As the U.S. observes Patriot Day, Allsup honors the more than 2 million Americans who have served in the Global War on Terrorism.
Belleville, IL (PRWEB) September 09, 2013
More than 2 million Americans served in America’s Global War on Terrorism, a 10-year period following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks (now known as an overseas contingency operation). As the U.S. observes Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance, we honor the nearly 3,000 people killed in those terrorist attacks. But we also must remember the military members who served, and are serving, in the conflict that followed, according to Allsup, a nationwide provider of veterans disability appeals and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) representation.
“Many Americans felt duty-bound to join military service after 9/11, and their dedication to serving and protecting their country can be recalled during our nationwide remembrances,” said Brett Buchanan, an Allsup VA-accredited claims agent and Army veteran who served during Operation Iraqi Freedom. “During my time in the Army, I served alongside many soldiers who felt compelled to join the armed forces immediately following 9/11. They provided a great service to their country.”
That service often came with great personal sacrifice. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reports nearly 600,000 veterans receive some level of service-connected VA disability benefits following service after Sept. 11, 2001. Impairments related to the musculoskeletal system, skin disorders, hearing impairment, neurological conditions and mental disorders are among the top conditions in terms of prevalence among veterans from this time period. “Now, many of these veterans who experience service-connected disability are seeking assistance through the VA disability compensation program,” Buchanan said.
Ten Tips When Filing A VA Disability Appeal
Veterans with service-connected disabilities from this war, as well as other conflicts, face a complex process to receive VA disability compensation. Allsup recommends the following steps when considering filing a VA disability claim or appeal:
- Determine eligibility. Applicants must have an honorable or medical discharge. A veteran with a dishonorable discharge is not entitled to benefits. Other discharges, such as for bad conduct and other than honorable, are decided on a case-by-case basis.
- Meet VA disability compensation (or service-connected disability) requirements. To qualify, veterans must:
o Have documentation of an injury, disease or exposure while in service.
o Have a current impairment.
o Prove that their current disability is related to a service-related injury or exposure.
- Secure a doctor’s agreement on the current disability. Claimants need written medical confirmation of their current qualifying conditions when applying. Not having a doctor’s agreement when filing could delay the process, according to Allsup. An injury from service alone is not enough to grant the claim.
- File as soon as possible. The VA only compensates veterans from the date they file an initial claim, which can take up to a year to process. An appeal can last two to five years, depending on the claim’s complexity.
- Get help. Appealing a claim for VA disability benefits is complicated. Allsup emphasizes that the sooner applicants seek help with their appeal, the more support they receive with their claim. This includes ensuring accuracy and having the proper documentation for the claim. A report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office finds that almost 80 percent of claims open as of November 2012 used the services of a representative.
- Prepare an accurate medical record. Notify the VA where the service-related disability was treated, even if it was a VA medical center. A comprehensive record is required to support the claim.
- Be aware of deadlines. There are varying deadlines during the VA disability process. For example, veterans have a full year to dispute an initial Rating Decision. However, applicants have only 60 days to appeal the second decision, known as a Statement of the Case.
- Verify the VA rating. If a veteran has been approved for VA disability and receives a rating (ranging from 10 percent to 100 percent disability), it’s important to confirm that the rating reflects the true level of disability. If the disability is more severe than the Rating Decision, veterans should seek assistance from specialists like Allsup for guidance.
- Reduce spending. The VA disability process is lengthy, so it’s important to plan financially. Cut unnecessary spending and prepare for the long haul. Avoid adding high-interest debt, such as credit cards.
- Don’t give up. The Board of Veterans’ Appeals sends back almost half of the claims reviewed to the Regional Office to correct errors or obtain more evidence. The first answer from the VA may not be completely accurate. An Allsup VA-accredited claims agent can help with the complexities of the claim and prepare a thorough and accurate appeal.
Veterans who can no longer work due to disability also may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance in combination with VA disability benefits. Read more about veterans disability appeals at Veterans.Allsup.com. For help with your VA disability appeal or to learn about eligibility for SSDI, contact Allsup at (888) 372-1190.
Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, veterans disability appeal, Medicare and Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Allsup professionals deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. Founded in 1984, the company is based in Belleville, Ill., near St. Louis. Visit http://www.Allsup.com or connect with Allsup at http://www.facebook.com/Allsupinc.