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.

Plantar Fasciitis: How VA Ratings Work

Plantar Fasciitis, a common inflammatory issue, has a disproportionately high impact on service members. Fortunately, the following blog post is designed to explain the VA rating system for veterans who may have the condition.

Overall, the Plantar Fasciitis VA ratings for 2020 operate on a 0% to 50% scale (including intermittent benefit percentiles at 10%, 20%, and 30%). Depending on several factors that determine the severity of the service member’s Plantar Fasciitis, they could be eligible for up to 50% coverage.

Additionally, there are secondary benefit claims that may be available for back, hip, knee, and joint conditions related to Plantar Fasciitis.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis

As one of the leading causes of foot pain in veterans, Plantar Fasciitis is when the heel bone tissue that connects to your toes becomes inflamed, as demonstrated in the image below.

The condition could be worsened by long distance running, age, poor heel support, obesity, and long periods of standing.

How Do VA Ratings Work For Plantar Fasciitis?

Initially, the service member may experience symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis to include swelling, tenderness, heel pain, and a painful range of motion. Upon diagnosis, the VA operates on the following scale:

 

  • 50% (VA Rating) for Plantar Fasciitis – extreme tenderness or displacement that cannot be resolved by arch support or proper footwear

 

  • 30% (VA Rating) for Plantar Fasciitis – severe deformities and acute pain accompanied by swelling or callosities on the foot

 

  • 20% (VA Rating) for Plantar Fasciitis – severe deformities and moderate pain resulting in swelling or callosities on the foot

 

  • 10% (VA Rating) for Plantar Fasciitis moderate symptoms that exhibit a downward concave for the tendon Achilles, accompanied by foot pain

 

  • 0% (VA Rating) for Plantar Fasciitismild symptoms that are resolved with arch support or more supportive footwear

Secondary conditions resulting from Plantar Fasciitis that could lead to back, hip, knee, or joint pain could also be eligible for benefits, and require “proximately due to/ aggravated by” or “showing of causation” diagnoses by a qualified medical professional.

Closing Remarks

Overall, a C&P examiner will utilize medical records, a physical exam, and X-Rays to determine the severity of your condition. In closing, we would like to thank you for your service, and hope you have gained valuable insight from this post! Thank you for reading.

Nursing Home Care for Veterans: Things to Know to Claim the Benefit

Veterans who were afflicted with major and aggravating disabilities are at a distinct disadvantage post service. 

The topic of receiving benefits as a veteran can be a rather complicated. But to make the subject easier to comprehend, we’re here to break it down for you.

Are you eligible for a Nursing Home Care?

Not all former military members who accumulated the right amount of service time, are honorably discharged, and suffering from a case of disability are fit to claim the benefit of a Nursing Home Care.

Ideally, there is only one of two ways by which an honored veteran may take advantage of this privilege—he must either be recently released from a VA hospital, possibly as a result of a service-oriented disability, or have a disability that is rated at 70% or a total disability that renders him unemployable.

If a veteran meets any of these two criteria, it is guaranteed that Nursing Home Care is within reach.

What are the options?

Eligible veterans seeking 24/7 care have a variety of options they could choose from, which include:

  • Community Living Centers (CLC)

Aimed to provide the veteran an accommodation that mimics the ambience of home, Community Living Centers are usually situated within the vicinity of the VA Medical Center or, in some other cases, at a distinct, closed-by building. Typically, CLCs strive to keep the environment a “fun” place for the veterans by entertaining them with a host of different activities regardless of the age, letting them bring along their pets, and even giving them the leeway of decorating their own rooms.

  • Contract Nursing Home Care

Not many valid veterans get into either a public or private nursing homes, as accommodation in this facility prioritizes those of the severely disabled. In addition, a stay in a nursing home would typically have a limit of at most 6 months only and is subject to a drastic reduction to as short as 30 to 60 days.

  • State Veterans Homes

As the name implies, State Veteran Homes are nursing homes which are operated by the state along with the approval of the Veterans Affairs. In general, nursing homes under this category are subject to different states which make eligibility requirements and degree of services varied from each location.

