The VA disability lawyers at Bross & Frankel put their knowledge as benefits attorneys to work in securing the highest possible compensation ratings and best possible outcomes for our veteran clients in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. We help military veterans obtain the following benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA):
- Compensation for service-connected injuries
- Compensation for non-service connected disabilities
- VA Pension
- Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) or Survivors’ Claims
At the initial stage of the VA disability claim process, an attorney cannot represent a veteran. However, our law firm is happy to offer a free consultation to any veteran who would like to learn more about what benefits they may be entitled to under the law. While many of our competitors turn away veterans seeking to file new claims, we strongly believe that men and women who have served our country deserve better.
We know that filing for veterans’ disability benefits can be difficult, particularly if you are suffering from a disability. We are here to help. If you have an illness or injury as a result of your military service, you may be eligible for VA benefits.
How Do I Make a Claim for Veterans Benefits?
While the VA claim process was designed to be user-friendly, it can often be complicated. Anything involving the government usually means lots of forms and acronyms. Having a veterans’ disability benefits lawyer to give you advice on the process can be useful, particularly as you start a new claim for VA benefits.
On average, it takes 91.7 days for the VA to make a decision on your disability claim. The amount of time that it will take to make a decision will depend on the type of claim filed, the regional office involved, how many injuries or disabilities you have claimed, how complex your injuries or disabilities are, and how long it takes the VA to collect the necessary evidence. The VA offers an online tool to track the status of your claim.
After you file your claim, the VA will notify you that it has been received. A representative will then review your claim and begin to gather evidence from you, your health care providers and government agencies. The evidence will then be reviewed, a decision will be made, and the notification will be mailed to you.
If you disagree with the decision, then you can file an appeal. An appeal must be filed within 1 year of the date of the decision (with some exceptions). There are three possible ways to appeal:
- File a supplemental claim, where you add new and relevant evidence;
- Request a Higher-Level Review from a senior reviewer; or
- Appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.
If you do decide to appeal, a VA disability benefits attorney can represent you at this stage of the process.
What are the Types of VA Disability Benefits?
The VA offers two primary types of disability benefits: service-connected and non-service connected disability benefits. The type that you may be eligible for will depend on your disability, how you obtained it, and your income and asset level.
Service-connected disability benefits are available for veterans who have a medical or mental health condition that either was caused by military service or was made worse by service. Veterans and qualified defendants are eligible for this monthly compensation. The rate of compensation is based on a disability rating schedule, which expresses disability as a percentage from 0 to 100%.
Non-service connected pension benefits may be awarded to veterans who served during a period of war. To be eligible, a veteran must be aged 65 or older with limited or no income, or totally or permanently disabled, or a patient in a nursing facility, or receiving either Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income. There is no requirement that the disability is connected to service for this type of benefit.
What Is a Service-Connected Disability?
A service-connected disability is an illness or injury that was either incurred or aggravated during active military service. To be eligible for this type of veteran benefit, an individual must have been separated or discharged from service under conditions other than dishonorable.
The payment of veterans’ disability benefits is based on a Ratings Schedule. This schedule group conditions into broad categories, such as the respiratory system, mental disorders, and dental and oral conditions, with diagnoses listed under each category. A veteran is assigned a rating according to the schedule, based on the symptoms of their diagnosis.
Each year, the VA releases the Veterans Compensation Benefits Rate Tables. This allows veterans to determine the monthly payment they may receive based on their total combined disability rating and their dependents.
Our veterans’ disability attorneys have successfully helped clients obtain their highest possible ratings on a number of different claims, including:
- Agent Orange exposure
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Anxiety disorders
- Depression Disability claims
- Musculoskeletal lower back, neck, and shoulder injuries
Typically, the injury does not have to have occurred during the line of duty. As long as the injury or health problem began or was aggravated during active duty service, service connection can be established with the help of an experienced veterans disability lawyer.
The VA considers some health conditions to be presumed disabilities for the purposes of veterans’ benefits. These include:
- Chronic illnesses that appear within a year of discharge;
- An illness caused by contact with toxic chemicals or other hazardous materials; or
- An illness caused by time spent as a prisoner of war (POW)
If you have suffered a service-connected disability, including (but not limited to) any of the conditions listed above, our team of veterans disability attorneys can help. As our clients can attest, we have substantial experience working with veterans to help them get the benefits that they deserve.
Richard Frankel helped me with a VA Disability Claim. Not only was he excellent, but his supporting staff was top notch. The level of communication with his office was phenomenal. Whenever I had a question all emails and phone calls were returned quickly, and they were always on top of everything. His staff is very knowledgeable on VA forms as well as VA processes and procedures. The work was not just attention to detail, but attention to the client. I would definitely recommend Bross & Frankel.
Appealing Denied VA Benefits
The VA system was designed to be non-adversarial. However, any veteran who has received an inadequate rating decision or one that denied that their disability is connected to service can tell you that this isn’t necessarily true. If you receive a decision from the VA that is unfavorable in any way, the first appeal step is to file a “Notice of Disagreement” within the one-year appeal period.
The veterans’ benefits attorneys at Bross & Frankel have the experience to help you craft an appeal with the best chance of getting the compensation you’ve earned through your military experience. We can work with you to help you determine the best method of appeal, then file the appropriate paperwork to fight for your right to compensation. We will also help you put together your medical records for your case.
Why Choose Us
At Bross & Frankel, we are proud of our record and reputation. Most of our VA clients are referred by other veterans whom we have helped over the years.
Mr. Frankel has put his knowledge as a disability benefits advocate to work in representing veterans in the unique area of disability compensation benefits. He has taught other lawyers the VA claims process, and contributed a chapter to a book dedicated to educating attorneys on the pitfalls of representing veterans in VA claims: “Navigating Legal Issues for Military Veterans: Leading Lawyers on Arguing Disability, Pension, and other Claims Before the VA.”We know veterans disability benefits law — and we are dedicated to helping disabled veterans like you. Speak with a VA benefits advocate today. Call us at 856-795-8880 or contact us online for a no-obligation claim review.