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VA Benefits for Jaw, Dental, and Oral Disabilities

Dental care and oral health may not be the first things to come to mind when you think about disabilities affecting veterans. They probably make you think of relatively minor issues that can be solved by simple procedures and routine self-care. However, there are numerous more serious injuries and conditions related to oral health that

VA Benefits for Hepatic Steatosis Caused by Camp Lejeune Toxic Exposure

Hepatic steatosis, also called fatty liver disease, means that you have extra fat in your liver, which may lead to problems such as inflammation, cell damage, alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis, or liver cancer. The two main types of hepatic steatosis are nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which simply occurs without any behavioral risk factors, and alcoholic-related

VA Benefits for Female Infertility Caused by Camp Lejeune Toxic Exposure

Female infertility and miscarriage have been linked to toxic exposure at Camp Lejeune thanks to the findings of both human and animal fertility studies. For eligible veterans or family members who have experienced miscarriage or been diagnosed with female infertility, the Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 and the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022

VA Benefits for Breast Cancer Caused by Camp Lejeune Toxic Exposure

Breast cancer is the most diagnosed cancer in the United States for women, outside of skin cancers, with about 13% developing it in their lifetime. It’s also not limited to women, with about 0.5-1% of all cases worldwide affecting men. Risk factors include increased age, obesity, alcohol abuse, tobacco use, family history, reproductive history, radiation

VA Benefits for Esophageal Cancer Caused by Camp Lejeune Toxic Exposure

Esophageal cancer occurs in your esophagus, the tube which runs from the back of your mouth to your stomach, and is the sixth most common cause of cancer deaths in the world. It generally comes in two forms, though it’s not limited to these alone. Squamous cell carcinoma is when the cancer occurs in the

VA Benefits for Neurobehavioral Effects Caused by Camp Lejeune Toxic Exposure

Neurobehavioral effects caused by exposure to polluted water at U.S. Marine Corp Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina refer to conditions that impair your nervous system or affect your behavior. As a whole, neurobehavioral effects are covered by the Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012, which allows you collect financial compensation for healthcare associated with

VA Benefits for Lung Cancer Caused by Camp Lejeune Toxic Exposure

Veterans and their family members who were stationed at or near Camp Lejeune are at heightened risk of lung cancer due to toxic exposure to various toxic chemicals in the drinking supply from the mid-1950s through the mid-1980s. The main chemicals were trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), benzene, and vinyl chloride, which are only a few

Three Frequently Appealed Issues of VA Disability Rating Decisions

When a veteran receives their rating decision from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for VA disability benefits, the veteran has the opportunity to appeal if the decision is unsatisfactory. There are three frequently appealed issues that veterans appeal on: service connection, evaluation, and effective dates. The following sections discuss each of these topics. Service

Camp Lejeune Scleroderma VA Healthcare Benefits

Scleroderma, also known as systemic sclerosis, is a chromic autoimmune disease that causes a hardening and tightening of skin, and may affect blood vessels and internal organs as well. People with scleroderma often first notice symptoms occurring in the fingers, hands, feet, and face, which may include swelling, itchiness, and red spots called telangiectasia. Raynaud’s

Camp Lejeune Miscarriage Lawsuits and VA Healthcare Benefits

Miscarriage is one of many tragic conditions that have been associated with exposure to toxic chemcials—or more specifically, volatile organic compounds (VOCs)—which were present at U.S. Marine Corp Base Camp Lejeune and MCAS New River, North Carolina for a number of decades. Toxins like trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), benzene, and vinyl chloride, which are linked

VA Benefits for Voiding Dysfunction and Urinary Incontinence

Voiding dysfunction, a common kind of urinary incontinence, refers to a common problem in which you lose control of your bladder. The loss of bladder control leads to urinary leakage, which varies in amount and frequency based on each case. Voiding dysfunction is more likely than not a symptom of another condition, which for veterans

VA Benefits for Renal Toxicity (Nephrotoxicity) from Camp Lejeune

Nephrotoxicity, or renal toxicity, is a kind of kidney disease caused by exposure to a drug or chemical that damages your kidneys. This damage makes it difficult for your body to dispose of waste and excess urine. Nephrotoxicity can be diagnosed based a couple lab tests, including a measurement of your blood urea nitrogen (BUN)—essentially

Updating Your Dependents with the VA

As a veteran, it is crucial to keep your dependents' information updated with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Maintaining accurate records ensures that you and your family receive the appropriate benefits and support. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of updating your dependents' information and guide you through the process. Accurate

Understanding VA’s 55 Years Old Rule and Protected Ratings

VA has numerous policies in place for establishing and monitoring the severity of a veteran’s service-connected disability. Such rules exist for VA to be able to adjust disability ratings, or in some cases to protect a current rating and render it “protected.” This is where a rule like the “55 Years Old” rule comes in,

Agent Orange and Kidney Disease VA Disability Rates

Agent Orange is a chemical defoliant that was used widely in the Vietnam War and has been linked to several serious medical conditions to those exposed to it. Chronic kidney disease is one such disease that has been linked to the presence of a highly toxic dioxin in Agent Orange. Dioxins refer to a “group

How Will Newly Proposed VA Budget Cuts Affect You?

