Sometimes, claiming disability benefits compensation in Houston can be fairly straightforward, as long as you have the time and patience to navigate VA law, find out what you need to do, gather all the right forms, and follow all their instructions.
Other times, though, problems can occur that can make receiving what you deserve for your service-related disability difficult. Problems with your application can delay your receiving the disability compensation you need. In a worst-case situation, the VA might deny your claim altogether.
This is when you can benefit from having a Houston VA disability lawyer to help you with your claims, starting with a free case evaluation.
Helping you prepare the strongest possible claim if you live in Texas, or to present the strongest possible appeal if the VA denies your claim, is how a Stone Rose Law Houston VA disability attorney can provide you with effective legal help.
Call us at (480) 498-8998 to get a free consultation or contact us online to talk with a VA disability lawyer today about your VA claims.
See below how our expert Houston VA disability attorneys can help you with your disability claims or claim denial appeal.
To be eligible for all applicable VA disability benefits in Houston, 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 active duty service, or received a medical discharge, then you should qualify as a benefits-eligible veteran.
You must have medical evidence to show that you are presently suffering from a disability. The VA rates disabilities from 0 to 100 percent. Your doctor, mental health counselor, or other qualified medical professional will make this disability determination for you.
To receive monthly compensation for your disability, your VA disability rating must be at least 10 percent, although you can still receive some healthcare assistance benefits through the VA with a 0 percent disability rating, including medical benefits and mental health counseling.
You must be able to prove that an event happened to you while you were serving that caused the disability.
This is the key factor that the VA will evaluate, because the VA often denies Texas disability claims because of questions about whether the underlying injury, illness, or condition happened during the veteran’s 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.
For example, if during the performance of your military duty something happens to you, like a training accident, or you are injured in battle, or exposed to hazardous substances, then tracing a direct service connection is simple. Your military personnel records and medical treatment records will likely supply the evidence you need.
Other situations can arise, however, that make it less certain whether your disability is a service-connected one.
A latent condition is one that you have when you enter military service, but which has not become disabling yet. If your latent condition worsens after you leave the service, then the VA will consider the question of whether something happened to you while serving that aggravated it.
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 way you can experience a service-connected disability is if it arises from a separate disability that is service-connected.
For example, your doctor could diagnose you as having post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after leaving the service based on a traumatic event you experienced while in service. Your PTSD treatment includes drugs that have a side effect of contributing to significant weight gain. This additional weight eventually leads to you being diagnosed later with Type 2 Diabetes.
In this case, even though your diabetic condition arose after your discharge and is not itself a symptom of PTSD, you might still trace a secondary service connection by showing that the PTSD treatment caused your diabetes.
Another consideration is whether your disability is actually related to your military service. If your injury, illness, or disabling condition comes from doing something that has nothing to do with a service connected condition, this can lead to a VA 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, showing 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 claims evidence the VA will consider, along with any records of post-service medical treatment.
The VA declines many Houston veterans’ disability claims because claims lack enough proof to establish a service connection. A Houston VA disability lawyer, like one of our VA disability attorneys at Stone Rose Law, can help you gather all the documents and other forms of support you need to clear this hurdle.
If the VA approves your disability benefits claim, then depending on the nature and extent of your disabilities—most military 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. How much you receive in monthly benefits will depend on your combined disability rating.
If you have a spouse, dependent children, or parent(s) who depend on you to take care of them, then 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 monthly payment VA benefits after you pass on, including coverage of burial costs and Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC benefits) for your survivors.
There are several kinds of special VA veteran benefits you might be eligible for.
These are only some of the special benefits the VA offers.
A Houston veterans disability attorney can help you to learn which ones may apply to you.
The VA supports veterans with more than just proper 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 Texas VA healthcare system.
The VA determines benefit amounts using a combined disability rating, which is calculated to account for many kinds of common medical conditions.
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 veterans’ healthcare assistance and other benefits.
As of 2023, the pay rates for VA disability benefits are:
These monthly payments increase for Texas disabled veterans with dependents.
