#2 Easiest Things To Claim For Va Disability: Musculoskeletalconditions
Based on the latest 2018-2019 VA data,Musculoskeletal conditions were in the Top 5 most compensated claims for allVeterans, across all demographics. 92.2% of Veterans were rated between 0% and20%, once again making these low-value VA claims.
Musculoskeletal system conditions includeissues with joints and muscles and must involve limitation of range ofmotion and/or painful motion. Symptoms associated withmusculoskeletal system conditions include limitation of range of motion, painful motion, arthritis, weakness, easily fatigued, loss of power,lack of coordination and decreased movement control.
Musculoskeletal disabilities can also befiled as secondary VA disability claims, and can be caused or made worse any ofthe following conditions: medication side effects, depression and anxiety,PTSD, TBI, Temporomandibular Joint Disorder , right side of body injuriesaffect left side of body and spine, neck, back, hips, arms,legs, and feet, among others.
How To Apply For Veterans Disability Benefit And Proving Your Eligibility
To receive veterans disability benefits, you need to be officially designated as disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs. According to the DVA, you need to be at least 10% disabled because of injuries or diseases that were incurred in or aggravated during active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training to be eligible for compensation. You also must have been discharged under circumstances other than dishonorable.
Veterans disability benefits are administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs , through the Veterans Benefits Administration . The VBA is a separation division from the VHA . Even if youre currently being treated by a VHA doctor, you still need to fill out the forms and be approved.
What Is A Total And Permanent Disability Discharge
The federal TPD has been available to student loan borrowers since the Higher Education Act of 1965 was passed into law.
Under this program, federal loan borrowers that meet the governments definition of totally and permanently disabled can have 100% of their outstanding loan balance discharged.
When you apply, you submit your application to Nelnet, the federal loan servicer that manages the TPD program. If your application is approved, your monthly payments are suspended, and you typically enter into a three-year monitoring period. If you are still disabled at the end of the three yearsand are not expected to recoverand have not received income or loans, the government will forgive your remaining loan balance.
Veterans Disability Benefits: How To Apply And Submit Your Claim
Winning approval for military service-connected injuries and illnesses can be a challenging process. Well show you how to optimize your VA disability claim.
This article includes a summary of the federal governments programadministered by the Department of Veterans Affairs that was set up to provide cash and other benefits to veterans who suffered disabilities or serious, continuing illnesses as a result of their military service. The program has a massive staff of over 340,000 employees and an annual budget of more than $182 billion. But, unfortunately, the system is far from perfectfor several reasons
So if your disability involves one or more conditions that are difficult to substantiate, or are not obviously work-related, you may need legal expertsas well as independent medical expertsto prove it, in order to more quickly claim all your rightful benefits.
This article also includes helpful advice on how to deal with these inherent problems successfully, in a minimum amount of timeperhaps with the assistance of a VA accredited attorney, who has experience with the VAs disability program.
Tpd Requirements For Social Security Recipients
The government uses the SSA system to find borrowers that are eligible for TPD. If the SSA decides you are eligible, they will send you a notice of your eligibility for the program containing next steps. However, the SSA may miss you under certain circumstances, or a mail error can prevent you from receiving the notice. If that happens, you can apply by filling out a discharge application and submitting supporting documentation.
If you receive Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income, you may qualify for TPD by submitting a copy of your SSA notice of award or benefits Planning Query that shows your next disability review date. To be eligible, your next disability review date must be at least five to seven years from the date of your late SSA disability determination.
Apply Online For Disability Benefits
Social Security offers an online disability application you can complete at your convenience. Apply from the comfort of your home or any location at a time most convenient for you. You do not need to drive to your local Social Security office or wait for an appointment with a Social Security representative.
You can use the online application to apply for disability benefits if you:
- Are age 18 or older;
- Are not currently receiving benefits on your own Social Security record;
- Are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death: and
- Have not been denied disability benefits in the last 60 days. If your application was recently denied for medical reasons, the Internet Appeal is a starting point to request a review of the medical determination we made.
- Print and review the Adult Disability Checklist.
It will help you gather the information you need to complete the application.
We suggest that you have the following information at hand. It will make completing the application much easier.
Information About You
Information About Your Medical Condition
Information About Your Work
We may ask you to provide documents to show that you are eligible, such as:
We accept photocopies of W-2 forms, self-employment tax returns or medical documents, but we must see the original of most other documents, such as your birth certificate.
