VA Disability Basics
Obtaining VA disability benefits for a disabled veteran is a complicated, lengthy process. You should not be discouraged, however, in trying to obtain your benefits. There are several steps required for a veteran in trying to obtain his or her disability benefits. The following is a general review of the process:
1. Applying for VA Disability – the veteran must submit an application for compensation. The claim that the veteran files must be submitted to the appropriate regional office in the state where the veteran lives. For Alabama veterans who live in Alabama, the VA regional office is located at 345 Perry Hill Road, Montgomery, Alabama 36109-3798. For veterans outside of the state of Alabama, you must file your claim in your own state’s VA regional office.
Once the claim is submitted to the regional office, the VA will review the veteran’s application and then it will issue a ratings decision stating whether the veteran is eligible or not for VA disability benefits.
2. If the veteran is denied benefits or if the veteran is not given the rating of benefits he or she believes is correct, the veteran then can appeal his or her case to the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA). To appeal a case to the BVA, the veteran must file a A notice of disagreement explaining why the veteran disagrees with the rating decision to the regional office. This notice of disagreement must be filed by the veteran with the regional office within one year of the rating decision. In response to the notice of disagreement, the VA will issue a statement of the case. The veteran must then file a completed VA Form 9 (VA Form 9 (click here to download one now) – requires acrobat reader) to the regional office to perfect his or her appeal. It is a good idea when filing the notice of disagreement VA Form 9 to attach any additional medical information or any other documents that you want the VA to consider in deciding your case. ALWAYS mail your notice of disagreement and VA Form 9 by certified mail, return receipt requested, and keep a copy of everything you send and receive!
3. If the BVA denies a veterans claim or does not give the veteran the decision he or she desires, then the veteran can appeal his or her case in court to the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. This appeal must be filed within 120 days of the BVA’s decision.
Our firm’s assistance to you: Attorney Ron Sykstus is a former Captain with the United States Army Judge Advocates General’s Corps. Mr. Sykstus previously served both on active duty and in the United States Army Reserve in all capacities as a Judge Advocate General, including trial prosecution, trial defense, and all areas of military legal assistance. As an honorably discharged veteran, Mr. Sykstus has a keen understanding of what veterans go through during this process. In his law practice, he not only assists soldiers and civilians with regard to security clearance cases, but he also handles all aspects of VA disability cases as well. Mr. Sykstus represents disabled veterans in Alabama and throughout the United States. If you would like a free initial review and consultation of your case, please contact Mr. Sykstus today!
VA In The News
Posted: August 10th, 2010
The Chicago Tribune finds increase in claims, outdated compensation system threatening well-being of those who fought for their country.
In a sobering reminder of the long-term costs of war, a dramatic spike in disability claims during the last seven years has overwhelmed the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and nearly doubled the cost of compensating wounded veterans, according to an unprecedented Tribune analysis.
The problems have led to a backlog at of least 500,000 claims ? some veterans groups say it’s as high as 1 million ?that threatens the well-being of veterans with ailments ranging from brain injuries and back problems to cancers and mental disorders. (read more) ChicagoTribune.com
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Attorney Ron Sykstus
225 Pratt Avenue Northeast
Huntsville, AL 35801