The Ultimate Guide to Increase Your VA Disability Rating.

Hi there, Allen Gumpenberger back with yet another blog post to enlighten you (or you’re retired loved one) on VA Disability. It is one of the most important subjects and questions that many veterans have in mind, how can I Increase Your VA Disability Rating?

You’ve put your life and health on the line for your country, so there’s nothing worse than not getting the compensation you deserve.

Yet watching your family get the pointier end of the stick as they bear the complete weight of your transition to civilian life and personal welfare.

But the good news is…

That is going to be totally under your Control after you finish this article.

Especially if whatever compensation you’re getting right now from the VA (Veteran Administration) isn’t nearly enough to manage your rapidly deteriorating health and its consequences.

If you’re reading this, then you’re already familiar with what a VA Disability Rating is, and probably getting a monthly stipend. But over time, your situation has worsened along with the costs of managing it.

So to infuse some comfort and happiness back into your life, I’ll show you how to get more pay by increasing your VA Disability rating.

 

How To  Increase Your VA Disability Rating

 

Instead of waiting for the VA to miraculously come to your aid, here are three (3) ways other veterans like you are presently getting more pay to better care of themselves and their conditions;

 

Make an Official VA Rating Increase appeal

 

Your initial claim and the compensation that comes with it doesn’t bar you from filing a fresh complaint to the VA requesting for an increase in your rates based on new developments in your conditions.

Unknown to most veterans, you have up to a year from the date of your previous Rating and Payment notification to file a Notice Of Disagreement under the Appeals Modernization Acts (so don’t worry about breaking protocol or rank)

These appeals could either be asking for another review by a more rating specialist if you feel it wasn’t done properly called a Higher-Level Appeal.

 And could also involve providing new medical evidence of your deteriorating health since the initial review or appealing directly to the board of Veteran Administrations. Called Supplementary Claims & Notice Of Disagreements respectively.

 

File a Claim

 

If you just found this article and realize it’s been more than a year since your last rating notification was received and can’t file a Notice Of Disagreement as discussed above…

 

Don’t panic. You’re still in the clear.

 

How? You can still file a claim to the VA office to have your ratings increased by submitting New medical evidence (private medical results included) showing that your service-connected disability has worsened in recent times.

What follows this is a Compensation & Pension exam (C&P) which I’d advise you don’t miss under any circumstance to ensure your claim is not denied.

The form for this claim is an Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits (VA Form 21- 526EZ)

 

File for TDIU and 100 Rating Compensation

 

If you have a service-connected disability that has rendered you completely unemployable then you might be eligible for a Total Disability Based On Individual Unemployability (TDIU) benefit.

 Filing and getting this gives you access to get the equivalent pay for having a 100% VA Disability Rating even if your disability rating score doesn’t add up to a 100

 

PS: You’re eligible for this if you have a disability rating of at least 60% or more than one service-connected disability that adds up to at least 70%. Pretty amazing right!?

 The necessary form to get this claim if it applies to you or a loved one is the VA Form 21-8940: Veteran’s Application Based on Unemployability.

 

Closing Remarks

 At this point, getting lower benefits than you deserve will simply be a choice. You and your family deserve better, and the transition for rest of you or your loved one shouldn’t be more difficult than it should be.

If you need any help processing your options or have a unique case somehow not mentioned in this post, then contact me right now by sending an email. I’d be honored to help!

Go claim that PAY!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VA Disability Back Pay – Everything You Need to Know

Hi there, Allen Gumpenberger back with yet another blog post to enlighten you (or you’re retired loved one) on VA Disability. In this blog post, I’ll be focusing the spotlight on something that could well benefit any disabled veteran reading this as they make the not-so-easy transition from Military to Civilian Life.

So what is this Mysterious thing Allen? I’ll tell you…

It’s called a VA Disability Back Pay. And yes, it isn’t the same as the Disability benefits you’re already accustomed to right now. This is a Tax-Free additional payment that could facilitate life for you as you bravely carry on life with your disability and make sure it is easier on your dependents if you have any.

So follow closely champ.