New debt ceiling legislation passed by House Republicans on Wednesday, April 26 is poised to make significant budgetary cuts to VA, seriously harming its ability to provide a variety of much needed services to veterans. The Limit, Save, Grow Act, which passed with a narrow, near-party line vote of 217-215, is not expected to pass

VA Travel Reimbursements Explained

Veterans and their caregivers who are traveling to and from approved health care appointments may be eligible for reimbursement of their mileage and other travel expenses through VA if they meet certain requirements. According to VA, general reimbursement covers regular transportation, such as by car, plane, train, bus, taxi, or light rail. Claims can be

VA Disability Rates for Tendinitis

Life in the military can be physically grueling, and service members and veterans are no strangers to tendinitis, which can cause aches, pains, tenderness, and swelling around joints that are getting lots of use. Due to its prevalence, VA offers disability compensation to affected veterans, and, due to the likelihood that your service may very

The AUTO Act Expands Modified Vehicle Grants for Active Service Members and Veterans

Veterans and active service members who require special adaptive equipment to their motor vehicles can now take advantage of expanded benefits through VA thanks to the passage in early 2023 of a new law, the Advancing Uniform Transportation Opportunities For Veterans (AUTO) Act. The AUTO Act introduces a new grant program that allows veterans access

VA Disability Ratings and TDIU for Dysthymia, or Persistent Depressive Disorder

Dysthymia is a continual and long-lasting type of depression for which VA offers disability benefits as long as your current diagnosis is tied to your service history. While dysthymia—also known as persistent depressive disorder—is not considered as severe as major depression, you may experience episodes of major depression amid longer occurring periods of more mild

VA Disability Benefits for Depression

Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), with about 6.7% of all adults estimated to have experienced a major depressive episode in 2014. Veterans are no exception, and according to an estimate provided by VA, nearly one-third of all veterans

VA Disability Benefits for Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are benign growths that show up on the uterus most often during childbearing years. Many women will get them at some point in their lives, and will often not even know it. Fibroids may be small and present no symptoms, and shrink on their own. In other cases, they may cause mild to

VA Benefits for Immune Disorders from Camp Lejeune

Immune disorders affect your immune system, which is your body’s main line of defense against infections and other invasive pathogens. Your immune system made up of a network of special cells, tissues, and organs that work together to combat illness and keep you from getting constantly sick. Immune disorders prevent the immune system from doing

VA Benefits for Multiple Myeloma from Camp Lejeune

Multiple myeloma refers to a type of cancer that forms in your plasma, which is a type of white blood cell that makes antibodies to help fight infections. These cancerous cells grow out of control in your bone marrow and produce dysfunctional proteins that your body can’t use, harming your immune system and doing damage

VA Disability Ratings for All Respiratory Cancers based on Honoring Our PACT

Thanks to the passage of the Honoring Our PACT Act of 2021 (full name: Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act of 2021), VA now presumes a service connection for even more illnesses to toxic exposure suffered during many veterans’ time in service. An official presumption of connection means that you do not need

VA Benefits for Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) from Camp Lejeune

Myelodysplatic syndrome (MDS) is a type of cancer, and which refers to a number of disorders related to cells in your bone marrow that produce malformed or malfunctioning blood cells. The different kinds of MDS are based on which types of blood cells—red, white, or platelets—are affected, with the most common being red blood cells.

VA Benefits for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma from Camp Lejeune

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma is a cancer that begins in the lymphatic system, and is a general category of lymphoma. There are several subtypes that fall under it, while Hodgkin’s lymphoma is another general category of lymphoma itself. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma starts when your body produces too many lymphocytes, which are a type of white blood cell that

VA Benefits for Parkinson’s Disease from Camp Lejeune

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system which causes uncontrolled movements and difficulties with balance and coordination. The disease builds up slowly and then worsens over time, starting with barely noticeable symptoms like small tremors that can soon lead to more shaking, or conversely, stiffness, as well as difficulty walking and talking.

VA Benefits for Bladder Cancer from Camp Lejeune

Bladder cancer occurs when the cells in your bladder develop mutations in their DNA and begin to multiply until they form a tumor. The cancer can then metastasize, or spread, to other parts of your body. For veterans who have been diagnosed with bladder cancer, it is important to note that it can be found

VA Benefits for Kidney Cancer from Camp Lejeune

Kidney cancer usually refers to renal cell carcinoma in adults, and which occurs when the DNA in the cells of your kidneys mutate and multiply to form tumors. Eligible veterans diagnosed with kidney cancer should be aware that kidney cancer is on the list of presumptive conditions linked to toxic exposure from volatile organic compounds

VA Benefits for Liver Cancer from Camp Lejeune

Liver cancer usually refers to hepatocellular carcinoma, which begins in the hepatocytes, the main cells that make up the liver. Less common forms of liver cancer include intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma and hepatoblastoma, and it’s also important to note that cancers found in the liver have normally started elsewhere in the body and metastasized than started in

VA Benefits for Aplastic Anemia from Camp Lejeune

Aplastic anemia is a rare and potentially life-threatening form of anemia that occurs when your body does not produce enough red blood cells. It is also one of several conditions that have been linked to toxic exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at U.S. Marine Corp Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Aplastic Anemia from

VA Benefits for Leukemia Resulting from Camp Lejeune

For a select numbers of veterans who were stationed at the U.S. Marine Corps Camp Lejeune in North Carolina between the mid-1950s and mid-1980s, any instances of adult leukemia may be eligible for VA disability benefits, based on the presumption of service connection to extensive drinking water contamination that was found to have occurred there.

