Lang’s Legal is a virtual law office, proudly veteran-owned and dedicated to assisting fellow veterans with their Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability claims. Our founding attorney is a retired Army Combat Veteran, VA accredited attorney, a member of the Court of Veterans Appeals Bar Association, and a Member of the New Mexico Bar Association. He brings over 15 years of specialized experience in VA disability claims, ensuring that our Veterans and their family receive the expertise and dedication they need. Along with our founding attorney’s experience, Lang’s Legal is teamed with Southwest Law Firm VAbenefits4vets.com to provide additional specialized experience to our Veterans.
VA disability compensation
VA service-connected disability refers to an illness or injury that was incurred in or aggravated by military service. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides compensation to veterans for these service-connected disabilities. The amount of compensation is based on the severity of the disability, which is expressed as a percentage ranging from 0% to 100%.
For a Veteran to receive disability compensation, there must be a direct link or “service connection” between the veteran’s current disability and a specific event, injury, or exposure during their military service. There are various ways a disability can be service-connected:
- Direct service connection: When the injury or illness directly results from military service.
- Aggravation: When a pre-existing condition is worsened by military service.
- Presumptive service connection: Some conditions are presumed to be related to certain exposures or service in specific circumstances.
- Secondary service connection: When a service-connected disability leads to another disability.
Once the VA determines a disability is service-connected, they assign a disability rating. This rating is a percentage that represents the severity of the disability. The higher the percentage, the more compensation the veteran receives.
Veterans with service-connected disabilities receive a monthly tax-free compensation from the VA. The amount depends on the disability rating and other factors, such as having dependents.
Providing Evidence for Service Connection
For veterans seeking to establish a service connection for their disability, it’s crucial to provide the necessary evidence. Here’s what you need to know:
- Medical Documentation: Present clear medical records that detail the nature and extent of your disability.
- Event or Injury Records: Provide documentation or records that show the specific event, injury, or exposure during your military service that led to the disability.
- Link Between Disability and Service Event: It’s essential to offer evidence that directly connects your disability to the event or injury that occurred during your service. This could be in the form of medical opinions, witness testimonies, or other relevant records.
Disagree with VA Decision
Veterans who disagree with the decision made by the VBA on their claims have the right to appeal. Here are the primary ways a veteran can appeal a claim:
1. Higher-Level Review:
- In this option, the veteran requests that a more experienced adjudicator review the initial decision.
- The reviewer will look at the same evidence considered in the original decision.
- No new evidence can be submitted by the veteran for this review.
- The reviewer can either overturn the original decision based on an error or return (remand) it for correction.
2. Supplemental Claim:
- If a veteran has new and relevant evidence that was not considered in the original decision, they can file a supplemental claim.
- The VA will then review the new evidence in addition to the evidence previously submitted.
- Veterans can also have the VA assist in gathering new evidence.
3. Appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals:
- Veterans can appeal directly to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.
- There are three options when appealing to the Board:
- Direct Review: The Board will review the appeal using the evidence on record at the time of the initial decision. No new evidence can be added, and there’s no hearing.
- Evidence Submission: The veteran can submit additional evidence but does not want a hearing. The evidence must be submitted within 90 days of the notice of the appeal.
- Hearing: The veteran requests a hearing before a Veterans Law Judge. After the hearing, the judge will make a decision based on the hearing and any additional evidence provided.
4. Appeal to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC):
- If a veteran disagrees with the decision made by the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, they can appeal to the CAVC.
- This is a federal court, and the process here is more formal, often requiring legal representation.
Unlock the Potential of Your Claim with Expert Legal Assistance!
Navigating the complex waters of VA disability claims can be daunting. With an experienced lawyer, well-versed in the nuances of various VA positions, at your side, you’re doing more than just filing a claim; you’re making a powerful statement. Here’s why you should consider professional legal assistance:
- Maximize Your Compensation: We understand the intricacies of VA regulations. We can identify overlooked details and ensure you receive the full compensation you’re entitled to.
- Avoid Common Pitfalls: Many claims are denied due to legal errors or omissions. Our meticulous eye can catch and rectify these, increasing the likelihood of a successful claim.
- Save Time and Stress: The VA claims process can be lengthy and stressful. We efficiently handle paperwork, gather necessary evidence, and liaise with the VA on your behalf, letting you focus on what truly matters.
- Expert Representation: If your claim is denied, we can represent you during appeals, ensuring your case is presented in the best possible light.
- No Upfront Fees: We work on a contingency basis. This means we only get paid if you win your claim. It’s a testament to our confidence in securing a favorable outcome for you.
Your service and sacrifice deserve recognition and compensation. Don’t leave your VA disability claim to chance. Equip yourself with the expertise of our experienced VA lawyer and ensure you get the benefits you’ve rightfully earned.