Family caregiver with man in wheelchair

VA Family Benefits

Are you a family caregiver of a Veteran who has suffered a severe injury in the line of duty? Or are you a Veteran who needs assistance with activities of daily living? If so, you may be eligible for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC).

The PCAFC offers enhanced clinical support for caregivers of eligible Veterans who are seriously injured. The program has undergone some changes based on the new “Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) Improvements and Amendments Under the VA MISSION Act of 2018” Final Rule, RIN 2900-AQ48, which became effective in October 2020. These changes include expanding eligibility for the PCAFC, establishing new benefits for designated Primary Family Caregivers of eligible Veterans, and making other changes affecting program eligibility and the VA’s evaluation of PCAFC applications.

How Can We Qualify?

To qualify for the program, a Veteran must have a serious injury (which now includes serious illness) incurred or aggravated in the line of duty in the active military, naval, or air service on or after September 11, 2001, or on or before May 7, 1975. The individual must also be in need of in-person personal care services for a minimum of six continuous months based on an inability to perform an activity of daily living or a need for supervision, protection, or instruction.

The family caregiver must be at least 18 years of age and either the eligible Veteran’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, stepfamily member, extended family member, or someone who lives with the eligible Veteran full-time or will do so if designated as a Family Caregiver. VA must initially assess the caregiver as being able to complete caregiver education and training, complete caregiver training, and demonstrate the ability to carry out the specific personal care services, core competencies, and additional care requirements.

What VA benefits am I eligible for?

As an eligible Primary Family Caregiver, you may qualify for a monthly stipend, which is paid at one of two levels based on the VA’s determination of whether the Veteran is “unable to self-sustain in the community.” If the Veteran meets all seven eligibility requirements and is “unable to self-sustain in the community,” the designated Primary Family Caregiver will receive the higher-level stipend payment. If the Veteran does not meet the “unable to self-sustain in the community” requirement, the caregiver will receive the lower-level stipend payment.

If you or a loved one meets the eligibility requirements for the PCAFC, contact your local Caregiver Support Coordinator by calling the Caregiver Support Line Expanded Hours at 1-855-260-3274 (Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET; Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm ET) toll-free or using the Caregiver Support Coordinator locator tool at Online applications will soon be available as well.

As Veterans Benefit Lawyers, We’re Here to Help

At Disability Law Group, navigating the VA system can be overwhelming, especially for those dealing with a serious injury or illness. Our team of experienced attorneys is here to help guide you through the process and ensure you receive the benefits and support you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

PTSD rating for veterans

How to Increase a PTSD Rating to 100%

Over the last few decades, additional attention has been given to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This mental health condition often arises because of trauma that people experience while in military combat. When PTSD affects a veteran’s ability to function normally and work, the veteran may qualify for disability benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The amount of compensation a veteran can receive depends on their disability rating, which is based on the severity of PTSD.

PTSD Service Connection

It is not enough for a veteran to show that they have PTSD. They must first show that the PTSD is related to their military service. For example, the PTSD must result from a blast, sexual assault, or seeing a comrade die in front of them. This information should be included in their medical records. In addition to the diagnosis of PTSD and the service connection, these medical records should express that the veteran cannot function as well as they did before because of their PTSD symptoms.

Determination of Disability Rating

Next, the VA assigns a disability rating to the veteran. Higher ratings mean the condition has a more significant impact on the veteran. Typically, the rating ranges from 0% to 100% in increments of 10%. The rating is based on the following factors:

  • The severity of the symptoms
  • How often the symptoms arise
  • How long the symptoms last
  • Impact of the symptoms on the veteran’s ability to function

Examples of Disability Ratings

While most VA disability ratings are expressed in increments of 10%, PTSD is only rated at the following levels: 0%, 10%, 30%, 50%, 70%, or 100%. These ratings mean the following:

