If you are a veteran suffering from a severe medical condition, you may have considered applying for disability benefits through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) previously. In fact, you may already have applied but been turned down. However, despite this, you may still be eligible for benefits (or, if you already have benefits, you may be entitled to more than you currently receive). Here are a few reasons why you might be entitled to VA disability benefits and not realize it:
- Your condition may be tied to your military service
- One of the prerequisites for getting access to VA disability benefits is demonstrating your medical condition is related to your military service. If you are suffering from a physical or psychological disability and served in the military, it may be tied to your service and you did not realize it. However, with legal guidance and appropriate medical care, you may be able to demonstrate your condition is associated with your service and receive benefits as a result.
- You may have new medical evidence available
- Perhaps you already knew your disability was related to your service (or at least suspected it), but did not have the medical evidence to prove your case. As time went on, though, you may have gotten access to new medical evidence that can show the nature and severity of your disability. With this new medical evidence, you may have an easier time proving your disability to the VA, allowing you access to your benefits.
- Science may have advanced over time
- Our collective understanding of medicine is constantly evolving, and medical conditions that previously went unaddressed may now be recognized by the broader medical community. Along with this change in scientific understanding can come a change in the ability for people with certain medical conditions to access VA disability benefits. This means that people who were previously denied due to then-current medical science might now have a better chance at accessing benefits.
- Your condition may have worsened
- Perhaps the issue was not that you did not have a medical condition related to service, but rather that your condition was not considered severe enough to merit VA disability benefits. However, your condition may have worsened over time to the point where you may now qualify as disabled when you did not before. This means even if you were denied due to not being considered disabled, you may now qualify based on your current medical status.
- It may have been some time since you served
- While many disabilities related to service appear immediately, some can take months or years to appear. As a result, many people suffering from service-related disabilities do not even realize they suffer from a condition that would make them eligible for VA disability benefits, due to the amount of time that has passed. That is why it is important to consult with a lawyer with knowledge of veterans disability law, who can help you explore your options and figure out what is best for you.
The attorneys of Sullivan & Kehoe place a special focus on assisting disabled veterans. Our veterans’ disability lawyers are still available for remote consultation on your legal issues. Call our office at (800) 395-7830 to schedule a consultation in our New York City, Garden City, Kings Park, Riverhead, or White Plains office, or visit our contact page.