Palm Harbor Veterans’ Benefits Lawyers
Veterans’ Benefits Lawyers
35686 US Highway 19 N
Palm Harbor, FL 34683
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Veterans’ Benefits Lawyers
You served your country, and now it is time for your country to reward you for your dedicated service. Unfortunately, far too many veterans fall through the cracks at the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. If you are a veteran who is having difficulty getting the benefits you deserve, you should contact one of the best Palm Harbor, FL veterans’ benefits lawyers to get the compensation that you deserve.
The veterans’ benefits attorneys at Morgan and Morgan help veterans like you receive compensation for the years they put in with the United States Armed Forces. Regardless of the military branch that you served, if you left the service in good graces with the United States government, you have the right to receive benefits that reflect your unwavering dedication to the nation.
Our veterans’ benefits lawyers understand that receiving compensation can be an often complex and frustrating process. With more than 100 lawyers dedicated to helping veterans receive benefits, Morgan and Morgan operates with a strong compassion for the former members of our military that the federal government has shunned. The veterans' benefits lawyers in Palm Harbor from Morgan and Morgan have handled hundreds of cases for veterans that include disability, survivor, healthcare, and employment benefits.
If the federal government has denied you benefits that are rightfully yours, schedule a free case evaluation with one of the experienced veterans’ benefits lawyers at Morgan & Morgan.
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How Do I Apply for Veterans’ Disability Benefits?
The veterans’ benefits lawyer you meet with from Morgan & Morgan does much more than review your case and discuss your legal options. We also are here to guide you through the benefits application process.
You have several ways to apply for veterans’ benefits. First, you can apply online by accessing the Veterans On-Line Application (VONAPP). During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, applying for veterans’ benefits online became the most popular way to interact with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Many veterans have found the online application to be easier to submit than the paper version used when filing for benefits by mail or in person.
If you decide to apply by mail, complete the Application for Veterans Compensation and/or Pension, which you can download at the VA Forms Website. Discover which local VA office you should send your application to and allow for a few days to pass before the VA receives your information. You also can apply by calling 800-827-1000. If the nearest VA office is open for business, you can apply for veterans’ benefits in person.
The success of your application depends largely on the evidence you submit with your information. One of the most important responsibilities of a veterans’ benefits lawyer in Palm Harbor, Florida involves helping clients gather and organize evidence. You should submit copies of healthcare and hospital records that demonstrate the severity of your medical condition. Show the VA your disability has become more of a burden by submitting reports that indicate the deterioration of your medical condition.
Supporting statements provided by friends, family members, and members of the clergy can strengthen your application, but the most persuasive statements come from your healthcare providers. A notarized signed statement by your primary healthcare provider concerning your medical prognosis can be an influential factor the VA considers when reviewing your application for veterans’ benefits.
How Long Does the VA Take to Issue a Decision?
The average amount of time it takes the VA to process a claim for veterans’ benefits is 134 days, which equates to more than four months. Some claims require multiple years to process. Working with a veterans benefits lawyer in Palm Harbor, FL can expedite the claim process because you complete an accurate application that contains sufficient convincing evidence for the VA to issue a decision.
You also can decrease the amount of time it takes to process your application by qualifying for the VA Fast Track program. Veterans qualify for the Fast Track program by submitting every medical record with the application. Before 2010 when the Fast Track program became an option, veterans had to wait for the VA to collect medical records. Although you have up to one year to submit every record and document the VA needs to make a decision, you should work with one of the veterans’ benefits attorneys at Morgan and Morgan to submit your application as soon as possible.
It can take anywhere from a few months to three or more years for your initial claim for benefits to be processed and for you to receive a decision from the VA.
What Is a Disability Rating?
A disability rating, which represents a percentage running from 0 percent to 100 percent, defines the severity of a disability that in turn determines a veteran’s monthly benefit. The VA assigns a disability rating based on the medical records and other evidence submitted with a veterans’ benefits application. VA data also plays a role in calculating a disability rating. Because of its importance, your veterans benefits lawyer in Palm Harbor, Florida should monitor your application to ensure the VA does not assign you an incorrect disability rating.
VA rules require disability ratings to increase and decrease in 10 percent increments. For example, if you suffer from a reaction caused by exposure to chemicals, the VA might raise your disability rating from 40 percent to 50 percent because your symptoms have gotten worse. The VA also assigns combined disability ratings based on a complicated formula. A combined disability rating factors in two or more medical conditions.
For instance, a veteran who suffers from PTSD and acute high blood pressure receives a disability rating of 50 percent for PTSD and 30 percent for acute high blood pressure. Although the combined disability rating should be 80 percent, the VA refers to the Combined Ratings Table to come up with a combined disability rating of 65 percent.
Veterans can receive payments as low as $142 for a 10 percent disability rating and no dependents to payments as high as $3,684 for a disability rating of 100 percent with four dependents.