  • 0% – The veteran has been diagnosed with PTSD but has no symptoms that interfere with their daily life or ability to work.
  • 10% – The veteran has mild symptoms only during periods of significant stress, or the symptoms are controlled by continuous medication.
  • 30% – The veteran has moderate symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and recurring nightmares that impair the veteran’s work efficiency and ability to perform occupational tasks.
  • 50% – The veteran’s reliability and productivity are negatively impacted due to symptoms such as panic attacks more than once a week, memory loss, and impaired judgment.
  • 70% – The veteran has deficiencies in most areas of their life, near-continuous panic or depression that affects their ability to independently function, or difficulty establishing and maintaining relationships with others.
  • 100% – The veteran’s condition renders them unemployable.

Evidence to Increase a PTSD Rating to 100%

If a veteran has been rated below 100% for PTSD and believes their condition has worsened or is entitled to a higher rating, they can file for an increased rating. There are certain requirements the VA will look at to support a claim for an increased rating of PTSD to 100%.

To increase a PTSD rating to 100%, the veteran must provide evidence that their symptoms are completely disabling and prevent them from working or performing daily activities. This can include evidence of hospitalizations, medication records, and statements from family members or friends that describe the impact of the symptoms on the veteran’s daily life. An attorney who is experienced in handling veterans’ disability claims can help strategize the kind of evidence that could support the claim and understand the types of documentation needed based on claim status.

Compensation and Pension Examination

The VA may require a compensation and pension (C&P) examination to re-evaluate the veteran’s condition before making a decision on an increased rating. During a C&P examination, a VA healthcare provider evaluates the veteran. They assess the severity of the veteran’s symptoms and determine if an increased rating is warranted. A veterans disability attorney can help veterans understand what to expect at their C&P examination and what information may be discussed at this visit.


If a veteran is unsatisfied with the VA’s decision on their increased rating claim, they can appeal the decision through the VA’s appeals process. This can be a lengthy and complex process. It is recommended that veterans seek the assistance of a qualified attorney who is experienced in VA disability law. Every case is unique, and an attorney can help you understand your rights as a veteran and what is needed to help you get the rating you deserve from the VA.

Contact Us for Immediate Help with Your Claim

Disability Law Group has a skilled team of experienced, compassionate attorneys who specialize only in disability law. We have helped thousands of veterans to navigate the VA disability system and obtain the decision, rating, and compensation they deserve. Our attorneys are well-versed in the rating criteria for PTSD and can help veterans gather the medical evidence necessary to support an increased rating for PTSD to 100%.

Whether you have not yet applied or need to appeal a decision regarding service connection or the rating assigned, we can help. Contact us today for your free consultation.

Why You Need a VA Attorney to Get TDIU

If you are a disabled veteran and are unable to work due to service-connected disabilities, you may be eligible for Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU) benefits. However, obtaining TDIU benefits can be a challenging and complex process, and it is often in your best interest to work with a Veterans Affairs attorney to help you navigate this process.

Here are some of the reasons why you need a Michigan VA attorney from Disability Law Group to help with obtaining TDIU:

Understanding TDIU eligibility criteria

To be eligible for TDIU benefits, you must meet certain eligibility criteria. A VA attorney can help you understand these criteria and determine if you meet them.

◊ Gathering and presenting evidence: To support your TDIU claim, you will need to provide evidence of your service-connected disabilities and their impact on your ability to work. A VA attorney can help you gather the necessary evidence and present it in a way that is most likely to be convincing to the VA.

◊ Navigating the VA claims process: The process of applying for TDIU benefits can be complex, and the VA often requires a significant amount of paperwork and documentation. Our VA attorneys can help you navigate this process and ensure that all necessary paperwork is completed correctly and submitted on time.

◊ Appealing a denied claim: If your TDIU claim is denied, a VA attorney can help you appeal the decision. Our attorneys can help you understand why your claim was denied and can work with you to gather additional evidence and present a stronger case on appeal.