PACT Act Benefits for Veterans (Gulf War Era, Post 9/11, Agent Orange and Radiation Exposure)

Pact Act: Changes that expand benefits for Veterans (Gulf War Era, Post 9/11, Agent Orange and Radiation Exposure) The Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics of 2022 (commonly called the PACT Act) significantly expands benefits for three groups of veterans, i.e., those who served in certain areas during the Vietnam War, those who served during the Gulf War, and those who

VA Disability Housing Grants and Benefits for Veterans

VA offers housing grants to veterans whose disabilities would make it difficult to enjoy a barrier-free life in a home that is not outfitted to their needs. A veteran’s level of disability may require any number of special accommodations within a home to allow them to live independently, or more independently than could be expected

How to Appeal PCAFC Decisions Via Board of Veterans’ Appeals

Veterans and family caregivers who have been given an unfavorable decision regarding the Program for Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) can now directly appeal their cases to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board). VA Disability Group PLLC is proud to assist all veterans and family caregivers who have been denied access to PCAFC benefits

VA Disability Benefits for Astigmatism

Astigmatism is a common visual impairment for which many veterans may not realize they could collect disability compensation. This is because astigmatism is one of those conditions that isn’t easy to prove has a direct service connection, so much so that it doesn’t even have its own diagnostic code in VA’s schedule of ratings. That

VA Unemployability Income Limits with TDIU

If you or a veteran you know is unable to work due to one or more service-connected disabilities, you may be eligible for a VA benefit called total disability based on individual unemployability (TDIU). TDIU provides monthly compensation, and is basically another way for veterans to qualify for a 100% disability rating without their condition(s)

VA Offers Extended 90-Day Response Period Due to Mailing Delays

For a number of months now, veterans and other claimants for VA disability compensation or benefits have been receiving letters stating that they “may experience a delay in receipt of correspondence from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)”. Considering any correspondence with VA may include important, time-sensitive information and deadlines for responding, the letters have

VA Adds 9 Respiratory Cancers as Presumptive Conditions Related to Burn Pit & Toxic Exposure

As of April 25, 2022, nine respiratory cancers have been recognized by VA as presumptive conditions related to toxic exposure from burn pits that were used from the Gulf War on into the War in Afghanistan. This move will allow affected veterans to move more quickly through the disability claims process by presuming a service

VA Benefits for Toxic Exposure from Fort McClellan

Fort McClellan is a former Army installation located nearby Anniston, Alabama that has come to be known for the high potential of toxic exposure to personnel who served there. From 1952 to 1999, when the fort was closed as part of the Army Base Closure and Realignment Committee (BRAC) program, Fort McClellan was home to

VA Ratings for Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and Migraines

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and migraines are conditions that VA recognizes as distinct conditions that may affect veterans, but which also may related to one another, too. Typically, when two service-connected conditions cause the same symptoms in a veteran, VA does not offer a separate rating for each condition, so that the veteran does not

VA Disability Benefits for Eosinophilic Esophagitis

Eosinophilic esophagitis, which may be called EE or EoE, is a chronic allergic condition that affects the esophagus, which is the tube connecting your mouth to your stomach. It is characterized by an inflammation of the esophagus, due to an excess buildup of white blood cells (or eosinophils), which are released as an immune response

VA Disability Benefits for Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by regular and unpredictable panic attacks. Panic attacks are occurrences in which you feel intense and overwhelming fear or terror without any immediate cause or reason to be afraid. Most troubling of all, they may be triggered at any time or place, arrive frequently or infrequently,

VA Disability Benefits for Osteomyelitis

Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone caused by bacteria or fungi. It’s often more prevalent in children under five, though it may affect people at any age. Due to how it is contracted, osteomyelitis is of considerable concern to veterans, especially those who have been wounded in combat or otherwise injured during active duty.

VA’s Proposed Rating Schedule Updates for Respiratory, Auditory, and Mental Disorders

On February 15, 2022, VA announced proposed changes to the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities (VASRD) as it pertains to respiratory, auditory, and mental disorders body systems. This is part of an ongoing process on VA’s part to modernize its evaluative criteria for all conditions based on advancements in medical knowledge. Veterans who already have

VA Disability Benefits for Hiatal Hernia and GERD

Veterans suffering from acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (or GERD), may want to pay attention to the symptoms of a hiatal hernia, because your acid reflux may very well be caused by one. Hiatal hernia describes when the upper part of your stomach bulges through your diaphragm, the muscle separating your abdomen

VA Benefits for Surviving Spouses and Dependents

Spouses and dependent children of veterans may already qualify for a number of healthcare, insurance, and money benefits while the veteran is alive, but surviving spouses and dependent children may be eligible for more benefits and compensation when the veteran passes away. Three critical forms of survivors benefits include monthly payments, pensions, and health insurance.

VA Disability Benefits for Glioblastomas and Other Brain Cancers

Brain cancer refers to any kind of tumor that grows in the brain, and which may be benign—or noncancerous—or malignant, meaning it’s cancerous and will keep spreading. There are several kinds of tumors and they vary based on where they grow. Primary brain tumors originate in your brain or close to it, for instance on

VA Disability Benefits for TCE Exposure

Trichloroethylene (TCE) is an industrial cleaning solvent that was commonly used by the US military to degrease metal equipment. It is a clear, nonflammable liquid that evaporates quickly and has a sweet odor, and it has been linked to a number of detrimental health issues for service members who came into contact with it, including

VA Veterans Disability Housing Allowances and Housing Grants

Veterans who have severe injuries or medical conditions are eligible for four types of housing grants offered through VA. Each type of loan is suited to veterans with particular needs to build, remodel, or find adapted housing to accommodate their disabilities and achieve a more independent lifestyle. VA suggests improvements such as ramps or widened

VA Disability Ratings for Heart Disease

Veterans who are suffering from heart disease may be eligible for VA disability benefits if they are able to establish a service connection to their condition. Heart disease is a broad term that encompasses a number of different conditions, the most common of which is coronary artery disease (CAD), which can lead to heart attacks.

