If you have developed a significant illness or were injured during active military service, or you had a medical condition that worsened because of your service, you may be eligible for Veterans Administration (VA) disability benefits. A VA disability attorney could help you pursue the VA benefits you need and advocate for you through the application and appeals processes. Below, we discuss which questions all veterans should ask when choosing a qualified VA disability attorney for their case.
Do I Have to Pay My Lawyer Money Up Front to Help Me with My VA Disability Claim?
Federal law controls the payment of legal fees for attorneys who help people with their VA disability claims. VA Disability Lawyers get paid through a contingent fee agreement, which means that they will get paid when there is an award, instead of up-front at the beginning of the representation. The lawyer will receive a percentage of the benefits, for example, of the past-due benefits. While some attorneys who specialize in VA disability benefits may charge more than 20% of any past-due benefits. However, at Disability Law Group, we do not as we pride ourselves on reasonable fees, contingent only on the outcome of the case and the highest quality of service possible.
The fee agreement must be in writing and contain all of the details required under federal law. The Office of the General Counsel has the right to review the fee agreement to make sure that it is reasonable.
Do I Have to Be 100 Percent Disabled to Qualify for VA Disability?
No, VA disability benefits do not require the applicant to be 100 percent disabled. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits programs administered through the Social Security Administration (SSA) require an applicant to be entirely unable to secure substantial gainful work for a living, but this is not required for VA disability benefits.
How Does Partial Disability Work for VA Disability Benefits?
You will receive a disability rating that states the percentage of your disability; it’s important to note that your rating decision will always contain appeal rights and you can talk with our attorneys for a free consultation to determine if you should be rated higher under the ratings criteria. The higher the disability rating, the higher your VA disability benefits could be.
What Are the Eligibility Requirements for VA Disability?
You must satisfy all of the criteria to be eligible for VA disability benefits. Your medical condition must be affecting your body or mind now. You cannot qualify for VA disability benefits for an old injury or illness from which you healed completely with no current issues.
You must have served on:
- Active duty
- Active duty for training, or
- Inactive duty training
The illness, injury, or worsening of a pre-existing condition must have happened during one of those three service periods.
There are three different types of VA disability claims:
- You might have an in-service disability claim if you got injured or became ill while serving in the military.
- A preservice disability claim could be appropriate if you already had an injury or illness before joining the military, and your military service worsened the medical condition beyond its natural progression.
- Finally, you might have a post-service disability claim if the impairment did not become apparent until after you left the service.
Regardless of the type of claim, the filing forms and process through the VA are the same even if the methods of proving service-connection may differ. Depending on your situation, your spouse and other dependents might be able to collect VA disability benefits based on your disability. If you are not happy with the initial decision about your VA benefits, a VA disability attorney who handles VA benefits claims can file an appeal on your behalf. At Disability Law Group, disability benefits are all we do and we will fight to ensure that you receive all of the benefits you and your family deserve. Contact our office today.