Indiana Veterans Disability Lawyers

Lawyers for Veterans (VA) Disability – Tuley Law Office

VA Benefits and Compensation

If you are an injured or disabled veteran, you are not alone. Of nearly 20 million veterans in the United States, almost four million have service-related injuries that have resulted in some degree of disability. U.S. Veterans may turn to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) to obtain disability benefits.

VA Disability Rating & Benefits

Total and permanent disability benefits refer to benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for those veterans who are considered 100% disabled by the VA. If you are a U.S. military veteran and are dealing with your own service-related disability, you may qualify to receive monthly disability payments through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans’ disability benefits are tax-free and paid to those who have injuries or disabilities sustained while on active duty or worsened by active military service.

To qualify for disability benefits from the VA, you must meet certain requirements. The basic requirements when applying for disability include the following:

  • Applicant must have been active duty
  • Applicant’s disability must have been caused by military service or disability was worsened by military service

The amount of your VA disability benefits is based on severity of your disability. Those struggling with several disabilities or impairments may receive a higher “rating,” resulting in larger benefits. However, multiple impairment ratings are not cumulative. In other words, if you have two impairments each rated at 20 percent, this does not automatically mean your rating will be 40 percent.

VA Benefits Eligibility: Who is Eligible for VA Benefits?

Eligible veterans may qualify for one or many of the benefits offered to them as active-duty United States military members. Benefits include the Military Family Relief Fund, educational benefits, tax deductions, employment opportunities, and more.

For disabled veterans, several benefits are available. Disabled veterans are those who have been injured while serving in the military, or whose health condition worsened while in active duty.

VA Survivor Benefits

Spouses and dependents of deceased veterans are eligible for survivor benefits including health care, life insurance, and tuition reimbursement. Some programs may only apply to low-income families while others depend on the veteran’s service-connected disability status.

Dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC) is a tax-free monthly benefit for eligible survivors of veterans who died from a service-related injury or illness. Benefits and qualifications vary for surviving spouses, children, parents, and other dependents.

Surviving Spouses

To be eligible for DIC benefits as a surviving spouse of a veteran, you must meet certain requirements and provide evidence supporting your claim. For spousal benefits, one of the following must be true:

  • Married the Veteran or service member before January 1, 1957
  • Married the Veteran or service member within 15 years of their discharge from the period of military service during which the qualifying illness or injury started or got worse
  • Were married to the Veteran or service member for at least 1 year

Additionally, if you had a child with the Veteran or service member, aren’t currently remarried, and either lived with the Veteran or service member without a break until their death or, if separated, weren’t at fault for the separation, you may be eligible for DIC benefits.

Surviving Children

Surviving children of veterans may be eligible for DIC benefits when certain requirements are met. The following must be true to receive benefits as a surviving child:

  • You are not married
  • You are under the age of 18, or under the age of 23 if attending school
  • You are not included on surviving spouse’s compensation

Surviving Parent(s)

You may be eligible for DIC benefits as a surviving parent of a veteran if both of these are true for you:

  • Your income falls below a designated amount
  • You are the biological, adoptive, or foster parent of the deceased veteran or service member

Following divorce, a former spouse is eligible for the Continued Heath Care Benefit Program (CHCBP) for up to three years. If the former spouse of the veteran or service member remains unmarried, they may remain on CHCBP for life.

The legal team at Tuley Law Office can assist you in handling the process of obtaining DIC benefits. If you are a veteran seeking advice on obtaining benefits, contact a member of our team today.

Appeal or Change VA Disability Rating

Receiving a denied claim can be frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be. When and how to file an appeal on a denied claim depends on several factors, including when the original claim was filed, whether your claim falls under the “legacy” claims process or the recent Appeals Modernization Act, what kind of evidence supports your claim, and whether additional evidence or expert statements are needed.

In some cases, veterans may also apply for a VA disability increase.

Common Reasons for Denials

If your claim for veterans’ benefits has been denied, it may be for one of several common reasons.

  • insufficient medical evidence
  • insufficient evidence of service connection
  • missed deadline
  • incorrect form filed
  • VA ruled the condition to be pre-existing

If you receive notice your VA claim for disability benefits was denied, the experienced attorneys at Tuley Law can assist you throughout the legal process of an appeal.

Service-Connected Disability: How to Prove VA Service Connection for Claims

Service-connected disability occurs when a veteran’s disability stems directly from military service. Your ability to prove a service-connected disability should be easy to determine based on evidence.

In order to qualify for benefits due to a service-connected disability, the following factors must be present:

  • You have served on active duty and have proven the disability was caused while on active duty

You may also:

  • Have been injured while serving in the military and can link the injury to your disability
  • Have had an illness or injury, and serving worsened your condition
  • Have a disability related to active duty that did not appear until your service ended

There are several ways to prove that your disability as a veteran is related to service. You may not have trouble proving your disability exists but linking it to your service is very important. The following are theories under which you may prove your service-connected disability:

  1. Direct service-connection
  2. Secondary-service connection
  3. Service-connected disability due to aggravation

Veterans and qualified dependents are eligible for service-connected disability benefits pending approval. If you are unsure if you qualify for veterans’ service-connected disability, contact the experienced attorneys at Tuley Law today for a case evaluation.

VA Back Pay

VA disability back pay is the money owed to a veteran that the VA should have been paying them from the time they became entitled to compensation (what the VA calls the “effective date”) through the time the VA actually granted the veteran’s claim. The VA can often take months or years to grant benefits, depending on several factors. However, the longer you wait for a decision, the more back pay you will be owed.

Reach out to Tuley Law Office

If you or a loved one are a United State Veteran seeking benefits or information on the benefits you deserve, contact the Veterans’ Disability attorneys of Tuley Law Office today. Our firm is based in Indiana, but serves Veterans all across the United States. For a no-cost case evaluation, call (812) 434-1936.

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