Agent Orange Exposure Benefits for Korean Veterans

Agent Orange is synonymous with the Vietnam War. The chemical defoliant was widely used in Vietnam to expose enemy pathways, deter ambushes, and destroy crops, and its health effects upon those exposed to it have been widely publicized. Because of the breadth and severity of conditions linked to Agent Orange, a presumptive list of conditions

Do You Need to Attend Your C&P Exam?

A C&P exam, short for Compensation and Pension exam, is a medical examination used by VA to help determine the severity of a veteran’s disability and assign an appropriate rating. C&P exams form a crucial element of the disability ratings approval process, and though they may come as an inconvenience to veterans, VA often uses

VA Disability Benefits for Non-Combat PTSD Stressors

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) results from undergoing or witnessing any number of stressful events — or stressor — and regardless of whether a stressor occurs in combat or not, veterans may be able to collect VA disability because of it. It is true that veterans who have developed PTSD as a result of combat have

How Do I Get a Permanent and Total (P&T) Disability Rating?

Nearly any discussion about VA disability benefits must include the disclaimer that a veteran’s disability rating can change at any time. It can be reduced — along with your benefits — or it can be raised. But are there instances when your rating can’t be changed? The short answer is yes. The longer answer is

Can VA Reduce My 100% TDIU Rating?

Total disability individual unemployability, or TDIU, is a way for veterans to receive 100% VA disability compensation without having to achieve an actual 100% rating. TDIU is used in cases when a veteran’s condition(s) is severe enough to prevent them from maintaining gainful employment. Veterans are eligible if can prove their unemployability, and have one

VA Disability Benefits for Dementia

Dementia refers to a group of symptoms related to memory loss, and impaired thinking, judgment, and social abilities that is severe enough to negatively affect daily life. It does not, in fact, refer to a specific disease or condition, but a number of diseases cause dementia, the most prominent of which is Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately,

VA Disability Benefits for Small Cell Carcinoma

Veterans diagnosed with small cell carcinoma are eligible to apply for disability benefits through VA. Whether you are awarded with compensation depends on one of two things: if you can prove a service connection for your condition, or if you’ve been exposed to carcinogens or pollutants that were prevalent in a number of incidents or

VA Disability Ratings for Anxiety Disorders

When we discuss veterans’ mental health, we typically turn to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and for good reason. PTSD is commonly associated with professions that increase the likelihood for individuals to be exposed to traumatic events. Because of this, VA offers extensive services to support veterans who have been diagnosed with PTSD. However, PTSD isn’t

DSM-5 Criteria for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common mental health condition in veterans who have undergone or witnessed traumatic events while in service. It is so common that VA offers a comprehensive array of therapeutic and support services for veterans, and we’ve written a number of articles on PTSD as well, including on how to receive

How to Increase a 70% PTSD Disability Rating to 100%

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common mental health disorder among veterans, and its symptoms can vary from mild to severe depending on the individual and the traumatic events they have experienced. Flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts are just some of the symptoms veterans with PTSD must deal with, and because of this, VA

How Does Divorce Affect VA Disability Benefits?

Veterans may want to understand what could happen to their VA disability benefits if they go through a divorce, including what benefits may be lost, divided, or reduced as part of the process. While every veteran’s situation is different, from the amount of benefits received and eligible income to the makeup of their family, there

VA Disability Ratings for Lupus

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disorder that causes your immune system to attack healthy tissues and organs in your body. It can cause inflammation, swelling, and pain in virtually any part of your body, and typically targets the joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart, and lungs. Its symptoms are similar to many other diseases,

What is a Deferred VA Claim?

After you submit a claim for veterans disability benefits, you’re sure to hope for a positive outcome. But if your claim isn’t granted, the only alternative is to have your claim denied, right? Not necessarily. Sometimes, when VA determines that the evidence provided with your claim is insufficient to make a final decision, it will

You Might Be Able to Appeal for Veterans’ Caregiver Financial Aid

A door may have been opened for veterans’ caregivers who have been denied financial aid to appeal their decisions following a recent court ruling. This development follows a recent change to the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC), which was established in 2010 to provide financial aid to caregivers to veterans of the

What is the Success Rate for a VA Disability Appeal?

So your claim for VA disability compensation has been denied. Is this the end of the road? It might feel like it. The process for submitting your claim is arduous enough, and the appeals process is already notorious for being more arduous, more stressful, and longer, too. You might be wondering if appealing is even

VA Disability Benefits for Shrapnel Wounds

Shrapnel wounds are an unfortunate eventuality in warfare and are most commonly inflicted in combat. Aside from the initial physical trauma, shrapnel may account for pain, disability, and illness later in life, and as such, shrapnel wounds are covered in the VA rating system, mostly within the rating schedules for muscle injuries and disabilities. What

How To Increase Your VA Disability Rating for Worsening Conditions

If you have a service-connected disability that has gotten worse with time, or that you expect may get worse with time, you may be wondering if you can increase your disability rating through the VA. And what about if you develop a secondary disability that may be a result of your time in service. Are

The SAVES LIVES Act Lets Veterans, Spouses, and Caregivers Get Vaccinated at VA

Vaccinations against COVID-19 have become that much easier for veterans to receive following the passage of The SAVES LIVES Act. The law, first introduced on February 24, swiftly passed through Congress, and was signed into law on March 24 by President Joe Biden, was written as a way to increase vaccination outreach through VA. Now,

