Do I qualify for VA disability?

The VA laws can be a bit complicated and hard to understand sometimes and many veterans that we’ve worked with have tried to figure out whether they qualify for benefits and what types of benefits they qualify for themselves but found the process overwhelming, if you ever found yourself wondering whether you qualify for VA disability benefits then this blog is for you.
as stated by the VA, to qualify for a VA benefit you must have a current medical condition (illness or injury) that affects your body and mind and you have served in active duty, active duty training, or inactive duty training.
in addition to these two statements, one of these situations must apply to you:

  • you got injured or sick during your time in the military and you can link this condition to your time in the military, this is called an in-service disability claim.
  • you had a pre-existing medical condition before your time in the military and your time in active duty has made this condition worse, this is called a preservice disability claim.
  • you have a disability related to your active duty that didn’t appear until after your time in the military ended, this is called a postservice disability claim.
  • However, there are a few things that may disqualify you from receiving VA disability benefits even if you’ve met the requirements listed above. you may not qualify for a VA disability benefit if one of these situations apply to you:
  • you’ve received a dishonorable discharge from the military. however, this doesn’t apply to other types of discharges such as honorable discharges under honorable conditions and general discharges.
  • you’ve committed willful misconduct which is generally defined as “an act involving conscious wrongdoing or known prohibited action.”, this means if your disability is the result of your willful misconduct then you won’t be eligible for VA disability benefits.
    What happens after I file my disability claim?
  • after you file your disability claim your claim will be assigned by the VA to a Veterans Service Representative (VSR) that will review your claim and decide whether additional evidence must be provided.
  •  if the VSR decides that you must submit new evidence you will receive a VCAA (Veterans Claims Assistance Act) notice that includes the evidence that must be provided.
  • after you submit those evidence the VSR will evaluate them and request more if they think that they are not enough and if they think that they’re enough, your claim will move forward.
  • Now that your claim is complete the VSR will finish reviewing it and recommend a decision and include documents that further explain the decision.
  • the decision will be reviewed by the VA to give final approval.
  • the VA will prepare your claim decision packet and deliver it to you via mail.

What benefits are available for you as a family member of a deceased veteran?

Losing a family member in the military or just losing a family member is probably the worst thing that could happen to anyone, the loss of a spouse or a parent that you’re dependent on can drastically change your life but thankfully, some benefits are available for family members of deceased veterans, those benefits aren’t in any way supposed to compensate for your actual loss but they’re something to help you and other family members deal with the loss and show gratitude to you.


Dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC)
DIC is a tax-free monthly payment that is provided to the spouse, child, or parent of a deceased veteran if they meet certain requirements.


Tricare
Tricare is a health care program provided to the U.S. military and is government-managed health insurance, if your sponsor dies you are still eligible for the Tricare program as a survivor.


Death Gratuity
The death gratuity program provides survivors of members of the Armed Forces with a tax-free payment of $100,000.
You’re eligible for this payment if the veteran died in active duty, authorized travel to or from active duty, while performing authorized travel directly or from active duty for training or inactive duty training.
The purpose of this payment is to provide financial support to survivors immediately following the veterans and till other benefits are available.

This benefit is eligible for:


the surviving spouse of the veteran, if any.
1-if there’s no surviving spouse, to any surviving children.
2-if there’s none of the above, to the surviving parents.
3-if there’s none of the above, to the duly appointed exciter of the administration of the estate of the person.
4-if there’s none of the above, to the other next of kin of the person entitled under the laws of domicile of the person at the time of the veteran’s death.

Why did your disability claim get denied?

