Veterans Disability FAQs

We interviewed paralegal and veteran Eileen Dusseault to provide you with firsthand experience and answers to many common questions we receive. Eileen works in the Case Management Unit here at Harding Mazzotti and is a veteran from the United States Marine Corps with a service-connected disability. Please feel free to watch the videos below to learn more…

What is Veterans’ Disability Compensation? How much does it pay?

Veterans disability compensation is a monthly payment that is given to veterans who have service-connected disabilities or impairments from injuries that they sustained while they were on active duty.

The payment for the service-connected disability is really gonna vary from veteran to veteran. It’s gonna depend on different things, such as if they have more than one rating. It’s going to depend on the severity of their illness, and it’s gonna depend on things like whether they’re able to be employed, and if they’re able to work.

My Claim Was Denied. Should I Appeal Or File A New Claim?

After you do your initial application for veterans’ disability benefits, if you get denied you have two choices. You can either file a new application or file an appeal on that initial application. Generally speaking, doing an appeal would be your best bet, but it’d be best to talk to one of your VA representatives or to the attorney that’s handling your claim.

How Long Will It Take The VA to Decide My Claim?

Interviewer: How long will the VA take to decide my claim?

The VA can take quite a long time to make a decision on these claims. The process to decide a claim through the VA for the disability benefits can take years. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced Veterans Disability Attorney to help you through the process.

Can I Receive Benefits For A Second Injury Caused By An Initial Disability?

If you have a service-connected disability, for example your left knee, which is now requiring you to favor your right knee, and now your right knee is starting to develop conditions because of you favoring that knee, that right knee could potentially become a service-connected disability.

Can I Recieve Veterans and Social Security Benefits and Work?

Absolutely, yes. You can continue to work while you’re receiving these benefits.

Yes, an individual can receive social security disability benefits and veterans’ benefits at the same time. I would just be careful with Social Security income benefits, and that’s something to talk to your attorney about.

Can I Receive Benefits If I Was Injured On Authorized Leave?

If you are injured during authorized leave, you are still eligible for service-connected disability benefits.

Do I Need Representation?

An individual doesn’t necessarily need representation to file their claim for compensation benefits. The process can be very complex. There are a lot of rules. It would definitely be in a veteran’s best interests if they did hire an attorney to help them along.

Do I Qualify For Veterans Disability Compensation?

To qualify for a Veterans Disability Compensation, a veteran would have had to have been injured while they were on active duty. And that can be from an injury related to their active duty service, or something that happened to them just in their daily life. It doesn’t have to be an injury that necessarily was from their work while they were in the military. It can be from an illness that they acquired while they were in the military, too.

If My Disability Has Worsened Can I Apply For An Increased Rating?

If you already have a service-connected disability and are already receiving compensation, if that disability starts to get worse, you can apply for additional compensation.

What Does Combined Rating Mean?

A combined rating…it’s complex. It’s not as simple as one would think. Each injury or disability that a veteran has is given a certain rating, depending on what it is and how severe it is. Those individual impairments will then have a specific rating. It could be 10%, 20%.

The combined rating doesn’t necessarily add the 10% and 20% together to be 30%. You would have to use a calculator through the veterans’ website or other resources to figure out what the combined rating is. The combined rating is ultimately what is going to determine your monthly award each month.

What Should I Put On My VA Disability Benefits Application?

When a veteran fills out their initial application for their veterans’ benefits, the job that they want to do is to complete the picture of who they are, what their disabilities are, and how those are connected to the time and the activities that they did while they were on active duty service.

When Can An Attorney Represent Me?

A veteran who has already filed their initial application for benefits, after they receive their denial, that is when an attorney can step in to help the veteran follow through with their appeal.

What Types of Benefits Are Available To Veterans?

There are so many different types of benefits available to veterans out there, so many more than I think veterans even really realize are out there. They range from healthcare, education benefits, monthly disability payment benefits, and just so much more. Most of those can all be found on the veterans’ websites.