Need Help Getting Fair Va Compensation
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Since 1985 we have made it our business to help vets from across the US get the compensation they deserve. We are highly experienced in what we do, and whats more, we wont charge you a dime until we win your case for you.
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Requirements For Veterans Disability Compensation
To be eligible for VA disability benefits or compensation, you must:
- Have served on active duty, active duty for training or inactive duty training and have a current illness or injury that affects your mind or body.
Additionally, at least one of the following situations must be true:
- You got sick or injured while serving in the military and can link this condition to your illness or injury
- You had an illness or injury before you joined the militaryand serving made it worse
- You have a disability related to your active-duty service that didnt appear until after you separated from the military
- You have one of the VAs presumed disabilities:
- Chronic illness that appeared within one year of your discharge
- Illness caused by contact with contaminants or other hazardous materials
- Illness caused by time spent as a prisoner of war
When deciding on a disability claim, the VA considers the above eligibility requirements, as well as how your condition affects your daily life, activities and employability.
Va Rating For Sleep Apnea Common Symptoms In Veterans
Sleep Apnea Symptoms in Veterans
Many veterans have or develop Sleep Apnea and common signs and symptoms include:
- Loud snoring
- Difficulty concentrating
- Anger and irritability
If you suffer from any of these symptoms, its highly recommended to see a doctor right away.
You may need to undergo a Sleep Study to determine if you have Sleep Apnea.
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Sleep Apnea And Secondary Service Connection
Many veterans with Sleep Apnea, especially those who were diagnosed long after leaving the military, might still be eligible if medical evidence shows your Sleep Apnea is proximately due to or aggravated by another service-connected disability such as musculoskeletal conditions and/or mental health conditions.
Service connection on a secondary basis requires a showing of causation.
A showing of causation requires that the secondary disability be shown to be proximately due to, or the result of, a service-connected disability.
The first part can be satisfied with any existing medical evidence in service treatment records, VA medical records, or any private medical records.
The second part can be satisfied with a veterans existing service-connected disability rated at 0 percent or higher.
The third part can be satisfied with a Medical Nexus Letter, aka, Independent Medical Opinion from a qualified medical professional.
Did you know there are more than 50 conditions that can be medically linked to cause or aggravate sleep apnea?
Calculating Multiple Va Disability Ratings
The VA uses a special method for calculating multiple disabilities.
Here is a simplified example:
Example: If you have a 30% disability rating, the VA would multiply that against 100%, which is assumed to be good health. This gives you 30%. Subtract that from 100% which leaves you with 70% . Then subtract 70% from 100% and you are left with 30%. If that is your only disability, then your final VA Service-Connected Disability Rating is 30%.
If you have multiple ratings, you continue with the process, using your final number each time as your starting point. Continuing with our example, if your next rating is 10%, you would multiply 10% against 70%, which is 7%. You subtract that from 70%, which leaves you with 63%. Subtract 63% from 100% and you get 37%. Your disability rating is 37%, which rounds up to 40%.
It can get complicated quickly, so I have an in-depth article and podcast that explain how the VA calculates combined disability ratings. I highly recommend reading and/or listening to get a good idea of how the process works!
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How Va Math Works
The combined rating is the rating that the VA uses to determine compensation payments and access to other benefits. Its extremely important to understand how the VA came up with your combined rating so that you can make sure your disability benefits are being calculated, and to make sure you have access to all of the benefits and disability compensation you are entitled to. For example, the higher combined rating you have, the greater your monthly benefits and compensation rates will be. Also, combined ratings are very important when determining whether you meet the requirements for Total Disability based on Individual unemployability .
