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Basic Eligibility Requirements for VA Benefits

Posted by Gregory M. Rada | June 22, 2021 | Disability Compensation,Health Benefits,State Veteran Benefits

Each VA benefit – health care, disability, pension, education, housing, etc. – administered by the VA has its own unique eligibility requirements but there are basic eligibility requirements common to all VA benefits. The most common requirement is whether you are a veteran, and some benefits look at whether you had wartime versus peacetime service… read more

Rules Regulating the Reduction of VA Disability Ratings

Posted by Gregory M. Rada | June 19, 2021 | Disability Compensation,Health Benefits,State Veteran Benefits

A VA disability rating is not truly protected until it has been in effect for 20 years or more. At the 20-year mark, the VA cannot reduce a rating unless it determines that the rating was based on fraud. Prior to then, however, there are certain situations where VA can reduce a disability rating if… read more

What is PTSD?

Posted by Gregory M. Rada | June 14, 2021 | PTSD Benefits

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental condition described by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), as “a trauma- and stressor-related disorder.”  The DSM-5 states: [t]he essential feature of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the development of characteristic symptoms following exposure to one or more traumatic events…. read more

How Does VA Rate PTSD and other Psychiatric Disorders?

Posted by Gregory M. Rada | June 8, 2021 | Firm News

A study conducted in the late eighties found that the lifetime prevalence of PTSD among veterans that served during the Vietnam era was 30.9% for men and 26.9% for women. A study conducted in the late nineties estimated the prevalence of PTSD among Gulf War veterans to be 10% to 12%. And a study conducted… read more

VA Attorney Fee Agreements: How Much Does a VA Disability Lawyer Cost?

Posted by Gregory M. Rada | June 8, 2021 | Firm News

Generally, there is no upfront fee for legal representation by a VA disability lawyer. Most VA disability lawyers use contingent fee arrangements. This means that instead of charging by the hour, most VA disability attorneys receive a percentage of the veteran’s past-due benefits (back pay) that is won on appeal. So, hiring a VA disability… read more

Agent Orange and Bladder Cancer, Parkinsonism, and Hypothyroidism

Posted by Gregory M. Rada | May 28, 2021 | Firm News

The VA finally announced that it will begin implementing the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 which amended 38 U.S.C. § 1116 to add to the list of conditions that are presumptively associated with exposure to Agent Orange the conditions of bladder cancer, Parkinsonism, and hypothyroidism. What Does this Mean? This means that… read more

What is Relevant Evidence in a TDIU Claim?

Posted by Gregory M. Rada | April 29, 2021 | Firm News

Assessing all relevant evidence of record is required to determine TDIU entitlement. Evidence that can be used to support entitlement to VA individual unemployability benefits can take many forms ranging from medical opinions to education and work history. How do Medical Opinions Impact TDIU Claims? The professional opinions of psychologists, doctors, nurses, etc. hold a… read more

Does A Serious Disability Entitle Me to Additional Compensation from the VA?

Posted by Gregory M. Rada | April 14, 2021 | Firm News

Veterans who lost or lose of the use of specific organs or body parts due to their military service might be entitled to Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) benefits. Furthermore, additional SMC benefits are permitted for veterans who are rated at the 100 percent rate and meet one of the following criteria: housebound, bedridden, or requires… read more

How Does Work and Education Factor Into a TDIU Claim

Posted by Gregory M. Rada | March 7, 2021 | Firm News

  Two major factors that VA is required to consider when determining whether the veteran’s service connected disabilities preclude them from securing substantially gainful employment are education and employment history. VA is not allowed to simply imply that work history or education are the reasons for a denied claim without attempting to relate these factors… read more

What Factors Can the VA Consider for TDIU?

Posted by Gregory M. Rada | March 2, 2021 | Firm News

Although many complicated factors form the overall picture of whether a veteran is able to secure and maintain substantially gainful employment, VA regulations prevent them from taking certain factors into account when making decisions on entitlement to individual unemployability (TDIU or IU). Even though many elements may unquestionably contribute to the overall picture of whether… read more