Homeless veteran denied disability claim is helped by the firm.

Case Spotlight – December 2022

Disability Law Group believes that one homeless veteran is one too many! Partner Mandy Kelly is happy to announce that she recently obtained a large retroactive benefit for a homeless veteran. We hope this settlement will allow him to obtain stable housing and enjoy the holiday season.

In August of 2022, Mandy Kelly presented the Veteran’s case for service connection for adjustment disorder, left shoulder arthritis, hypertension, and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) secondary to his adjustment disorder to a Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA) Judge. Furthermore, Mandy was able to expedite this case because the veteran was homeless.

Generally, to establish a service connection, a claimant must show: (1) a present disability; (2) an in-service incurrence or aggravation of a disease or injury; and (3) a causal relationship between the present disability and the disease or injury incurred or aggravated during service, the so-called “nexus” requirement. 38 U.S.C. §§ 1110, 1131; 38 C.F.R. § 3.303. Establishing service connection on a secondary basis requires evidence sufficient to show (1) that a current disability exists and (2) that the current disability was either (a) proximately caused by or (b) proximately aggravated by a service-connected disability. Four months after Mandy Kelly presented her arguments at the hearing, the BVA issued a decision granting service connection for all four conditions. Mandy Kelly reviewed every page in the Veterans claims file. She found the necessary personnel records to support his conditions began in service, and his psychological disorder caused that obstructive sleep apnea. She provided strong medical literature supporting the causal relationship between OSA, depression, and PTSD. The judge was convinced and granted service connection retroactive to his filing date.

The lawyers at Disability Law Group understand how complicated this area of law can be. If you, or someone you know, suffers from adjustment disorder, PTSD, anxiety, or depression and developed obstructive sleep apnea due to your time in service, contact Disability Law Group today for your free consultation.

Our attorneys and staff specialize strictly in disability benefits, and we will fight to help you win every benefit you deserve. If you were already denied or would like advice from the start, contact us today and speak with one of our attorneys to understand your rights and get the representation you need.

Author: Erika A. Riggs

Attorney Erika A. Riggs graduated from Wayne State University where she earned her bachelor\’s and law degree. During law school, Erika devoted her free time to public service, education, and mentorship. She co-founded a non-profit, The 313 Project, providing scholarships for at-risk youth, pro-bono legal advice as well as volunteer work in Detroit. She also served as a senior note and comment editor of the Wayne Law Review, property law teaching assistant, and small claims court mediator.