Getting your VA disability claim denied is a frustrating thing that no veteran should encounter, If your claim gets denied it might feel like there’s nothing that you can do about it and that you should give up. however, that is not the case because if your claim gets denied you can still file an appeal to that decision which will have the VA review your claim again however to be able to change their decision you first need to understand why most claims get denied in the first place and thoroughly check your claim and see if something applies to it.
The VA states that you do not have a disability
The VA does not consider pain on its own as a disability you need a diagnosis, so proving that you were exposed to something that could result in a disability isn’t enough for The VA, they want you to prove that this exposure caused a disability an example would be the Agent Orange case, if you were exposed to agent orange and then developed livers problems because of it then you are eligible for compensation.
You filed a claim for a pre-existing condition
you’re eligible for compensation if you file a claim for a condition that was caused by your time in service so filing a claim for a pre-existing condition isn’t going to make you eligible unless this condition developed more and became worse because of your time in the military.
Failure to attend a C&P exam
not attending the C&P exam is one of the most common reasons why disability claims get denied, The C&P is short for compensations and pensions and it is the second step of the VA Disability Process.
Failure to prove an in-service connection
The VA will deny your claim if they think that you failed to show the connection between your time in the military and the condition that you have, so if you have PTSD and you want to prove that it was caused by an incident that happened during your time in service a good way of proving that is by providing proof of documented stressor events that occurred during your time in service.
If you do not have such documents then what you can do is get a nexus letter from a doctor explaining why he thinks that your current condition was caused by your time in the military.
I explained this in more detail here 
You did not get help from professionals
the process of applying for VA compensations can be complicated and is a process that requires accuracy and experience a simple mistake such as missing a deadline can cause a lot of benefits money.
having a team of experienced professionals that have worked many cases and won many too is important for you if you want to get the benefits that you deserve and is even more important when trying to appeal a claim denial, Consider reaching out to the professionals at Gumps VA Compensation services we have the experience and the knowledge necessary to get you the benefit that you

What is a nexus letter?

What is a nexus letter?
A nexus letter is a document that explains the connection between an in-service event with the medical condition that the veteran is suffering from and is seeking service-connected compensations for, this letter must be prepared by a medical professional and must be done with care extreme care to details.
why is a nexus letter important?
The nexus letter is one of the most important elements in your VA claim and can be the deciding factor on whether you’re gonna get the benefits that you deserve or not
before the VA can provide you with your disability benefits they are required by law to have proof that the unpleasant condition that you’re suffering from is caused by your time in service that is where the nexus letter comes into play, A letter that is provided by a qualified medical professional that states the above and includes strong evidence can greatly raise your chances of getting the disability benefits you deserve.
“Most denied veterans’ claims failed because of the lack of a nexus letter altogether or the lack of a properly written Nexus letter.” – State of North Dakota Veterans Affairs
after reading this statement I don’t believe that I need to emphasize the importance of a nexus letter any further.
How to obtain a well-done nexus letter?
one of the most important elements of a good nexus letter is having a medical professional who preferably specializes in your area of injury write the letter and provide evidence. however, keep in mind that when writing your letter your doctor doesn’t have to be 100% certain about everything, mentioning that he believes the condition you’re filling your disability claim for was presumably caused by your time in the military is enough to help with your case.
also having professionals helps you with filling your disability claim and obtaining and reviewing your nexus letter is something that will greatly raise your chances of getting the VA benefits you deserve, if you are facing any obstacles or you are uncertain about anything related to your VA claim and nexus letter do not hesitate to contact the team at Gumps VA Compensation Services.

What programs are available for you as an elderly veteran?

As an elderly veteran, there are many programs aimed at you that you probably don’t know about, and it’s our duty at gumps legal to make sure that you get the benefits that you deserve for your service, those programs serve different needs some are necessary for a lot of veterans and some are more of an entertaining ones that are also essential for your well-being mentally, In this blog we’ll make sure that you learned about those programs that you rightly earned.
There are two types of programs:
1- home and community-based programs:-
•Home based primary care: this is a program that is aimed at veterans with complex medical needs where the ability to travel to the medical center back and forth is limited, this program provides you with primary care in your own home, and a VA physician supervises the work of the health care team that is providing you with health care services.
•Adult day health care: this is a program that veterans can attend during the day, it’s a social program that allows veterans to be surrounded by fellow veterans and enjoy social activities, peer support, and recreation. Some health services may be available too.
•Hospice Care: this service is offered for veterans at the very last stage of their life, typically 6 months or less, it’s focused on palliative care and dealing with end-of-life pain, both physical and emotional pain.
Skilled home health care: this program provides veterans with short-term health care while they’re moving from a hospital to their home or from a nursing home, and they offer veterans with ongoing needs a long-term care.
•Respite care: this is a service that pays for the health care expenses when the family health giver needs a break.
•Veteran-Directed care: this program gives veterans a budget to allow them to hire their own workers that can provide them with the detailed care that they need.
•Remote Monitoring Care: this service allows the Veteran’s health giver to monitor their medical conditions using home monitoring equipment.
•Homemaker/Home Health Aide: this service provides veterans with a trained person that helps the veterans take care of themselves and their regular daily activities. However, keep in mind that this person isn’t a nurse but their work is supervised by a registered nurse.

