Veterans Benefits Claims Process

Signage and logo of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Upon returning home from fighting for and protecting our freedoms, many veterans are in need of help to navigate benefits they are entitled to. Unfortunately, a high percentage of our veterans come home with physical, mental, or emotional damage, and sometimes a combination of the three. Add to that, the difficulty of reacclimating to civilian culture — reconnecting with loved ones, finding employment and housing, getting used to a completely different way of life from the traumatic one they have left — and it’s understandable that many veterans return feeling confused, anxious, and alone. Therefore, it’s also no surprise that some veterans give-up on the VA process by pushing off or forgetting to apply for benefits they could be entitled to. If you are a veteran in Michigan, not knowing where to turn, the specialized, compassionate disability attorneys at Disability Law Group are here to help.

Don’t Miss Out on the Veterans’ Benefits You Deserve

Michigan is the home state to well over 600,000 veterans and, for a number of years, less than a quarter of them were receiving the benefits they were entitled to. During the last decade, a larger percentage of Michigan’s veterans began receiving the benefits rightfully theirs. Still, however, many veterans are unsure of how to start the process, unclear on what benefits to apply for, and feel overwhelmed by the paperwork and long wait. If you are a veteran, it’s important to understand that you may be due benefits regardless of whether or not your condition started in service or developed after discharge. Depending on the nature and severity of your conditions, there may be other disability-related programs you and your family may be eligible for. In Michigan, in addition to a wide range of veterans’ benefits from the federal government, you may also be entitled to benefits at state and local levels.

What Kelly, Riggs & Mansour Veterans’ Disability Attorneys Can Do for You

The backlog of underserved veterans who have been long awaiting their benefits remains high in Michigan; having an experienced disability attorney, certified to handle VA disability cases, can give you the advantage you’re looking for to make the application and/or appeal process go more effectively and smoothly. In addition, having an understanding law firm, familiar with the process and ever-changing laws, will make you feel comfortable and prepared for the next step in your case.

Veterans benefits can include health care, monthly disability checks, life insurance, home loans and education through the GI bill. Benefits at the state and local levels include vocational training and emergency funds through the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund. As a veteran who has been found disabled, you could receive a property tax credit depending on the case. Also, if you are are a permanently and totally (P&T) disabled veteran, your children and spouse may be eligible for Dependents’ Educational Assistance. An experienced disability attorney who specializes in Veterans Disability Benefits can help you navigate the many paths for benefits and help you find your way.

At Disability Law Group, we are committed to providing assistance and support to our veterans by assisting them with the government benefits and services they deserve. We don’t only work with young veterans but are fully tuned in to the older veterans who served their country bravely and are now without the care they desperately need. A veteran of any age can come to Disability Law Group and be confident that he or she will receive respect, personal attention, and excellent legal representation that each and every veteran deserves.

How is “permanent and total” disability determined?

In order for a veteran to be considered permanently and totally disabled, he or she must have a service-connected disability that has been categorized as 100 percent and considered permanent according to the Schedule for Rating Disabilities. At times the language in the letters you receive from the government may be ambiguous, especially concerning whether you have been designated permanently or temporarily disabled.

For example, “No future exams are scheduled,” typically means that you have a rating of permanent disability, whereas the words “future exams are scheduled,” likely means that your total disability is rated temporary. However, some conditions that can be totally disabling in some cases may not be deemed permanent by the VA when they believe improvement is expected. When you come to Disability Law Group for help, know that our consultations are always free and we are here to help you understand your rights and the many benefits available to you.

Common Injuries That Qualify for Disability Benefits

Though the following list is by no means all inclusive, Veterans Service-Connected Disability Benefits are commonly awarded to veterans suffering from service-related conditions, such as:

  • Loss of hearing or sight
  • Loss of limb or extremity
  • Orthopedic or neurological damage
  • Paralysis
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Toxic chemical exposure (e.g. Agent Orange)
  • Traumatic brain injury

How Permanent Is Permanent?

It should be noted that Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU) may still come up for re-examination by the VA while a finding of 100% P&T disability is protected from review. Therefore, the agency can decide to re-evaluate your case at any time, possibly because your condition has unexpectedly improved or because there is a new treatment available for your medical or psychiatric disability but this is not the case for veterans approved for P&T. While the application and appeals process can be demanding and time-consuming, it is important to understand the benefits you may be entitled to and the forms required at each stage.

Advantages of Qualifying for CHAMPVA

Once a veteran is determined to be fully and permanently disabled as a result of service-related injury, disease, or condition, his or her family becomes entitled to receive CHAMPVA (The Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs). CHAMPVA is an inclusive healthcare benefits program that shares the cost of covered healthcare services for the spouse (widow or widower) and children of a disabled veteran. Spouses of disabled veterans remain eligible for CHAMPVA for as long as the couple remains married.

Children of permanently disabled veterans are eligible for the benefits until they reach 18 years of age (23 if they are still in school full-time, as long as they remain unmarried and, if they are stepchildren, remain residents in the veterans’ home). If the veteran’s child is a special needs child who will remain incapable of being self-supported throughout adulthood, that individual may be designated by the local VA Regional Office and continue to receive veterans’ benefits through CHAMPVA.

Special Monthly Compensation

Veterans with especially catastrophic injuries, such as loss of a limb, paralysis, blindness or deafness, are also eligible for Special Monthly Compensation, a tax-free benefit over and above their regular VA Disability Compensation. Special Monthly Compensation is a tax-free benefit awarded to assist in cases in which the veteran is homebound, bedridden, or completely helpless, requiring full-time care. Disabled veterans may be unaware that they may also be eligible for reimbursement of their travel expenses to and from veteran healthcare facilities.

When Disabled Veterans Need More Care than They Can Get on the Home Front

While there are a variety of programs and benefits offered by many different Michigan-based organizations and nonprofits aimed to help veterans in need, Michigan provides two Veterans Homes, one in Marquette and one in Grand Rapids. Both homes provide services for veterans who require residential care, including:

  • Medical and nursing care
  • In-house pharmacy
  • Rehabilitation therapy, both physical and occupational
  • Recreational activities

In order to qualify for residential care of this kind, veterans must have served at least 90 days in active duty and have been honorably discharged. Veterans who enlisted in the Armed Forces after September 7, 1980, or who entered active duty after Oct. 16, 1981, must have served 24 continuous months or the full period for which they committed in order to be eligible. Additionally, spouse, surviving spouse, and parents of qualified veterans may also eligible for this type of nursing care, space permitting.

Disability Law Group Can Help You Receive All of the Veterans Benefits You Deserve

As you can see, the world of Veterans Benefits can be confusing and complicated. Though there are numerous rewards once you make your way through, it is all too easy to get lost and turned around along the way. This is why consulting with a skilled and compassionate veterans disability attorney can be invaluable. When you come to Disability Law Group, you will be met with the experience to help you win the benefits you deserve and kindness you deserve to help ease your mind throughout the process. You can contact us today through our website, by telephone, or email.


Call our local and toll-free numbers today!

local: 248.VET.3000
toll-free: 800.VET.1100