Portland Veterans Disability Benefits Lawyers
If you were seriously injured while serving in the military and are having financial difficulties as you attempt to transition back into civilian life, you may be eligible for veterans disability benefits.
At Rizk Law, we welcome the opportunity to help injured men and women who served our country in the U.S. military. Our licensed Portland veterans disability lawyers are prepared to review your eligibility for veterans disability benefits from the federal government or submit an appeal if your claim has been denied.
We offer a completely free legal consultation, with no obligation for you to hire our services. If we do represent you, there is nothing for you to pay unless we first obtain benefits on your behalf.
Call our firm at: 503.245.5677 to learn more.
Who May Be Eligible to Apply for VA Disability Benefits?
Since disability benefits for veterans are provided by the federal government and not the state, applicants must meet eligibility requirements set by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA):
- You must have served on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive training duty in the military
- You must have a qualifying disability or medical condition that developed during your time in the military or was aggravated by your service. The condition could have appeared after your service ended, even though it was caused by your service.
- You must have been discharged from your duties in any classification except a dishonorable discharge
Proving some injuries occurred or resulted from your time in the military may be challenging, because some conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), may not be immediately evident. Other medical diseases resulting from exposure to asbestos, deadly chemicals or radiation may take even longer to appear.
To be eligible for disability benefits, veterans must also provide their official medical diagnosis along with other evidence that connects your disability, injury or medical condition to your military service.
That is why we recommend contacting a qualified attorney for legal help as soon as possible. At Rizk Law, our Portland veterans disability benefits attorneys are prepared to discuss whether you may have a qualifying injury, as well as what other documentation you may need to support your claim for benefits. We can help you through every step of the VA’s complicated application and appeal process.
Submit our Case Evaluation form to get started.
What Type of Benefits May Be Available?
There are three types of compensation you may be eligible to pursue from the federal government through the VA, including:
Compensation for Service-Related Impairments
Veterans who suffered a mental or physical injury while serving in the military, or had a preexisting injury that was exacerbated by their duties while serving in the military, may be eligible to receive compensation from the VA.
Pension for Low-Income Veterans
This benefit is a pension for low-income veterans who are having a difficult time after returning from active duty. It is intended to help veterans get back on their feet as they readjust to non-military living.
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
Dependent survivors of veterans who died from a service-related injury or medical condition may be eligible to receive DIC benefits.
What Type of Injuries or Medical Conditions May Qualify for Benefits?
Some of the most common injuries and medical impairments are listed below, however, there are also secondary conditions that may qualify you for benefits. For example, if you are a Vietnam war vet who was exposed to Agent Orange, you may also receive treatment and benefits for diabetes, a secondary injury that often results from exposure to this chemical.
Common injuries and conditions that may qualify for veterans disability benefits include:
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Dental issues
- Ischemic heart disease
- Sleep apnea
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Military sexual trauma (MST)
- Burn pit toxic exposure
- Gulf War syndrome
- Spinal cord injuries
What Do I Need to Apply for Benefits?
There are specific documents veterans must complete and submit, along with other types of evidence that support your claim. The VA’s disability benefits application process is complicated and may be overwhelming for many who are suffering from a severe injury or medical condition. Our knowledgeable attorneys are prepared to help you every step of the way, including gathering the following required documents:
- Your official medical records detailing your diagnosis, treatment and doctors’ notes
- Service Treatment Records
- Your DD214 discharge papers
Other helpful evidence could include letters from family or friends talking about how your injury has impacted your quality of life. Additionally, you can prepare your own account about how your injury impacts your daily life.
How Do I Apply for A Discharge Upgrade?
For veterans who may have received a discharge that was less than honorable, you may first file for a discharge upgrade by completing and filing a Review of Discharge application to the branch of military under which you served.
There are multiple reasons you may apply for a discharge correction, such as if your original discharge classification was considered unfair or unequitable. Your case for a discharge upgrade may be stronger if it was related to any of the following categories:
- Sexual orientation (such as under the former “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy)
- Mental health issues (including PTSD)
- Military sexual trauma (MST) – this is the VA’s term for sexual harassment or assault that occurred during your military service
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
Your application must be accompanied by supporting documentation, including:
- Signed witness statements
- Your personal account of events leading up to your discharge
- Signed statements from your immediate supervisor and other commanding officers
- A signed submission from your treating doctor describing your medical condition and its impact on your conduct
This application must be submitted within 15 years of your date of discharge from the military. If you miss this deadline, your original discharge classification cannot be changed and will be final.
Where Do I Submit My Application for VA Benefits?
There are many available avenues for submitting your VA disability benefits application, such as:
- Through the VA website
- Printing out, completing and mailing an application to your local VA office
- Visiting your regional VA office and getting assisted by a VA employee
- Getting help from a VA representative through an online chat window
We welcome the opportunity to assist you with preparing your application for VA disability benefits or appealing a claim that has been denied.
Arrange your free consultation with one of our Portland veterans disability benefits lawyers today: 503.245.5677
What If My Denied Benefits Were Denied or My Appeal Period Has Lapsed?
It is not uncommon for a first-time application for VA disability benefits to be denied, but you can appeal this decision. However, you only have one year to complete and submit your Notice of Disagreement (NOD) to begin the appeal process.
Completing the application for a NOD appeal is a lengthy and complicated process, however, if you do not file your appeal before the deadline, the VA’s original decision to deny benefits for your disability will become final.
When you meet with one of our attorneys in your free claim review, there are a couple of initial options we can discuss, depending on your situation, such as:
- If your benefits were initially denied, we can look at your claim to see whether you may have grounds for an appeal
- If your appeal period has lapsed, we are prepared to help you reapply for benefits
If your NOD appeal is also denied, the VA must provide you with a Statement of Case to explain the reason why, along with VA Form 9. This final appeal must be completed and submitted within 60 days after receiving your Statement of Case. If you do not file within this time period, the NOD denial becomes final.
We encourage you to seek legal help from a qualified attorney at our firm. If we find you have a valid case, we are prepared to help you fight for the benefits you need.
Contact Our Portland Veterans Disability Lawyers Today
At Rizk Law, we appreciate your service to our country, and we are prepared to help you with every aspect of your application for VA benefits. If you hire our firm, our knowledgeable attorneys can help to ensure your application is timely, error-free and has all the accompanying documentation required by the VA.
Contact our firm as soon as possible. We are available to arrange your consultation at a time that is convenient for you. There is no obligation to hire us after your consultation and there is nothing for you to pay us unless we first obtain benefits on your behalf.
Call Rizk Law at: 503.245.5677 today.