Veterans Administration Disability Information

The Veterans Disability Administration oversees the disability benefits of all veterans who have applied for or are receiving disability benefits from the federal government. Filing for disability benefits can be a difficult process, and when you are disabled, the process can feel overwhelming.

When you need help with a new or existing claim with the Veterans Disability Administration, it's time to seek legal help to get your claim on the right track. When you have an attorney on your side, you can rest assured that your claim will be handled effectively, taking the burden of filing all of the necessary paperwork out of your hands. As a disabled veteran, you are entitled to financial benefits once you can prove your disability and your claim gets approved. Without legal help, these types of claims often take longer than they should while you wait for benefits to arrive.


Our Knoxville office, Bond, Botes & Lawson, recently began participating in a Veterans’ Legal Clinic. The Veteran’s Legal Clinic is a joint project sponsored by the Knoxville Bar Association, Legal Aid of East Tennessee, Knox County Public Defender’s Community Law Office, the University of Tennessee College of Law and the local VA office.  Its purpose is to help and assist veterans with their legal needs, regardless of income or other circumstances, by providing free legal advice. Given that we meet with people from all backgrounds every day in our office, I decided to participate in this program. I am also…Read   More

VA Delays: A Sad Story

Posted on February 29th, 2016 by Ron Sykstus

This is a sad story.  The Veteran who languished on a VA list for a long time has, unfortunately, passed away. The exposé on the VA delays in providing medical care came directly from this Veteran and the saga he had to live through.  I have written in the past about the delays in VA care and disability claims. Never Miss a Deadline In fact, because of the delays, I always tell veterans this when they first meet with me:  “The process is more important than the claim because, if you miss any VA imposed deadlines during the process of…Read   More

I always tell my Veteran clients to expect long delays by the Veterans Administration in their attempts to get VA disability benefits.  It is a shame that I spend more time talking about the fact that there will be extraordinarily long delays by the VA in processing and deciding the claim than I do in talking about their actual disability claim itself!  In order to further explain to my own veteran clients that there will be long delays, I ask them to read the blog posts that I have written previously about this topic. In addition to any discussion about…Read   More

According to a report recently release by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in five adult Americans now live with a disability. That amounts to approximately 53 million adults out of an overall population (adults and children) of approximately 321 million which, at 16 percent of the population, is still a remarkable figure. Despite not correlating to a one-to-one ratio, that still translates into a record number of Americans currently drawing SSA disability benefits. According to the SSA website, as of July 2015, some 10,821,000 individuals are drawing Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) roughly totaling $11,061,000 a month for…Read   More

VA Delays – The Saga Continues…

Posted on August 3rd, 2015 by Ron Sykstus

This is the number one question all of my veteran clients ask me, and it is a compound question: How long do I have to wait during the appeal of my denied VA disability claims and why do I have to wait so long. To this 2-part question, my answer is “a very long time, probably several years” to the first part of the question and “I don’t know why” to the 2nd part of the question. I have written previously about the long delays and waiting time that Veterans have to go through in trying to obtain their benefits…Read   More

If veterans come to us with a VA disability claim that has been denied by the VA, they are understandably frustrated and wondering what they can do to ultimately prevail on their VA disability claim. Never Miss a VA Deadline Our first piece of advice is to never miss a VA deadline.  Failure to submit the appropriate documentation by the VA imposed deadlines will result in the VA stating that the claim is final and cannot be appealed. The VA will then use this against a veteran forever.  This blog post explains the VA deadlines. Submit Correct VA Forms Secondly,…Read   More

Helping Homeless Veterans

Posted on March 9th, 2015 by Ron Sykstus

Promised Land:  VA Deal to House Homeless Los Angeles Veterans In a saga that spans several years, new VA Secretary Robert McDonald recently reached an agreement that will help house many homeless veterans in the Los Angeles, California area.  This saga goes back to the late 1800s and involves very expensive California property.  The story can be found here. Closer to home, North Alabama is blessed with its own set of Angels who have been helping our area’s homeless veterans for years.  These selfless, dedicated individuals make up Operation Stand Down – Huntsville.  Each year, this tirelessly working group puts…Read   More

The VA (Veterans Administration) has announced a new policy regarding the initial filing of a VA disability claim by a Veteran. The VA is attempting to make the claims process more uniform. As a result, effective March 24, 2015, the VA will only accept a disability claim on a completed VA Form 21-0966  Federal Register rule changes here. Prior to this change, a Veteran did not have to use a certain form in order to seek a disability claim from the VA. Here is our previous instruction on how to file a claim PRIOR to March 24, 2015.  Our previous…Read   More

Important Change in the VA Claims Process Attention all veterans – if you have filed or are planning to file a claim with the Veterans Administration (VA) for service-connected disability or compensation, the VA has recently announced an important policy change with regard to the filing of a Notice of Disagreement. The policy decision as announced in the Federal Register is here.  It is absolutely critical for veterans who are trying to obtain VA benefits to know about this mandatory change by the VA with regard to the filing of a Notice of Disagreement. If you receive an adverse Regional…Read   More

Among all of the trouble the VA has had over the past year regarding its medical care of veterans, the veterans that I deal with believe that another serious problem is with the VA disability claim system. The VA has claimed to reduce its backlog but, disturbingly, it appears that it has come as a result of an increase of appeals that veterans are having to take once their disability claim is denied. Please see my previous blog post regarding the delays in the appeals process.  Also, refer to the Daily Show to see a comical yet sobering view of…Read   More