We Provide Answers to Your VA Disability Benefits Questions Here
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Do I need an attorney to obtain veterans’ disability benefits, or can I use a service organization?
After sacrificing so much for our country and finally returning home from service, you may find yourself in need of disability benefits in order to receive the treatment you need to cope with lasting injuries. Unfortunately, navigating the disability process can be overwhelming and frustrating. There are dozens of veterans’ service organizations out there that exist in order to provide you with assistance. A better option, however, is to seek out a knowledgeable and experienced attorney who can serve as a zealous advocate in your corner.
Three Reasons to Hire an Attorney When Seeking Veteran’s Disability Benefits
Why should you consider using an attorney instead of a service organization? The following is an overview:
- We have the time and resources to make you a first priority. While veteran’s service organizations provided a much needed and valuable service to the community, they simply cannot provide the same amount of time and resources as a private attorney. We will assess the unique aspects of your entire history and help determine the best and most efficient path towards helping you obtain the disability benefits that you deserve.
- We provide personalized service and all of the attention that you deserve and desire. For many veterans, this is the first time that they are applying for these much-needed benefits. We are available to answer all of your questions and ensure that you are fully involved and apprised of the status of your claim throughout the entire process. Service organizations are notoriously backlogged and can often take days to respond to your needs.
- If your benefits were denied or you need a discharge upgrade in order to qualify for benefits, you need a strong advocate in your corner. According to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals Annual Chairman’s Report for 2011, veterans represented by attorneys have the lowest rate of denial by the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, at 17.7 percent. The overall average denial rate for all veterans is much higher at 24.2 percent. Veterans represented by an attorney also have a high success rate when it comes to having their appeals allowed and collecting Equal Access Justice Act fees. These fees are awarded when it can be shown that the government’s position was not substantially justified.
Ready to learn more about pursuing your right to veterans’ disability benefits? We encourage you to get started today by downloading our free guide, The Essential Guide to VA Disability Claims.
How long will it take to get my VA benefits?
One of the most common questions we hear is, “how long is this going to take?” Unfortunately, the length of time it takes to get a VA benefits claim approved varies from person to person. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from a month to a year (sometimes more) to get approval for VA disability. However, the length of time you will wait for a decision in your case will depend on several key factors, including:
- Type of claim filed. There are many kinds of VA disability claims, and each requires a different level of processing. For example, a Fully Developed Claim (FDC) has a faster processing time than an original claim. If you were denied benefits but are appealing the decision, you have a reopened claim, which may take additional time due to the gathering of further information.
- Type of disability. The VA will base its disability decision (and percentage of disability) on the medical evidence that you provide of your condition. If you have an extremely complex disability (such as PTSD or a mental disorder) or are claiming disability for more than one condition, your processing may take longer.
- Evidence. One of the most time-consuming aspects of your claim is gathering the necessary evidence to make a determination. If you did not provide enough information, or the information needed to make your disability decision is not readily available, you will likely see further delays.
- Location. Finally, your processing time will vary depending on where you live. Claims for Nebraskans will be processed at the Regional Benefit Office in Lincoln, which currently has an average of 100 processing days for new claims.
Is There a Way to Get My Benefits Faster?
There are several ways to get your benefits approved more quickly. If you apply under the Fully Developed Claims program, you may get a faster decision as long as you can provide all medical evidence needed for your claim up front. You can also hire an attorney to collect information and follow up with the VA on your behalf, increasing your chances of approval. Send us an email at [email protected] or fill out the quick contact form on this page to have us look over your claim.
How common is post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans?
You just returned to your home in Omaha after fighting for our country overseas. It seems like nothing changed while you were gone. The Old Market, Henry Doorly Zoo, and even Memorial Stadium all seem the same. You, however, are different now.
You suffer the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on a daily basis. The flashbacks that cause your heart to race, the nightmares that make you avoid sleeping, the terrifying thoughts that have you afraid to leave your home—they are all preventing you from living the life you had before you went into combat.
You Are Not Alone
Your family doesn’t understand why you have become this different person. Even some soldiers who fought alongside you don’t get why you are reacting this way. Because those you are closest with don’t relate to what you are experiencing, you may feel alone. However, you are far from the only person who is dealing with this anxiety disorder. Here, we take a look at just how often returning soldiers suffer from PTSD:
- Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2008, the RAND Corporation and the Center for Military Health Research examined the prevalence of PTSD among previously deployed Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom service members. Among the 1,938 soldiers studied, 13 percent had suffered from PTSD.
- Gulf War. A population-based sample of 11,441 Gulf War veterans was studied from 1995 to 1997. Among them, the prevalence of PTSD was 12.1 percent.
- Vietnam War. Of the 3,016 veterans who were studied from the Vietnam War era, the estimate lifetime prevalence of PTSD was 30.9 percent of men and 26.9 percent for females.
We May Be Able to Help You
After all you have done for us, we want to return the favor and help you receive the veterans’ disability benefits you may be entitled to. Contact the attorneys of Cuddigan Law today to find out how we may be able to help.