Mailing Your Documents
After we receive your online application, we will:
Ssa Expedited Processing For Veterans
Who May Be Entitled To Va Disability Benefitsincluding Some That May Surprise You
According to VA regulations, disability compensation is paid to veterans who have injuries or illnesses that occurred while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, or whose injuries or illnesses were made worse by active military service. Benefits are also paid to certain veterans disabled due to VA health care. Veterans with a dishonorable discharge are not eligible for benefits.
Active duty for training also applies to members of the National Guard or the Reserve Corps who were called up for full-time duty in the Armed Forces. If they were not called up, their membership does not qualify them for veterans benefits.
Veterans is defined as men and women who performed active service in a uniformed branch of the U.S. militaryin the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, Womens Army Auxiliary Corps , or Womans Air Service Pilots .
Its a little-known fact that VA disability benefits may also be given to those who served full time in the Public Health Services Commissioned Officer Corps or in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration . In some cases, those who served full time, during wartime, in the Merchant Marine or the Flying Tigers may also be eligible.
Definitions Of Permanent And Total Disability Va Benefits Ratings
Total: All service-connected impairments will be given a disability rating of 0-100%. The rating you will receive for a service-connected impairment is based upon how much that impairment affects your ability to function at work and in your personal life. A 100% VA disability rating means that your impairment is totally disabling.
Permanent: The VA will find a disability permanent when based upon all the medical evidence, it is reasonably certain the impairment will not improve over the veterans life. The VA is also going to consider the veterans age. Older veterans are much more likely to obtain a permanent rating because of this factor.
Were There To Help If Disability Strikes
provide modest coverage for severely disabled workers and their dependents, including our wounded warriors. Some wounded warriors and Veterans who have a compensation rating of 100% P&T are unaware that Social Security may expedite the processing of their disability claims. In addition, Veterans may not realize they can sometimes qualify for both VA and Social Security benefits. Approximately 621,000 military Veterans received disability insurance benefits in 2016. Rest assured that if the unexpected happens, weve got you covered.
Learn more on our .
Gather Documentation Of Your Illnesses And Injuries
Youll need documentation of your injuries to support your claim. Documents you should submit with your application may include:
Medical clinic and hospital records related to your injury or illness. While your benefits application allows you to sign a medical records release, many private medical providers ignore VA requests for these records. Submitting medical records with your application eliminates this problem.
Supporting statements from friends, family, clergy, law enforcement, or other veterans regarding your injury or illness.
VA medical and hospital records related to your injury or illness.
What Disability Programs Does The Social Security Administration Provide
If compensation or pension isnt right for you, you should consider the disability programs offered by the Social Security Administration. They include Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance . We recommend you work with your local Area Agency on Aging to help with SSI and SSDI applications.
- Social Security Administration – 772-1213
- Area Agency on Aging – 642-5119
Trust A Qualified Attorney With Your Va Disability Claim
Many veterans are injured in the line of duty or have their existing diseases or disabilities worsened by their military service. The Department of Veterans Affairs offers numerous programs to help disabled veterans and their families. However, the application and appeals processes are overwhelming, and many veterans have their claims rejected due to simple errors. The complexity of the process often discourages eligible veterans to apply in the first place.
At The Law Offices of Michael Hartup, we understand each step of the VA disability application process. Our team of expert disability attorneys is dedicated to helping Tennessee residents who served in the military get the benefits theyre entitled to. We are ready to help you with your initial application or appeal.
Schedule a free consultation with our team through our online contact form. If you prefer to talk directly to someone in our Jackson, Tennessee, office, call 424-5559. To learn more about VA disability benefits, like our Facebook page.
Mark Delaney Author Va Disability Claims
During his own departure from the Army, Mark felt wholly unsatisfied with the transition process. To improve the experience for other veterans, he started The Veteran Professional website and The Veteran Professional where he writes about applying to grad schools, entrepreneurship, and professional career options for veterans. He has a retired sled dog named Kismet, enjoys playing bar trivia, and thinks everyone needs to raise money to redo Season 8 of GoT.
Learn about another incredible benefit, the VA Loan, if you really want to take advantage of veteran benefits!
*Note from David* Pay attention to this. VA Disability claims are extremely important to get right when you exit the military!
Faq: Permanent And Total Disability Va Benefits Ratings
If I dont have a Permanent and Total rating, will I be re-evaluated in the future?Maybe. If you did not obtain Permanent and Total disability VA benefits ratings for your conditions, the VA can re-evaluate your ratings at a later date. The VA can lower your rating upon review. The VA is fairly inconsistent in re-evaluating veterans VA disability ratings. Some veterans will be re-evaluated while other veterans ratings will not.