Things you Need to do When you Have an Abnormal Heartbeat

Have experienced an abnormal heartbeat? Does your heart beat extra fast? Or extra slow? Any of these and you have an arrhythmia.

Arrhythmia is a heart condition that caused an abnormal heartbeat. There are two types of arrhythmia: tachycardia and bradycardia.  

Tachycardia pertains to an extremely fast heartbeat. On the other hand, bradycardia refers to an irregularly slow heartbeat. 

I know you might be asking, Is an irregular heartbeat serious? Well, not all of the time. There are times that an arrhythmia only just happens out of the blue. in this case, there’s completely nothing to worry about. You will get better without asking for medical assistance.

However, if the irregular heartbeat symptoms persist, this could mean an emergency. Visit your doctor as soon as possible.

The following are some the conditions that may trigger arrhythmia:

  • Heart Illness
  • Imbalanced blood electrolytes
  • Heart attack injury
  • Heart muscles changes or adaptation
  • Cause by after-surgery heart healing

Whatever the reason for your arrhythmia, you need to be very careful. Regular checkup is the key to prevent complications of abnormal heartbeat

To understand how serious your irregular heart beat is, your doctor will ask you to undergo an electrocardiogram (ECG). ECG is a test that is used to detect signs of heart problems. 

The following are the most common signs of arrhythmia:

  • Palpitations
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting

When you experience any of these, immediately consult your doctor. You need to treat arrhythmia as soon as possible to prevent complications. 

But unfortunately, arrhythmia can also be asymptomatic. Meaning, the usual signs of the abnormal heartbeat are not observed. In cases like this, you need to consider your health history. If you have underlying health conditions that may trigger an abnormal heartbeat, you need to see your doctor. 

VA Benefits for People With Heart Disease

Before you can take advantage of VA benefits, there are requirements that you need to submit. 

The most important requirement that you need to pass is the result of your MET (Metabolic Equivalent of Task) exam. MET is a medical exam used to measure the amount of oxygen consumed by the body during strenuous activities. The result of the MET will be used to determine your disability privilege. 

Below is the rating system used by the VA for heart-related diseases:

  • 100%. Those people with continuous congestive heart failure may avail of this VA benefit. But of course, you need to comply with some requirements first. What are those? Well, you need to score 3 METs or lesser to qualify for this benefit. Another requirement is the doctor’s certification that, indeed you are experiencing shortness of breath. Proof of chest pain, dizziness, and fatigue may also qualify you. People whose left ventricle is pushing less than 30% of blood (each beat) may also apply for a 100% VA claim. 
  • 60%. If you experience congestive heart failure, two times in a year, then you are entitled to this benefit. Aside from this, a 4-5 MET score is also needed. VA will also ask for proof of shortness of breathing, dizziness, and even chest pain. 
  • 30%.  This rating is given to people with a 6-7 MET score. You will also be required to present evidence of hypertrophy (heart muscle thickening). If in case you have an enlarged heart, just show results of your laboratories, and you will be entitled. 
  • 10%. When you have MET score anywhere between 8-10, you fall into this rating. Evidence of fatigue, dizziness, and shortness of breath must also be established beforehand. And of course, you have to convince the VA that you need to undergo continuous medication. 

These are the ratings used by the VA to determine the scope of benefit given to a patient. But this rating system is only good for irregular heartbeat and shortness of breath. For other heart conditions such as hyperthyroid and supraventricular arrhythmias, a different rating system will be used. 

Conclusion

Although an abnormal heartbeat could be a sign of severe health conditions, you don’t need to panic. You can always ask for assistance from the VA. But before you apply for benefits, make sure to undergo a medical checkup first and comply with all the requirements to avoid a hassle.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injuries are one of the more common brain injuries to happen to veterans. 

Let’s take a look at what causes a TBI. If a soldier is on duty and receives blows, or jolts to the head, or a penetrating head injury this can disrupt how the brain works. Obviously not all hits to the head cause severe damage, in truth, the majority of head trauma is actually quite mild.

The number of soldiers with brain injuries has increased in recent years. However, the methods for checking on a TBI remain the same. You’ll want to keep an eye out for depression, chronic migraines, sleep disorders, or irritability. 

