilities occurring in service and for disabilities presumed to be related to circumstances of military service, even though they may arise after service.
VA disability compensation is intended to compensate for considerable loss of working time from service-related medical problems.
Can Veterans Work While Receiving Tdiu
There are certain situations where VA can still consider and grant TDIU when a veteran is working.; Again, the regulation requires that you are unable to secure and follow substantially gainful employment.; VA considers jobs that result in annual income less than that of the federal poverty threshold to be marginal employment.; Importantly, veterans who are only engaging in marginal employment are still eligible for TDIU.
There are additional circumstances where veterans can earn above the federal poverty threshold and still receive TDIU benefits.; Here, veterans must be receiving extensive and unreasonable accommodations from their employer, resulting in a protective work environment.; If the accommodations are afforded due to the veterans service-connected conditions, and without such accommodations the veteran would not be employed, TDIU should be considered.
Tips About Va Compensation And Social Security
- SSDI and SSI are not intended to provide a full living wage; the Social Security official site itself advises that in 2019 alone, Social Security paid an average monthly disability benefit amount barely enough to keep a beneficiary above the 2018 poverty level and any additional assistance you can apply for is crucial.
- If you have the ability to apply for VA benefits first, it can help to do so if you already have a 100% disability rating from the VA. Some vets cannot do this, but those who can should take advantage of the option to have their SSDI or SSI benefit application expedited as described above.
- VA compensation and military retirement pay combined may render some applicants ineligible for SSI, but SSDI compensation may still be possible.
- Your financial need will determine which Social Security program you qualify for when claiming disability benefits.
- VA rules for disability pay require the veteran to establish or provide proof that establishes that the medical issue occurred on active duty or was aggravated by it.
- SSDI and SSI are federal programs, but not limited to the military.
- VA disability compensation is limited to the service member, but some VA benefits are payable for spouses, caregivers, and other family members. Be sure to ask about these.
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Lieutenant Colonel Us Army
Patricia Jackson-Kelley is a veteran of the United States Air Force and Air Force, Army and Navy Reserve. She retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel after 26 years of combined active duty and reserve service. Lt. Col. Jackson-Kelley served as the Program Manager for a 40-bed substance abuse ward and as the Women Veteran Program Manager with the Department of Veterans AffairsWest Los Angeles. During her employment, she was instrumental in implementing programs, funds and resources for women veterans. During her time at the Veterans Hospital, she also served as one of the initial board members during the formation of U.S. VETS. Currently she serves on the Foundation for Women Warriors board of directors, is a County of Los Angeles Commissioner for Military and Veteran Affairs in the 2nd District and VP of operations for National Association of Black Military Women.
What Is The Va 10 Year Rule
The VA 10 year rule means the VA cannot eliminate a rating thats been in place for 10 years or more.
However, the rating can be reduced if medical evidence shows that the disability has improved.
There is always an exception to this rule if the VA determines that the original disability rating was based on fraud.
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Applying For Va Compensation Benefits
Detailed instructions for applying for VA disability benefits are outside the scope of this article, but in general, it is best to supply as much supporting information as possible, including how the injury or illness occurred, any medical treatment you received, current health status, and how your life has been affected by the injury or illness. You will need to fill out VA Form 21-526, Veterans Application for Compensation and/or Pension, or apply online using VONAPP. Also, be sure to have a copy of your DD Form 214.
About Va Disability Ratings And Va Disability Compensation
If you were injured or became seriously ill while serving in the military, you may be eligible for certain veterans benefits, including VA disability compensation. This benefit is paid to certain military veterans based on illnesses or injuries received while serving on active duty.
Certain veterans may also be eligible for VA health care benefits. To see current VA disability rates, scroll down to the bottom of the article. Keep reading to learn more about VA disability rates, applying for disability compensation, and other facts.
There are many factors that go into determining compensation eligibility and levels, most of which are outside the scope of this article. Treat this article as a primer for VA disability benefits as we show you the VAs definition of a service-connected disability, where to apply for benefits, and the current VA disability compensation rate tables, as provided by the VA.
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Va Disability Rates Explained: The Insiders Guide
2022 VA disability rates will be released in October 2021 with the implementation of the Social Security Administrations Cost of Living Adjustment increase for 2022, which is now estimated to be 6.1%.
*NEW* as of July 20, 2021: The 2022 COLA increase estimate is now 6.1%, representing the largest COLA increase since 1983.
The Department of Veterans Affairs adjusts its VA compensation rates effective December 1 of each year based on the yearly change in the cost of living as determined by the Social Security Administration report of September 2021 inflation data).