◊ Maximizing your benefits: An attorney can help you understand all of the benefits available to you and can help you determine the best strategy for maximizing those benefits. For example, our attorneys may be able to help you obtain additional benefits, such as Special Monthly Compensation (SMC).

Contact a VA Attorney at Disability Law Group

In summary, obtaining TDIU benefits can be a complex and challenging process, and working with the VA attorneys at Disability Law Group in Michigan can help ensure that you receive the benefits you deserve. A VA attorney can help you understand the eligibility criteria, gather and present evidence, navigate the claims process, appeal a denied claim, and maximize your benefits. Contact us today and see how we can help you secure maximum compensation for your TDIU benefits.

Supporting Veterans During the Holidays

For many of us, the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year. But for military veterans, the holidays can be emotionally taxing, especially for those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you have a veteran in your life who needs some support this holiday season, here are some key things to remember.

Understanding Why the Holidays Can Be Triggering for Our Country’s Heroes

The stresses of the holidays can amplify the challenges that many veterans face in their daily lives, including:

  • Isolation from loved ones – Older veterans and those with smaller families can become isolated during the holidays, especially if they are disabled and have trouble getting around. Some veterans might be confined to a VA hospital, nursing home, or residence, which can be particularly isolating.
  • Stress from adjusting to civilian life – Many servicemembers have trouble returning to civilian life. The associated stresses can become even more pronounced during the holidays when it might feel like they’re the only ones who aren’t experiencing the joy of the season.
  • Triggering memories and survivor’s guilt – Many veterans suffer from vivid, invasive memories of the horrors they experienced in their deployments. Those with PTSD are often highly sensitive around holidays and might have difficulty celebrating due to feelings of survivor’s guilt.
  • Large crowds and loud sounds – Veterans with PTSD often become overwhelmed and exhausted by large, noisy crowds, which are common throughout the holiday season.
  • Pressure to fit in and act happy – Many veterans feel pressured to take part in holiday activities and put on a happy face, even when they’re not really up to it. The weight of these expectations can worsen PTSD symptoms and contribute to feelings of isolation.

Tips to Help a Struggling Veteran

If you have a veteran in your life who needs support this holiday season, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Be understanding of their limits – Do your research to understand why the holidays are stressful for many veterans, and have an honest conversation with your loved one about their limits. This could involve building in quiet time, avoiding alcohol, or encouraging breaks throughout the day.
  • Keep the lines of communication open – You can support your loved one simply by spending time with them and letting them know that you are always ready to listen. If you have questions about their needs, ask them respectfully how they want you to support them. Communication is key.
  • Prepare family members for gatherings – Your loved one may find it challenging to keep repeating what they are going through, so you can help them by letting your family members know what to expect. Tell family and friends how they can support your loved one and what subjects to avoid during the holiday.
  • Create new, low-key holiday traditions – Just because your loved one struggles with old holiday traditions doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy new ones. You can talk to them about their needs and concerns and create new traditions to fit them.

Resources to Help

Here are some resources that can help you and your loved one this holiday season and year-round:

  • Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency – The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency can provide emergency assistance, help you find a local veteran service officer, and complete a benefits check.
  • Oakland County VA Office – The Oakland County VA office can connect you with a veteran benefits counselor to apply for benefits and explore options that are available to you.
  • National Center for PTSD – The National Center for PTSD is the world’s leading research and educational center on PTSD. You can learn about PTSD, find local treatment options, and get support for a loved one here.
  • Wounded Warrior Project – The Wounded Warrior Project is a national organization that works to improve the lives of millions of veterans and their families through mental health programs, career counseling, and long-term rehabilitative care.
  • Veterans Crisis Line – If you are in crisis, you can call 988, press 1, or text 838255. The Veterans Crisis Line is staffed 24/7 by qualified crisis responders.

