Serving in the military can take a toll on you and forever alter your life, sometimes for the worse. If you are a Georgia veteran with a military-related disabling medical or mental health condition, a veterans disability lawyer can meet with you to discuss your benefits eligibility.
You could be eligible for monthly compensation, free healthcare, and other disability benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). At our law firm, we have a special interest in helping disabled veterans. We offer a free initial case evaluation and are eager to speak with you.
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How to Qualify for VA Disability in Georgia
To qualify for VA disability benefits, you must meet three criteria. If you fail to satisfy any of them, you risk getting denied compensation. One of our lawyers can help you collect evidence and clarify that you qualify in all areas.
The three requirements to receive VA disability compensation are:
- A medical condition considered disabling by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
- A specific event in your military service
- A connection between the event and your medical condition
In the next sections, we’ll go over what each of these means and what characteristics must be present for you to qualify for benefits.
A Disabling Medical Condition
We must first show you have a medical condition that meets VA disability requirements. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs maintains a list of approved conditions to help determine benefits eligibility.
Our team of attorneys will evaluate your medical records to ensure you have sufficient proof that you meet the required approval criteria for your condition. We can take additional steps to verify your eligibility so you can start working on your claim.
An Event in Your Military Service or Training Duty
Next, we must identify an event in your military service that led to your current condition as a disabled veteran. We don’t need to verify the event to qualify as a service-connected disability, but we can establish the in-service onset of your condition through in-service medical records, personnel records, or lay evidence.
For example, if you are a disabled veteran appealing based on hearing loss, we can point to a training exercise or combat mission during which you suffered repeated exposure to loud gun blasts.
A Connection Between the Two
Lastly, we must demonstrate a direct connection between the event we identify and your current diagnosis. We do this by looking over your military and medical records. Once we’ve done that, we draw upon your doctors’ and experts’ opinions and statements regarding the degree of permanent impairment you have suffered.
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VA Disability Compensation Levels
VA disability is not a fixed amount. Your compensation level depends on the severity of your condition. To quantify your disability, VA assigns you something called an impairment rating.
This number can range from 0 to 100% and corresponds with a monthly compensation level. These rates can change year-to-year, so you must make sure that you are looking at the most current rates. Below, we’ve listed the rates for this year.
2022 VA Impairment Ratings and Corresponding Monthly Compensation
For 2022, here is what you will receive in VA disability compensation at each impairment rating:
- Disability rating of 10%: $152.64 per month
- Disability rating of 20%: $301.74 per month
- Disability rating of 30%: $467.39 per month
- Disability rating of 40%: $673.28 per month
- Disability rating of 50%: $958.44 per month
- Disability rating of 60%: $1,214.03 per month
- Disability rating of 70%: $1,529.95 per month
- Disability rating of 80%: $1,778.43 per month
- Disability rating of 90%: $1,998.52 per month
- Disability rating of 100%: $3,332.06 per month
Depending on your disability rate percentage, you could recover monthly compensation for your disability. And our team can help you fight for the compensation you qualify for if your claim is denied.
Additional Veterans Benefits on Behalf of Dependents
There are additional benefits if you receive a VA impairment rating of 30% or higher and have dependents in your household, such as your spouse, children, or elderly parents. You could be eligible for additional compensation, awarded on top of your base amount, on behalf of your dependents.
Permanent and Total Disability
Veterans eligible for 100% impairment ratings and who demonstrate that their condition is not expected to improve may qualify for a permanent and total disability rating.
The benefit of permanent and total disability is that with this designation, you do not have to worry about the VA re-reviewing your case and possibly lowering or taking away your compensation.
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Reasons VA Disability Claims Are Denied
When you file your first disability claim, it’s not uncommon for it to be denied. The denial could be for several reasons; some of the most common reasons are:
Rejected Medical Evidence
Medical evidence is an essential part of your VA disability claim. So if you don’t provide evidence linking to your disability or forget to detail your doctor’s credentials, your claim could be denied. For example, most Gulf War Veterans had their claims denied due to insufficient medical evidence.
We can help you correct errors you made and compile more evidence that can strengthen your claim. Another reason your claim may have been denied because of your medical evidence is that the language you used in your statement wasn’t appropriate in the context of the VA.
We’ve had years of experience turning claim denials into successful cases of compensation. So if you were denied because of medical evidence, we can help.
Incorrect Information or Incomplete Forms
Forms filled out completely and with the correct information are another necessary component of a disability claim. If you left some sections blank of your claim because you didn’t want to answer or didn’t know what to write, your claim has a high chance of being denied.
Our attorneys can review the forms and advise you on what to fill in or correct any incorrect information you’ve given. After we do this and you feel confident in your claim, you can re-submit it for a second review.
You Didn’t Submit Forms or Schedule Appointments
The final reason your VA disability claim may have been denied is that you didn’t submit any requested forms on time or didn’t make an effort to schedule a VA-mandated doctor’s appointment. These two things are important steps in your claim.
Scheduling and attending doctor’s appointments is how VA verifies that you still suffer from a disability and deserve compensation. If you don’t do these things, it could make you look like you are trying to hide something. We can help you by determining what forms you need to complete and trying to reschedule your mandated appointment.
While it may seem like you’re ineligible for compensation once your claim is denied, this is not true. Our lawyers are equipped with the skills and passion needed to help you get the right paperwork and evidence to have another chance at compensation.
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How to Appeal a Denial of VA Disability Benefits
VA offers applicants denied disability the opportunity to appeal its decision. The process used to be complicated, notorious for its endless wait times. But in 2017, Congress passed and the president signed the Veteran Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act.
This law provides more transparency and requires the VA department to send notices about their decision. The department must also detail how to obtain evidence for your specific claim.
Contact Us to Start Fighting for Compensation
If you are a disabled veteran in Georgia and suffer from a qualifying disability due to your time serving in the military, our veterans’ disability team at George Sink P.A. Injury Lawyers can help you get approved for VA benefits. We can also improve your claim if VA Department denies it, so you have another chance at obtaining the benefits you need.
We offer a free case consultation and case review and never collect a fee until we recover benefits for you. Call us or send us a message through our website contact form.
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