24 March 2017

VA disability claims – a couple hints for your disability claim

The Department of Veterans Affairs doesn't easy. Some of the most important benefits available to disabled veterans aren't well known and are difficult to dig up. The veteran service organizations often don't know them or don't have the time to pursue, leaving details out of the disability claim and costing the veteran time and money over the years to correct... If at all.

Let's look at a few of these:

1: bilateral. That means both of some of your parts. Both arms, both legs, both hips, etc. In most cases, VA Will assign an extra 10% to a disability if it is a bilateral issue. (38 CFR 4.26 )
• Ratings for the disabilities of the right and left sides will be combined in order of severity and 10 percent of its value will be added. 
• These disabilities will be treated as one disability & will be arranged in order of severity with other disabilities and then combined. 

2. home healthcare. If your doctor has recommended that you receive assistance at home with the normal activities of life (cooking, cleaning, transport, meds, dressing, hygiene, etc,) related to your agent orange disability, VA can provide special monthly compensation (SMC) as well as the care itself. This seems to be much like palliative care.

3. if you have received your 100% disability award from the VA, you might be eligible for a free $10,000 dollars life insurance policy but there are time limits on applying so check details carefully.

4. many vets with incontinence haven't filed for that problem VA has disability percentages between 20, 40 and 60% depending on the frequency of changes and the number of times you get up each night.

5. Agent Orange disabilities such as prostate cancer are considered "instrumentalities of war." Retirees can file for Combat Related Special Compensation. It's kind of complicated but the service figures out how much your due and at least you save taxes and in many cases your monthly check is larger. This is only for military retirees.

6. unemployability. If a veteran has a service-connected 60% disability there's a possibility that it can be raised to a 100% level with what VA calls Temporary Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU.) Regardless of your age, if you are unemployable because of the physical disability, the pain or other issues you can read about online, BA can consider you for as total of 100% disability and although they call it temporary, it can be for the rest of your life because it is not age-dependent. Further,  if the veteran is 65 years or older, the VA presumes disability and unempoyability, it does not have to be proven.

7.  A 0% service connected disability rating still gives you priority in the VA health care system.

8. A 30% or higher rating will pay you a higher amount of money if you have a spouse or dependents.

9. a 50% or higher rating means VA will provide all your necessary medical care without charge except dental.

10. A 70% or higher rating will allow a claimant to reside in a federal VA nursing home, usually at no charge.

11. When rated at 100% disability or if rated as unemployable, you will receive the highest rating and the highest pay, and you are also entitled to the aid and attendance" supplement to compensation (not to be confused with the Aid and Attendance Pension benefit) if you need another person to help with activities of daily living (walking, bathing, dressing, toileting, etc.).

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