The VA acknowledges that TBI’s are quite common, and so they allow for an exam that can be completed by a psychiatrist, neurosurgeon, neurologist, or physiatrist. You’ll want to get checked as soon as possible. Your medical professional will likely check to see if you have memory loss, or trouble performing normal tasks.

Generally when you first receive a diagnosis you’re going to want to prove that your diagnosis is service related. If there are no records of your head injury, a nexus letter will help to get your injury related to your service. The VA can rate TBI’s all the way from 0-100.

Secondary Tinnitus Claims

Tinnitus is recognized as as the most common disability by far, more than PTSD and TBI which are the two conditions you’d think would be most common.

Obviously as a veteran you’re more predisposed to have this condition because you’re around loud machines, gunfire, etc.

So you might be asking, what is Tinnitus? It’s typically a high-pitched constant noise in your ear, that can sound like static, hissing, or buzzing.

Service-connected disability claims aren’t particularly hard to win because tinnitus is hard to disprove, however let’s talk about secondary mental health claims. There exists a high correlation between Tinnitus and psychiatric problems. The VA is aware of this, and as a result can often get you approved for a secondary mental health claim.

Imagine the negative emotion of having to deal with tinnitus frequently. Now what you’ll want to do is prove your secondary mental health connection. You can do this by getting a diagnosis for your anxiety or comorbid condition and stating that your tinnitus may be related.  You would then furnish a Nexus letter with your doctor’s analysis on how your psychological problems are caused by the service connected tinnitus.

Additional secondary disabilities include sleep disabilities, chronic fatigue syndrome and dizziness and vertigo. Each one of these conditions are interrelated.

We hope this helps.

How The VA Looks At Arthritis Benefits

Arthritis is one of the more common conditions that affect those who have served in the military.

How you can show your service connection

A service connection is needed meaning that you have to show that your arthritis is related to your time in the service. If your arthritis symptoms are at a 10% or higher rating within the first year it is possible to obtain a presumptive service connection which removes the need to present a nexus letter linking arthritis to your service.

This type of a service connection is possible because the VA treats arthritis as a chronic disease.

If your symptoms appear later, it’s still possible to establish a service connection with a great nexus letter. It’s also possible to receive a secondary service connection which basically means that the VA acknowledges that your first condition caused your arthritis.

 

VA ratings

Degenerative Arthritis

10% if two or more joint groups have arthritis but aren’t incapacitating

20% if two or more joint groups have arthritis and are occasionally incapacitating

 

Rheumatoid Arthritis

20% with one or two incapacitating episodes a year

40% if there is a definite decline in health or 3 or more episodes per year

60% if there is an overall health decline but short of complete incapacitation or if there are 4 or more severe episodes a year

100% completely incapacitated and bedridden regardless of how many joints are affected

 

We hope that helps!

The VA Caregiver Program

Depending on the severity of your disability, you might be eligible to enroll in the VA caregiver program.

In order to qualify both of these must be true for the veteran you’re caring for.

#1 This program is available to veterans who have had a serious brain injury, psychological trauma or other mental disorder that is service related on or after September 11, 2001. Remember that service-related means that your disability can be connected to your time spent in the military.

#2 Needs personal care services because they can’t perform one or more activities of daily living and needs supervision or needs supervision or protection because of symptoms based on neurological damage or injury. In other words, living your daily life is difficult without the help of a caregiver.

If you’re the caregiver you can receive

  • Caregiver training
  • A monthly payment
  • Travel lodging and assistance when traveling with the veteran
  • Access to health care benefits
  • Mental health services and counseling
  • Up to 40 days per year of respite care

In order to get these benefits fill out Application for the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (VA Form 10-10CG). You’ll need identification and health coverage information for both you and your Veteran—and you’ll both need to sign and date the form.

Download VA Form 10-10CG (PDF)

To find the name of your local coordinator:

If you need help filling out the form, you can contact your local support coordinator, or call the main VA information line at 877-222-8387. Note this is not contact information for Gumps.

We hope that helps!