Q: What are veterans’ disability benefits?
A: Veterans’ disability benefits refers to the benefits given to veterans who suffered a physical or psychological disability as a result of their military service. This also includes veterans who previously suffered a disability that was worsened as a result of their military service. These benefits are administered through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (also known as the VA).
Q: Who is eligible for veterans’ disability benefits?
A: Anyone who served in a branch of the United States military and who suffered a physical or psychological disability as a result of their service may be eligible for veterans’ disability benefits.
Q: How do I apply for veterans’ disability benefits?
A: You can apply for veterans’ disability benefits up to 180 days before you leave military service, as well as any time thereafter. You can apply online
, over the phone, through the mail, or in person at a VA facility. You can also seek professional assistance in filing your claim, such as from a lawyer knowledgeable in veterans’ disability law.
Q: What do I need to submit with my application?
A: You will need medical documentation, either from a VA medical facility or a private doctor, which provides evidence of your disability. You can also submit testimony from friends, family, clergy, law enforcement, or people you have served with that documents how your disability has affected you. You may also submit additional forms
, depending on the nature of your claim or what benefits you are seeking.
Q: What is a disability rating? What does it mean?
A: Your disability rating measures the extent to which your disability or disabilities impairs your ability to function. This is measured as a percentage of disability, with a maximum of 100% disability for someone whose disability completely impairs their ability to work or perform daily tasks.
Q: What if I want my disability rating to be reconsidered?
A: If you believe your disability rating is too low and want it to be reconsidered, you can appeal the decision and seek a higher rating. You should not make such an appeal without first consulting with a lawyer, however.
Q: What if my disability gets worse?
A: If your disability becomes worse over time, you may seek to have your disability rating adjusted or reconsidered by the VA.
Q: What if my disability did not show up until long after my service ended?
A: If your disability is related to your service but did not appear until a long time after you served, you may still be eligible for benefits. For example, veterans of the Vietnam War may seek compensation for the effects of Agent Orange exposure.
Q: What if my application for disability benefits is denied?
A: Even if your application for disability benefits has been denied, you may appeal the decision through a supplemental claim, higher-level review, or board appeal. You should do so only after consulting with a lawyer knowledgeable in veterans’ disability law who can assist you with your appeal.
If you have additional questions or need assistance applying for SSDI or SSI benefits, it is important that you seek the guidance of an experienced Social Security Disability benefits lawyer. The lawyers at Sullivan & Kehoe, LLP have over 50 years of combined experience between its attorneys and are available to you or your loved one in obtaining Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits. To schedule a consultation with our New York Social Security Disability benefits lawyers, call (631) 823-7155.