How to Fight a Proposed Reduction to Your VA Disability Rating

It is vital for veterans who receive VA disability compensation to understand that, in most cases, their disability ratings are subject to review and change. In cases where a veteran’s rating is unprotected, the rating may be re-assessed by VA, and if your condition has improved since your rating was first rewarded, your rating may

Three New Conditions Added to VA’s Agent Orange Presumptive List

More than 34,000 Vietnam-era veterans diagnosed with bladder cancer, hypothyroidism and Parkinson’s-like symptoms are now eligible for VA disability compensation and healthcare services following the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The three medical conditions have now been added to VA’s Presumptive List for Agent Orange, following a years-long effort by advocates and

VA’s Automatic 50% Rating for PTSD Explained

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition brought on by experiencing a traumatic event. It’s characterized by repeated flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts about the traumatic event. While many veterans may have undergone traumatic or stressful events and suffered stress as a result, PTSD specifically refers to the chronic suffering of

Updated Payouts for Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance (S-DVI)

On December 16, 2020, Congress passed a wide-sweeping policy bill numbering 337 pages and containing updated protections for disabled veterans, female veterans, Native-American veterans, student veterans, and homeless veterans. The package looks to assist with a number of issues affecting veterans, some very recent such as the coronavirus pandemic, and others quite longstanding, including one

Treatment and Compensation for Veterans with Military Sexual Trauma (MST) PTSD

Military Sexual Trauma (MST) is the term used by VA to refer to sexual assault or sexual harassment experienced by veterans while in military service. Men and women can both have experienced harassment or assault and suffer from MST, and because of this, a number of benefits are offered for free by VA. It is

Are Long-Term VA Disability Benefits Taxable?

As tax season approaches, veterans may want to review the tax liabilities associated with their VA benefits. Which benefits are tax-free, and which aren’t? To keep it short and simple: your VA disability benefits are generally tax-free. Tax-Free VA Benefits In Publication 907, the IRS instructs veterans to exclude any of the following VA-administered benefits

VA Disability Benefits for Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS)

What are Myelodysplastic Syndromes? Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a group of disorders characterized by a disruption to blood cell production, resulting in a low blood cell count and leading to symptoms associated with anemia, like fatigue, shortness of breath, and paleness, as well as easy bruising and bleeding, petechiae — or small red dots caused

VA Benefits for Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) describes occurrences of blood clots, or thrombi, in the deep veins of your body, especially in one or both of your legs. Symptoms, if you have any at all, include pain, swelling, redness. DVT comes from a disruption to normal circulation or clotting in your veins, and it may be caused

VA Benefits for Essential Thrombocythemia & Primary Myelofibrosis

Essential thrombocythemia is a rare, chronic condition characterized by an overproduction of blood platelets. Primary myelofibrosis (PMF) is another uncommon disorder characterized by scarring in your bone marrow, leading to anemia and other serious complications. The two are related, in that essential thrombocythemia can progress to the more life-threatening PMF if left unchecked, and both

Bone Marrow Transplants with the VA

Bone marrow transplants have been offered by the Veterans Healthcare Administration since 1982, twenty years after the founding of the VA National Transplant Program in 1962, which connected veterans to VA healthcare facilities to conduct “important, life-saving procedures.” Of the thirteen total VA healthcare facilities scattered across the United States that are authorized to perform

VA Benefits for Multiple Myeloma Caused by Agent Orange

Multiple myeloma is one of a number of conditions linked to exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides. It is a form of cancer that attacks your plasma cells and leads to a weakened immune system. As an “Agent Orange presumptive disease,” multiple myeloma is presumed to have been caused by exposure to Agent Orange

Burn Pits and Health Concerns for Veterans

Headline news was made recently when former Daily Show host Jon Stewart endorsed a new bill sponsored by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY and Representative Raul Ruiz, D-CA called the Presumptive Benefits for War Fighters Exposed to Burn Pits and Other Toxins Act of 2020, which would establish service connection for illnesses caused by veterans’ exposure

VA Benefits for Veterans with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is one of two cancers of the lymphatic system, along with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. It is the more common of the two and is characterized by the unchecked reproduction of abnormal lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, which builds up in your lymph nodes causing swelling and the growth of tumors. Many forms

VA Disability Claims for PCT, an Agent Orange-Caused Disorder

Porphyria Cutanea Tarda (PCT) is a rare disorder that causes affected individuals to develop high sensitivity to sunlight and suffer painful skin blisters and lesions. It may also do damage to your liver, putting you at greater risk for cirrhosis or liver cancer. As a member of the porphyria group of disorders, it stands out

VA Disability Claims Assistance for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, or Hodgkin’s Disease, is a cancer of the lymphatic system, which is part of your immune system. Exposure to Agent Orange is considered a common risk factor for contracting Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in veterans, so the VA has established a presumption of contact for any veteran who served in Vietnam or near the Korean

B-Cell Leukemia, Agent Orange, and VA Disability Ratings

Leukemia is a cancer that affects the blood-producing tissues of your body, and it comes in many forms. Typically, it disturbs the production of your white blood cells, causing abnormal, insufficient, or excessive cells that then have a negative effect on your organs and immune system. Of its many forms, chronic B-cell leukemia is of

VA Disability Compensation for Polycythemia Vera

Polycythemia vera is a myeloproliferative disorder, a type of blood cancer that is caused by an excess production of red blood cells in your bone marrow, causing a thickening of the blood that slows down circulation. If left untreated it can lead to blood clots, or in severe cases, a heart attack, pulmonary embolism, or