How do vets know if they are considered Permanent and Total?If Permanent and Total disability VA benefits ratings are awarded, it will be listed on your Rating Decision letter. If you no longer have your letter, you can log into your account to review your current VA disability ratings.
Are TDIU benefits automatically Permanent and Total?TDIU benefits do not automatically qualify for Permanent and Total disability VA benefits ratings. However, the VA will only reduce TDIU ratings if actual employability is by clear and convincing evidence. Veterans with TDIU benefits can receive a Permanent and Total disability VA benefits rating if their impairments and employability are not expected to improve.
Who Are Disabled Veterans
Some disabled veterans run Fortune 500 companies; some disabled veterans will never be able to work again. Some disabled veterans run in marathons; some disabled veterans need help performing daily life functions, like eating or bathing. In other words, disabled veterans come in all ranges of abilities. Many disabled veterans do not consider themselves disabled, nor do they meet our society’s definition of disabled. The stereotype of someone in a wheelchair or missing a limb isnt an accurate description of the vast majority of our nations disabled veterans.
Specifically, a disabled veteran is someone who has applied for disability benefits from the VA and had their application approved. A veteran can have obvious disabilities, be receiving VA healthcare for those disabilities, and still not be a Disabled Veteran unless they go through the steps necessary to have their conditions officially recognized by the VA.
Should I Apply For Va Disability Benefits On My Own
No. In 2005, the VA tasked the Institute for Defense Analysis to study the distribution of VA disability across the nation. The results indicated that veterans who applied for VA disability on their own were less likely to have their application approved.
Veterans have the option of applying on their own, and can even do so online. However, we do not recommend this. The application is very technical and difficult to complete correctly unless you have been trained to do so. This isn’t a criticism of the VA… its an acknowledgment that the VA needs a lot of information in order to process your application. If your application is incomplete or incorrect, it will either slow it down or result in a disapproval.
Below is contact information for the VA, if you would like to apply on your own, and for the accredited service officers working in Vermont.
- VA Nationwide Benefits Number to Request an Application – 827-1000
- American Legion Veteran Service Officer – 296-5166
- Disabled American Veterans Veteran Service Officer – 296-5167
- Veterans of Foreign Wars Veteran Service Officer – 296-5168
- Vietnam Veterans of America 903-1257
- Vermont Veteran Service Officer Program – 666-9844
Tip #2: Obtain Copies Of Your Service Treatment Records
Its laughable to read things like Veterans dont need copies of their Service Treatment Records when applying for VA disability benefits years after service because the VA will obtain them on your behalf.
Yeah, okay. ?
While the VA has a legal Duty to Assist to help claimants develop their VA disability compensation claim, they routinely FAIL in these efforts.
Please take my advice and do NOT file a VA disability claim until you have copies of your service treatment records!
Because I want you to maintain control of your own VA disability claim, meaning youre going to want to file a Fully Developed Claim online, which will allow for a faster and more accurate VA rating decision.
If you dont currently have copies of your military service records, to include your medical and health records, you can obtain copies through the National Archives in St. Louis.
How Can I Obtain My Military Medical Records?
Veterans can obtain copies of their military medical records by mailing / faxing a written request to the National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records.
National Personnel Records Center
Saint Louis, MO 63138-1002
You can also fax your request for military records to: 801-9049
If youd rather , youll need to fill, print, sign, and mail or fax to one of 14 possible locations depending upon your branch of the military and dates of service.
Once you get copies of your Service Treatment Records go through them in detail!
If The Claim Rating Was Lowwhat Next
Once the waiting period is over and you receive the decision and rating from the VA, you can appeal the decision if you want to try for a higher rating. It is possible that you can present stronger evidence and build a better case for a higher rating. If in your initial claim you did not seek the advice and guidance of a lawyer and/or a veterans assistance organization, the appeal may be the time to do this. You may need a second set of eyes to figure out what went wrong the first time and to help you bolster your claim.
While there is no time limit to file an original claim, an appeal is much more time sensitive. It must be done within one year of the date of your VA decision later, so it is important to act swiftly.
The form to use in the appeal is called the Statement in Support of Claim and can also be found on the VA website. This is effectively your Notice of Disagreement , informing the VA that you disagree with either the denial of benefits, the low rating applied to benefits, or the date in which benefits take effect.
You will be given a choice between a decision review officer or an appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeals . If the decision is not reversed at those levels, you may move on to an appeal with the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. At this point, you should definitely be using a lawyer!
With solid documentation and evidence for your VA disability claim, it is unlikely you would need to go into this kind of appeals process.
