Iowa VA Disability Benefits Attorney

Veteran-Focused VA Disability Benefits Lawyer Serving Iowa

For veterans who have served in the United States military, there are various benefits available to help support them after their service. One crucial benefit is disability compensation through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This program provides financial assistance to veterans who have incurred disabilities or injuries during their time in service. However, determining eligibility and navigating the application process can be complex and overwhelming. The Vet Law Office works with veterans to help address issues related to disability benefits, and Attorney Edward Farmer has the knowledge and experience needed to ensure that they can receive the financial assistance they need.

The Role of Compensation and Pension Exams in VA Disability Cases

When applying for VA disability compensation, a veteran may be required to undergo a Compensation and Pension (C&P) exam. In cases where a veteran has multiple conditions that have resulted in disability, multiple C&P exams may be required. These exams play a vital role in evaluating a veteran's current medical condition and determining if it is connected to their military service.

A C&P exam is typically conducted by a healthcare professional contracted by the VA. During this examination, the healthcare provider will review medical records, conduct physical examinations, perform diagnostic tests if necessary, and assess how the claimed disability affects daily life activities. The results of these exams are used as evidence when making decisions about eligibility for disability benefits. The examiner's findings regarding the severity of the disability will also contribute to calculating an appropriate disability rating.

Determining Eligibility and Disability Ratings

To qualify for VA disability compensation benefits, veterans must meet specific criteria:

  • Active military service: The veteran must have served on active duty.
  • Current Injury or illness: The veteran must currently have a physical or mental impairment.
  • In service-event: The veteran must have experienced an in service event, injury, or illness.
  • Nexus requirement: There must be a connection between the verteran's current condition(s) and the veteran's military service. This can be established through medical evidence linking the disability to an event, injury, or exposure during service.

Once eligibility is established, the VA assigns a disability rating to determine the level of compensation a veteran will receive. Disability ratings indicate a percentage of disability reflecting how much the impairment affects a veteran's ability to work and perform daily activities. Higher percentages indicate more severe disabilities, and 100% ratings indicate total disability. In some cases, veterans with ratings below 100% may still receive an Individual Unemployability designation, which will allow them to receive total disability benefits.

How an Attorney Can Help With VA Disability Appeals

Unfortunately, many veterans face challenges when applying for VA disability benefits or appealing denied claims. An experienced attorney can provide invaluable assistance when addressing these issues. At The Vet Law Office, we can explain your options for appealing decisions made by the VA, which may include:

Higher-Level Reviews

If a claim has been denied, or if you disagree with the disability rating assigned by the VA, you may be able to request a Higher-Level Review (HLR). During an HLR, a senior reviewer at the VA will reevaluate the evidence submitted and other information related to your claim. They may determine that errors occurred during the evaluation process, allowing adjustments to be made as needed. A HLR will only be based on existing evidence and information that had been considered during the initial determination, and no new evidence can be submitted.

Supplemental Claims

In cases where new evidence becomes available after receiving an unfavorable decision or an incorrect disability rating, you may be able to file a supplemental claim, which will allow you to provide additional information supporting your case. After considering relevant information such as updated medical records or statements from people who understand how you have been affected by your disabilities, the VA may reevaluate your claim and determine whether changes should be made to its initial decision.

Board of Veterans' Appeals

If a claim is denied after an HLR or supplemental claim, or if you wish to have your case evaluated by a person who has a strong understanding of the laws that affect veterans, you can appeal to the Board of Veterans' Appeals (BVA). If necessary, you can submit new evidence, and a hearing may be held before a Veterans Law Judge. After reviewing your case, the judge may order the VA to accept your claim or assign you a certain disability rating, or they may choose to uphold the VA's original decisions.

If your appeal is unsuccessful, you may have more options for subsequent appeals. Attorney Farmer can advise you on whether it may be beneficial to file a case in the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims or pursue additional appeals through United States courts.

Contact Our Iowa VA Disability Attorney

Applying for VA disability compensation benefits or appealing denied claims can be overwhelming without proper legal guidance. At The Vet Law Office, we understand the challenges veterans face when navigating these complex processes. Our attorney has extensive experience assisting veterans with disability claims and appeals and other issues related to VA benefits. Contact us by calling 1-800-700-4174 and scheduling a consultation. Let us help you obtain the benefits you deserve.

VA Health Centers in Iowa

Des Moines VA Medical Center
3600 30th Street
Des Moines, IA 50310

Iowa City VA Medical Center
601 Highway 6 West
Iowa City, IA 52246

Iowa VA Regional Office

Des Moines Regional Office
210 Walnut Street
Des Moines, IA 50309

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