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West Tampa, FL Veterans Benefits Lawyers
When you've served your country faithfully, the last thing you would expect is to be denied the benefits you were promised in exchange for your service. Unfortunately, the Veterans Affairs (VA) routinely denies claims for benefits. That's why the West Tampa, FL Veterans Benefits lawyers at Morgan and Morgan make hiring a lawyer easy and inexpensive. You won't owe any money upfront because we work on a contingency fee. That means if we don't win your claim, you don't pay. However, our track record for success is impressive.
We're proud to have over 100 attorneys and team members at Morgan and Morgan who have served in the armed forces. These employees can use their personal experience with the veterans benefits process to help our clients and have deep empathy for their brothers and sisters in arms. If you are fighting to get the benefits you're owed or aren't getting enough benefits, we can help.
Hiring a lawyer to deal with your claim is a wise decision because the claims process can be overwhelming, especially if you're struggling with health issues. We can help you understand which disabilities qualify, help with the relevant rating for your disability and assist with all the paperwork.
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How Can a Veterans Benefits Lawyer Help Me?
A qualified West Tampa, FL, Veterans' Benefits lawyer can significantly help during this difficult time, even if you're already familiar with the claims process. We can help to:
Stand up for your rights - If you've been treated unfairly by VA officials, we can challenge their decisions. Whether you've been unjustly denied benefits or issued an improper rating for your disability, or wronged in any other way, we can help protect your rights.
Explore all options for winning fair VA disability benefits - Just because you've been turned down or are not getting the full benefits you deserve, that's not the end of it. You have other options. We know all the ins and outs of the appeals process and other systems to secure your benefits and will work tirelessly until we're sure all channels have been exhausted.
Insulate you from stress - When you're suffering from health problems, you don't need the added stress of fighting bureaucracy on top of everything else. While we will need some help from you, we take on the brunt of the work so you can focus on your health.
We understand that you are used to being the defender, and it may be hard to ask for help. However, sometimes, we all need a helping hand. You owe it to yourself to pursue the benefits you earned through your service to this country.
How Do We Push the VA to Take Care of Veterans?
When you've suffered injury or illness due to your service in the United States armed forces, you are entitled to compensation from the federal government. That's the deal that was made. However, high volume caseloads and deep-seated bureaucracy can make getting the benefits you deserve a struggle. We work hard to clear the path to your successful VA benefits claim. You deserve to have the total compensation entitled to you under the law. We will fight to ensure you get it.
Do I Qualify for Va Disability Benefits?
Suppose you have faithfully served in the armed forces. In that case, you are eligible for compensation for any service-related disability you have that is rated at 10 percent or more, including mental disabilities. You may have sustained the injury at any time, whether on active duty or active duty for training or inactive duty for training. Eligible inactive duty for training injuries falls under an acute myocardial infarction, cardiac arrest, or a cerebrovascular accident.
Veterans disability ratings are figured in ten-percent increments, which determine the tax-free monthly compensation amount. You may be eligible for more than one disability, and the total will be combined. If you have dependents, they may also be eligible for compensation if your disability rating is 30 percent or higher. Disability ratings are crucial to the compensation you can receive, and determining your rating can be complicated. The VA will rely on the evidence provided by medical providers and your military records to make decisions.
Disability ratings are gauged at 10 percent increments starting at 0% through 100%. Veterans with multiple disabilities may have one rated at 30% and another at 10%. However, that doesn't mean the VA will give that individual a 40% disability rating. Instead, they use a table called the Combined Ratings Table for calculations. It's an overly complicated table, and our goal is to develop a viable argument to increase your ratings. Our West Tampa, FL, Veterans Benefits lawyers can explain more during your case evaluation.
Suppose you've already been approved for benefits but don't feel you received the appropriate rating. In that case, we may be able to help. Even if you're already in the appeals stage, we may still be able to provide assistance. Your benefits should be paid at the rate you deserve. We can fight to make sure the VA does right by you.
What Are the Different Types of Compensation for Disabled Veterans?
Disabled veterans and their dependents may also receive the following benefits:
Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) - If a disabled veteran needs special assistance to complete daily routine tasks, then they may be eligible for SMC, which is also tax-free. For example, suppose you've lost an arm and need help with tasks like laundry. In that case, your situation falls under the special circumstances category, and you may be eligible for this additional benefit. Likewise, your spouse may be able to get "aid and attendance" for help with daily tasks.
Total Disability Due to Individual Unemployability (TDIU) - Veterans who are unable to get work and earn an income due to their disabilities may be eligible for this benefit, even if the VA hasn't rated them at 100% disability. The VA determines eligibility for this benefit by the ability of the veteran to maintain "substantially gainful employment."
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) - This is a benefit for spouses, dependent children, and qualifying parents of veterans who die from their service-related disability or while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty for training.
Adapted Housing Grants - Veterans with service-related disabilities may be eligible for a grant to purchase or adapt their homes to accommodate their disability.
Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance - When disabled veterans use an Adapted Housing Grant and have a mortgage holder, they can use this benefit for mortgage protection up to a maximum of $200,000. The beneficiary of this life insurance is the mortgage holder (bank or other lenders.)
Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance - This is a permanent plan and term insurance with a maximum value of $10,000.
VA automobile allowance and adaptive equipment - Disabled veterans may also be eligible for assistance with a vehicle to accommodate their disability or compensation for certain conditions. This is a one-time payment for not more than $21,488.29 to help acquire a specially equipped vehicle or to buy adaptive equipment.
Temporary disability rating after surgery or cast - When a veteran has an immobilizing service-related disability, they may be eligible for a 100% disability rating for their temporary disability. For example, suppose a service-related injury requires surgery, and you're unable to leave your home while you recover. In that case, you could qualify for this compensation until you're cleared to return to work.
Can You Lose Your VA Benefits?
Under certain circumstances, the VA may reduce or end your disability benefits. This usually starts with a request that you appear for a reexamination. You may be asked to undergo a medical examination or to be admitted to a hospital for a period of observation. The VA is legally entitled to either, so it's imperative to cooperate in order to protect your benefits.
When you're initially awarded benefits, the VA will decide if the nature of your disability will warrant future reexamination to evaluate whether your benefits should be adjusted. If your injuries are such that it's expected you'll improve over time, you'll likely need to go in for reexaminations.
If there is evidence that your condition has improved, you may lose your benefits or have them decreased. For example, suppose you developed cancer that causes you to be unable to work, but with chemotherapy, your cancer goes into remission, and you feel better. Your benefits may be decreased, or you may lose them. Still, suppose your cancer worsens again in the future. In that case, you can request an adjusted disability rating to reinstate your previous benefits.
You should not have to worry about reexaminations if you fit any of the categories below:
- You're over 55
- You have lost a limb
- You have a disability that involves a permanent disease
- You've been assigned the minimum disability rating
- You have a combined rating, and the individual ratings are so high that if one were reduced, the combined rating would be the same.
If you've received a notice from the VA that your service-related benefits may be terminated, contacting Morgan and Morgan immediately is crucial.
When to Hire West Tampa, FL Veterans Benefits lawyers
The most logical reason for hiring a Veterans Benefits lawyer is when you disagree with the VA's decision on whether you are eligible or you don't like the rating you were assigned. Free organizations that help veterans are highly respectable. Still, they can also be understaffed and overwhelmed with the number of people that need their help. On the other hand, the Veterans Benefits lawyers at Morgan and Morgan will be dedicated to your case. You will be in direct communication with your legal team, who will be available to answer your questions and deal with your concerns in a timely manner. Contact us today for a free case evaluation. You owe us nothing unless we are successful with your claim.