This new deadline will help at-risk people who may not be ill now, but who could develop illnesses within the next five years.
Holiday, FL (PRWEB) February 17, 2012
The VA’s recent decision to extend the deadline for veterans to file for disability benefits related to Gulf War illnesses will help many afflicted service members to obtain vital compensation, Tampa disability benefits lawyer Lawrence Disparti said today.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ original deadline expired December 31. However, the VA recently announced that Gulf War veterans will now have until Dec. 31, 2016, to apply for disability benefits. Family members of disabled servicemen and women can also apply for survivors’ benefits until that time, the VA said.
“More than 700,000 military personnel were deployed in the early 1990s to serve our country in Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield. Sadly, many of these veterans developed debilitating illnesses as a result of their service,” said Disparti, whose Florida disability benefits law firm, the Disparti Law Group, P.A., helps veterans with disability claims.
“This new deadline will help at-risk people who may not be ill now, but who could develop illnesses within the next five years,” he said.
According to the VA, Gulf War veterans may have been exposed to substances that have been linked to services-connected illnesses. These include burn pits, chemical and biological warfare agents, depleted uranium, oil well fires, smoke, petroleum, pesticides, pyridostigmine bromide (an anti-nerve agent) and vaccinations for anthrax and botulinim toxoid.
The VA has listed some “presumptive illnesses” that do not require proof to qualify for benefits, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, functional gastrointestinal disorders and some undiagnosed illnesses such as cardiovascular problems or abnormal weight loss.
Non-presumptive ailments – those illnesses which have not been officially recognized as related to Gulf War service – may also be compensable but require additional substantiation, Disparti said.
That’s where disabled veterans can run into trouble, according to the Tampa veterans’ disability benefits attorney.
“Filing veterans’ disability claims is not necessarily a simple process,” Disparti said. “There needs to be strong supporting medical information and other evidence. Many claims are rejected initially and must be appealed. It can be exhausting and confusing for veterans with significant physical and mental health issues stemming from Gulf War service.”
The amount of disability compensation for veterans varies based on the severity of the service-connected illness. The VA determines how much money a veteran may receive on a disability scale of 1 to 100. Individuals with a rating of 100 are considered the most seriously disabled and are eligible for the most compensation.
Gulf War veterans who seek disability benefits from the VA can benefit from speaking with an experienced attorney before starting the claims process, Disparti said.
“Submitting the strongest evidence right from the start of the claims process can help veterans receive the compensation they deserve as quickly as possible,” he explained. “A qualified veterans’ benefits attorney knows what to collect and can help build a strong case that avoids delays or lengthy appeals.”
The Disparti Law Group, P.A., provides veterans with free consultations about their disability benefits claims, he pointed out.
“Our lawyers are committed to helping veterans file claims that will alleviate some of their financial, physical and mental strain,” he said. “We owe these servicemen and women a debt of gratitude and are happy to provide legal services that will make their lives more comfortable.”
About Disparti Law Group, P.A.
Disparti Law Group, P.A., is a Tampa disability benefits law firm that provides legal assistance to individuals in cases involving Social Security Disability (SSD), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), railroad disability (FELA and RRB claims) and veterans’ benefits (including TSGLI claims). Additionally, the firm handles a variety of personal injury claims, including car accidents, slip-and-fall or premises liability, products liability, medical malpractice, wrongful death, nursing home neglect and inadequate security.
The firm serves clients across the U.S., including Illinois, Ohio, Georgia, Tennessee, Houston, Chicago, St. Louis, Washington, D.C. and the South Florida communities of Tampa, Miami, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Bonita Springs, Clearwater, Fort Meyers, Holiday, Naples and Port Charlotte. To learn more about the Tampa Social Security Disability lawyers of the Disparti Law Group, P.A., call (800) 633-4091 or use the firm’s online contact form.