Fact: Not Everyone Will Reach 100%

 

 

Myths About VA Disability!

​To be 100 percent disabled by VA standards means that you are disabled. Veterans awarded VA disability at this level receive the maximum in scheduler monthly compensation. The VA has stringent criteria veterans must meet to receive this rating. It's challenging to earn a 100% VA disability rating when a veteran has more than one VA disability. Combining two or more disabilities is a complicated process in which 50% plus 50% does not equal 100% but, instead, 75%. The closer a veteran gets to a 100% VA disability rating, the more challenging it is to obtain. For example, once a veteran is rated 80% disabled, each additional 10% VA disability only adds 2% to his total rating rather than an extra 10%.

There are a lot of well-informed veterans with valuable knowledge about the VA process; however, the VA claim system is an ever-changing process so, unless the veteran has taken the initiative to keep updated with the yearly changes in the 38 CFR, Code of Federal Regulations; then take the information with a grain of salt; wrong or outdated information can cause delays and even denials of your claim. 

Advocates Note:

Do not compare the processing of your claim to other veterans. Although you may have the same condition with the same symptoms, the event that caused your VA disability is unique to only you. Another distinction is the documentation of your condition; it's doubtful that you both have the same information in your military medical file. Most importantly, your claim is dependent on an evaluation of your VA disability by an independent third party and will not result in an identical assessment. Don't fall into this trap; always consult your advocate for the most accurate information about your claim. 

The only important concern is that you received the maximum benefit for the service-connected conditions.

TRUE AND FALES

Hiring an attorney/agent will speed up my case. FALSE.

(We wish it were true, though.) When it comes to your VA Disability claim, there are only two ways to speed it up. The first way is if you are terminally ill, the second is facing economic hardship.

Hiring an attorney/agent will slow down my claim. FALSE 

This one does not make much sense. However, we often hear from prospective clients that a friend told them an attorney would slow their case down. Once again, misinformation plays a massive role in this myth. If hiring an attorney slowed your case down, why would we be doing this in the first place? We submit claims, file appeals, review and present evidence, represent Veterans at all three levels of hearings, and do so much more. Hiring an attorney can be more efficient.

Back pay will go back to the time I was injured. FALSE

Whether you served, who you are, or your injury, back pay originates when you initially file for benefits. (As long as your claim does not close.) Now, some of you might say: "my buddy got it back when he was injured." Well, he likely applied as a part of his discharge process. No two claims are alike; therefore, everyone gets connected at different times.

Deny, deny, deny until you die. FALSE

If this were true, we probably would not be in business too long. We receive favorable decisions from our clients regularly. While most veterans get rejected the first time they apply, it is still possible to get service-connected. We thoroughly review all of your records to make sure you are eligible for benefits. We will only pursue valid claims. 

The VA is out to get me. FALSE

I find it hard to believe that the employees are plotting against anyone. We work with several Regional Offices throughout the nation, and they are people just like you and me. Did you know a lot of VA employees are Veterans? These people have so much work that they don't have the time to plot against individuals. Now, is the system flawed? Yes, but the VA is taking steps to improve the backlog and improve the process.


Having a VA disability rating will affect my future employment options. FALES

Many jobs require members to be in top physical condition (police, firefighters, first responders, federal agents, etc.). Some of these careers may require the member to pass a physical fitness test or other medical screening. In almost all of these cases, the underlying medical condition and your health and fitness will determine your ability to qualify for the job. You have a VA disability rating that generally won't impact your ability to land the job. To counter this myth, a VA disability rating may give you additional Veterans Preference Points for federal employment (some states may have a similar program for state job applications).

 

My illness or injury isn't bad. There are other veterans who need it more than I do; this is noble, but FALES.

Everything is fine—until it isn't. Injuries and illnesses can get worse as we age. File a VA disability claim if you have a disease or injury that occurred while in the military. This is likely to be the healthiest period of your life. Even if the condition is minor, establishing a service connection is the first step in having your VA disability claim approved. The sooner you make your claim, the easier it is to develop a relationship with your military service.

Once the VA reaches its yearly quota, they deny all other claims. FALES

There is no quota or the maximum number of veterans who can receive VA disability benefits. The VA also places veterans into Priority Groups based on the severity of their VA disability ratings, economic need, and other factors. The VA is there for all veterans, not just those with the "greatest" need. You owe it to yourself and your family to receive the care and benefits you have earned.

It's too late to file a VA disability claim—I left active-duty years ago! FALSE

There is no timeline to file a VA disability claim for a service-connected VA disability. However, it's much easier to file a claim shortly after leaving the military. This is because you need to establish a connection between your illness or injury and your military service. This is easier when done shortly after leaving the military. However, some diseases and injuries don't occur until years after leaving military service. In recent years, this has received national attention as many veterans from the Korean and Vietnam War eras have been diagnosed with cancers and other medical conditions associated with Agent Orange exposure or related chemicals or exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. Other hazards include mustard gas, asbestos, ionizing radiation, Project 112/SHAD (chemical tests to defend against biological and chemical weapons threats), and Radiogenic Risk Activities. You can learn more about these chemical exposures. It can take years or even decades before symptoms occur in these cases. Remember, there is no time limit to file a claim! An article from a veteran who filed VA disability claims several years after separating from active duty.

 

I should wait until my VA Claim is over before I file for Social Security FALSE

while this is false, I understand where this logic comes from. For instance: "I can use evidence from one to argue the other." While that is true, that does not mean you can't do both simultaneously. While Social Security and VA are alike in some ways, they are pretty different. The VA's job is to determine if your VA disability results from your time in service. On the other hand, Social Security is in place to determine if you are disabled, regardless of how you became disabled. So, it is likely that you are eligible for both.

I'm not eligible for VA Disability Compensation because I'm already receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) (or disability through another program). FALSE

You should verify this information before assuming you are ineligible to receive both forms of compensation. For example, it is possible to receive VA disability compensation and Social Security Disability Benefits. There is even a program called Social Security Disability Benefits for Wounded Warriors. No rule states that you cannot receive compensation from both sources. Having a 100% Permanent and Total VA rating can make you eligible for expedited processing for your Social Security Disability claim.

I'm already receiving military retirement pay. VA Disability compensation will only reduce my retirement  pay? SLIGHTLY TWISTED TRUTH.

This statement is based on a partial truth, then twisted somewhat. Retirees with a VA disability rating of 40% or lower will have their military retirement pay reduced by the amount of VA disability compensation they receive from the VA. However, VA disability compensation is tax-free. So the net gain works in the veteran's favor.   Retirees with a VA disability rating of 50% or higher can receive Concurrent Retirement and Disability Payments (CRDP). CRDP awards veterans their full military retirement pay along with their full VA disability compensation payment. Military retirees with a VA disability rating may have their income affected in other ways. The following article will give you more information regarding how VA disability compensation affects military retirement pay.

 

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The VA Disability Advocates Main Office is Located in Las Vegas, NV. We Represent Veterans throughout the United States. 702-209-5722