 

What Is a VA Disability Back Pay?

This is money owed Disabled Veterans between the date you applied for your disability benefits and the date it was eventually granted.

This aid is Sponsored by The U.S Department of Veteran Affairs via the VHA (Veteran Health Administration) considering that Brave men and women who have given their lives and health for the country, upon appealing for the Disability benefits owed them, have to sit out weeks, months and even years in pain and discomfort waiting for the processing and final approval of these benefits.

Back pays are extra pay commensurate to disability rating and waiting time of veterans.

 

 What Makes You Eligible?

To be Eligible for the VA Disability back pay you (or your loved one as the case may be) must have been in active duty with the Navy, Air Force, Marines, Army or Coast Guard, in addition to a Certificate of Eligibility.

And of course, had to endure a frustrating waiting period upon applying for your initial disability benefits.

Having the prior mentioned makes you eligible to claim a VA Back Pay. Also, worthy of note is that this back pays are also released upon increase in existing disability payments by the Department of Veterans Affairs

 

How Is It Calculated?

The VA simply calculates the corresponding amount for each qualified applicant using the following factors;

 

PREVIOUS DISABILITY RATING : The back pay is usually calculated by calculating the difference between your previous disability rating and the new one if your situation worsened. For example a veteran with a 50% insomnia rating that worsened to a 70% rating while waiting for his disability benefits, would have a difference calculated and the commensurate amount paid.

 

NUMBER OF DEPENDENTS CHANGED: This is simply an increase in dependents like children, spouse (in the case of a marriage), or other family members. An increase in dependents is a huge factor to what your back pay amounts to.

 

THE EFFECTIVE DATE: A huge misconception is that the effective date is when your injury occurred. But the department considers only the date your claim was received and uses the time gap between that date and your approval to calculate and process your back pay.

 

How to Claim your Back Pay?

Claiming your Back Pay is a streamlined straightforward process. You simply start by;

Submitting an application online or at the closest local VA office to you,

Include your application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits. And a VA form, all to be mailed or sent to the Department

Do well to have evidence like medical reports ready in preparation for the processing of your application as the VA will upon accepting your claim review, calculate and decide upon your eligibility and Disability Rating… Necessary parameters for the amount that makes up your Back Pay.

If you’re eligible and yet to receive your back pay benefits but find this process overwhelming, then Gumps VA Compensation Services is here to help you.

Schedule an appointment right away!

Military to Civilian Transition What You Need to Know

Hey everyone, this is Allen Gumpenberger here with another unique blog to enlighten you on the topic of the military transition to civilian life.

If you’ve almost served complete time in the military and you’ll be getting out soon, that’s great news! The community and I welcome you back with open hands but I also want to show you the most mistakes made every year by people transitioning from military life back to the life of a civilian.

The department of defense says about 200,000 military people transition to civilian life every year and 2 out of 3 of these veterans, struggle with adjusting to the way of life of the civilians.

So now you see my friend that if you’re struggling with this already, you now know that you are not alone. Hundreds of thousands of other veterans are experiencing the same right now.

In this post, I want to show you the mistakes other veterans have made before you and how you can avoid them so that you can enjoy this transition process as much as possible.

 

5 THINGS YOU SHOULD PAY ATTENTION TO BEFORE/DURING THE TRANSITION PERIOD:

Attitude:

As a veteran, you might think the only thing you need to make a successful transition is to secure a good job. This is good but it is not enough because part of your identity remains with the military – regaining it will be your biggest challenge or opportunity depending on how you choose to look at it.

I’m going to be very honest, the process isn’t easy. Everything about your life is changing and it might be hard to find yourself again but keep your mind open, don’t shut your family out and with time, you will get a hang of it.

Proper Planning:

Before you leave, it is ideal to start early enough and think about what you want to spend time on when you leave so you don’t feel stuck when you do. Making these plans will save you time and money, You’ll see why soon.

Build Connections:

Your other military folks, friends, and family play an important role in helping you settle down in your newfound lifestyle.

They could help with a job, moving to a new place, or finding a new career. Don’t try to do it alone; it’s easier with others.

