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.

 

Everything you need to know about filing a claim for mental illnesses. 

Hi this is Allen Gumpenberger back with another blog that will hopefully educate, as well as enlighten you on VA Disability. People usually think that the only negative effects that the military might leave on you are physical, and that is not true. Serving in the military isn’t an easy thing at all and it makes a huge impact on your mind as well as on your body. Watching fellow service members get injured, watching innocent people die, and just witnessing the cruelty of our world could and will leave a mark on your mental faculties or physically.
A significant amount of veterans that we come across tend to ignore their mental health and don’t even know that you can file a disability claim for the mental illnesses that were caused or worsened by your time in the military. This can sometimes get you as many benefits from such a claim as the benefits that you get for physical disabilities.

What are the mental illnesses & disorders that qualify you for a benefit?

  1. psychotic disorders
  2. anxiety disorders
  3. cognitive disorders
  4. adjustment disorders
  5. Amnesia
  6. mood disorders
  7. eating disorders

Establishing service connection 

Establishing a services connection is the most important step in your claim process. It gives a why and how to your disability. Just like physical injuries, establishing a connection between your mental condition and your time in the military is crucial for a successful claim. To do so you need to get a professional diagnosis from a qualified medical professional for the conditions you’re applying for, then you need to identify an event or an incident that took place while in service that caused your condition or contributed to it, and then explain the impact that this incident or event made on you and your condition. You can do so by providing medical evidence like a nexus letter that fills any gaps that might be there as to why this incident affected you.

How does the VA rate disabilities related to mental disorders?

It is known that VA usually rates disabilities with percentages that have 10% increments based on the severity of the symptoms that you’re experiencing. However, with disabilities caused by mental disorders, it is a bit different as the VA gives ratings of 0%, 10%, 30%, 70%, or 100% for psychiatric conditions. You get a 0% rating when you have a diagnosed mental disorder but the symptoms can be successfully controlled with medication, and you get a 100% rating when your mental condition significantly affects your ability to function without supervision or support and work is not possible.
Sometimes veterans get confused and assume that having more than one mental disorder is going to increase their ratings and the benefits that they get, This could work but not because of the reasons that you have in mind. When giving a disability rating the VA considers the symptoms of your mental disorders, not the mental disorders themselves as a factor, The VA evaluates the severity of the symptoms that you have and the impact that these symptoms have on your day-to-day life. So what I mean is that if you have two mental disorders with symptoms that are severe and significantly hinder your ability to function as an individual then you’ll end up getting disability ratings that are higher than someone with four mental disorders that are experiencing mild symptoms.

What is a buddy letter and why is it important?

The majority of veterans aren’t aware of how much of a difference a buddy letter could make in relation to your VA decision.
A buddy letter is a statement that is written in support of your claim by a competent adult who has the knowledge and likely witnessed an event or injury that is directed to your disability and supports your disability claim.

Who can write a Buddy letter?
The most important condition that determines who can write the buddy letter for you is that they must be individuals who witnessed an event or injury that could potentially support your claim, so the person who can write a buddy letter to you can be your fellow service member, friend, coworker, significant other and adult child, so basically anyone who has sufficient knowledge of what they are going to testify for.

What are the two types of buddy letters?
There are two types of buddy letters and the purpose that they serve depends on the individual writing them.
1- The first type of buddy letter is written by a coworker that was with you during your time in service and is an eyewitness of the event that caused your disability or aggravated your pre-existing disability, this person can fill the gaps that might be there due to lack of details in your medical records or lack of medical records altogether.
2- The second type of buddy letter is written by someone who knows you outside of the military who is usually a family member, this person can help by providing information on how your time in the military affect you and describing the impact that it made on you and also describe how your disability is affecting your life on a day-to-day basis.

Why submitting a buddy letter is important?
Sometimes veterans find out that some of their medical records are missing and find out that they were eliminated and sometimes the medical records don’t include all the relevant information that you need when filing your claim which can be a roadblock.
This is where the buddy letter comes into play, the VA is required to consider all the relevant information that supports your claim including a buddy letter which is considered as a “Statement in Support of Claim.” so the buddy letter can support your claim when your claim is lacking some evidence, so having a fellow service member write an eyewitness account on the event that caused your disability can serve as a powerful tool in your claim process because the VA is required to apply “the benefit of the doubt” when your claim is lacking when it comes to medical support.

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.