When veterans come home, the Department of Veteran Affairs is there to help them get back on their feet. It is meant to be a tremendous help for veterans, especially those with a service-related disability. But too often, valid claims for benefits submitted by our veterans get denied by the VA, sometimes for the most minor reasons, such as an error on paperwork. Our veterans deserve far better treatment.
Morgan & Morgan’s office in New York employs attorneys with considerable experience helping veterans and their families receive the benefits they so sorely need. We are one of only a handful of firms practicing in this challenging area of law and are proud to assist New York veterans in obtaining compensation for their service-connected injuries, disabilities, and diseases.
If you are in a dispute with the VA over a denied claim, Morgan & Morgan may be able to help you. For more information, fill out our case review form for a free evaluation.
Qualifying for Benefits
In order to qualify for benefits at the VA, a veteran needs to prove that they are at least 10 percent disabled.
According to the VA, you’ll also need medical evidence of a current disability, as well as evidence that relates your disability to an injury or event that occurred during your service.
Our New York attorneys have experience helping veterans who have the following injuries receive disability benefits from the VA:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder;
- Exposure to Toxic Chemicals;
- Back and Spinal Injuries;
- Hearing Loss;
- Gulf War Syndrome;
- Medical Conditions Caused by Exposure to Depleted Uranium;
- Traumatic Brain Injury;
- Tropical Diseases, such as dysentery and malaria;
- Gunshot Wounds;
- Shrapnel Wounds from Improvised Explosive Devices; or
- Knee, Leg, and Arm Injuries.
The VA maintains a list of specific classes of veterans with certain conditions whom it presumes to be disabled and therefore automatically eligible for disability benefits. Veterans who may automatically qualify for benefits include:
- Former prisoners of war;
- Veterans who have certain chronic or tropical diseases that become evident within a specified period of time after discharge from service; or
- Vietnam veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange.
How Can an Attorney Help Me?
The appeals process of a denied VA claim can be a complicated and frustrating process. Having a Morgan & Morgan veterans’ benefits attorney by your side at a time like that can be incredibly helpful to you, relieving you of the most stressful aspects of the appeal while you focus on your recovery.
Some of the elements of a VA claim appeal can include:
Review by the Local VA Office: Your attorney may file a Notice of Disagreement with the VA regional office if your claim has been denied by your VA office. The Notice of Disagreement must be submitted within one year of the date that your VA office mailed its original decision denying your claim.
Notice of Disagreement: After your VA office receives the Notice of Disagreement, it will create a Statement of the Case. The Statement of the Case is a detailed explanation of the evidence, laws, and regulations that were used by the VA in deciding your claim and the evidence contained in the Statement of the Case.
Claim Review: As part of the review process, a decision review officer at your VA office will review your claim. Your attorney may also request that a personal hearing be conducted. A personal hearing is an informal hearing presided over by the decision review officer who will review your claim. Your New York veterans’ attorney will evaluate your case to determine if a personal hearing should be requested in your case.
File an Appeal with the Board of Veterans’ Appeals: If your claim remains denied after the review by the VA, your attorney may file an appeal with the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. As part of the appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, you have the right to a personal hearing. The personal hearing may be one of three types:
A hearing in Washington, D.C., where the Board of Veterans’ Appeals is located.
A video-conference hearing with your local VA office and the board member in Washington, D.C.
A hearing at your local VA office with the board member present.
File an Appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims: The final step in the veterans’ appeal process is filing a lawsuit with the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. If you claim has been improperly denied by the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, your attorney may file a Notice of Appeal with the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Your attorney will prepare a legal brief detailing why you are entitled to veterans’ benefits and may present an oral argument to the judge in your case.
Within this appeals process, we can build a case that proves that your disability is, in fact, due to your service. This can be a difficult thing to prove, as many service-related disabilities don’t become apparent until years after returning home. In cases like these, we may work with medical experts that can help us establish a clear connection between your disability and your service.
Often times, the VA initially denies claims because of administrative errors or the failure to supply sufficient medical evidence regarding the disabling medical condition.
With all the years of experience we have, Morgan & Morgan attorneys understand why certain claims get denied and we understand the appeals process inside and out. In assisting you and walking you through an initially complex process, we can make the process go by much faster and smoother. We are dedicated to giving these veterans the support they need at times like this.
Contact Morgan & Morgan For Your Veterans’ Benefits Case
Veterans deserve the chance to live a good life after everything they’ve given to this country. If you or a loved one is dealing with a VA claim in New York, we may be able to help. Please complete our free case review form to learn how a veterans’ benefits attorney can help you qualify for benefits.