How Can a Veterans’ Benefits Lawyer in Palm Harbor, FL Help Me?
When a veterans’ benefits lawyer from Morgan and Morgan meets with a veteran for a free case evaluation, we recommend hiring an attorney before completing and submitting the veterans’ benefits application. Your Palm Harbor, FL veterans’ benefits lawyer also helps you understand which disabilities make you eligible for financial assistance, as well as learn the medical terms that apply to your claim. Our team of veterans’ benefits attorneys has substantial experience calculating disability ratings based on the medical evidence supplied by our clients. This means you will have a good idea of whether the VA has accurately calculated your disability rating.
Submit an Accurate and Complete Application
The VA requires the submission of a complete and accurate claim for veterans’ benefits. Just one omission, regardless of whether it was intentional or not, can force the VA to deny your claim for financial assistance. After you finish a claim, your veterans’ benefits lawyer in Palm Harbor, Florida will carefully review it to ensure it is complete and accurate.
Collect Strong Medical Evidence
The success of your claim mostly depends on the strength of the medical evidence. Working with a Florida licensed attorney helps you organize the medical evidence you need to convince the VA to approve your application for compensation. At Morgan and Morgan, every one of our veterans’ benefits attorneys knows exactly what type of medical evidence the VA wants to see before approving a claim.
Act as an Intermediary
Focusing on improving your health should be the primary concern. Having to deal with the frustrating red tape processes implemented by the VA causes significant stress. With a veterans’ benefits lawyer from Palm Harbor, FL working on your claim, you not only get to focus on improving your health, but you also do not suffer from additional medical ailments that are caused by acute stress and anxiety.
Fight for Your Rights
The VA has earned a reputation for being callous and unfair during the decision-making process regarding benefit applications. Once a representative from the VA discovers you have hired a highly-rated attorney, the federal government agency should be much more cooperative when it comes to discussing your claim for financial assistance. An experienced veterans’ benefits lawyer from Palm Harbor, Florida becomes your advocate when the time comes to stand up to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
Use Every Option
The veterans’ benefits attorneys at Morgan and Morgan know about every option for receiving financial assistance. Some of the options the VA does not publicize. Nonetheless, an experienced veterans’ benefits lawyer in Palm Harbor, FL does not stop fighting for your rights until the litigator exhausts each option for receiving compensation.
Can I Appeal the Disability Rating Assigned to Me by the VA?
Another reason to hire one of the veterans’ benefits attorneys at Morgan and Morgan is to file a persuasive appeal if you and your lawyer feel the disability rating assigned to you by the VA is too low. You visit the VA medical facility where you underwent your physical to obtain medical records. Then, you contact the Freedom of Information office to acquire a copy of the healthcare provider’s report. If the healthcare provider’s report does not accurately describe your medical condition, your attorney requests a second medical examination to determine where the VA should establish your disability rating.
Veterans have the right to request a neutral, third-party medical examination as conducted by a decision review officer (DRO). The DRO who conducts your second examination should not have participated in determining your initial disability rating. In most cases, a DRO either confirms the VA’s disability rating or increases it to account for errors made during the first medical examination. If the DRO leaves your disability the same, you can appeal your disability rating to the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA).
Be Proactive With your Veterans’ Benefits Application
Do not wait until the appeals process to contact a veterans’ benefits lawyer in Palm Harbor, FL. By working with an attorney, you submit the most accurate and compelling application. The question is not should you hire a veterans’ benefits lawyer. Instead, the question should be what factors do you consider when choosing the best litigator?
Experience in handling veterans’ benefits cases matters because of the highly complex process of applying for financial assistance. An experienced attorney understands how to convince the VA to approve your claim for compensation, as well as when to step in and apply pressure to move your application along in an often bogged down system. Experienced is especially important when the VA issues your disability rating because an experienced attorney knows how to determine veteran disability ratings.
You also want to work with a veterans’ benefits lawyer in Palm Harbor, FL who responsively communicates with clients. This is particularly important when you ask questions about the VA claim process. At Morgan and Morgan, our attorneys return emails, phone calls, and text messages no later than 24 hours after receiving them. If you have an urgent matter to discuss, you get an instant response by calling 877-567-6384.
At Morgan and Morgan, the veterans’ benefits lawyer in Palm Harbor, FL that you meet with during a free case evaluation is the lawyer you can expect to work with for the remainder of the claim process. Some law firms assign an attorney to meet with a client for the first time, only to delegate legal responsibilities to a paralegal and/or a less experienced litigator. You want to work with the same highly-skilled attorney from the day of a free case evaluation to the day you receive fair compensation from the VA.
If you are a veteran that left the military in excellent standing, you deserve to receive compensation for the service you provided for your country. Act today by scheduling a free case evaluation with one of the veterans benefits lawyers in Palm Harbor, FL from Morgan and Morgan.