If you suffered an injury during your military service that caused you to become disabled, you may be able to obtain disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
However, applying for veterans' disability benefits is a complex process. The knowledge and experience of your Charlotte veterans' disability lawyer could be the deciding factor in whether or not your claim is successful. The managing partner of our firm is Robert N. Nye III, a former Army Infantry Officer and JAG officer who is a combat veteran of the Iraq war. He has detailed knowledge and experience with the process of applying for veterans' disability benefits. The Nye Law Group's Charlotte office is located on West Trade Street just five minutes from Mecklenburg County Veterans Services. Your initial consultation is absolutely free and we do not charge legal fees unless your claim is successful.
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Veterans must prove three things to qualify for disability benefits:
Veterans will need to provide medical documentation of their current disability or medical issue, along with proof that the injury occurred during their service and was directly linked to their activities in the service.
The second part is often the toughest, particularly when the disability did not begin affecting you until months or years after your service ended. This often occurs with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or disabilities caused by exposure to radiation or toxic chemicals.
There are numerous examples of disabilities that qualify for benefits, including:
The Charlotte veterans' disability lawyers at The Nye Law Group can review your situation to find out if you should apply for benefits. We can also help you complete your initial application and compile the documentation you need, including:
We will make sure your application explains in detail how your medical condition affects you on a daily basis. This way you have a better chance of receiving all the compensation you deserve.
Our Charlotte veterans' disability lawyers will work to ensure there are no discrepancies, typos or other errors on your application. We have helped many veterans through the process and we know that small errors can cause an otherwise stellar application to be denied.
There are multiple options for submitting your application:
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If you received anything less than an honorable discharge from the armed forces, it could affect your eligibility for disability benefits.
Fortunately, you may be able to upgrade your discharge by filing an Application for Review of Discharge with the branch of the military in which you served.
In order to change your discharge, you have to prove your discharge was wrong for one of two reasons:
You will need strong evidence to overturn your discharge, which could include signed statements from yourself and other witnesses, including people in your rating chain, your supervisor or your first sergeant. If the conduct that led to your discharge was caused by PTSD, you will need a medical opinion explaining how your service caused stress that led to your behavior.
You have to file the application within 15 years of your discharge from the armed forces, otherwise your discharge decision is final.
Our Charlotte veterans' disability lawyers will help you compile the documentation to show why your discharge was improper or inequitable. We know how to obtain the relevant military records and witness statements regarding your discharge.
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Despite our best efforts, there is a chance the VA will deny your application or decide to award you less benefits than you feel you deserve. Fortunately, the VA allows veterans to appeal a denial for any reason.
However, there is a limited amount of time to appeal the decision. If you do not file a Notice of Disagreement (NOD) within one year of receiving a denial letter, the VA's original decision is final.
The Charlotte veterans' disability lawyers at The Nye Law Group know how to complete a NOD in a way that effectively disputes any VA decisions you disagree with.
We can go over your denial letter to determine all of the decisions you should dispute. The denial letter will explain the reasoning for each decision and identify the evidence we need to provide to change a decision.
The most important part of a NOD is the narrative section, where we can identify any issues or details the VA failed to consider. You can attach medical documentation and other evidence to this section of the form to further bolster your claim.
You also have to decide if you want your NOD to be reviewed by a Decision Review Officer (DRO) or the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA).
A DRO is a senior VA rating official who often has more experience rating disability claims, is skilled at addressing factual errors and makes decisions quicker than the BVA. However, if the DRO does not overturn the VA's decision, you will have to appeal to the BVA. This means that by choosing a DRO you are delaying a review of your claim by the BVA.
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It takes an average of 200 days for the VA to review a NOD and send the applicant a Statement of Case, which is a written explanation of the VA's decision on your appeal.
The mailing with the Statement of Case will also include VA Form 9, which allows you to appeal the decisions in the statement to the BVA. However, you must file Form 9 within 60 days of your receipt of the Statement of Case or you lose the right to appeal.
The Charlotte veterans' disability lawyers at The Nye Law Group can help you fill out this form and thoroughly address any issues you have with the VA's denial of your application.
When the BVA receives the form, it will send you a 90-day letter notifying you that you have 90 days to provide additional evidence in support of your claim.
You can also request a hearing with a board member by videoconference or in person. Our attorneys can represent you at this hearing and present a strong case in your favor.
After the hearing, a veterans law judge will make a decision on each issue of your appeal. If you are denied again, you can file a motion to have the appeal reconsidered by the BVA or file a Notice of Appeal with the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. However, you must file within 120 days of the date of the BVA's decision.
If you are still unsuccessful, you can appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and you could take your case all the way to the Supreme Court.
The appeals process could last just a few months or it could drag on for several years. Fortunately, our knowledgeable Charlotte veterans' disability lawyers are here to guide you through every step, working hard to help you be successful.
There are multiple forms of veterans' disability compensation:
Veterans compensation benefits - This is the standard form of disability benefits. The amount of compensation you receive is based on the VA's rating of your percentage of disability. The higher your percentage, the more money you receive.
Compensation ranges from $133.57 per month for a 10 percent rating to $2,915.55 per month for a 100 percent rating, according to rate tables on the VA website, which were effective as of Dec. 1, 2016.
If you have two or more disabilities, the VA adds them together to determine your total disability rating. For example, if your most severe disability is rated at 50 percent and your second disability is 30 percent, your combined rating would be 65 percent. The VA would calculate 30 percent of the remaining 50 percent, which is 15, and add that to 50 to get 65.
If you are at least 30 percent disabled, you can receive additional compensation for your spouse, parents, children or other dependents.
Dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC) - This is for spouses and biological children of a veteran who died on active duty.
Spouses are eligible for DIC if they meet one of the following qualifications:
Alternatively, spouses qualify for DIC if they meet all of the following requirements:
Children of the deceased veteran can receive this form of compensation if they satisfy these three requirements:
If you think you may be eligible to this form of compensation, contact our Charlotte veterans' disability lawyers. We can help you complete the application and supply the evidence you need to have a chance to be approved.
Special monthly compensation (SMC) - This is available to spouses, surviving spouses and parents in special circumstances, such as a veteran needing aid and attendance by another person. For example, spouses could be entitled to SMC if a veteran needs help because he lost the use of a hand or leg.
The Charlotte veterans' disability lawyers at The Nye Law Group are determined to help you obtain all of the compensation you are entitled. We have in-depth knowledge of benefits available to veterans with disabilities and their families. When you contact us, we will carefully review your situation to determine everything you deserve.
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Unfortunately, applying for veterans' disability benefits is a daunting task, particularly for veterans who are trying to live with severe disabilities and provide for their families.
Our Charlotte veterans' disability lawyers understand what you are going through. We have helped many veterans through the process of applying for compensation.
If you contact us to help with your application, you can rest assured that we will be tireless advocates on your behalf.
Call 855-856-4212 or live chat with a representative.