How To File Va Disability Claim


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Filing A Claim For Va Disability Benefits Is The First Step Toward Receiving Va Disability Compensation

How to File a VA Disability Claim

Filing a veteran disability claim for benefits can be confusing and frustrating. The rules concerning who qualifies for these benefits are complex, and the amount of evidence required for a successful application or appeal can be daunting.

In the past, VA did not allow attorneys to be involved until the appeal process had already been initiated. The Appeals Modernization Act has updated VAs rules concerning legal representation, and VA-accredited attorneys can now help in more ways than before. Although you must still file your initial claim without legal assistance, VetLaws experienced team is now able to assist you with both appeals of all VA decisions as well as in filing a Supplemental Claim, no matter how long it has been since you first applied for benefits. Contact us today for a free case review.

How To Increase Va Disability: 6 Best Ways To Get A Va Disability Increase This Year

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you want to learn how to implement these strategies to get the VA benefits you deserve, to speak with a VA claim expert for free.

In this guide, well reveal and explain the 6 Proven Paths to Getting a VA Disability Increase This Year.

Generally, to increase VA disability, you need to provide the VA with medical evidence that shows your symptoms are worse in terms of Frequency, Severity, and Duration.

If your disabilities have become worse, theres a significant difference in the benefits available to veterans with a higher VA ratingone such benefit is a larger monthly tax-free compensation payment.

For example, a 90 percent VA rating in 2023 is worth a minimum of $1,998.52 per month whereas a 100 percent rating is worth a minimum of $3,332.06 per month.

Thus, a 100% VA disability rating is worth an extra $1,333.54 each month versus the 90% rating!

And heres a shocking statistic for you

According to the most recent VA report on disability compensation, a whopping 4,218,888 out of 5,081,692 veterans with a service connected VA disability rating are currently rated at 90% or below.

If youre a veteran with a 90 percent VA disability rating or less, and youre wondering how to increase your VA disability rating, stay tuned, because this post is for you.

Okay, lets dive into the six proven paths to increase your VA disability rating .

How To File A Va Claim For Presumptive Disability Conditions Online

Simply login to your account and click File a claim for compensation.

Next, click the radio button that says: Im filing a claim for a new condition or for a condition thats gotten worse.

Finally, click radio button for service connection that says: My disability was caused by an injury or exposure during my military service.

Before you submit your presumptive disability claim, make sure youve uploaded all supporting evidence necessary for the VA Rater to decide your claim.

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Working With An Accredited Representative

VA encourages individuals who are applying for disability compensation to work with an accredited representative or agent to assist them in completing Fully Developed Claim for submission through eBenefits. Being accredited means organizations and individuals must have VA permission to represent Veterans before the Department in their claims for VA benefits. The purpose of this requirement is to ensure that Veterans have qualified and competent representation. These individuals receive specialized training in VA benefits law and procedure. You may search for an accredited representative in eBenefits on the Manage Your Representative for VA Claims page.

Most Common Va Disability Claims In 2023

Va Disability Claim Form 21 4138

According to the most recent Veterans Administration report to Congress, the 10 most common VA disability claims to get approved are listed in order as follows, along with the total number of veterans receiving disability compensation for each condition:

Of these, Tinnitus is by far the easiest VA disability claim to get approved, with a total of 2,327,387 veterans service connected for the condition.

In second place is Hearing Loss with 1,343,013 veterans service connected, followed by Limitation of Flexion of the Knee with 1,313,306.

Okay, now just because these VA claims are the most common according to VA data, that doesnt mean they are the easiest claims to get service connected.

Alright, lets jump into VA Claims Insiders list of the 10 easiest things to claim for VA disability in 2023.

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Who May Qualify For Benefits

The veterans disability compensation program provides monthly benefits to veterans who suffer from a disability which can be linked to some event, injury, illness, or exposure which happened on active duty. The event from service may be a physical condition that clearly began in service, such as blindness or a fracture, a disease that developed many years following service, or mental health symptoms such as PTSD or severe anxiety.

In addition to showing that you suffer from a current disability which can be linked to some incident in service, VA requires that you show veteran status for the purposes of VA compensation. This means you may need to show that you meet some minimum service requirement, depending on the time frame that you were on active duty, and that you received a discharge from service that was other than Dishonorable.

If You Are Disabled Va Will Assign You A Percentage Rating

VA will assign you a percentage rating if you are disabled due to your service. This rating is used to determine your monthly benefit amount. If you are approved for benefits, the VBPCC will send notice via U.S. Mail with the percentage rating and instructions on applying for an increase in benefits by filing an appeal with VA within one year.