VA math is simple when there is only one rated disability with service connection. In that case, the veterans combined rating is simply the rating that is assigned to their service-connected disability. Things get complicated when there are multiple VA Disability Ratings. Each service-connected disability is assigned its own rating based on the severity of the veterans symptoms. Then, the VA adds the ratings together to get the combined disability rating using the VA combined ratings table. However, the VA does their addition a little bit different than were all probably used to. In the world of VA math, 2+2 does NOT equal 4. Instead, the VA likes to add in a few more steps. The process is best explained with an example:
With Dependents Including Children
Find the dependent status in the left column that best describes you. Then look for your disability rating in the top row. Your monthly basic rate is where your dependent status and disability rating meet.
If you have more than one child or your spouse receives Aid and Attendance benefits, be sure to also look at the Added amounts table, and add these to your amount from the Basic rates table.
|Dependent status||30% disability rating||40% disability rating||50% disability rating||60% disability rating|
|Dependent status||Veteran with 1 child only||30% disability rating||504.39||40% disability rating||722.28||50% disability rating||1020.44||60% disability rating||1,288.03|
|With 1 child and spouse||30% disability rating||563.39||40% disability rating||801.28||50% disability rating||1,118.44||60% disability rating||1,407.03|
|With 1 child, spouse, and 1 parent||30% disability rating||607.39||40% disability rating||860.28||50% disability rating||1,192.44||60% disability rating||1,496.03|
|With 1 child, spouse, and 2 parents||30% disability rating||651.39||40% disability rating||919.28||50% disability rating||1,266.44||60% disability rating||1,585.03|
|With 1 child and 1 parent||30% disability rating||548.39||40% disability rating||781.28||50% disability rating||1,094.44||60% disability rating||1,377.03|
|With 1 child and 2 parents||30% disability rating||592.39||40% disability rating||840.28||50% disability rating||1,168.44||60% disability rating||1,466.03|
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Disability Compensation Rate Table For 2020
Not only has and will the number of veterans receiving Compensation increase over this period of 11 years while at the same time the population of veterans will decrease but the average yearly amount will increase faster than the CPI. Over these 11 years, the benefit will increase by an average of 4.3% per year while the average CPI inflation rate is estimated at 2% per year.
These increases are primarily due to aging veterans on claim getting more disabled, an increase in special monthly Compensation benefits, a higher percentage of Gulf War veterans making claims as well as Vietnam veterans who are getting older and making agent orange claims and finally an increasing number of hearing loss claims.
Who Is Entitled To Va Compensation For Medical Issues
Veterans who apply for VA disability compensation must have medical conditions that are the result of an injury or disease that was incurred or aggravated while on active duty or active duty for training or from injury, heart attack or stroke that occurred during inactive duty training, according to the VA.
Such disabilities may apply to medical conditions such as Lou Gherigs Disease, mental health issues including post-traumatic stress disorder , and more, according to the VAs guidelines.
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Getting Social Security Benefits
Don’t forget that, in addition to veterans disability benefits, you can also apply for Social Security benefits if you are disabled. You can receive both veterans disability benefits and Social Security disability benefits at the same time. There is a different application process for Social Security, and while it can take months or even over a year to be awarded benefits, it’s usually much faster than getting benefits through the VA.
How To Receive A 100 Percent Disability Rating
To have the best chance of receiving a 100 percent disability rating, you must convince the VA of the severity of your condition.
The more persuasive evidence and supporting documentation you submit, the stronger you can make this case. The best types of evidence to include with your appeal are, among others, medical records, personal statements from your doctor, lab test results and statements from yourself, your family, friends, manager or co-workers.
Equally important is showing youre receiving regular medical care for your condition. If you have not been to the doctor in six months or a year, the VA may find it hard to believe your condition is severe enough to warrant a 100 percent rating.
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What Is A Service Connected Disability
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, VA Disability Compensation is:
a benefit paid to a veteran because of injuries or diseases that happened while on active duty, or were made worse by active military service. It is also paid to certain veterans disabled from VA health care. The benefits are tax-free.
If you have a service-connected disability, you may be eligible to receive a monthly compensation payment. You may also be eligible to receive additional compensation if you have a service-connected rating of 30% or higher and have dependents, if you have missing limbs or if your spouse is living with a severe disability.