Va Retroactive Pay Law Changes
VA disability retroactive pay may also be applicable when Congress changes the laws governing VA service-connected disability compensation. When the ratings change, then the amount the veteran should receive will also change.
While these changes in the law are not common, they do occur. If such a change occurs, the VA will automatically process your retroactive pay.
However, sometimes, this back pay is not easy to obtain. When this situation occurs, you need an experienced VA disability lawyer on your side.
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How To Apply For Va Disability Compensation
For the fastest service you should apply online through the VA.GOV website, you should submit supporting documents with your claim for benefits. You should send the VA copies of medical evidence , your discharge paperwork, and anything else you may think is necessary. Remember, you can never provide the VA too much information!
In certain circumstances you can apply for benefits before being discharged from the military, please visit our Pre-Discharge Program for Disability Compensation page for details.
Filing The Initial Claim
You have the option upon leaving military service to file a VA claim for compensation as part of your final out-processing appointments in many cases, even if you are retiring or separating from an overseas location.
But not all service members will have the circumstance or opportunity to do this; VA rules state that a service member can apply before or after leaving military service, though the window for doing so after becoming a civilian may be limited depending on circumstances.
What does this mean?
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About The Va Disability Rating System
Veterans with a disability that developed or worsened while serving in the military or due to military service may be eligible for Service-Connected disability pay.
Conditions covered by these benefits typically include:
- Physical disabilities including hearing loss, chronic back pain, asthma and cancers caused by contact with toxic chemicals.
- Mental disabilities including anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder , depression and traumatic brain injury .
Find a complete list of covered conditions here.
For every disability claim, the Department of Veterans Affairs assigns a severity rating ranging from 0-100%. This rating moves in 10% increments, is based on service treatment records, VA medical records, and private medical records directly relating to the disability.
For Veterans with more than one disability, the VA uses the combined rating table to calculate your disability percentage.
Ltc Thomas E Lasser Usa Retired
Tom Lasser is a retired Lieutenant Colonel who completed a total of 40 years in uniform with the US Army and California National Guard. He is an Army Vietnam veteran who completed two tours flying helicopters with the Army in Vietnam. Tom flew over 1000 helicopter missions and accumulated over 6000 hours in his flying career of which 1751 were combat flying hours.
LTC Lassers military decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, Legion of Merit, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry and the Purple Heart. His last military assignment was as commander of Los Alamitos Army Airfield in Orange County. He also had a tour as military liaison in the Governors Los Angeles Office.
LTC Lasser is a life member of several veterans organizations to include the Military Order of the Purple Heart, American Legion and VFW. He is the current President of the Southern California Chapters of the Association of the US Army and Vice President of the S. California Chapter of the Army Aviation Association. Tom is also a member of the Navy League, Air Force Association and the National Guard Association of the United States.
He was the Veteran of the Year for the 66th Assembly District and selected as Citizen of The Year in Los Alamitos for his work at the base there.
Tom and his wife Laura resides in Redondo Beach and is with the Redondo Beach Veterans Memorial Task Force He has been a member of the LA Veterans Advisory Commission since February 2016
Va Disability Pay Chart With Dependents
In todays video, Im going to reveal and explain the *NEW* 2022 VA Disability Pay Chart, to include the MASSIVE 2022 COLA increase projection of 6.1% for 2022.
Ill also share 5 SECRET VA Disability Claim Tips to get you the VA disability benefits youve earned for your service to our country.
Finally, youll learn how to increase your VA disability pay with the SEM Method, Strategy + Education + Medical Evidence = VA Disability Rating You Deserve.
Disability Or Death Due To A Hospital Stay
If we get a claim within one year after the date the Veteran suffered an injury, or their existing injury got worse, the effective date is the date the injury happened or when it began to get worse.
If we get a claim within one year of the date of a Veterans death, the effective date is the first day of the month in which the Veteran died.
If we get a claim more than one year after a Veteran suffered an injury, their injury got worse, or they died, the effective date is the date we get the claim.
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Contact Our Va Disability Lawyers Today
When filing a VA disability claim,;it is important to know that the process is long. As such, you may need back pay once you are eligible to collect benefits. To learn more or for help filing an appeal after a claim denial, call an experienced VA disability lawyer at Tucker Law Group today. You can fill out our confidential contact form or call us at ;for a consultation and to review of your potential case. Our attorneys help veterans with their service-connected disability compensation all across the country.