VA Disability Compensation for Thrombocytopenia, or Low Platelet Count

Thrombocytopenia is a blood condition that refers to a low platelet count. Platelets are clear cells that are responsible for clotting blood and stopping bleeding, so they’re incredibly important in case you suffer a serious cut or other injury-causing bleeding. When you have a healthy quantity of platelets — which have a short shelf-life and

Blind Veterans’ Benefits Get A Boost from Adaptive Housing Act

Veterans who have lost their use of sight or become blind are entitled to a higher monthly compensation to accommodate for their disability, so it may come as a surprise that a popular home renovations grant program for veterans initially left them ineligible for funds to improve their homes. This oversight was corrected on August

VA Disability Compensation for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease (after the Baseball player), is a motor neuron disease that breaks down the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing the cells to die. These neurons control voluntary muscle movement, most often in the legs, arms, and face. The destruction of the

VA Clear and Unmistakable Error (CUE)

Everyday Veterans disagree with VA decisions regarding compensation claims. There are several ways to disagree with a VA decision. Knowing what option to choose is key to receiving a favorable outcome. One method of disagreement is called a CUE (comely called a CUE Claim), which stands for Clear and Unmistakable Error. This is a unique

Blue Water Vietnam Veterans: Presumptive Herbicide (Agent Orange) Exposure

In the past, veterans that served on vessels in the open waters off Vietnam and Cambodia, Blue Water Veterans, were not granted the same presumption of herbicide (Agent Orange) exposure as those that served on the inland waterways of Vietnam. However, in 2019 the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act was passed. This Act grants

VA Disability Ratings and Compensation for Anemia

As a veteran experiencing anemia, you may be wondering if you can establish a service connection to your condition and seek compensation from the VA. Anemia may be causing symptoms like fatigue, weakness, lightheadedness, headaches and other body and joint pain, or pale or yellow skin. The symptoms may range from mild to severe, and

Which Blue Water Navy (BWN) Ships Were Exposed to Agent Orange?

Beginning on January 1, 2020, Blue Water Navy (BWN) veterans who saw service during the Vietnam War are now eligible to join the VA’s Agent Orange Registry and make a claim for compensation in connection to illnesses caused by herbicide exposure. Agent Orange is popularly known as the chemical defoliant used by the U.S. military

Presumption for Herbicide (Agent Orange) Exposure and Presumptive Conditions

The VA typically requires three elements for a condition to be service connected. First, a current diagnosis of the condition, second, an in-service event, and third, a nexus (connection) between the current diagnosis and the in-service event. For a VA presumption of Exposure, if the Veteran has qualifying location and date service, the in-service event

VA Compensation: Herbicide (Agent Orange) Claim Effective Dates of Presumptive Conditions

Agent Orange Normally, the effective date for a VA Compensation Claim is the date the claim was filed, or the date the Intent to File was filed. However, there are several separate provisions for effective dates for presumptive conditions related to herbicide (Agent Orange) exposure. These effective dates apply only to those with a presumed

Thailand Vietnam Era Veterans: Herbicide (Agent Orange) Exposure

Agent Orange Veterans that served on a Royal Thai Air Force Base or U.S. Military Base in Thailand between January 6, 1962 and May 7, 1975 may be eligible for disability compensation due to exposure to herbicides (Agent Orange). Agent Orange was used around the perimeters of Royal Thai Air Force Bases to clear the

VA Compensation, PTSD 1: How is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Diagnosed?

Service-Connected Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for veterans is most often associated with combat, however, it can also be the result from other traumatic events (stressors) that occurred in service. According to 38 CFR 3.304(f) For PTSD to be service connected three elements must be present. The veteran must have a current diagnosis of PTSD The

VA Compensation, PTSD 2: Evidence for In-Services Event / Stressor for PTSD

As stated previously, for service connection of PTSD three elements are required. The veteran must have a current diagnosis of PTSD The in-service event/stressors must be supported by credible evidence A connection (called a nexus) between the current diagnosis of PTSD and the in-service event/stressor must be supported by medical evidence. This article will focus

VA Compensation, PTSD 3: PTSD Nexus Letters

As stated previously, for service connection of PTSD three elements are required. The veteran must have a current diagnosis of PTSD The in-service event/stressors must be supported by credible evidence A connection (called a nexus) between the current diagnosis of PTSD and the in-service event/stressor must be supported by medical evidence. This article will focus

VA Compensation: Total Disability for Individual Unemployability (TDIU)

The VA awards Total Disability for Individual Unemployability (TDIU) in situations where the veteran does not have an actual rating of 100 percent, but they are unable to “secure or follow a substantially gainful occupation as a result of service-connected disabilities.” 38 CFR 4.16(a) An award of TDIU brings the veterans rating to 100 percent

When Does My VA Disability Rate Become Permanent and Protected?

Nothing in life is guaranteed, and that goes for your originally assigned VA disability rating. The VA may review —and possibly lower— your rating, pending the results of a Compensation and Pension (C&P) exam, which may be scheduled only if your condition(s) is not considered permanent when you first claim. That raises a couple questions.

VA Disability Back Pay: How It Works & When to File

When a veteran first files his or her VA disability claim, it may take months or years for the VA to approve it. But that doesn’t mean the VA starts paying out benefits beginning with the date on which it approves a claim. No; instead, the VA is responsible for awarding disability benefits going all

1151 Claims – What Is It & How Do I file?

While the VA offers medical treatment, support programs, and disability pay to veterans who are injured or disabled while in active service, it may also be held accountable for further harm inflicted upon veterans directly under its care. Veterans who suffer further injury, disability, or death while under VA medical care or rehabilitative programs and

Do I Qualify for VA Disability?

