West Palm Beach Veterans’ Disability Lawyers- Client Reviews
Do you need help applying for veterans’ disability benefits?
Gordon & Partners offers a free consultation to discuss your eligibility for benefits and answer your questions. Our West Palm Beach veterans’ disability attorneys have helped veterans of the armed services obtain benefits and have extensive knowledge of eligibility criteria, appealing denied applications and how to link a disability to a veteran’s time in the service. We know how important veterans’ benefits are, as you look to transition back to civilian life with the added burden of a physical or mental impairment.
Our firm has obtained for injury victims over more than two decades serving South Florida. We have been recognized by Super Lawyers and U.S. News and World Report’s Best Law Firms. Michael Hoffman is the lead veterans' benefits attorney and has been featured in the November 2020 issue of Okeechobee the Magazine, which focuses on America’s veterans.
There are no upfront fees for our services. We are not paid unless we recover compensation on your behalf. That means there is no risk to you in contacting us to find out how we may be able to help you. We are ready to take your call anytime to schedule your free legal consultation.
Gordon & Partners. Licensed. Local. Lawyers. 1 (855) 722-2552
How an Attorney May Be Able to Help
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is overwhelmed by applications for disability benefits. From beginning to end, it can take months to work through the disability application and appeals process, with each phase requiring additional medical records and other paperwork that must be submitted in perfect form within tight deadlines. Any minute discrepancy or error on your application can lead to a denial.
A veterans’ disability lawyer could serve as a strong advocate and guide, helping you smoothly navigate through the VA process. We are ready to help lift some of the burden from your shoulders by helping collect medical records and other documents, putting together a compelling argument for your approval, and ensuring that your application is complete and error free.
Our West Palm Beach veterans’ disability lawyers have years of experience guiding veterans through this process.
Learn more about how we could help you by chatting with a representative.
Are You Eligible for Veterans’ Disability Benefits?
If you suffered an injury while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces that has resulted in ongoing impairment or disability, you may qualify for veterans’ disability benefits. You should strongly consider discussing your medical issues with a licensed West Palm Beach veterans’ disability lawyer. The initial consultation is free of charge.
There are multiple eligibility criteria for veterans’ disability benefits. Both of these things must be true, in addition to a few other criteria:
- You served on active duty, active duty for training or inactive duty
- You were given a disability rating for a medical condition that is connected to your service
One of these three things must also be true:
- You were injured during your service and the injury can be linked to your current medical condition
- You were suffering from a disability or illness before your service started, but your time in the service caused your condition to get worse
- You have a disability that did not cause symptoms until your service had already ended
Your dependents may also be eligible for benefits if you qualify for benefits.
If you are unsure of your eligibility, our firm offers a free, no-obligation legal consultation. We have extensive knowledge of eligibility requirements and how to prove a claim. We work closely with our clients to help them build a detailed application.
Medical Conditions That Often Qualify for Benefits
Often the most difficult part of validating your claim is proving your injury or condition is linked to your service. There are some situations when an illness/disability will be presumed to be connected to your service, such as:
- Chronic illnesses that start causing symptoms one year after your discharge from the service
- Illnesses that result from contact with contaminants or hazardous materials, such as asbestos, radiation or Agent Orange
- Illnesses that resulted from your time spent as a prisoner of war
There are a wide variety of medical conditions that often qualify for veterans’ disability benefits, such as:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Gulf War Syndrome
- Lung damage
- Burn injuries
- Nerve damage
- Internal injuries
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
- Traumatic brain injury
- Back and spine injuries (quadriplegia, paraplegia, etc.)
If you have any injuries from your military service and they hurt your ability to engage in daily activities or go to work, it is important to talk to an experienced lawyer with a history of results.
Contact the West Palm Beach veterans’ disability lawyers at Gordon & Partners today to discuss your application.
When you apply for veterans’ disability, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will review your application and other evidence you provide to determine your disability rating. If your rating is anywhere between 10 and 100 percent, you will likely be eligible for benefits.
The higher your disability rating, the more compensation you receive. In 2020, those with a rating of 10 percent receive $142.29 in monthly benefits. Those with a 20 percent rating receive $281.27 per month.
Your dependents cannot receive benefits unless your rating is 30 percent or more. The more dependents you have the more compensation you may receive.
You can learn more about VA disability compensation rates on the VA website.
Since so much weight is given to a disability rating, it is important that your application include detailed medical records showing how your disability affects your ability to perform everyday activities.
Our West Palm Beach veterans’ disability lawyers are prepared to help you gather the documents you need to complete your application.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form to get started.
You cannot obtain disability benefits if you received a dishonorable discharge from the Armed Forces. Your discharge status should be on your DD214 papers you received when you were discharged.