2- Residential based options:
•Adult Family/Foster Homes: those are places that the veteran can rent a room and stay in with 6 other residents or less, a trained caregiver is always present 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, this place involved a shared common space, and a nurse can come and provide extra care when needed.
•Assisted living: those facilities are places where the veterans can live in a rented room or apartment, those facilities have some shared living spaces and just like the (Adult Family/Foster homes) there’s always a trained caregiver present at the facility.
•Community residential care: the (CRC) is for veterans who do not require nursing home care or a medical center but cannot live alone because of medical and psychiatric conditions, this service takes place in different places like the assisted living facilities, personal care homes, group living homes and more.
•Medical Foster Home: this place is similar to a nursing home and it serves as an alternative for individuals who prefer a non-institutional setting with fewer residents, A Caregiver is always present.
3- Nursing home options:
•Community Living center.
•Community Nursing Home.
•state veterans home.
If you’re a veteran and you’d like to know more about those programs and how to qualify for them and get your full rights, Gumps legal legal is the right place for you, Because oftentimes some veterans that deserve those benefits and more face a significant number of obstacles on their journey of getting the disability compensation that they deserve mostly due to their unskilled or inexperienced representatives.

Evidence to tender when making a Disability Claim

As a veteran, getting certain accrued benefits for your service to the nation is your right no doubt. When
there are injuries or disabilities sustained in the course of the discharge of your duties; then you can
make a claim and receive compensation for it. This will not take away the pain or injury but it should go
a long way to show that the nation cares about Veterans and is committed to making the rest of their
lives as easy as possible.
However, filing a VA disability claim is not a walk in the park and would require that you follow strictly,
the due process. You would need tangible and cogent evidence to support your disability claim. Some
important documents to present would include:
1. An approved and verified VA medical report that clearly states the disability or injury you are
claiming.
2. A professional doctor's report from a private healthcare facility supporting your claim and
3. Attestations from trustworthy members of the society such as your family or clergymen proving
the validity of your VA disability claim and how if has affected you.
If you need assistance, do not fail to ask every step of the way. You definitely deserve to be
compensated.

Writing a Powerful VA Statement

Getting certain accrued benefits for your disability claims as a veteran is your right. This is something you are entitled to without a doubt for all the efforts and sacrifice made to see that everyone sleeps peacefully without fear of attack on the nation. Losing a part of the body in the line of duty can be a lot to cope with, most people never recover from it. The country can only alleviate part of the pain by providing veterans some benefits. The issue comes when a veteran is unable to convincingly put to writing what he has lost and what kind of help he deserves.

Here are a few tips to bear in mind when you want to write that killer VA statement:

  • While the VA Statement that will increase your ratings should be detailed, explaining the severity and impact of your disability, it should not be too long.
  • Clearly state when the disability started and the present symptoms you experience. Add specific dates if you remember.
  • Rather than trying to evoke pity, be factual and have evidence readily available to back up your claim.

Veterans are real life superheroes and deserve the best of treatments. In order to know how and what exacy you need help with, there is a need to let the rater know where the shoe pinches. A top notch VA statement will pull down the needed support faster because in that 3 -5 paragraph document, the reader will get a glimpse of your world.