Wondering if you qualify for VA disability benefits? You’re not alone. Many of our clients have tried to figure out VA law themselves, before growing frustrated and scheduling appointments with our VA disability lawyers. Even if you’re eligible for VA disability, you may have a difficult time trying to prove this to the U.S. Department

How Are Veterans Affected by COVID-19

As a veteran, you may be feeling a lot of uncertainty right now about your VA disability benefits. But we want to assure you that our lawyers remain dedicated to serving veterans. Whether you have questions or need to file an appeal, you can trust our accredited VA attorneys to stand by you. The U.S.

Update for Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans

Did you serve in the offshore waters of the Republic of Vietnam between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975? If so, you may be affected by the Blue Water Navy (BWN) Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019. As of January 1, 2020, you may be eligible for VA disability benefits related to the presumption of

What is the VA Disability Rating for Hearing Loss?

It’s not uncommon for veterans to suffer hearing loss after active duty service. Explosions, gunshots, and other loud noises can destroy your ability to hear. Our VA disability attorneys work hard to help you get the compensation you need. If your claim for VA disability has been denied, give us a call. Our veterans attorneys

How Do I Prove Tinnitus for VA Disability?

Did the VA deny your disability claim for tinnitus? While tinnitus is one of the most common VA disability claims, it can be difficult to prove service-connection. The best solution is to hire one of our VA disability lawyers in Kalamazoo, MI. Our veterans attorneys will be able to help you gather the evidence you

What is a VA-Accredited Attorney?

If your attorney is not accredited by the VA, they're not qualified to represent you. This is why it's important to research your VA disability attorney before hiring. In fact, we encourage you to check us out on the VA's database. Here are the results for our VA lawyer, Casey Walker. Continue reading to learn

How Do I File a VA Disability Appeal?

It took the VA an average of 111.5 days to complete disability claims in April 2019. (For those who were wondering, that's over 3 months.) Since it takes so much time to process a claim, the last thing you want is to receive a denial of benefits in the mail. Yet, you can still appeal

Can You Get VA Disability for Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is one of the most claimed VA disabilities in the United States. Yet, too many veterans don’t receive the compensation they deserve for this condition. Since it can be difficult to prove that tinnitus is connected to military service, we recommend hiring one of our VA disability lawyers. Our veterans attorneys in Kalamazoo, MI

3 Documents That Support Your VA Disability Claim

Need help filing your VA disability claim? If you have a service connected disability, it’s important you contact one of our VA disability lawyers as soon as possible to handle your case. We’re able to use our expertise in VA law to your advantage. Continue reading to learn what evidence you’ll need to validate your

Can I Still Work with 100% VA Disability or TDIU?

Wondering if you can work without losing your VA disability benefits? You’re not alone. Part of the problem is that many of the veterans we work with don’t understand the difference between Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU) and 100% disability. While both have similar eligibility standards, they’re not identical. Our VA disability lawyers in Kalamazoo,

Can the VA Take Away My Disability Benefits?

We understand that you depend on your VA disability benefits to support your household, which is why our Kalamazoo, MI VA lawyers do everything in their power to help your case. If you have a condition that’s expected to improve, the VA reserves the right to examine you at a later time to see if

How Do I Increase My VA Disability Rating?

NOTE: As of February 14, 2019, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs discontinued VA Forms 21-526 and 21-526B. To request a reconsideration of your disability rating, you’ll need to instead fill out VA Form 21-526EZ. If your service connected condition has worsened over time, you may need to ask the VA to increase your disability

Is PTSD a Permanent VA Disability?

Many veterans have post-traumatic stress disorder after witnessing or experiencing traumatic events. If you or a loved one have PTSD from military service, call our VA lawyers today. Our veteran disability attorneys have experience helping clients file appeals with the VA. Continue reading to learn if PTSD is a permanent VA disability. If you any

Is VA Disability Compensation Retroactive?

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs often takes months or even years to process claims. This is because they have a backlog of VA disability claims they haven't yet processed. If you're waiting for your verdict, remember that VA disability compensation can be retroactive. This means that the VA pays the full amount of benefits

What Disabilities Can You Claim with the VA?

The VA offers compensation for a wide range of service-connected conditions. Yet, too many veterans don't file for the VA disability benefits they deserve. Sound familiar? If you or a loved one has a disability after serving our country, call our law firm today. The VA awards disability benefits to those who can prove their

Who Can Help Me File a VA Disability Claim?

There is no shame in asking for help, especially when hiring a VA disability attorney could mean the difference between having your claim denied and receiving the benefits you deserve. Depending on your unique circumstances, filing a VA disability claim can be complicated. For this reason, we highly recommend you hire one of our Kalamazoo,

What is the VA Disability 5 Year Rule?