Disability Law Group Is Here for You

If you or someone you know is a disabled veteran in need of legal help, contact the Disability Law Group today for a free initial case review with a compassionate attorney.

veteran suffering from sleep apnea

Sleep Apnea Secondary to PTSD VA Disability Rating

American military veterans are vulnerable to many life-altering disorders. Veterans suffering from sleep apnea may be eligible to receive service-connected VA disability benefits.

In fact, more recent research has helped establish the many ways in which veterans can prove their sleep apnea may be linked to their time in the military. Whether on a direct basis or secondary to another service-connected condition (such as an in-service injury or PTSD, for example), there are many ways that you can prove a service connection for sleep apnea. 

Qualified VA disability attorneys work with deserving veterans, and doctors ( such as pulmonologists and respiratory specialists),  to secure disability benefits for sleep apnea. To help you understand more about sleep apnea and your VA disability rating, let’s explore a bit further. 

Benefits You Can Receive Based on Sleep Apnea VA Disability Ratings

The benefits you receive for a sleep apnea disability are tied to your VA disability rating. There are four different VA sleep apnea ratings as cited in Title 38, Code of Federal Regulation, Section 4.97.

  • 0 percent VA rating asymptomatic (no symptoms), but with documented sleep disorder breathing.
  • 30 percent VA rating with persistent daytime hypersomnolence, but in the absence of a breathing device
  • 50% VA rating if the use of breathing assistance devices is required, i.e., Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) or Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP) 
  • 100 percent VA rating for chronic respiratory failure with carbon dioxide retention, cor pulmonale, or requires tracheostomy

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a relatively common but serious condition characterized by interruptions in your breathing pattern while sleeping.

There are three primary types of sleep apnea, the most common being obstructive, then central, and finally complex:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the result of your throat muscles intermittently relaxing and blocking your airway while you sleep. 
  • Central Sleep Apnea occurs when your brain fails to send the proper signals to the muscles that control your breathing.
  • Complex Sleep Apnea is a combination of both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. 

All three sleep apnea types can impair your daily functions. Sleep apnea also leads to other severe and life-threatening health conditions, including high blood pressure, metabolic disorders, liver disease, and type-2 diabetes.  

Veterans should be particularly alert to sleep apnea symptoms, as the disorder affects them at a disproportionately higher rate than members of the general civilian population.

Unfortunately, many veterans are not aware that they could have a viable claim for service connection for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) or the other types that can commonly occur in veterans.

Thankfully, medical research and scientific data continue to widely support service connection which can help veterans prove their case and seek the highest VA disability rating under the law.

Sleep Apnea Symptoms

While many sleep apnea symptoms may be mild, the ongoing recurrence or worsening of these symptoms warrants further investigation of their cause and effects through a sleep study.

In fact, veterans seeking to file a claim for sleep apnea disability benefits will be required to submit a sleep study medical diagnosis of their condition. 

Sleep apnea symptoms include:

  • Snoring
  • Dry mouth
  • Morning headaches
  • Interrupted breathing during sleep
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive daytime tiredness
  • Anger and Irritability

If you’re a veteran experiencing any of these symptoms, reach out to your doctor for help and inquire about sleep studies to determine if you have sleep apnea. 

Filing a Sleep Apnea Claim for VA Benefits

Military veterans suffering from sleep apnea may be eligible for VA benefits. A veteran’s disability benefits attorney can guide you through the necessary steps to file a claim successfully. 

Three conditions of proof must be met for a viable VA sleep apnea claim:

  1. Diagnosis of sleep apnea from sleep study administered by a qualified medical professional;
  2. The sleep apnea condition started or worsened during active service;
  3. Your current diagnosis and in-service event are connected.

If your sleep apnea did not develop during or worsen as a result of active service, you might still be eligible for benefits under a secondary claim. 

Secondary Sleep Apnea claims require:

  1. A medical diagnosis confirmed by a sleep study in VA  or private medical records; 
  2. Evidence of a service-connected primary disability; and 
  3. Medical evidence establishing a connection between the service-related disability and the current disability.