Also don’t neglect the fact that your family is going through the transition as much as you are, even if they don’t speak up about it. Try to be considerate and involve them in your transition process.

Pay attention to your finance/health

It is advisable to have enough savings for emergencies in peradventure they come up. You can look for free financial counseling on building a financial plan or creating a budget as the case may be.

Before transitioning, don’t try to avoid seeking medical help or treatment.

Dealing with an injury sustained before your transition is more cost-effective than doing so after you leave so make your physical and mental health a priority.

Why You Need to Think Twice Before Going With an Unaccredited Representatives When Filing a Claim for VA Benefits

Hey everyone, Allen Gumpenberger with Gumps VA Compensation. The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) has been made aware of recent, extremely concerning predatory practices that have been conducted by individuals or organizations who propose to act as representatives to assist Veterans with claims for VA benefits.

Per 38 U.S.C. 5904(d), any individual or corporation that furnishes representation in connection with a claim before VA and receives compensation for furnishing such representation must be accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of General Counsel (OGC).

These unaccredited representatives are charging exorbitant fees in exchange for services rendered, including preparation and filing of claims; assistance in obtaining further evidence relating to claims; assistance in obtaining an increased rating based on increased disability; preparation and presentation of matters on appeal from a decision of the Secretary; assistance at hearings before the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, or another court on any matter material to a decision on a claim under laws administered by VA; and assistance at hearings before Federal agencies other than VA in connection with any matter material to a decision on a claim under laws administered by VA.

In addition, these unaccredited representatives have been using deceptive advertising practices that include: false statements about the likelihood of receiving benefits; false statements about their accreditation status with OGC; and abusive telemarketing practices designed to intimidate potential clients into paying thousands upon thousands of dollars without fully understanding what they are paying for.

The problem that is most concerning when it comes to using non-accredited representatives is that these representatives are not under the VA’s authority, which means that all the services that they provide are not supervised by the VA. It is worth mentioning that one-third of the complaints concerning representatives are against the unaccredited ones. Now, you might think that two-thirds of the complaints are against accredited representatives, so they are still not that good. Well, it is true that some of the unaccredited representatives are actually good at what they are doing and can sometimes be better than accredited representatives but the problem is that when the VA receives a complaint about an accredited representative they can investigate the case and potentially suspend their license. But, when it comes to unaccredited representatives the process would be very complicated and something that you don’t want to go through, so it is better to avoid it from the beginning.

Another major problem that comes from using unaccredited representatives is that they usually benefit from loopholes that allow them to take advantage of veterans. We can see such a problem when it comes to the fees that they charge. The VA regulations state that fees taken from the retroactive benefits are not supposed to exceed a certain percentage, the VA considers a 20 percent fee or less as a reasonable fee, while fees exceeding 33.3 percent are considered unreasonable. Now, where is the problem exactly? The problem is that these unaccredited representatives don’t follow these rules because they usually say that the services that they are not offering claim help but rather a pre-filing consultation (education-based coaching) which allows them to have clients sign contracts that will have them unregulated sums from future-benefits.

In conclusion, I am in no way trying to out unaccredited representatives as evil entities that are trying to take advantage of veterans because, in the end, there are good and bad people on both sides. You might encounter accredited representatives that might end up not being of use to your case, and then find an unaccredited representative that provides useful services to you. The reason I wrote this blog is to spread awareness and try to help you make up your mind and choose the most suitable option to you.

Getting VA Rating for Orthopedic Conditions and its Benefits.

Hi everyone this is Allen Gumpenberger back with another blog about orthopedic conditions which Is a subject that you probably won’t find many blogs about. Veterans frequently experience the ill effects of injuries long after they have finished their service to our country. Orthopedic injuries can be tough to manage as they can affect all aspects of your life.

It accompanies the work. With leaping out of planes, training with high-risk, week after week walks with about 30-pound rucks on your back while conveying a weapon, and so many others.

In all, what’s the significance here for you? Indeed, assuming you experience severe pains related to an orthopedic condition, you ought to get evaluated for claims related to potential VA. If you’re a veteran managing pain from an orthopedic condition, you’re in good company.