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Radiculopathy Secondary To A Back Disability

Radiculopathy is a nerve condition that occurs when a veterans spinal nerve is pinched, resulting in weakness, tingling, or numbness in their legs or arms.

Radiculopathy can occur in the cervical spine , thoracic spine, or lumbar spine, depending on the location of the back condition. Radiculopathy commonly stems from back conditions such as a herniated disc or spinal stenosis.

Federal And State Records

Filing a Claim for VA Service-Connection? | Fully Developed Claim | VA Disability | theSITREP

You could include copies of federal and state records, such as:

  • Your military medical records
  • Your military personnel records
  • Any Social Security Administration or other federal or state medical treatment records
  • Any treatment or personnel records from your National Guard or Reserve unit that support your claim

If you dont have copies of these records, you can ask us to request them for you as part of the claim process.

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What To Do If Your Va Disability Claim Is Denied

You have limited time to appeal a denied claim and maintain your initial effective date. If the VA denies your claim, file the appropriate appeal within the time allotted one year in most cases.

There are several types of appeal options. Here are the main three:

  • File a supplemental claim. If you have new, relevant evidence, you can file a supplemental claim at any time. Its preferable to file within a year of the original decision.
  • Higher-level review. You have one year from the date of the decision letter to request that a senior reviewer go over your request. You cannot submit new evidence, but you can speak with the reviewer by phone to highlight any errors.
  • Board appeal. A Veterans Law Judge at the Board of Veterans Appeals in Washington, D.C. will review your disability claim. With this option, you have three additional choices to make about how your appeal will be handled: Direct review, submit more evidence or request a hearing.

How To File A Va Claim For Secondary Service Connection

There are several types of service connection, including direct service connection, presumptive service connection, and, of course, secondary service connection.

Before VA grants disability benefits, veterans must establish service connection. Service connection is the acknowledgment that your current disabling condition was either caused or aggravated by your time in service.

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Filing Va Claims Via Different Platforms

If you want to file a VA claim, you can choose from different platforms for your convenience. After submitting a filled-out Form 21-526EZ, choose from the following options:

  • Apply online using the VA’s website.
  • File a claim through the eBenefits website.
  • Get in touch with the Veteran’s Service Organization. They are knowledgeable about working with the VA and can assist you in ensuring your application is complete and correct. All VA claims are free, and anyone who is charging for help is ripping you off.
  • Get assistance from a VA employee at a regional VA office.

How To Increase My Va Disability Rating Path #4 File A Supplemental Claim For Previously Denied Disability Conditions

Va Disability Claim Form 21 4138

If youve been previously denied VA benefits, one of your appeal options is to file a Supplemental Claim.

You can file a Supplemental Claim at any time however, we recommend you file within one year from the date on your VA Rating Decision Letter.

The main benefit of filing a Supplemental Claim is that you can upload new and relevant evidence not previously considered.

  • New evidence is evidence not previously part of the actual record before agency adjudicators.
  • Relevant evidence is information that tends to prove or disprove a matter at issue in a claim.

Examples of new and relevant evidence include new medical records, a new privately prepared DBQ, a new Nexus Letter, a new Statement in Support of a Claim, or a new Buddy Letter.

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Secondary Service Connection For Mental Health

Tip: Many service-related medical conditions can cause or aggravate a mental health condition. So if youre already rated for another condition, or considering applying for VA disability compensation for another issue, consider filing a claim for the accompanying mental health issue.

For example, your tinnitus may cause you to be unable to sleep, or function during the day. This, in turn, could cause or aggravate depression or anxiety. In this case, your secondary claim depression or anxiety disorder could well result in a more significant disability rating than your primary issue.

The same is true for service-connected back injuries, migraines, knee and ankle injuries, scars, and anything that causes chronic pain or disfigurement.

In recent years, the VA has responded to political pressure to be more understanding of veterans presenting with PTSD and military sexual trauma. If this is relevant to you, consider putting together your documentation and filing a claim.

What To Bring In To The Vso

If you are going to use a VSO to file the claim, there is certain paperwork you need to take in with you. This includes:

  • Divorce Certificates or Dates
  • Previous Marriage Certificates or dates and names
  • Birth Certificates of any dependent children
  • Service Treatment Records

Veterans will need more paperwork to file for a pension:

  • Proof of ALL income
  • Proof of any unreimbursed medical expenses
  • Information on any other assets
  • Proof of any other HOUSEHOLD income

The appointment will go smoothly and the claim should be filed relatively quickly if the Veteran brings in all of the required paperwork. Notice that we say filed relatively quickly. As of this writing the VA Benefits Administration is currently over 200,000 cases behind and working quickly to catch up. However, expect that your case will not necessarily take precedence over everyone else in the system. Have patience. The VA will work the case as they can.