Your attorney will organize and prepare all evidence supporting these elements for your disability claim. While the VA initially denies most claims, many cases are won on appeal when the above criteria are met.

Filing for VA Sleep Apnea Benefits? Consult with a VA Disability Attorney

The Veterans Affairs Administration recognizes sleep apnea as a debilitating condition that warrants disability support. However, navigating the requirements of the claims and appeals process is challenging at best.

If you are a veteran suffering from sleep apnea, you need help to file a successful VA disability claim. 

Reach out to our legal team today to speak with an experienced VA disability attorney for assistance with your VA sleep apnea claim or appeal. 

Veteran applying for disability back pay

How to Qualify for VA Disability Back Pay

When you apply for VA disability benefits, the VA determines your date of disability. That date may be the date of injury or a later date, such as when you filed your ‘intent to file’ or complete application for disability benefits.

In many cases, to qualify for VA disability back pay, veterans need to have their disability benefits approved, allowing them to be entitled of this benefit. If you are having trouble receiving your disability back pay, contact our Michigan VA benefits attorneys for help.

Understanding VA Disability Back Pay

When the VA approves a veteran for disability benefits, it determines a monthly amount that the veteran will receive for disability pay. Once the VA approves a disability claim, the veteran typically begins receiving monthly disability payments within a month. However, the veteran may also be entitled to disability back pay.

Disability back pay is the amount of disability benefits you would have been entitled to receive from a specific date through the date your disability benefits began. Back pay is paid in a lump sum.

The date for determining back pay varies, depending on when you file your VA disability claim and other factors. It is important to understand how the VA calculates the date for disability back pay to ensure that you receive all the disability benefits you are entitled to receive.

Further, some cases merit a re-opening of a previous denial to allow for additional back-pay benefits to be paid to the veteran. However, the arguments can be complex and typically involve a detailed analysis of the law, medical records, and facts of the case including any reason for failing to appeal the previous or initial decision. 

How VA Disability Back Pay Works – Payment Dates

In many cases, the VA pays disability back pay from the time the veteran filed the disability claim through the date the claim was approved. Depending on the case and whether an appeal or review is necessary, that period could equal a few months or over a year. 

However, the effective date of the claim may not be the filing date of the claim in some cases. The effective date could be the date the veteran became entitled to the benefits, such as the date the veteran was diagnosed with the condition that resulted in the impairment or disability.

In that case, the effective date could be a date that is well before the claim filing date. In that case, a veteran could be entitled to substantially more money than the VA is calculating for disability back pay. However, this scenario only applies if a veteran files for disability benefits within a year of being discharged from service. 

The effective date for VA disability back pay may also be different from the claim filing date in cases involving increased rating claims. The effective date for an increased rating claim could go back a year before the date the veteran filed the disability claim if certain circumstances apply. Also, there are special rules that apply to claims related to Agent Orange exposure, and other types of claims. 

The best thing for a veteran to do if he or she is unsure of the effective date for their VA disability back pay is to talk to an experienced disability lawyer. A disability lawyer can use the facts of the case to calculate the correct effective date for VA disability back pay.

If the VA is using a date that is not correct, a skilled Michigan disability attorney can assist the veteran in filing an appeal or request for review to gain all the back pay that the veteran is entitled to receive.

Talk to Our Michigan Disability Attorneys for Help Today

Navigating the VA disability claims system can be confusing and frustrating. If you have questions about your VA disability claim, disability payments, or disability back pay, contact our Michigan disability attorneys for a free case review.

Disability Law Group is dedicated to helping the disabled receive the benefits they deserve every step of the way. Our attorneys have decades of combined experience specializing strictly in disability benefits, and we are here to help you.

ptsd va 100 percent rating

How To Get A 100% PTSD Rating From the VA

Military veterans suffering from service-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are likely to qualify for compensation from the VA. However, due to how the VA examines benefits applications, many vets do not receive the full compensation they deserve.

