Veterans Disability

Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces are typically eligible for many terrific benefits when they leave the service. From college benefits to hiring preference in many government jobs, there are some benefits that just come with being an honorably discharged veteran. However, VA disability compensation is not automatic. It depends on a number of factors, including the veteran’s ability to prove a service-connected disability. There are, of course, situations where a veteran may be completely ineligible for VA disability benefits.

Most disabled veterans today are aware that the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) rates disabilities using a bizarre calculation that many people jokingly call “VA Math.”  But what many veterans do not realize is that you can be determined to be permanently and totally disabled (P&T) even if you don’t reach a 100 percent disability rating. That’s right. Some veterans can be found to have “perm total” disability with less than a 100 percent rating. Once a veteran reaches this point, there are a number of added benefits that they may not even know about.

On November 1, 2017, President Trump signed into a law the Rapid Appeals Modernization Program (known as “RAMP”). The new law passed with bipartisan support, as its goal is to streamline and expedite veterans disability appeals. Still, like most things in D.C., the new law is not without criticism. Here’s what disabled veterans should know about the new law, including how it may affect individual appeals going forward.

Recent figures from the Social Security Administration suggest that over 65 million people received some form of social security benefit in 2015. This number includes children, retirees, and disabled adults. In fact, 5.4 million individuals were newly awarded that year.  While this may seem like a big number, it’s important to note that about 65 percent of all claimants are denied the first time they apply.  For disabled South Carolinians who are trying to get their disability claims approved, here are a few of the biggest reasons why people are denied social security disability benefits.

In a self-congratulatory and official VA press release on December 21, 2017, Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, David Shulkin, announced a myriad of alleged successes in improving the VA last year. Among the many accomplishments claimed, Shulkin makes three specific claims that deserve a second look. As you will note, each is a bit too vague to really prove true or false. Still, it seems reality may look a little different for actual veterans.

Roughly 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. Stripes reports that about 25,000 veterans made sleep apnea VA disability claims in 2015 alone. This is up from less than 1,000 in 2001. Therefore, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has been looking at ways to reduce the volume of claims and, in turn, reduce payments for sleep apnea claims. As such, it’s important for veterans seeking compensation to act quickly to preserve their rights, if they believe they have a service-connected claim for sleep apnea.

Reports all over the web are saying that the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) is making significant improvements in the timeframe necessary to decide disability claims. But this only tells half of the story. The VA itself claims to have made substantial improvements by upgrading and digitizing its databases and claims handling procedures. But many are still experiencing delays in the VA claim process.

If you are a veteran of the Armed Forces or a loved one of a veteran, then you probably already know about many of the excellent programs provided by the federal government, such as the Montgomery GI Bill and VA Disability Compensation. What you may not know is that surviving spouses and children of deceased veterans may also be eligible for other types of VA benefits under certain special programs. Here are 5 of the most important VA benefits you may not even know about.

Members of the Armed Forces are often deployed to regions of the world where waste disposal is not as advanced as it is in the U.S. For those veterans who were stationed in combat theatres abroad, open burn pits were commonly used to dispose of just about everything from common waste to human feces. Unfortunately, many veterans who experienced burn pit exposure are now suffering from severe health complications—though the extent and severity is somewhat in dispute at this time. The Orange County Register recently reported one veteran calling the problem the “New Agent Orange.” Sadly, theresearch is still ongoing, and answers may still be a long way away for some.