The Veteran's Administration runs many compensation and benefits programs, most of which can be viewed at: http://www1.va.gov/opa/vadocs/fedben.pdf. Our firm specializes in claims by veterans for service connected disabilities. If you believe that you have such a claim but have not yet filed it, you should seek help from a veteran's service organization such as those found in http://www1.va.gov/vso/index.cfm?template=view or from a State Veteran's Affairs Office found in http://www.va.gov/statedva.htm. You should receive a reply within several months which either denies any service connected disability or which assigns a percentage of disability (often the dreaded "token ten percent"). Our firm's involvement in such claims arises after a veteran is dissatisfied with the VA's "award" (a situation that occurs more often than not). If you have made a claim against the VA for compensation or pension and have been denied or offered an inadequate amount, you have one year to appeal. You can do this yourself by following the procedures found in http://www.va.gov/VBS/bva/pamphlet.htm , or again you can seek help from a veteran's service organization or from a State Veteran's Affairs Office. Also, you are entitled to retain a VA-Accredited Attorney for a fee payable if you prevail against the VA. This right to retain an attorney upon filing a Notice of Disagreement is relatively recent; previously a claimant had to wait until a decision by the BVA. The procedure established by the VA is to enter into a contingency fee agreement for past due benefits; the VA must approve the agreement and under certain circumstances makes payment to the attorney out of past due benefits actually received. If there is no recovery, there is no fee for services. If you are the survivor of a deceased veteran, you may be entitled to survivor's benefits (for instance if they were exposed to Agent Orange and died of prostate cancer) or for a low income pension (these rights can extend to the parents of a deceased veteran also).
A special category of veterans are those who had certain experiences and exposures while on active duty. The most common such exposure in Vietnam Vets is Agent Orange. The rules on Agent Orange exposure are constantly changing, and if you served on the ground in Vietnam for even one day, or in the rivers on a small craft, you should discuss with us your rights even if you do not presently feel ill (sadly, once a sufferer of Agent Orange exposure is on the hospital bed it often becomes much more difficult to establish the facts of the exposure).
You should also call us to discuss special benefits if you were:
A Prisoner of War for 30-days or less: you may be eligible for compensation for psychosis, anxiety issues, dysthymic disorders, frostbite residuals, post-traumatic osteoarthritis, heart disease, hypertensive vascular disease, and strokes.
A Prisoner of War for 30 days or more: you may be eligible for compensation for avitaminosis, peripheral neuropathy, beriberi, chronic dysentery, helminthiasis, malnutrition (including optic atrophy), pellagra, nutritional deficiencies, irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcer disease, and cirrhosis of the liver.
A Gulf War Veteran: you may be eligible for compensation for unexplained multi-symptom illnesses, fatigue, skin disorders, headaches, muscle pain, joint pain, neurological symptoms, neuropsychological symptoms, and symptoms involving the respiratory system, sleep disturbances, gastrointestinal symptoms, cardiovascular symptoms, abnormal weight loss and menstrual disorders.
Exposed to radiation: You may be eligible for compensation for most forms of leukemia, and most forms of cancer.
Even if your claim is very old and you failed to appeal an adverse decision, it is possible that the claim can be revived with the original effective date. At least, it is possible that it can be renewed with a current effective date. Any questions whatsoever regarding your status and rights can frequently be resolved in a short phone conversation with our office.
Contact VA-Accredited Attorney Larry Schuh of Veteran Claim Appeals to discuss your options. There is never any charge for consultation.
The content of this web site is not intended to be legal advice. All legal advice, especially regarding a specific case, can be obtained only after communicating directly with an attorney