Because of the body condition welcomed by some endurance and risky military exercises, veteran orthopedic conditions are often experienced. For VA, over ten million veterans get remuneration for service-associated orthopedic disabilities as of 2020.

 

What are Orthopedic Conditions?

Orthopedic conditions emerge from injuries that influence the outer muscle combined with the skeletal system. The outer muscle framework comprises bones, muscles, joints, nerves, ligaments, tendons, and other connective tissues. Harm to any structures or tissues can emerge out of wear and tear or injuries (also chronic diseases).

A VA disability claim for a condition including your joints or muscles is termed orthopedic claim. Orthopedic conditions could influence the knees, back, hips, shoulders, wrists, elbows, feet, ankles, or neck. The VA utilizes the expression “muscular and skeletal disabilities” rather than “orthopedic disabilities,” however they mean the same.

Orthopedic conditions that fit the bill for VA Benefits.

Orthopedic disabilities are one of the most well-known service-associated VA disabilities. The most widely recognized veteran orthopedic conditions are restricted knee movement, sciatic nerve paralysis, back pain, and restricted movement of the ankle and arm. While these are common samples, numerous other orthopedic conditions meet all requirements for VA benefits.

 

Disability Ratings for Orthopedic Conditions

For the most part, VA ratings for orthopedic conditions range from 0 to 100 per cent across various disabilities. Any condition incurred on or worsened by your military service which impacts your muscles, joints, spine, amputations, or bone cracks could be assessed as an orthopedic disability, assuming you meet specific standards. In any event, strains, injuries, and conditions with “excruciating movement” can be evaluated at 10%.

There are quite some factors the VA will have to consider while evaluating your orthopedic condition for an incapacity rating. These elements include joint and muscle functionality.

At the extremely least, the VA will commonly check out the “range of movement”. The degree of any movement constraint, or proof that exhibits you’re encountering some level of disability, will point to and decide your VA rating.

 

Range-of-Motion Testing

Range of Motion testing is the primary way the VA decides the seriousness of your orthopedic inability and what rating you’ll get. There are various kinds of movement, which includes:

  • Extension – the rate at which your joint can be bent
  • Flexion – the rate at which you can extend a joint
  • Lateral flexion – how far you can twist joints sideways (usually your neck and torso)
  • Rotation – how far you can pivot joints (usually your neck and torso)

One choice to assist you with finding out on your own how severe your constraints are is to buy the digital goniometer device, which estimates your movement ranges. Doctors use this device while evaluating your condition, or the VA won’t accept the evaluation when it audits your records.

 

The Common Veteran Orthopedic Conditions

Orthopedic pains can influence each part of your life. The following are three of the most well-known veteran orthopedic conditions.

  • Sciatica: Orthopedic pain can likewise set off sciatic nerves and cause massive pain. The sciatic nerve becomes tender whenever your joints become inflamed and can restrict development because of disease.
  • Arthritis: is degenerative changes in the joints. A few joints are more affected than others. Since veterans spend their whole lives on their feet, it is very typical to experience the ill effects of a severe instance of joint inflammation later in your life. The joints are inflamed, and you feel pain upon contact.
  • Low-back Pain: This is the most widely recognized orthopedic condition among veterans. The unpleasant existence of an on-the-job fighter frequently ends in low-back pain. Pain in the lower back can limit mobility and impede ordinary working. The specialist will want to determine this to have a straightforward CT-Scan or X-Ray.

 

Requirements to Claim an Orthopedic Condition

Before filing for an orthopedic VA claim, you should have a current diagnosis, an event of service, or nexus to an in-service experience, and a medical assessment under 38 CFR.

  1. You need 38 CFR.

What is 38 CFR? The 38 Code of Federal Regulation is what the VA uses to figure out what your rate ought to be for disabilities. There is a passage and line number for each analysis you can claim. The VA has figured out what goal measures are used to rate conditions. Remember that you first require a current state diagnosis and medical proof to back up your physical issue or injury.

