Veteran disability compensation is a monetary benefit paid to military veterans with service-related disabilities. There are a wide variety of benefits available, each one designed for different needs and individuals. As a disabled veteran, it is natural to seek legal assistance before starting an application.
Patel Law, PC can help you avoid unnecessary complications and ensure that you file the strongest claim possible. One of our lead attorneys has an intimate knowledge of veteran's disability, having spent many years as a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy. With outstanding credentials and experience backing our team, you can have confidence when retaining our firm.
What disability benefits are available to veterans?
There are three main types of veteran's disability benefits – disability compensation, Dependency & Indemnity Compensation (DIC), and Special Monthly Compensation (SMC). The first is paid to veterans who become disabled during active military duty. DIC is a benefit available for a surviving spouse, child, or parent of service members who died while on active duty. SMC is an additional benefit for veterans who are more seriously disabled and require the assistance of another person. Veterans may also be eligible for the following:
- Automobile allowance
- Clothing allowance
- Birth defects
The severity of a disability is graded on a scale, beginning with 10 percent and increasing up to 100 percent. Compensation then, is based on the disability's severity and is paid each month. Proof of the disability is required and entails both medical evidence and evidence linking the disability with an event in military service.
The Process of Applying for Veteran's Disability Benefits in IL
You can apply for benefits online, via mail, or in person. Once your claim as been received by the VA, the review process begins. This includes both the review of your application and the required evidence. When a decision has been made, you will receive an information packet detailing the final outcome. The length of this process depends on the type of claim you file and the disabilities you have. There are numerous different claims you can file:
- Original claim: the first compensation claim you file
- Reopened claim: an already filed claim that is being reopened based on new evidence
- New claim: a claim for a benefit that was not yet filed
- Secondary claim: a claim for a disability that was worsened by an in-service condition
Various initiatives established by the VA give veterans more control over the disability claims process. Disability Benefits Questionnaires (DBQs) is one such example, as veterans can have their private health care provider complete the evaluation form, rather than a VA facility.
Additionally, the Fully Developed Claims (FDC) program is equally beneficial for veterans. The FDC simplifies the claims process and allows veterans to obtain a faster decision about their compensation. Veterans can file an FDC if their disability occurred or was worsened by military service or if their condition was caused or made worse by an existing service-related condition.
It is important to have an advocate on your side as you file your claim, because the last thing you want is for your claim to be denied unnecessarily. This is why we're here. We can answer your questions and act as the mediator between you and the VA. When it comes to receiving your disability benefits, nothing is more important than a successful outcome.