Tips for an enjoyable Veterans’ Day

Celebrating veterans is a duty of all whether you are in the military or not. Veterans Day is a day of honour and recognition for those most deserving of it. Both serving and non-serving veterans deserve all the appreciation for their sacrifices, timeless labour and several deprivations that come with the job.
How then should one ensure a fun-filled and memorable veteran’s day celebration for our living heroes?

● You should attend: it’s a special annual celebration hence your presence will go a long way to convey a message of love and support to the veterans. People go out sometimes for family get-togethers and picnics, so honouring veterans by showing up on their day to celebrate them would speak value and honour.

● Fly the country’s flag: whichever way you understand how to, a flag off for the sake of veterans on their day will be well appreciated and would also communicate to them that they are loved, honoured and appreciated.

● Support: there are countless organizations opened to donations and other services for the sake of honouring the veterans day, you could team up with anyone to donate cash and gifts.

● Drop a note: no matter how bad you are at writing, scribbling your gratitude on a card and sending it to a veteran on his day is a priceless gift. It sends a signal of deep appreciation down his marrows.

● A visit to a VA health care: checking up on veterans in the hospital as well and marking the day with them in that state is a great show of love and appreciation.

In the words of Roy Rogers, “we all can’t be heroes”, hence, it’s only fair to celebrate those who are in every way possible.

Holiday Treats For Veterans

After spending months and even years in combat with national enemies facing the horror of war and the fear of death; it is not too much to take a few days to cool off and relax while unboxing surprise gifts. As a matter of fact, it is well deserved. Spending quality time with family and loved ones at Christmas, going on sightseeing, eating fine meals during Thanksgiving are the luxuries that most veterans have either been denied or can not afford.

When it comes to comfort and making fun memories with loved ones who are veterans, no one can put a price to that of course but some Veterans can not afford it.  Some organizations exist who have taken it upon themselves to shoulder part (or all) of the cost and responsibilities of affording veterans who have defended the country so fearlessly the opportunity to be pampered during holidays or to reach out to their loved ones  with gifts to remind them that they are not alone.  They are:

  1. Operation Holiday Joy: They provide food, toys and presents to families of military personnel and their loved ones.
  2. Veteran Service Organization: they offer diverse help to veterans to make their holidays enjoyable.
  3. USO: this is the Santa for Veterans. They give out gifts, food and giveaways.

Final Note

You never have to have a boring holiday as a veteran or leave your loved ones without some presents while you are away during the holidays. Visit your VA headquarters to find out holiday treats near you for Veterans.

Benefits for Spouses of Veterans.

Benefits for Spouses of Veterans.

Marriage comes with a lot of responsibilities no doubt but marrying an active service member, a retired military personnel or a veteran can bring with it some extra responsibilities. You would have to deal with their constant absence and the ever looming shadow of death or an injury that changes your whole marital experience. The unpredictability of their profession can take a toll on anyone but it gets better!

When you know that there are benefits that you stand to enjoy as a spouse of a veteran, though it does not in anyway compensate for the actual loss,  you can heave sighs of relief without worrying so much about the future. These VA benefits seeks to alleviate the aftermath sufferings of spouses and families of Veterans and show gratitude.  There are different criteria that must be met to qualify for different benefits but they are not rocket science. Some of the benefits accrued to spouses of

Veterans include:

  • Dependency and Indemnity Compensation: as a program under the Veteran Affairs, this supports spouses of dead or disabled veterans in the event of economic losses brought about by their demise.
  • VA loans for homes: Spouses of Veterans can get VA loans to acquire homes as long as their veteran spouses died or suffered service-related injuries and disabilities.
  • Healthcare benefits: this is about the most popular benefits spouses to living or dead veterans can enjoy. Healthcare benefits ranging from surgeries to drug prescriptions are covered by the VA.
  • Educational assistance benefits: spouses caring for veterans can enjoy educational benefits too.

 

Final Note

Being a spouse of a veteran whether dead or alive qualifies you for some benefits. You can visit appropriate VA quarters to find out the steps to take to begin enjoying benefits that are due to you.