Disability through the VA

posted 1 year ago in Military
Post # 2
Member
5107 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2014

BeepBopB00p :  Yes. My husband is an Iraq war vet and we’ve navigated this system. 

First, don’t assume VA doctors are crappy just because of the news stories. I know that things can vary widely from VA to VA, but my husband has recieved nothing but great care. If he’s had bad experiences, fine, but don’t write off the whole VA, the media tends to only report when there are issues. 

Since you’ve already submitted a claim, it’s too late, but if he doesn’t get the award that he wants, try working with a Veterans Service Organization (VSO). You say there wasn’t any help, they are the help. They help people with claims and they know the tips and tricks to getting the rating that you deserve. My husband’s initial claim for PTSD came back at 10%, we got help and resubmitted and he was awarded 70%. Keep in mind also, that there are secondary disabilities as well, things that result from your primary service-connected disability. They don’t count toward the rating percentage, but they do get you more money per month. For instance, if medication that you have to take causes side effects that lead to other problems, that would be a secondary condition. I hope you also filed the paperwork as his spouse, as that ups your award once he’s above 30%.

Here’s the thing. People tend to talk a lot online when things go wrong, they don’t tend to talk as much when things go right. The disability process for my husband was stressful but relatively painless.

 

Post # 4
Member
5107 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2014

BeepBopB00p :  Well good luck for a speedy and favorable rating. 

Post # 5
Member
450 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

I worked at the VA doing claims processing for almost a decade.  I know the laws and regulations and applications can be lengthy and confusing.  Basically – VA needs evidence of a current disability and evidence that it occurred in or was caused by military service.

My recommendation is if he doesn’t get a favorable decision on any of the issues, read the decision why, and resubmit evidence as reconsideration.  If he appeals, that process takes YEARS.  If its something fairly simple that can make a favorable outcome, reopen the claim within one year and he can potentially get the effective date from the first claim.

I wish you guys much luck and patience with the process.  Any questions on the claims process, PM me.  I’ve been away from it from 2 years but remember this stuff like the back of my hand, and could find updated information easily.  I had to read through the M21-1 manual all the time!

Post # 6
Member
450 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

And representation – VSOs like state veterans organizations, DAV, MOPH, are accredited and I think will represent for free.  Lawyers, if accredited by VA, can take up to 20% of a retroactive payment on appeal.  Just be aware of that if you hire a lawyer and you end up appealing any decisions.

Post # 8
Member
250 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

I just wanted to say good luck. My husband is also an Iraq war vet and has had a 70% rating for the last 10 or so years mainly due to PTSD. I have a feeling we’ll be looking to increase in the future as some of his physical injuries have limited his life more over the years.  He worked with a VSO when he filed initially (way before we met). My best friend’s husband is also an Iraq vet and they’ve been thru the ringer with VA benefits before finally getting his rating. 

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