There are many ways how, and reasons why, your VA disability claim can run into trouble.
Helping you prepare the strongest possible claim if you live in the state of Arizona, or to present the strongest possible appeal if the VA denies your claim, is how an Arizona VA disability lawyer from Stone Rose Law can help.
Call us at (480) 498-8998 to get a free consultation or contact us online.
See below how our expert Arizona VA disability attorneys represent veterans like you.
To be eligible for VA benefits, you must meet the following three requirements:
The VA defines who a veteran is through criteria like how long you served, the time period of service, and the nature of your service discharge.
Generally speaking, as long as you honorably completed your term of service or were medically discharged, you should qualify as a veteran.
The VA rates disabilities from 0 to 100 percent.
To receive monthly disability compensation the VA must rate you as having at least a 10 percent disability.
You can still receive some healthcare assistance benefits through the VA with a 0 percent disability rating.
You must show that something happened to you while you were serving that caused the disability.
This is the key factor that the VA will evaluate.
Many disability claims are at least initially denied by the VA because of questions about whether the underlying injury, illness, or condition happened during the term of service or was related to what the servicemember was doing while in service.
Sometimes proving your disability has a service connection is easy.
If during the performance of your duty something happens to you like a training accident, or you are injured in battle, or you are exposed to hazardous substances, then tracing a direct service connection is straightforward.
Other situations can exist, though, that make it less clear whether your disability is a service-connected one.
When you begin your military service you might have a latent medical condition that will become disabling later on, but it is not apparent when you swear in.
If this condition worsens after you leave the service, one question the VA will consider is whether something happened to you while serving that aggravated your pre-existing condition.
If so, then you may still be eligible for disability benefits even though your service activity was not the original cause of your condition.
Another indirect way you can experience a service-connected disability is if it arises from another disability that is service-connected.
For example, let’s say that you are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after leaving the service based on a traumatic event you experienced while serving.
You receive treatment including drugs that contribute to significant weight gain as a side effect.
This additional weight eventually leads to you being diagnosed later with Type 2 Diabetes.
Even though your diabetic condition arose after your discharge and is not itself a symptom of PTSD, you might still be able to trace a secondary service connection by showing that the PTSD treatment caused your diabetes.
Another consideration is whether your disability is truly related to your military service.
If your injury, illness, or disabling condition comes from doing something that has nothing to do with your service obligations, this can lead to a claim denial.
For example, if you are injured during the commission of a crime, or your injury is the result of an untreated substance abuse behavior, these are activities the VA will consider to have no connection with your service.
As you can see, proving a service connection to your disability is something that the VA considers on a case-by-case basis. Your service medical records will be part of the evidence the VA will consider, along with any records of post-service medical treatment.
The VA declines many veteran disability claims because the claim lacks enough proof to establish a service connection.
An Arizona VA lawyer, like one of our VA disability attorneys at Stone Rose Law, can assist you in gathering all the documents and other support you need to clear this hurdle.
If the VA approves of your disability benefits claim, then depending on the nature and extent of your disabilities—most veterans who have service-connected disabilities have more than one—you might qualify for the following kinds of VA assistance:
These are payments the VA makes to you, the amount of which depends on your combined disability rating.
If you have a spouse, dependent children, or a parent or both parents who depend on you to take care of them, you can receive additional compensation benefits for them in the form of Special Monthly Compensation for aid and attendance services they perform.
In some situations your dependents can continue to receive VA benefits after you pass on, including coverage of burial costs and Dependency and Indemnity Compensation for your survivors.
There are many kinds of special VA benefits you might be eligible for.
Depending on your individual needs, you may be able to receive additional VA benefits like compensation if you cannot find or keep substantially gainful employment, or compensation for costs if you need hospital or convalescent care.
In other situations the VA can provide allowances for transportation and clothing.
These are only some of the special benefits the VA offers.
An Arizona veterans disability attorney can help you to learn which ones may apply to you.
The VA supports veterans with more than just compensation.
As we mentioned above, even if your disability rating is 0 percent, you can still benefit from other Veterans’ health services the VA offers through the VA healthcare system.
The VA determines benefit amounts using a combined disability rating, which is calculated with a specific formula.
These ratings range from 0 to 100 percent disability.
At 0 percent, you will not be eligible for monthly benefits, but you may still qualify for veteran’s healthcare assistance and other benefits.
As of 2023, the pay rates for VA disability benefits are:
These amounts increase for disabled veterans with dependents.
The amount of VA disability benefits that you are eligible to receive depends on your specific circumstances, which you can calculate with our VA Disability Calculator.
One of our Arizona VA disability benefits lawyers can help you prove the extent and degree of your disability to achieve the amount that you need.
Meeting the requirements to make a claim for veterans disability benefits seems simple in concept. But let’s face it: the VA is a vast, federal bureaucracy, and sometimes the process does not go smoothly.
Every year the VA denies about one-third of the benefit claim applications it receives. Often these denials are the result of mistakes veterans can make when putting together their application packages.
Here are a few common errors the VA sees:
At Stone Rose Law, we make sure your application for VA disability benefits gives the VA everything it needs. Your application will have all the right forms. It will be complete in its evidence, state your case in a carefully thought-out way, and be free of errors.
We make it much easier for the VA employees who decide on your claim to decide favorably for you. This is the difference you can make for yourself by letting our Arizona VA disability attorneys help you with filing a claim or making or appeal.
We make sure your application makes the best case for you and does not inadvertently sabotage your claim with avoidable mistakes.
Best of all, we do many of our disability claim application services at no cost to you (see below).
If the VA denies your initial benefit claim or benefit adjustment claim, it could mean that someone at the VA has not made a mistake.
Your exam reports can be overlooked.
Someone can give you the wrong disability rating for the severity of your condition.
And sometimes, you can find yourself in a frustrating debate over whether your disability is service-connected.
In situations like these, arguing your case by yourself against the VA, such as through making a claim through the Board of Veterans Appeals, can be daunting, frustrating, and bewildering at the same time.
Appealing a denied VA claim requires a thorough understanding of VA regulations and procedures, and how the VA applies both.
Our expert Arizona veterans attorneys at Stone Rose Law are VA disability advocates who have many years of experience in handling appeals for veterans and know the appeals process.
We know what goes into making the strongest and most persuasive possible appeal on your behalf, so you do not have to.
Our lawyers are accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs and admitted to practice before the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
If we win your appeal, we only charge a reasonable, one-time contingency fee from your award from the VA.
If we lose, then you owe us nothing.
At Stone Rose Law, we are VA disability advocates for disabled veterans in Arizona.
Our VA lawyers are dedicated to helping veterans just like you with claims in Arizona to collect all the disability benefits they deserve.
We can help you prepare your VA disability claim, monitor your claim status and consult with you before disability examinations—all for free.
If you are denied VA benefits, our law firm will assign an Arizona VA disability lawyer to help you pursue an appeal with the Board of Veterans Appeals while providing our services on a contingency fee basis.
This means you won’t pay us unless we win your case.
Our VA disability lawyers provide affordable, high-quality legal services to many veterans throughout Arizona.
For more information about how an Arizona VA disability lawyer can help you with a VA disability compensation claim, request a free consultation at (480) 498-8998. Or, if you prefer, you can reach out to us online to ask a question or set an appointment.
Our Arizona disability lawyers handle VA claims and VA disability appeals in Arizona no matter where in the state you live.
There is no reason why you should not receive the service-connected disability benefits you are entitled to, and no reason why you should face the VA alone when applying for them.
Call us today for a free initial consultation with an Arizona VA disability claim lawyer, and get started with your VA claim.