About Va Disability Ratings
We assign you a disability rating based on the severity of your service-connected condition. We use your disability rating to determine how much disability compensation youll receive each month, as well as your eligibility for other VA benefits. If you have multiple disability ratings, we use them to calculate your combined VA disability rating. Calculating your combined disability rating involves more than adding up your individual ratings. Thats why your combined rating may be different from the sum of your individual ratings.
What Do I Need To Know About The Va And Social Security Programs
Both Social Security and VA pay disability benefits. However, their programs, processes, and criteria for receiving benefits are very different.
A VA compensation rating of 100% Permanent and Total does not guarantee that you will receive Social Security disability benefits. To be approved for Social Security benefits, you must meet Social Securitys definition of “disability.” To be found disabled:
- You must be unable to do substantial work because of your medical condition; and
- Your medical condition must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least one year or to result in death.
If you receive VA compensation, this will not affect your Social Security benefits.
Sheltered Employment And The Law
You must be very careful in sheltered workplace environments. In fact, even many who work for the VA are not fully aware of the Sheltered Employment Rules and can sometimes erroneously penalize someone for earning an income in such a situation.
In the worst of cases, veterans can be charged with criminal fraud if they are found to be working above the poverty line at an established that is not a VA-designated sheltered employer while also collecting TDIU benefits. To keep the risks as low as possible, make sure that you speak to a VA-accredited attorney about whether an establishment is truly sheltered.
Yes, you can earn an income with a 100% VA-rated disability. However, if you receive TDIU benefits after being given a schedule of ratings, then there are strict limitations on the amount of income you can earn from working. In 2017, the maximum amount you can earn in a single-person household is $12,488 annually while collecting TDIU benefits.
The only way around this regulation is to work in a sheltered environment, which are specially accommodated workplaces that are meant to employ family members who are veterans. However, you should always speak to an attorney because considering working in a sheltered environment.
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Rating For Multiple Disabilities
When a veteran has more than one disease or disability, the disability ratings are not simply added together Instead, a formula is used to determine the total disability rating level for multiple disabilities. First, the disabilities are ranked from most to least severe. Then, it is determined what percentage of efficiency the veteran retains after the first, most severe disability. For example, if the veteran’s most severe disability is rated at 40%, he is still 60% efficient.
After that, the second most severe disability is considered. That second disability rating is applied to the vet’s remaining efficiency. For example, if the veteran after the first disability has a remaining 60% efficiency, and his second most severe disability has a 20% disability rating, then 20% of the 60% efficiency is calculated â in this case, 12%, and that number is added to the original disability rating .
The new disability rating is rounded up or down to the closer 10% increment. In the example above, the 52% rating would be rounded down to a 50% disability rating, and that veteran would be considered 50% disabled.
Will Veterans Get A Va Disability Pay Increase In 2022
Yes, veterans are projected to get a whopping 6.1% VA disability pay increase beginning January 2022, which would be the largest pay increase since 1983.
Brian Reese a Veteran Benefits expert, on July 20, 2021 raised his 2022 COLA prediction from 4.7% to 6.1% for 2022, based upon the most recent Consumer Price Index , primarily due to rising inflation, increasing prices of consumer goods, such as higher food, construction, energy, and gas prices.
Mary Johnson, Social Security and Medicare policy analyst at The Senior Citizens League, also revised her 2022 COLA estimate, indicating there could be a 6.1% COLA increase next year.
Finally, AARP is forecasting that the annual cost-of-living adjustment for 2022 will be over 5.0%, the largest increase since 2008, when benefits rose 5.8%.;
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Who Processes Va Disability Applications
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is the second largest federal department, with only the Department of Defense larger. Like DoD, the VA is also broken into different branches, each with their own role in serving veterans.
Veterans Health Administration
Healthcare is provided by the Veterans Health Administration . The doctors you visit at the White River Junction VA Medical Center or its various clinics work for VHA, and their purpose is to provide medical care to you. They do not process applications for benefits, including VA disability benefits.
Veterans Benefits Administration
Benefits are provided by the Veterans Benefits Administration , and they process applications for VA disability benefits. The only VBA location in Vermont is at the White River Junction VA Regional Office, which is located at the same campus as the hospital. White River Junction is one of only four locations across the nation where VBA and VHA work in the same complex. Usually they maintain completely separate facilities.
Dont let their geographic proximity fool you. They are separate and distinct operations, each with their own mission and chain of command. This is why a veteran can see a VHA doctor for their service connected conditions, but not be a Disabled Veteran unless VBA approved their disability application.