Oakland County residents who served the United States in the military may qualify for different benefits programs administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). These programs include healthcare and disability coverage but offer so much more in the way of support for veterans in their everyday lives. Regardless of your specific needs, Disability Law Group can answer any questions about the benefits the VA offers. We also work with applicants whose claims were denied by filing and conducting their appeals.
A Wide Range Of Veterans Benefits
The VA offers programs that aid veterans in such matters as:
- Health care
- Education, job training, and employment
- Housing assistance
The VA manages a significant number of programs, and eligibility requirements are always changing. As a general rule, however, most VA benefits require that the veteran was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. If you need assistance with applying or you have questions about whether you qualify, ask a knowledgeable VA benefits attorney.
There are more specific eligibility criteria for the VA benefits listed above, which we will explain in more detail.
For most veterans, health care benefits are one of the most important reasons they apply to the VA. Health care includes a number of subcategories such as mental health, physical health, preventive care, and health education.
Veterans who either enlisted after September 7, 1980, or who entered active duty after October 16, 1981, may qualify for these benefits if they served 24 continuous months. Alternatively, they may be eligible if they served the full time for which they were called to active duty.
The veteran may not need to meet these requirements if any of the following are true:
- The veteran was discharged for a disability that was caused or aggravated by his or her active duty service
- The veteran was discharged for a hardship or early out
- The veteran served prior to September 7, 1980
If you’re a current or former National Guard or Reserve member, you must have been called to active duty by a federal order and completed the full period for which you were called or ordered to active duty. Having active duty status for training purposes only does not qualify someone for VA health care services.
You may be able to receive monthly disability benefits if you have an injury or illness that was caused or aggravated by your active duty service.
To qualify the veteran must:
- Have served on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training
- Have a qualified disability under the VA rating criteria for his or her service-connected condition
Additionally, one of the following must apply:
- The veteran became sick or injured during service, and the condition(s) can be connected with the veteran’s illness or injury
- The veteran had an illness or injury before service that worsened beyond its natural progression
- The veteran has a disability associated with his or her active duty service that did not manifest itself until after the end of service
Education, Job Training, And Employment
Landing a job after serving in the military can be a challenge. Fortunately, the VA can assist you with education, job training, and securing employment. The VA’s programs pay for a wide range of expenses such as tuition, licensing, certification, career counseling, vocational rehabilitation, and more.
Eligibility varies by program. Some benefits depend on when you were discharged, your length of active duty service, and your level of background education. An experienced VA benefits attorney can help match you with a benefits program that will best meet your goals.
If you did not receive a dishonorable discharge, you may qualify for monthly pension benefits.
Veterans must meet criteria concerning their:
- Annual family income
- Net worth
- Start date and duration of active duty
- Nature of disability
- Whether the veteran is receiving Social Security Disability
Home loan programs are available to help veterans purchase, build, refinance, and improve their homes. One popular program is the VA loan, which – unlike conventional loans – does not require a down payment. Veterans considering a VA loan should know that while the loan is backed by the government, the funds are issued by private lenders. Therefore, the lender will likely consider your credit score for an initial (not refinanced) VA loan.
Other criteria include that the veteran:
- Completed at least 90 days of active service during wartime
- Served at least 6 years in the Reserves or National Guard
- Served at least 181 days of active service during peacetime
- Is the spouse of a service member who either died in the line of duty or because of a service-related disability
What If The VA Denies My Benefits Claim?
There’s a chance the VA will reject your request for benefits, even if you clearly qualify for one of its programs. If this happens, you have the right to appeal. There are three basic ways to do so:
- File a supplemental claim. This means submitting new evidence or identifying new evidence for consideration. A reviewer will determine whether the new evidence changes the outcome.
- Higher-level review. If you don’t need to submit new evidence, you can have a more senior officer review your claim. The officer will look for any errors during the initial review or determine whether a different opinion might support a benefits award.
- Board appeal. You also have the option to appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals and have a Veteran Law Judge review your case. The advantage of this review is that the judge is an expert on veterans benefits law.
Each of these options has its own set of requirements and deadlines. You should consult a skilled attorney who can protect your right to appeal and ensure it is conducted properly. We can help.
Contact Our Oakland County VA Benefits Attorney
Do you have any questions regarding the VA benefits claims process? Has your claim been rejected and you want to explore your appeal options? Reach out to the team at Disability Law Group. We are a comprehensive veterans benefits law firm and we are ready to serve your legal needs today. Contact us for a free consultation so we can help you win the benefits you deserve.