VA benefits are provided according to the veteran’s disability rating, which is expressed as a percentage. A 100% VA disability rating can mean thousands of dollars in added benefits each year.

If you know a veteran who is disabled by PTSD symptoms and does not have a 100% VA disability rating or its equivalent, you should speak to an experienced disability benefits attorney. The Disability Law Group helps veterans in Michigan file claims for PTSD disability, including in Macomb County, Wayne County, and Oakland County and across the nation. Contact us today to find out how to increase your loved one’s VA disability rating for PTSD.

What Is PTSD According to the VA?

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event. Deployment in a war zone, combat, training accidents, and military sexual trauma may lead to PTSD, the VA’s National Center for PTSD says.

The VA considers a vet to have experienced a traumatic event if he or she suffered a serious injury, personal or sexual trauma, or was threatened with injury, sexual assault, or death.

PTSD can produce a broad range of symptoms including:

  • Re-experiencing trauma, such as flashbacks, nightmares, or intrusive thoughts about the event
  • Heightened emotions such as being easily startled or angered, having difficulty concentrating, or having difficulty sleeping
  • Anxiety
  • Emotional numbness or avoidance of certain triggers for re-experiencing the trauma.

A veteran may qualify for VA disability benefits if he or she has symptoms related to a traumatic event and:

  • The highly stressful event happened during military service, and
  • The vet can’t function as well as they once could because of their symptoms, and
  • A doctor has diagnosed the veteran with PTSD.

Understanding the VA Disability Rating for PTSD

ptsd va rating

The VA assigns benefit applicants a disability rating based on the severity of their service-connected condition. The VA disability rating determines how much disability compensation the veteran receives each month, as well as their eligibility for other VA benefits.

A 100% disability rating means the veteran’s physical and/or mental disability makes it impossible for them to maintain substantially gainful employment. The VA defines “substantially gainful” employment as employment that people who are not disabled ordinarily undertake to earn their livelihood and which pays at a rate common to that particular occupation.

The VA rates veterans with disabilities due to mental disorders as 10%, 30%, 50%, 70%, or 100% disabled.

Under federal law, a veteran who is released from active military service because of a mental disorder that develops in service as a result of a highly stressful event, such as PTSD, is automatically assigned a disability rating of 50% and reexamined in six months.

A 50% rating applies to occupational and social impairment with reduced reliability and productivity due to such symptoms as:

  • Panic attacks more than once a week
  • Difficulty understanding complex commands
  • Impairment of short- and long-term memory
  • Disturbances of motivation and mood
  • Difficulty establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships.

A 100% rating means total occupational and social impairment. The symptoms include:

  • Gross impairment in thought processes or communication
  • Persistent delusions or hallucinations
  • Grossly inappropriate behavior
  • The persistent danger of hurting oneself or others
  • Disorientation to time or place.

How To Get the Highest Disability Rating for PTSD

VA disability ratings are based on the severity of symptoms.

The primary evidence submitted to the VA to establish a veteran’s disability comes from doctors who have examined the vet and completed a Disability Benefits Questionnaire (DBQ). These forms, which have recently been updated, are specialized according to the disability, meaning there is a specific DBQ for PTSD examinations.

If the VA questions or disputes evidence a veteran submits, it can order an examination by its own physicians. This exam is known as a C&P, or “compensation and pension” exam.

Our attorneys work closely with medical specialists and can obtain medical evidence to help you receive the highest rating possible. Whether you are preparing an initial application for disability benefits or appealing a VA disability rating decision, our dedicated attorneys at Disability Law Group stand ready to assist you. We have years of experience handling VA disability cases and are proud to stand up for the men and women who served our nation.