For 2024, the VA has approved a 3.2 percent cost of living increase for the above disability payments. This is the same cost of living increase as for Social Security disability benefits
How much you can receive in VA disability benefits depends on your specific circumstances, which you can calculate with our VA Disability Calculator.
One of our Stone Rose Law Houston VA lawyers can help you prove the extent and degree of your disability to achieve the amount of disability compensation that you need.
Meeting the requirements to make a VA disability benefits claim can be deceptively simple in concept. But the VA is a large federal bureaucracy, and sometimes the VA benefit claims process does not go smoothly as a result
Every year, the VA denies one of every three Texas benefit claim applications it receives. Often, these denials are because of mistakes veterans make when completing their benefits application packages.
Here are some of the common mistakes the VA sees in initial applications:
During your free consultation, one of our Houston Stone Rose VA disability attorneys will thoroughly explain the legal requirements with you to make sure your application for VA disability benefits gives the VA everything it needs to reach a favorable decision. Your initial application will have all the required documentation. It will be complete in its proof of your disability, present your case in a carefully thought-out way, and be free of errors that could delay processing of your application.
Our legal team makes it easy for the VA employees who decide on your claim to decide favorably for you, because we give them everything they need. This is the difference you can make for yourself by letting our Houston VA disability veteran attorneys help you with filing a claim or making an appeal.
Your dedicated Stone Rose Houston disability attorney will make sure your initial 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 in a free case evaluation (see below).
If the VA has denied your initial benefit claim or benefit adjustment claim, it could mean that someone at the VA has made a mistake.
For example, your exam reports can be overlooked, or someone can assign 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 cases like these, the appeals process of arguing your case by yourself before an administrative law judge, like making a claim through the Board of Veterans Appeals, can be time consuming, frustrating, and bewildering all at once.
Presenting a compelling appeal to a denied veterans disability claim requires a thorough understanding of VA regulations and procedures, and how the VA applies them. This is what a Stone Rose Houston VA disability claim denial lawyer will do for you.
Our expert veterans attorneys at Stone Rose Law are VA disability advocates. They have many years of experience in helping veterans like you with their VA appeals, and they know how the VA appeals process works.
A Stone Rose veterans disability lawyer will know what goes into making the strongest and most persuasive possible appeal on your behalf, so you do not have to.
Our law firm is accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs. We are admitted to practice VA disability law before the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. When you hire us to represent you, you can be certain that your disability appeals lawyer will be experienced, highly competent, and aggressive throughout the VA appeals process.
If we win your appeal, we only charge a reasonable, one-time contingency fee from your award from the VA.
If we lose, you owe us nothing.
At Stone Rose Law, we are VA disability advocates for veterans disability claims in Houston. We are board-certified VA claims lawyers who serve on behalf of Texas veterans.
Our Houston veterans lawyers provide legal representation to military veterans, helping them receive all the veterans disability benefits they are entitled to.
A Stone Rose disability lawyer can help you prepare your disability claim, monitor your claim status and consult with you before disability examinations — all for free.
If the VA denies your benefits claim, our law firm will assign a VA disability appeals lawyer to help you pursue a VA appeal with the Board of Veterans Appeals while providing legal representation on a contingency fee basis.
This means you won’t pay your VA lawyer unless we win your case.
Our Houston veterans disability attorneys give you affordable, high-quality veterans appeals legal services, representing veterans and their VA claims.
For more information about how one of our VA disability lawyers can help you with a VA disability compensation claim or appeal, request a free consultation at (480) 498-8998. Or, if you prefer, you can reach us online to ask a question about veterans law, veterans disability benefits, or to set an appointment with one of our veterans lawyers for a free case evaluation.
Our VA disability lawyers represent veterans VA initial claims, supplemental claims, and denied VA disability appeals in Houston. We help veterans who seek assistance no matter where in the state they live.
If you are seeking to make an original claim, a supplemental claim, a denied claim, or any other kind of VA benefits claim, there is no reason why you should not receive the service-connected disability benefits you deserve for your military experience, and no reason why you should face the VA alone when applying for denied benefits for a medical condition.
Call our law firm today for a free initial consultation or a free case review with a veterans disability lawyer, and get started with your VA claim or your VA court appeal.