For What Types Of Disability Compensation Claims Can Veterans File
- Pre-Discharge Claims: A servicemember can file a pre-discharge Disability Compensation claim when she is within 180 days of separation or retirement from active duty or full-time National Guard duty.
- Pre-Service Disability Claims: Veterans who entered service with known disabilities can file a pre-service Disability Compensation claim if their military service aggravated their condition.
- In-Service Disability Claims: Veterans can file an in-service disability claim for disabilities that result from an injury or disease that occurred during active service.
- Post-Service Disability Claims: Veterans can file for Disability Compensation after they have been discharged for secondary disabilities that arose later which are connected to a service-related disability.
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Need A Va Dbq And A Medical Nexus Letter To Help Increase Your Chances Of Getting A 100% Va Disability Rating
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How To Calculate Your Combined Va Disability Rating
The VA uses the combined ratings table to determine a final disability rating for a veteran with multiple disabilities.
To use this table, you must first list each of your disability ratings in order of severity . Find the first one in the left column, and then find where it intersects with the top column number representing your second highest disability rating. Round to the nearest 10 if those are your only two ratings. If not, put the number from the intersection point in the left column, then find where it intersects with the top row number representing your third-highest percentage.
Repeat this process until you have run the numbers for all disability ratings, then round to the nearest 10.
For example, a veteran rated for a 50% disability and a 30% disability, would receive a combined rating of 65%, which the VA rounds to the nearest 10, so 70%.
In a different example on the VA official site, a veteran rated with two disabilities at 40% and 20% has a combined value of 52%. The VA rounds that number down to 50%.
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How To Apply For Va Disability Compensation
First, obtain your DD 214. Then fill out VA Form 21-526, Veterans Application for Compensation and/or Pension. Once you have completed it, mail it to the following address:
Department of Veterans Affairs
PO Box 4444
You can also apply online using VONAPP, or bring the form in-person to a Veterans Administration regional center near you.
If youre originating a new claim, be prepared to furnish your DD-214, and allow the Veterans Administration access to your medical records as well as your military records.
You dont have to submit supporting evidence right away in order to apply, but you may have to submit to a medical exam. Once you start a VA disability compensation claim, you have up to one year to submit supporting evidence.
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Va Disability Counts As Income For Child Support & Alimony
VA disability payments count as income for purposes of calculating child support and maintenance – the fact that they are tax-free payments means they are invisible to the IRS, but not invisible to other agencies or for other purposes.
In Rose v. Rose, 481 U.S. 619 , the U.S. Supreme Court found that VA disability payments were intended not just for the veteran, but as the law stated, to provide reasonable and adequate compensation for disabled veterans and their families.
From this, the Court concluded: “Congress clearly intended veterans’ disability benefits to be used, in part, for the support of veterans’ dependents. Although Rose concerned garnishment of VA disability payments, in that case the disability benefits comprised most of the obligor’s income considered by the state court. While the decision did not explicitly address the fact that the state court counted the disability as income, had the Court taken issue with counting it, the justices certainly had the opportunity to correct the state court.
In a 1991 decision, the Colorado Court of Appeals rejected a husbands argument that counting VA disability payments as income was effectively a backdoor, improper division of the disability payments themselves. In re: Marriage of Nevil, 809 P.2d 1122, 1123 . The Courts reasoning was:
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Getting Help With Filing And Tracking Va Disability Claims
You do not have to apply for VA medical benefits or compensation alone. Agencies called Veterans Service Organizations are authorized to act on your behalf to file with the government.
Getting the right help is especially important if you fear your medical claims may be denied or are trying to appeal a denied claim.
Such organizations include AMVETS, the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars , DAV and more. The VA website has a list of accredited Veteran Service Organizations you can use to find help with your claim.
Help may also be available from your state government. Check with your state department of veterans affairs to see what services they offer.
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