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What Is The Timeline To File A Decision Review

A veteran has up to a year after the VA receives an initial claim to provide additional information to support the claim. If additional information is provided for a claim in the FDC process, it becomes a standard claim.

The VA must assess and evaluate all evidence in a claim, so anytime additional information is added to a claim file, the evaluation process is lengthened, and a decision delayed.

The VA may also require the vet to undergo a medical examination by a VA doctor or seek a medical opinion based on the evidence in the claim, if necessary to decide the claim. The vet may have their medical provider or a VA doctor complete a VA Disability Benefits Questionnaire for their specific conditions. DBQs provide medical information directly relevant to determining disability ratings and ensure that VAs ratings specialists have precise information.

Percentage Of Vets Claims Approved

Learn How to File a VA Disability Claim on Quickly

Per the VAs own data, they report 2018 as one of the most successful years for the VAs decision-making team. The number of veterans claims approved in 2018 was around 35.75 percent. In that 35.75% , 19.61% were approved with zero remand issues, and 16.14% were allowed with at least one remand issue.

If 2018 is any indication, less than half of service members disability claims are approved. To be in the successful 35.75% of claims it is important to fully fill out your claims paperwork and provide as much documentation as possible.

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Filing A Va Claim After Leaving The Service

If youve already separated yet havent filed a VA disability claim yet, then start one now so that your loved ones wont ever have to do it for you.

Even if the VA decides that youre 0% disabled, youve done the hard work so that the VA can upgrade your rating later if you begin to experience a debilitating condition.

How To File A New Va Claim For Direct Service Connection Online

Simply login to your account and click File a claim for compensation.

Next, click the radio button that says: Im filing a claim for a new condition or for a condition thats gotten worse.

Before you submit your disability increase claim, make sure youve uploaded all supporting evidence necessary for the VA Rater to decide your claim.

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Employment And Va Disability Pay

If youre working and you have a service-connected disability, you must pay federal income tax on the income from your job. Additionally, you may have to pay state and/or local taxes. Your states tax laws will determine whether or not your income is taxable. However, employment doesnt impact whether or not your VA disability pay is taxed, no matter what your disability rating is or employment status.

How Do I Notify Va Of My Intent To File

Va Disability Claim Form 21 4138

If you plan to file a claim by mail or in person for disability, pension, or DIC benefits and you want to notify us of your intent to file, you must call us or submit a separate form.

You can call us at . We’re here Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET.

Or submit an Intent to File a Claim for Compensation and/or Pension, or Survivors Pension and/or DIC .

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Possible Complications To Tinnitus

The following conditions may contribute to your tinnitus issues:

  • Head and neck conditions

For example, high blood pressure can aggravate tinnitus, as can head and neck conditions and traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs.

Tip: If youre already rated for one of these conditions, but not for tinnitus, it may make sense to put an additional VA disability claim for tinnitus as a secondary condition. Because youve already proved to the VAs satisfaction that you have one of these disabling medical conditions and that there is a service connection to them, you have a very high likelihood that your application for tinnitus benefits will get approved.

Obviously, most veterans have been exposed to loud noises while in the service either in loud training and operational environments or by exposure to explosions and gunfire. For this reason, veterans are among the highest risk for tinnitus.

Simple Guide To Va Retroactive/back Pay Benefits

One of the first questions you may have about your VA disability claims is what starting date will be assigned to your claim. Are disability claims retroactive? Do they have a starting date only when a claim is finally accepted by the VA?

This article explains when and how retroactive, or back pay benefits are calculated and paid.

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How To File A Disability Claim With The Va

Are you a veteran of our armed forces? Do you struggle with health issues that include chronic back pain or post-traumatic stress disorder that can be related to your service? You may be eligible for a disability claim via the Department of Veterans Affairs . Veterans who are new to the process may not know how to file a disability claim with the VA but we are here to help at Valor Firm.

Are you claiming disability due to complications from your time in the United States Military? When you decide to file a VA disability claim, you have three options file your claim by mail, file your claim in person at your local VA office or work with a professional to file your claim. Valor Firm is a team of veterans and legal professionals both in the theater of war and in the courtroom and we are here to help you file your claim with the VA.

What Does It Cost To Use An Accredited Representative Or A Vso

Presumptive Condition & Service-Connection | Filing for VA Disability | theSITREP

In general, no individual or organization may charge you a fee to help you file your initial application for benefits. But they may charge you for unusual expenses. Its only after weve made a decision about your original claim that VA-accredited claims agents and attorneys may charge for their services. Make sure you ask up front what, if any, fees youll be charged. If you believe a claims agent or attorney charged a fee thats too high, you can challenge it.

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