  1. You require a current diagnosis: One of the essential things you need for your claim to get approval is a present medical examination result. Without this, you don’t have a claim. What’s the significance here to have this? It implies that the actual diagnosis is well documented in your medical record.

The greatest thing that should not be missing in medical records is the current situation diagnosis. You can’t simply tell the VA you have knee pain. It must be reported by a medical practitioner that you have seen lately.

  1. Your diagnosis should be documented appropriately. When you see your health physician, ensure that you get the analysis written in your records. You might demand your medical notes from any health service provider you see, and it is prescribed that you read through them to track down the diagnosis.

 

How to Get a Secondary Service Connection for Orthopedic Conditions

The heartening news is that the whole human body is associated; almost certainly, you are impacted by secondary diagnosis connected with service injuries. A model could be a knee injury while in service, and that knee pain has sped up joint pain over the years.

Representing secondary conditions requires medical-based proof and writings to demonstrate the two are associated. Utilizing the VA’s writing to demonstrate why two claims can be associated is an excellent approach. This gives the VA a tough time discrediting anything said. While seeing secondary service connections, this guide will assist you in nailing down what you’re liable to claim.

 

Final Note

Get an updated medical proof, and figure out what else you might, in any case, require. Then reach out to a specialist on what precisely you want to document a claim for. They will go over what might be the best optional conditions, then state the additional medical proof you will need and mentor you through the interaction.

My best advice is to keep pushing whenever a claim first gets denied. Medical health providers don’t want that you live in pain, so join an orthopedic group that will pay attention to you and work with you to get you to a decent degree of functionality.

Veteran Readiness and Employment Program

Hi, this is Allen Gumpenberger back with another blog that will hopefully educate, as well as enlighten you on VA Disability, Today I want to talk about a program that is oftentimes forgotten and it is The Veterans Readiness and Employment Program, formerly known as Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Service Programs for Disabled Veterans, is a program that is offered to disabled veterans (service-connected) with the goal of helping them pursue a meaningful career, it does that by helping them prepare for, find, and maintain employment. It’s also known as the Chapter 31 program because it was originally authorized under Chapter 31 of Title 38, U.S. Code.

Who is eligible for this program?

To be eligible for an evaluation for VR&E the veteran must these two conditions:

  • have at least a %10 disability rating for a service-connected condition.
  • Have received or will receive a discharge that isn’t dishonorable.

Now keep in mind that being eligible doesn’t mean that you’re entitled to receive the service provided by this program, meeting those conditions means that you’re eligible for an evaluation. However, keep in mind that the period of eligibility for VR&E services is 12 years from the date of separation.

What is the process of this program?

Although each veteran’s experience will be different, there are some general similarities for most people who use this program:

  • An initial appointment with a VR&E counselor
  • A completed VR&E application
  • A determination of eligibility and a written plan to identify needed services
  • A referral to an appropriate training institution or employer if needed
  • Possible follow-up case management services to help ensure successful employment
  • Qualifications for Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits

What can I expect from this program?

Many veterans, service members, and their families face challenges as they transition from military to civilian life. For some, a challenge like this could prevent them from working or finding a job. This program helps veterans through a number of ways such as:

  • Vocational Counseling
  • Career Assessment and Guidance
  • Employment Assistance
  • Post-Secondary Training
  • On-the-Job Training (OJT) and Apprenticeships
  • Self-Employment Assistance

During my time working with veterans, I noticed that not many veterans knew about this program or if they knew they didn’t think that it is helpful, in my opinion, this program is helpful and could be even considered a “hidden gem”. if you’re interested in receiving the benefits of this program or any other benefits and you find the whole process of applying and getting the benefits is overwhelming then Gumps VA Compensation Services is here to help.

Schedule an appointment today!

Getting a VA Rating for Insomnia

The transition from a life in the military to normal, civilian ordinariness is not as seamless as many veterans would hope. It is oftentimes marked with relics from a time most of them would rather forget but are unable to. This is why sleeping problems, like insomnia, are very popular among Veterans. The National Veteran Sleep Survey revealed that 73.5% of the Veterans they interviewed confessed to meeting the general criteria for insomnia. Good thing is, as a Veteran, you can get compensated for this.

