The VA offers medical and financial assistance to all veterans with service-connected disabilities. To confirm eligibility, they must confirm that your injuries are service-related and determine the compensation to allocate. However, age is not considered when vetting veterans for VA disability benefits.
It is a common concern for most elderly veterans suffering from a service-related injury that age might affect their eligibility. The law clearly restricts considering age when evaluating VA disability rates for veterans. They only need to prove that their disability is because they served to receive these benefits. The VA considers this when browsing through the hundreds of disability claims.
Is Age a Factor when Filing for VA Benefits?
The VA does not consider age when evaluating a veteran’s military-connected disability. Unemployability is another factor not considered when calculating your rating, especially for claims involving older veterans. One time age is considered is in non-service-related injury evaluation when applying for a VA pension.
The veteran’s pension provides additional income for retired or low-income individuals. It’s tax-free, paid monthly, and unrelated to the years you’ve served. The amount received monthly depends on your financial needs, age, and disability. Note that you don’t need a disability to become eligible if you are above 65 years old.
Age becomes a concern in filing for VA disability benefits when the veteran is 85 years or older. These veterans will have to process their claim at a local Regional Office. Veterans older than 75 are also eligible to file their claim on the docket at the Board. You can leverage age to strengthen your case and get more compensation in both situations.
What Happens After Filing Your VA Disability Claim?
The first thing you do after filing your VA disability claim will be to receive a notification that your application has been received from the VA. The waiting period varies; it may take up to two weeks or several hours if submitted electronically.
A VA representative will review your claim to confirm if all the necessary details are present. They’ll then consult with the necessary sources to validate any information. For example, they can contact your medical health provider to get more information about your disability. Note that collecting information is the most time-consuming part of your claims process.
After collecting all necessary evidence, it’s time to evaluate your claim and recommend a final rating. The legal representative hired will prove crucial in reviewing the recommended rating and making the appropriate appeal. You’ll receive the final rating through the mail and any other information about your disability rating.
Do I Need a Lawyer When Filing for VA Disability Benefits?
Hiring a lawyer to help file your VA disability claim is a personal choice, especially since the process is not complicated. Most veterans prefer professional legal assistance because it’ll improve their chances of successful results. You also need one if your claim has been denied or received a lower rating than expected.
According to the law, lawyers cannot charge for helping you file your initial VA disability claim. Only after challenging the VA decision on your application can they start billing. It means most reputable lawyers accept to review your case after getting a decision from the VA.
Filing a VA disability claim is not complicated, but not having the proper knowledge will expose you to more errors. The most straightforward approach to filing your claim is completing the claim’s online version by visiting the VA official website. Filling in the blanks, gathering supporting documents, and submitting the claim can take around thirty minutes. If unhappy with the VA decision, you should find an experienced lawyer for veterans and contest the decision.