It may be possible to obtain a discharge upgrade to make you eligible for benefits. According to the VA website, you may have a strong case for obtaining a discharge upgrade if your discharge was connected to any of the following things:
- Sexual orientation, such as a discharge under the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy
- Sexual harassment or assault
- Traumatic brain injury
- Mental health issues like PTSD
Every branch of the Armed Forces has a discharge review board with authority to change a service member’s discharge status.
It is important to hire an experienced lawyer to advocate for you in pursuing a discharge upgrade, as the process can be complicated.
How to Apply for Veterans’ Benefits
Before you apply for benefits, you need to gather the appropriate documents and evidence to help prove your eligibility for benefits.
Documents You Will Need
The VA recommends gathering the following documents:
- DD214 discharge papers
- Medical records from the VA, including hospital records relating to the diagnosis or treatment of your disability
- Medical records from private doctors and hospitals showing the progression of your symptoms
- Statements from those you served with in support of your claim and how and when you became disabled
- Statements from family members and friends and possibly statements from coworkers who can attest to your physical and/or mental limitations due to your disability
The Application Process
You can file your application online, by mail, or in person at the VA regional office near you. On average, it takes the VA 124.8 days to decide whether to approve a disability benefits application. The more complex the claim and the longer it takes to collect evidence, the longer it is likely to take for the VA to decide whether your claim should be approved.
When the VA does its initial review, it will determine if it needs more evidence. If so, the review stops, and you will need to gather more evidence. Once you have gathered the requested documents, the VA will continue its review and decide whether to approve or deny your claim.
A West Palm Beach veterans’ disability lawyer from our firm is ready to help you gather the documents you need to apply for benefits. We have helped many veterans with this, and we know what the VA is looking for.
Call Gordon & Partners today: 1 (855) 722-2552.
What Happens if Your Application is Denied?
If you received a decision about your claim after February 19, 2019 and you disagree with it, there are three claim review options to choose from.
Filing a Supplemental Claim is appropriate if you have new evidence you did not have when your claim was initially reviewed. It is likely to take four to five months to receive a decision about your supplemental claim. When you file the claim, you note the issues you disagree with and would like reviewed again.
You can ask a senior reviewer to look at your claim and he or she can determine if the decision can be changed due to errors or a difference of opinion. You can ask for a higher-level review of an initial claim or a supplemental claim. However, you cannot submit more evidence. You can only talk to the reviewer on the phone and explain errors or other reasons why you think the decision should be changed.
This is an appeal to a Veterans Law Judge at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals in Washington, D.C. You have just one year from the date you received a decision on your initial claim to request a board appeal. The exception to this deadline is for a contested claim.
When you request a board appeal, you have three options:
- Direct review – This is where a Veterans law judge reviews the evidence you have already submitted. You cannot submit more evidence.
- Submitting more evidence – You can request this option if you have more evidence that may bolster your claim. You have 90 days from the date your board appeal request is received to submit this evidence.
- Requesting a hearing – This is a hearing before a Veterans Law Judge. You can either do a virtual hearing from your home, videoconference from a regional VA office or do an in-person hearing before the board in Washington, D.C.
If the board appeal does not go your way, you can file a supplemental claim or appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
Our West Palm Beach veterans’ disability attorneys are prepared to represent you at each stage of your appeal. You have limited time to appeal so it is important to contact us as soon as possible, as it takes time to gather more evidence and prepare for hearings.
What Are Survivor Benefits?
Spouses, children or parents of service members who died because of a service-related injury or illness may be eligible for VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation. There are different eligibility requirements depending on your relationship to the deceased.
For example, surviving spouses may be eligible if they married the service member within 15 years of discharge from the period of service during which the illness started or was aggravated. Surviving spouses may also qualify if they were married to the service member for at least one year.
Surviving children cannot be married, included on the surviving spouse’s compensation and be under 18 (or 23 or younger and attending school).
Surviving parents must be the biological, adoptive or foster parents of the service member and not have income above a certain amount.
There are numerous other eligibility requirements for surviving spouses, children and parents.
Need Help? Call Our West Palm Beach Veterans’ Disability Lawyers
Our attorneys understand the devastating effects of a disability caused by an injury suffered during military service. We are dedicated to helping veterans collect the benefits they need to support themselves and their families.
Our team of licensed attorneys has more than 20 years of combined experience fighting for the rights of the injured. We have the legal knowledge to help you apply for benefits and appeal a denied application.
An initial consultation with an experienced West Palm Beach veterans’ disability lawyer is free of charge and there is no obligation to hire our firm. We also do not charge upfront fees so there is no risk to you in meeting with us. We are here to answer your questions.
Our main office is in Palm Beach Gardens, but we also have offices in Stuart and Plantation. You can reach us anytime by phone or online contact form.
Have questions? We have answers. Phone: 1 (855) 722-2552.