If you served in the military, then you might be eligible for certain benefits. Depending on your situation, this may include compensation for service-connected injuries, compensation for non-service-connected disabilities, a pension, and/or dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) or Survivors’ Claims. These benefits are available through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, more commonly referred to as the VA.
To be eligible for disability compensation or another type of benefit, you must have served in the U.S. military, and typically must not have had a dishonorable discharge. The VA will use its own records to confirm your military service, and you may submit additional evidence (such as medical records) to support your claim. You may then be eligible for benefits such as a monthly cash payment for a disability compensation claim, educational funding, and more.
At Bross & Frankel, we work with people with disabilities throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. We are proud to help military veterans get the benefits that they are entitled to under the law, including through claims for disability compensation. Reach out today to schedule a free claim review with a New Jersey veterans benefits attorney.
Types of VA Disability Claims
If you served on active duty in the U.S. military, including active National Guard and Reserve, you may be eligible for benefits both during service and after separation or retirement. There are many different types of VA benefits, including:
- Educational funding, including through the GI Bill;
- VA-back home loans to buy, build, improve, or refinance a home;
- Life insurance;
- Health care through the VA;
- Disability compensation
- Employment counseling (veteran readiness and employment);
- Support for a veteran-owned small business;
- Veterans Pension benefits;
- Aid and attendance benefits for more seriously disabled veterans; and
- Disability housing grants
In addition, family members of active duty military and veterans may be eligible for certain benefits. This may include health care, education and training, career counseling, home loans and/or financial counseling, life insurance, a survivor’s pension, and compensation for surviving spouse and dependents (DIC). In addition, the VA offers support and services for caregivers of veterans.
These programs all have different eligibility requirements. For example, for a disability compensation claim, you will need to prove that you have a service-connected condition. This is a physical or mental health condition that either was caused by or made worse by military service. Disabled veterans may receive tax-free monthly cash payments based on their disability rating and other factors, such as the number of dependents.
Filing a Claim for Veterans Benefits through the VA
Like all government programs, the world of veterans benefits can be confusing and overly complicated. There are tons of acronyms, different forms to fill out, and deadlines to meet. There are also strict eligibility standards for each type of benefit.
A NJ veterans benefits lawyer can help you understand your rights and your options for pursuing different types of claims. While attorneys cannot necessarily represent you when filing an initial application, they can talk to you about the type of benefits that you may be eligible for based on your situation.
Generally, you will need to file a claim form with the VA to qualify for certain benefits. Depending on the type of claim, there may also be a requirement to submit evidence, such as your medical records for a disability claim.
Once you have filed the appropriate form and any supporting documentation, you will be able to check the claim status using your online account. You can use this tool to determine the status of a VA claim, decision, review, or appeal for compensation or benefits, such as:
- Disability compensation (including claims based on special needs like an automobile or clothing allowance);
- Veterans or Survivors Pension benefits;
- Special monthly compensation (such as Aid and Attendance);
- Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC);
- Burial allowance to help pay for a Veteran’s burial and funeral expenses;
- VA health care;
- GI Bill or other education benefits;
- Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E);
- A home loan Certificate of Eligibility (COE);
- A Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) or Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) grant;
- Life insurance; and
- A pre-need determination of eligibility to be buried in a VA national cemetery.
To use the claim status tool, you will need a verified Login.gov, ID.me, DS Logon, or MyHealtheVet account. Once you sign in, you will be able to see a list of your claims, decision reviews, and appeals. When you click on a particular item, the tool will show you where it is in the VA review process, along with details about the claim. You can also upload evidence for an initial claim or download decision letters for certain types of claims.
How a Veterans Disability Benefits Attorney Can Help
As an initial matter, it is important to understand that the VA does not allow veterans to be represented by counsel for certain claims. In particular, if you are filing a claim for disability compensation, you cannot have a lawyer for the initial application. If you are dissatisfied with some aspect of the VA’s decision on your disability claim, a veterans benefits attorney can represent you on the appeal.
Depending on the type of claim, you may be able to appeal by filing a supplemental claim, by requesting a senior reviewer, or by filing a board appeal through the VA. Your attorney can walk you through each of these options and help you make a decision about the best way to proceed.
Even though you may not be able to have legal representation when filing an initial application for benefits, it still makes sense to talk to a lawyer. Many veterans benefits attorneys offer free claim reviews. During this consultation, your lawyer will listen to your story and offer you insight about what benefits you may be entitled to under the law.
Many veterans aren’t familiar with the various VA benefits and compensation programs. They may also be dealing with a medical condition or something else that may make it harder for them to handle the vast federal bureaucracy. An attorney can advise you of your rights, and then work with you on any appeals if you get an unfavorable result from the VA.
Reach Out to Bross & Frankel for Support
Whether you have served your country in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard or National Guard, you may be entitled to benefits through the Veterans’ Administration. These benefits range from disability compensation for service-connected conditions to a pension. Our law firm is here to help you get the money that you deserve.
From our law offices in Cherry Hill, Bross & Frankel fights for clients in New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. We help people with all kinds of disability claims, including disability benefits for veterans. To learn more or to schedule a free claim review with a New Jersey veterans disability benefits attorney, give us a call at (866) 708-2163 or fill out our online contact form.