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Los Angeles VA Disability Lawyers

There are many ways how, and reasons why, your California Veterans Affairs (VA) disability claim can run into trouble. 

Helping you prepare the strongest possible claim if you live in Los Angeles, California, or to present the strongest possible appeal if the VA denies your claim, is how one of our California VA disability lawyers from Stone Rose Law can help. 

Call us at (480) 498-8998 to get a free consultation or contact us online to talk with a California VA disability lawyer today.

See below how our expert Los Angeles VA disability attorneys represent veterans like you.

How to Qualify for VA Benefits in Los Angeles

To be eligible for VA benefits in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California based on your military experience, you must meet the following three requirements:

How to qualify for VA benefits in Los Angeles

You must be a qualified military service veteran

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.

You must be experiencing a disability 

You need to have medical evidence that you are currently 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 determination.

For you 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.

Your disability must be military service-connected

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 California 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.

Have You Suffered a Service-Connected Disability?

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 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.

Latent Conditions

When you begin your military service, you might have a latent medical condition that will become disabling later on, but 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.

Secondary Source Conditions

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.

Non-Service-Connected Disabling Events

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 California veterans disability claims because claims lack enough proof to establish a service connection. 

A Los Angeles VA disability lawyer, like one of our VA disability attorneys at Stone Rose Law, can help you to gather all the documents and other forms of support you need to clear this hurdle. 

Types of VA Disability Benefits You Can Receive in Los Angeles

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:

Monthly disability compensation to you 

These are payments the VA makes to you, the amount of which depends on your combined disability rating.

Spousal and dependent benefits 

If you have a spouse, dependent children, or  parent(s) 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.

Survivor benefits

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.

Special circumstance benefits 

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.

A Los Angeles veterans disability lawyer can help you to learn which ones may apply to you.

Healthcare treatment benefits 

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 California VA healthcare system.

VA Benefits Compensation Levels

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 veterans’ healthcare assistance and other benefits. 

As of 2024, the pay rates for VA disability benefits are:

  • 100 percent: $3,737.85
  • 90 percent: $2,241.91
  • 80 percent: $1,995.01
  • 70 percent: $1,716.28
  • 60 percent: $1,361.88
  • 50 percent: $1,075.16
  • 40 percent: $755.28
  • 30 percent: $524.31
  • 20 percent: $338.49
  • 10 percent: $171.23

These amounts increase for California disabled veterans with dependents. 

VA benefits compensation levels in 2024

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 Los Angeles VA lawyers can help you prove the extent and degree of your disability to achieve the amount that you need.

How VA Disability Claims Can Go Wrong in Los Angeles

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 California benefit claim applications it receives. Often, these denials are the result of mistakes California veterans can make when putting together their application packages. 

Here are a few common errors the VA sees:

  • Not providing enough documentary evidence, including medical records evidence.
  • Not providing a specific-enough medical diagnosis to support a claim.
  • Filling out the wrong form in the application, or not filing a required additional form.
  • Not going to scheduled examinations, and missing filing deadlines.
Common VA disability claim pitfalls

At Stone Rose Law, our Los Angeles VA disability lawyers provide you with the legal help to make sure your application for VA disability benefits gives the VA everything it needs for a favorable decision. 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 Los Angeles VA disability attorneys help you with filing a claim or making an appeal. 

Your dedicated Stone Rose lawyer will 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).

The Veteran Appeals Process: When the VA Denies Your Disability Benefits Claim 

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, the appeals process of 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. 

Presenting a compelling appeal to a denied VA claim requires a thorough understanding of VA regulations and procedures, and how the VA applies both. 

Our expert Los Angeles veterans attorneys at Stone Rose Law are VA disability advocates who have many years of experience in helping veterans with their VA appeals, and who know the appeals process. 

A Stone Rose 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 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. 

Do You Need Help with Your Los Angeles VA Disability Claim?

At Stone Rose Law, we are VA disability advocates for disabled California veterans not just in the Los Angeles and San Diego area, but everywhere in California. In addition to our Los Angeles office location, we also have veterans’ claims regional offices in San Francisco. 

Our Los Angeles and San Diego veterans lawyers are dedicated to providing legal representation to veterans just like you who have claims in California to collect all the disability benefits they deserve. 

A Stone Rose disability lawyer 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 a California 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 our attorneys unless we win your case. 

Our VA disability lawyers provide affordable, high-quality veterans appeals legal services, representing veterans in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and throughout California.

For more information about how a Los Angeles 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 about veterans law or to set an appointment with one of our California veterans lawyers. 

Our Los Angeles, CA disability lawyers handle VA initial claims, supplemental claims, and VA disability appeals in California, helping veterans who seek assistance no matter where in the state they live.

There is no reason why you should not receive the service-connected disability benefits you are entitled to for your military experience, and no reason why you should face the VA alone when applying for them. 

Call our law firm today for a free initial consultation or a free case review with a California VA disability lawyer, and get started with your VA claim or your VA appeal.