This article will reveal in detail how you can get a VA rating for insomnia.

Common Symptoms of Insomnia

While insomnia is largely characterised by an inability to sleep, it is not the only symptom of the disorder.

The tell-tale signs of insomnia include;

  • Difficulty with falling asleep.
  • Waking earlier than normal.
  • Inability to sleep undisturbed.
  • Disruptive sleep disorders.
  • Constant irritability.
  • Sleep anxiety.
  • Extreme fatigue during the daytime.
  • Feeling tired immediately after waking from sleep.
  • Concentration difficulties.
  • Inability to focus attention.
  • Difficulty remembering small and big events.

Common Causes of Insomnia Among Veterans

Many Veterans who struggle with insomnia do not have to look too far to find its cause. Among Veterans, insomnia can be traced back to their time in the military. Vantage Point, the official website of the US Department of Veteran Affairs, confirms that ‘Veterans have much higher insomnia rates than non-Veterans.’ In substantiating this data, the researchers collected data from 5,500 post 9/11Veterans over a period of seven years and they discovered that 57% of those Veterans struggled with insomnia. The research also concluded that it was a result of certain aspects of military life.

  • Extreme Stress Levels

It is common knowledge that active military life is extremely stressful as it demands great sacrifices of personal time and energy. A report by BusinessNewsDaily places ‘Enlisted Military Personnel’ as the first on the list of 2021’s Most Stressful Jobs with a stress score of 72.58. This stress could trigger sleep problems like insomnia.

  • Irregular Sleep Schedules

By being in active military service, sleep is not the priority that it should be. From constantly changing time zones, to taking shifts at overnight operations, to rigorous training schedules, good sleep is near impossible. While the body might wish to adhere to the circadian rhythm, the demands of the job might make it impossible to do so. A research by the Sleep Foundation proved that 76% of military personnel do not get their recommended seven to nine hours of sleep daily.

  • Environmental Factors like Harsh and Unconducive Living Conditions

While in service, military personnel are constantly exposed to harsh and unconducive living conditions that impair sleep and reduce sleep quality. Poor lighting, high levels of noise, and even shifts in temperature will trigger physical responses that hinder sleep.

 

  • Psychological/Physical Injuries

The research by Vantage Point also proved that over 93% of Veterans suffering from PTSD had insomnia while 78% of those with Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) also had insomnia. These conditions are service-related as well. What this concludes is that pre-existing psychological conditions could also cause insomnia. The same goes for physical injuries.

  • Side Effects of Medications

Many Veterans take certain medications to ease pre-existing conditions oblivious to the fact that developing sleep problems may just be one of the side-effects of those medications. Drugs like antidepressants, blood-pressure medications, and even sleeping pills can quickly create sleeping problems for the average Veteran.

Is Insomnia a VA Disability?

There is a clear difference between having some bouts of sleeplessness and suffering from insomnia. If it can be proven beyond doubt that your sleeplessness is directly service-connected, incessant, has affected your daily life, and contributes to your mental and physical deterioration, then you can file a claim.

In that case,

 

Yes, insomnia is considered a VA Disability and it can get a disability rating anywhere from 0% to 100%. This is according to the Schedule of Ratings for Mental Disorders (38 CFR § 4.130). How high your VA rating is depends on the severity of the symptoms and how well you can prove that they are service-connected. With your insomnia, it is also possible to get a Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability (TIDU) which is $3,332.06 monthly, with attendant health benefits. For this though, you must have a 100% VA rating. However, you must note that VAs will typically list insomnia as a secondary component of a worse medical condition.

What Kind of VA Disability Benefits Can You Get For Insomnia?

Like we mentioned before, if you manage to attain a 100% disability rating for insomnia by providing evidence of complete social and occupational damage, then you qualify for a TIDU. In this case, you will have to prove that you’re clinically unable to secure or maintain gainful employment due to your insomnia. Once it’s approved, you’ll be entitled to $3,332.06 monthly, with attendant health benefits. We must warn you though; getting a 100% rating for insomnia is near-impossible.