Qualifying for Individual Unemployability in Lieu of a 100% PTSD Rating

A veteran who cannot maintain substantially gainful employment due to a service-connected illness or injury may qualify for Individual Unemployability. The veteran may be able to get disability benefits just as a veteran who has a 100% disability rating would.

A rating of Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU) requires:

  • At least one service-connected disability rated at 60% or more, or two or more service-connected disabilities — one rated at 40% or more and producing a 70% or higher rating when combined, and
  • Inability to hold down substantially gainful employment because of a service-connected disability.

Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability also may be available if the veteran cannot work because of other circumstances, such as frequent hospitalization due to PTSD symptoms.

Contact Us About a Proper VA Disability Rating for PTSD

If your loved one is disabled by service-connected PTSD, we can help you ensure that he or she is paid the full government benefit promised to them. The experienced attorneys of Disability Law Group are knowledgeable about both VA and Social Security Disability benefits and how best to recover disability payments that will ensure your and your family’s financial security.

Please contact us by phone or email, or fill out one of the contact forms on our website, so we can get started helping help you and your family.

Forever Chemicals and breathing problems

Understanding the Dangers of Forever Chemicals

What Are Forever Chemicals?

PFAS, better known as “forever chemicals” are dangerous chemicals that stay in the environment and in your body forever. These chemicals were mainly used in a certain foam that was used to fight fires with on military installations around the country.

Once spilled onto the ground, they contaminate the surface and the ground underneath the surface and sometimes contaminate the groundwater. PFAS have been linked to various health problems including birth defects, cardiovascular issues, compromised immune systems, and a variety of cancers.

They are known to cause these health problems ranging from .004 to .002 parts per trillion. Previously, the EPA said only 70 parts per trillion could cause those health defects. In layman’s terms, an extremely small amount of the PFAS chemicals could cause significant and irreversible damage to your body.

What Is Being Done Now?

The military, federal government, and state governments have been struggling with a viable solution to how this will be contained and cleaned up to prevent future contamination. The science behind PFAS is still being researched and new discoveries are being made very often.

The federal government estimates that 700 active bases have been contaminated and only 80 of them require no assistance. Meaning there are over 600 bases around the country that will need assistance in cleaning up these forever chemicals. So far, 1.5 billion has been spent in the research and discovery process of PFAS.

How Will This Be Prevented in the Future?

First off, the military has pledged to start phasing out the fire-fighting foam that contained the dangerous PFAS chemicals.

Secondly, in last year’s annual defense policy bill, the Pentagon was required to create rules to prevent and clean up firefighting foam spills and test for PFAS chemicals at all National Guard facilities.

Lastly, a National Defense Authorization Act is now making its way through the House Armed Services Committee. In this version, lawmakers are seeking to have the pentagon deliver timely briefings on its efforts in phasing out PFAS chemicals and the ongoing clean-up process.

Contact a VA Disability Attorney

If you believe to have come in contact with these dangerous PFAS chemicals and have become permanently disabled because of it, we can help you! Our Veterans Disability Attorneys at Disability Law Group are certified to handle VA benefit claims and we strictly specialize in disability law.

Our consultations are always free. We will take a close look at your file and help you understand your rights. Give us a call or contact us online to see how we can help you today.

Veteran with PTSD talking about his non-combat stressors.

June 2022 is PTSD Awareness Month!

June is PTSD Awareness Month and here at Disability Law Group, we are going to do everything we can to help spread awareness on this critical topic and help end the stigma surrounding treatment.

What is PTSD?

Let’s first dive into what PTSD is. PTSD is a mental health condition that is caused by exposure to life-threatening events. These include but are not limited to combat, car accidents, natural disasters, sexual assault, and other traumatic experiences. We understand that PTSD can affect everyone in different ways and that there are many treatment options and mechanisms to help cope and find relief that works differently depending on the situation.