Submit Your Claim By Mail
The Department of Veterans Affairs has implemented centralized mail processing for compensation claims. Veterans should send correspondence pertaining to compensation claims to the locations listed on the centralized mailing addresses web page. If you have records that support your claim, you should send them with your claim. If you want us to request records for you, you must tell us the name and address of the person, company or agency that has these records, the approximate time frame covered by them, and the condition for which you were treated. If you received treatment from a non-VA health care provider you must complete VA Form 21-4142, Authorization and Consent to Release Information to the Department of Veterans Affairs . We will use this form to request non-VA health records.
Assistance With Filing Your Claim
While it is possible to file a claim independently, many veterans opt to work with Veteran Service Officers with experience in filing VA disability claims. VSOs are often veterans themselves, sympathetic to the plight of the applicant. Compassionate and experienced, a VSO can be a real ally in your quest for benefits.
Working with a VSO can also help ensure a claim is not lost in the shuffle. Because the claims process can be so lengthy, it can be tough for veterans to remain as vigilant as necessary throughout the many months it takes to be processed. A VSO, however, can provide you with regular updates and ensure you that your claim is indeed being handled.
Should the VA deny or underrate your claim the decision can be appealed. There is no better advocate to have than an attorney focused solely on VA disability appeals. VA Attorneys can help you file your appeal and walk you through the appeals process. A lawyer can prepare a strategy to assemble the evidence and legal arguments necessary to meet your goals.
VA attorneys can also help connect you with experts who can help bolster your claim. In some cases, an independent medical exam, or IME, can help provide specific evidence to support your claim. IME physicians often have lengthy and impressive histories that alone could sway the VAs opinion in the favor of their report.
Applying For Va Disability Compensation Before Military Discharge
If you are a member of the armed forces serving on active duty or fulltime National Guard duty, you can apply for benefits through the VAs Pre-Discharge Program. As part of the Pre-Discharge Program, the Integrated Disability Evaluation System rates your fitness for duty. If you are rated medically unfit for duty, the IDES gives you a proposed VA disability rating before you leave the service.
You can start the Pre-Discharge Program by filing for Benefits Delivery at Discharge :
All service members on full-time, active duty, including members of the Coast Guard and the National Guard and Reserves, can start the BDD program at military installations nationwide or at the VA’s Detroit Regional Benefit Office. If you are on a military installation, contact your local Transition Assistance Office or ACAP Center to attend VA benefits briefings and learn how to file your claim.
Two overseas military installations also accept BDD claims: Germany and South Korea. Learn more about the BDD Overseas Intake Sites.
The Pre-Discharge Program lets you apply for VA Disability Compensation and other VA benefits, such as Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment , , and home loans. Summary of VA Benefits flyer has short descriptions of VA benefits, contact phone numbers, and locations.
Other Va Disability Benefits You May Be Entitled Tobut Not Even Know About
In addition to the general disability compensation detailed above, the VA offers other benefits to disabled veterans who meet eligibility requirements. These programs include:
- Concurrent Retirement and Disability Payments These restore retired pay on a graduated 10-year schedule for military service retirees with a VA-rated disability of 50% to 90%. Veterans rated 100% disabled are entitled to full CRDP without being phased in. To be eligible, veterans must also:
- Combat-Related Special Compensation These are tax-free monthly payments to eligible retired veterans with combat-related injuries. With CRSC, veterans can receive both their full military retirement pay and their VA disability compensation. To be eligible, veterans must:
Also: Veterans must provide documentary evidence that their injuries resulted from: training that simulates war OR hazardous duty OR an instrument of war OR armed conflict . Disabilities related to in-service exposure to hazards are considered combat-related for CRSC if the VA awards compensation for them. Certain chronic or tropical diseases may also determine eligibility.
What Evidence Will I Need To Provide To Support My Claim
You can help to support your VA disability claim by providing documents, such as:
- VA medical records and hospital records that relate to your claimed illnesses or injuries or that show your rated disability has gotten worse
- Private medical records and hospital reports that relate to your claimed illnesses or injuries or that show your disability has gotten worse
- Supporting statements youd like to provide from family members, friends, clergy members, law enforcement personnel, or those you served with that can tell us more about your claimed condition and how and when it happened or how it got worse
Depending on the type of claim you file, you may gather supporting documents yourself, or you can ask for our help to gather evidence.
Well also review your discharge papers and service treatment records.
Please note: You dont have to submit any evidence to support your claim, but we may need to schedule a claim exam so we can learn more about your condition.
You should also know that you have up to a year from the date we receive your claim to turn in any evidence. If you start your application and need time to gather more supporting documents, you can save your application and come back later to finish it. Well recognize the date you started your application as your date of claim as long as you complete it within 365 days.