The worth of a TIDU for insomnia is the same as the highest schedular benefit available to VAs – $3,332.06, free healthcare, and secondary health insurance coverage. This was documented in the 2022 Veterans Disability Compensation Rates released in December of 2021. The lowest disability rating is 10% and the amount payable is $152.64. At this rate (and 20%), you get no extra benefits or higher rate for your dependents. From a 30% to a 60% rating, you can access $467.39 – $1,214.03 with no dependents and as high as $1,585.03 with dependents (parents, spouse, and children). A 70% to 100% rating gets you from $1,529.95 to $3,952.09 with dependents. Ratings of 30% to 100% also come with extra benefits and higher rates for dependents.

Also, a 0% is possible if your diagnosis shows that your symptoms are not severe enough to cause any real impairment. Although no compensation will be payable to the Veteran involved, it’s always good to let the authorities know that your condition is service-connected.

How Do You Get a VA Rating for Insomnia?

Now, this is where the work is. When filing for a disability claim, it’s not enough to report that you have not slept 10 hours in one week and now, your supervisor is threatening to let you go. You might get a few sympathetic looks here and there but no real help. To get the claims you deserve, you must be able to prove that your insomnia is service-connected. To make that happen;

  • You must be able to provide ample evidence of your condition’s existence in a medical diagnosis from an authorised VA clinic or medical professional.
  • You must then be able to describe the event that triggered your sleeping problems (Note that it does not matter whether you were in active service or not).
  • Finally, you need a medical nexus that proves that your insomnia is service-connected.

These are the three major ways you can get a VA rating for insomnia;

  1. Direct Service Connection for Insomnia Through C&P Examinations

A C&P Examination is a Compensation and Pensions Examination – a medical examination provided by the VA to substantiate a Veteran’s claim(s) of disability. The standard procedure is for this examination to be conducted in a VA clinic and the report sent to the VA Regional Office (RO) for review. If the report contains convincing evidence of your disability, then the claim would be approved. But if it does not and the claim is denied, you can contest that decision and demand a second opinion by a different healthcare advisor. Regardless, when there is doubt, the benefit is always tilted in favour of the Veteran.

 

  1. Secondary Service Connection for Insomnia

You can claim insomnia as a secondary service connection by proving that it was triggered by a primary condition that has already been deemed service connected. Insomnia can be linked as a secondary effect of both physical and mental conditions. For example, research shows that more than 93% of Veterans with PTSD struggle with insomnia. If one of those Veterans decide to file a disability claim, they can attach insomnia as a secondary condition and even get compensated for both of them separately. The same goes for a physical service connected condition like injuries that hinder good sleeping patterns, like chronic back pain. Here, you can get a rating of 0%, 10%, 30%, 50%, 70%, and 100%.

  1. Service Connection for Insomnia by Aggravation

It is still possible to file a disability claim if you suffered from mild insomnia before you went into service. You can claim that the demands of service aggravated your mild condition until it became chronic. Although proving this may not be as straightforward as the others, it is still worth the shot.

Final Note

While filing your disability claim is the right thing to do (because you deserve it!), it is unfortunately not the easiest. And that’s why we are here. With over 90 years of combined experience navigating the waters of the VA, we’re confident that we’ll get you a result you’re happy with. We’ve helped thousands of satisfied clients get the VA disability benefits they’re entitled to and we can help you too.

Everything You Need to Know About Filing a Claim for PTSD

Hi this is Allen Gumpenberger back with another blog that will hopefully educate, as well as enlighten you on VA Disability. If you have been diagnosed with PTSD, it may be difficult to think about the possibility of being compensated for your service-related disability. Some of the veterans that we work with at Gumps don’t even know that they could file a disability claim for PTSD. There are many ways that veterans can receive compensation and many things they must do to get that compensation.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental illness caused by a traumatic event. It can affect anyone who has experienced a traumatic event, but the possibility of getting PTSD because of the military is quite high. PTSD is a common problem among veterans. It causes stress and anxiety in their life, as well as difficulty dealing with others. and it could be caused by several situations that many veterans experience frequently such as witnessing people being killed, fellow service members dying and witnessing shocking events in general, events that civilians don’t get to witness that often.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a serious mental illness and something that severely affects a person’s ability to enjoy and get by through day-to-day activities, a person with PTSD is likely to isolate themself and avoid interacting with other people.