Did you know that the United States Department of Veterans Affairs can increase, decrease, or even terminate your VA disability benefits upon re-examination? The VA has the right to ex-examine you to see if your disability has lessened or even disappeared over time. Since some disabilities are permanent, not every veteran will be re-examined. However,

How Can I Get VA Disability Benefits for PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that makes it difficult for people to emotionally heal after living through a traumatic event. If you have PTSD that’s connected to your military service, you may be eligible to receive VA disability benefits from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Our VA disability lawyers in Kalamazoo

5 Challenges for Veterans with Service Connected Disability

Not everyone understands the difficulties veterans face once they return home, which is why our experienced VA disability lawyers do their best to serve our community. Whether you’re a returning member of our military or a concerned loved one, continue reading to learn about some of the challenges our veterans face while adjusting to civilian

Top 6 Mistakes When Filing for VA Disability Benefits

Ready to file your claim for VA disability benefits? First, check out the top 6 mistakes veterans can make when filing for VA disability. A VA disability lawyer can help you avoid mistakes that could compromise your well-deserved benefits. Continue reading to learn what NOT to do when filing VA claims. 1. Missed Deadlines The

Why You Should Hire a VA Disability Attorney

Aren’t sure how to get the compensation you deserve for service connected disability? Call our disability lawyers today to set up your consultation. A disability attorney won’t rely on the VA to build the evidence needed to support your claim. Instead, they’ll make sure your disability is thoroughly documented by doctors so you stand the

Benefits of an Independent Medical Examination for VA Disability

Seeking VA disability benefits? An independent medical examination (IME) is one of the best tools you have at your disposal. Unlike the Compensation and Pension Exam, an IME is performed by a doctor with no connection to the VA. Continue reading to learn why we may recommend an independent medical examination. Appeal VA Decisions Don't

How to Prove a Service Connected Disability

A service-connected disability affects every facet of your life. Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs denies countless claims each year. This is why it's vital that you hire one of our accredited VA attorneys as soon as possible. Continue reading to learn how to get the compensation you deserve. We’ll also go over the

How is VA Disability Different from SSD?

Have you already filed for Social Security disability (SSD)? If so, it’s important to understand how the Social Security Administration processes your claim and awards benefits is different from how it’s handled at the Department of Veterans Affairs. We encourage you to schedule a consultation with a disability attorney near you. Our law firm is

Can My Military Discharge Status Affect Disability Benefits?

Did you know that your VA benefits are affected by your discharge status from the military? As long as you don’t receive a dishonorable discharge, you are eligible to receive disability benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Keep reading to learn how your military discharge status could affect your VA disability benefits. If you

Who is Eligible for VA Death Benefits?

If a loved one who served in the military has recently passed away, you may be eligible for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation(DIC) benefits. DIC benefits are designed to financially support the surviving spouses, children, and dependent parents of veterans. Keep reading to learn who is eligible to receive VA death benefits. For more information about

How Does the VA Evaluate Traumatic Brain Injury?

The Department of Defense reported that brain injuries account for 22% of combat casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan. If you or a loved one has traumatic brain injury (TBI) resulting from military service, we recommend calling a VA disability attorney as soon as possible. You may be eligible to receive VA disability compensation. In this

VA Disability Benefits for Joint and Musculoskeletal Injuries

If you or a loved one has joint and musculoskeletal injuries resulting from military service, we recommend calling one of our VA attorneys as soon as possible. Serving in the military is physically demanding, which increases your risk of being injured or developing a chronic condition. In this blog post, our veterans disability attorneys at

Understanding the VA Disability Claim Process

The VA disability claims process can be confusing for those still in active military service or for those recently separated or retired. In this blog post, we hope to eliminate any confusion you might have by explaining what types of evidence you’ll need to collect to prove your disability and how the U.S. Department of

What Constitutes a “Presumptive Condition”?

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs assumes that certain medical conditions in certain veteran populations were caused by military service. For this reason, you may be eligible to receive VA disability benefits for what is called a “presumptive condition.” If you need to appeal a denied claim for VA disability benefits, we recommend hiring one

The Psychological Rating System and VA Mental Disorders

Do you or a loved one have a service-related mental disability? People with a psychiatric disability (such as post-traumatic stress disorder) often have a hard time proving the connection between their disability and their military service. This is why it’s important you understand the system used by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to determine

What is Gulf War Syndrome?

Are you or a loved one suffering from medically unexplainable symptoms that may have an origin in Gulf War military service? Also known as “Gulf War syndrome,” there are a variety of mysterious symptoms veterans experience that can be traced back to the Gulf War. If you think you might have Gulf War illness, we

How to Get Benefits for Military Exposure to Agent Orange

President George H.W. Bush signed the Agent Orange Act into law in 1991. This act mandated that certain diseases be presumed to be caused by Agent Orange exposure during the Vietnam War. Continue reading to learn how our VA disability lawyers can help you receive Agent Orange compensation. What is Agent Orange? During the Vietnam

VA Compensation for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious mental condition that can affect your ability to reintegrate into civilian life after combat. If you or a loved one has been suffering from PTSD as a result of serving in the military, please do not hesitate to reach out to an experienced VA attorney today. What is

VA Disability Compensation for Individual Unemployability

Are you or a loved one completely unemployable due to an injury from military service? If so, you may be eligible to receive disability compensation from the VA. In this blog post, you will find information to help you move forward with your individual unemployability claim. Hiring a reliable VA attorney is the first step

VA Disability Benefits for Agent Orange & Parkinson’s Disease

The VA will presume that exposure to Agent Orange caused Parkinson’s disease if you served in the Republic of Vietnam between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975. If your claim for Parkinson’s disease has been denied, request a free case evaluation with one of our VA disability lawyers. We are here to help you

Presumptive Service-Connection for Certain Diseases Associated with Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune

On September 9, 2016, a proposed rule was published in the Federal Register allowing presumptive service-connection for certain diseases associated with Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water supply (click here to learn more). Typically, proposed rules such as this are open for the public to comment on for 60 days or more, but given the sensitive nature

Tips for Active Duty Service members Filing for Benefits

This article focuses on things an active military member should do to increase their chances of successfully filing a claim for VA benefits BEFORE THEY GET OFF ACTIVE DUTY. Specifically, what needs to be done to document that a condition occurred while on active duty. For starters, in order to successfully file a claim for