Qualifications for Service-Connected PTSD Disability Benefits

If you are a veteran suffering from PTSD or know veteran suffering from PTSD, you could qualify for service-connected disability benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs. There are certain requirements that must be met in order to qualify for these types of disability benefits from the VA. For example, the following criterion is evaluated for PTSD claims by the VA:

  1. A current diagnosis;
  2. A stressor (e.g. exposure to death, threatened death, actual or threatened serious injury, or actual or threatened sexual violence);
  3. The traumatic event is persistently re-experienced in one or more ways (e.g. nightmares, intrusive memories, flashbacks, etc.);
  4. Avoiding the above factors;
  5. Negative alterations in mood or cognition;
  6. Alterations in arousal and reactivity following the event; and
  7. The duration of the symptoms lasts more than one month, and symptoms are attributable to PTSD rather than substance use for example.

While the requirements may not seem extraordinarily rigorous, the VA routinely denies Veteran’s claims for service connection, even when the Veteran served in combat. In fact, even of those claims that are approved, the VA commonly fails to assess the appropriate percentage and effective date, which results in less money and benefit to the Veteran and their families.

Contact VA Disability Attorney

Fortunately, you are not alone. You can hire a VA Disability Attorney to help you fight and win the full benefits you deserve under the law. Our Veterans Benefits Attorneys are certified to handle VA benefits claims and we strictly specialize in disability law. Our consultations are always free. We will take a close look at your file and help you understand your rights. Give us a call or contact us online today to see how we can help you today.

VA Disability Attorney going over medical documents with client

How to Obtain VA Medical Records

You can request your Veterans Administration (VA) medical records online. Also, the VA offers several ways to get help or get answers to your questions. 

A Michigan VA Disability attorney can help you go after the disability benefits you deserve. Here is a quick overview of how to obtain VA medical records:

How to Get Your VA Medical Records Online

You can log in to see your VA medical records through any of these accounts:

  • DS Logon
  • My HealtheVet

If you do not already have one of these accounts, you can create a free account at or to start the process of getting your VA medical records.

When in the My HealtheVet website, you can use the VA Blue Button to see, download, print, and share your medical records. You can perform many different functions with the VA Blue Button if you are enrolled in the VA healthcare system and are a registered patient at a VA health facility. Also, you must have:

  • A verified or account or
  • A Premium DS Logon or My HealtheVet account

If you meet those qualifications, you will be able to click on the Health Records tab and access your Blue Button report, your health summary, and your medical images and reports. It does not cost anything for you to create one of these accounts.

If you think that your personal health record is incomplete, you can add information to it. Go to the blue navigation button at the top of the Health Records page and click Track Health. On the page that then opens, you can add things like your health history, vital signs, exercise habits, and other essential data.

Getting Your VA Medical Images and Reports

If you have a My HealtheVet Premium account and you are a VA patient, it is possible to go online and download your VA Medical Images and Reports. No more waiting for weeks to get your hands on the information and medical evidence you need. You will need to go into your VA electronic health record (EHR) and see which of your medical records are available for you to access and download.

A Premium My HealtheVet account gives you these options:

  • Access to your available VA Medical Images and Reports
  • You can then download those images and reports.
  • You are allowed to save, print, and copy your diagnostic images onto a compact disc (CD) to share at your option with your caregivers and healthcare providers who are outside of the VA system.

These features can speed up the process of applying for disability benefits and help you manage your healthcare services.

How to Get Additional Help with Getting Your VA Medical Records

You can call the My HealtheVet help desk if you have questions or need more information about obtaining your VA medical records. The help desk is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Eastern time. The telephone number is (877) 327-0022 (TTY: 800-877-8339).

If you prefer to contact the VA My HealtheVet help desk online rather than by telephone, you could reach out to them on their web portal

Your Michigan VA Disability attorney can talk to you about your eligibility for disability benefits and handle your appeal if you were wrongly denied benefits or awarded too low an amount of benefits. Get in touch with our office today for a free consultation.