Here are some of the most common symptoms of PTSD:
⦁ Depression – feeling depressed or sad all the time, lack of interest in things you used to enjoy, difficulty concentrating.
⦁ Anxiety – feeling anxious and nervous all the time, difficulty sleeping, difficulty breathing, increased heart rate.
⦁ Social Isolation – avoiding other people because you feel uncomfortable around them, not wanting to leave your home.
⦁ Flashbacks – reliving the traumatic event over and over again as if it were happening now.
⦁ Suicidal thoughts.

What kind of benefits can you get for PTSD?
⦁ Compensation (payements).
⦁ Health Care.
⦁ PTSD treatment.

What do you need to qualify for these benefits?
⦁ To qualify for benefits for your PTSD you need to first get diagnosed for PTSD by a qualified psychiatrist.
⦁ The PTSD symptoms are related to a traumatic event that happened during your time in the military, also called The stressor.
⦁ You must prove that this event happened during your time in the military and that.
⦁ A VA psychiatrist or psychologist agrees that the stressor is enough to cause those symptoms.

5 Causes of VA Claims Delay

You might be wondering how long it will take to process a VA claim or even concerned about the reason for delays of VA Claims.
Your worries are valid and will be answered right in this article.
In responding to your concern above, you must confirm whether you’re submitting a Fully Developed Claim (FDC) or non-FDC.
Your choice will determine the factors militating against speedy VA Claims.
Factors that cause delay of VA Claims

  • First Claim: usually the initial claims are the longest to process because of the administrative requirements such as your Service Treatment Records and your personal bio. Getting all these together can cause delay.
  • Number of Disability: How many disability cases are you filing? This may be the reason for the delay experienced. The higher numbers of disabilities you file, the greater time it will take to process your claims.
  • C & P examination schedule: you might not have control over the time for your Compensation and Pension Exams but the longer it takes to schedule it, will consequently affect how early you can get your VA Claims.
  • VA Claims backlog: if there are many pending VA Claims to sort out, yours might fall into the pile resulting in delays.
  • A Speciality VA Claims: filing some specific VA Claims such as Burn Pit Exposure that can only be facilitated at designated regional offices can delay your VA Claims.

Final thoughts
Now that you know some of the factors that can cause your VA Claims to be delayed, you would be better prepared when they occur to either avoid them or handle them well.

Eligibility for Automobiles and Adaptive Equipment for Disabled Veterans

Veterans and service members are often exposed to occupational hazards while defending the country.
From minor injuries to fatal ones or those that leave them disabled; Veterans have a lot of unpalatable experiences to remember for the rest of their lives.
It is our collective duties to make living after active service bearable for them as much as possible.
The department of Veteran Affairs covers some of the cost of purchase or repairs of automobiles and adaptive equipment for disabled veterans.

What the Program is about
This VA program allows for a one-time payment of nothing exceeding $19,817 towards acquiring an automobile to make transportation or movement easier for disabled veterans.

Who is eligible for Automobiles and Adaptive Equipment?
Primarily, only veterans who suffered disability from active service qualify for this program. However the disabilities that will be considered include:

  • Loss or inability to use at least one foot
  • Loss or inability to use at least one hand
  • Permanent visual impairment of both eyes
  • Injuries from severe burns that impede movement
  • Ankylosis (also known as immobile joint) of at least a hip or joint as a result of service-related injuries

One of the perks of this program is that once your eligibility status is confirmed, the length of your service year is inconsequential. It is also available to actively serving members of the military.

This initiative is beneficial to veterans who have sacrificed a lot for the nation. A means of moving about gives disabled veterans one less thing to worry about.