Articles Posted in Veterans Information

Who is eligible to receive veterans’ survivor benefits?

Our brave military men and women put their own lives on the line to protect our country. Entering the military comes with risks in all branches. Since our founding as a country, the United States has fought in at least 11 official wars and many other domestic and international military conflicts. Over 7,000 U.S. troops were killed, and thousands more injured, over the last decade. Losing your loved one to military service is devastating, and for many families, it also means financial struggle. To assist the family members of fallen or disabled soldiers, the Social Security Administration and the Veteran’s Association offers both veteran and survivor benefits.

Social Security Survivor Benefits

Q: Are veterans covered for deployment-related burn pit exposure injuries?

California veteran’s disability and benefits attorneys followed with interest a landmark court ruling that changes the way victims of burn pit-related medical problems may be compensated for their deployment-related injuries and treatment costs.

At military bases throughout Iraq and Afghanistan, open-air burn pits release thick black smoke filled with “thousands of chemicals” into the air – – by-products of incinerated trash that included plastics and other waste.

Q: Can an honorably discharged veteran shop at discount military exchanges?

Veteran’s disability attorneys are in the business of helping our nation’s veterans access the benefits they’re entitled to for their sacrifice and service.

Often, while helping disabled vets apply for benefits or appeal a denial of veteran’s benefits, it becomes evident that many vets are unaware of the many benefits that are available to them and their families. Some important veteran’s benefits for eligible beneficiaries include: 

  • burial and memorial
  • death pension
  • dependency and indemnity compensation
  • disability compensation
  • employment and training
  • parent’s dependency and indemnity compensation
  • special monthly compensation
  • survivor benefits
  • veteran’s healthcare
  • veteran’s life insurance. 

Many of the above benefits have a complicated application and appeals process and interested applicants would be wise to contact an attorney who specializes in veteran’s benefits for assistance qualifying for these benefits. 

Q: Can veteran’s benefits be affected by a natural disaster?

California veteran’s disability and benefits attorneys can help veterans understand the many often-untapped resources available to them and their families as a result of their military service. In addition, a skilled benefits attorney can help vets apply for their benefits or can handle an appeal of the unfair denial of a claim for benefits.

While burial and memorial benefits are one of the more commonly known veteran’s benefits, there is an extensive list of veterans benefits available to eligible beneficiaries including:

It’s patently unfair that after fighting for or serving your country you have to fight for the benefits you’re entitled to. That’s particularly frustrating when your service has resulted in a life-altering and/or life-shortening disability.

A skilled California Veterans disability and benefits attorney can help eligible veterans file a claim or appeal an unfair denial of benefits…especially when government roadblocks impede access to necessary records.

Earlier this year, the world witnessed the horrific effects of Sarin gas, a “chemical weapon so deadly and debilitating it was outlawed as a weapon of mass destruction” when the Syrian military released it on its own people–including children. The side effects of Sarin gas and chemical and biological weapons like it include convulsions, paralysis, respiratory failure, and death. The world was outraged.

Q: What benefits are available to disabled or non-disabled vets?

They navigated minefields or launched missiles by air or sea.  They performed daring rescues and survived ambush attacks. In many cases, they paid dearly for their sacrifice and service to our country and many didn’t make it home with all the parts they left with—if they made it home alive at all.

Sadly, instead of a clear pathway to easily accessible and well-deserved Social Security Disability and Veterans Benefits, our veterans face bureaucratic red tape and obstacles at various stages of the application and appeal process for SSDI or other veterans benefits. The situation is so stressful that many vets just quit on their denied applications in frustration rather than seeing the process through to the final appeal or hearing level.

Sobering statistics indicate that 70% of first time applicants who file their own Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) application without attorney representation are denied benefits. Although there is an appeal process within 60 days of the initial denial of benefits, over 85% of unrepresented applicants are denied again at this reconsideration level. Defeated and frustrated, most applicants give up at this point, before reaching the appeals/hearing level.

What is the Veterans Administration doing to expedite disability claims?

The Veteran’s Administration continues to face a backlog of disability claims. While the department had set goals to eliminate the gridlock, it has been reported that more than 70,000 disability claims remain  trapped in Veterans Affairs processing centers across the country. The VA missed its goal of reducing the number of delayed claims to zero seven months ago, even though officials contend a number of claims have been left open intentionally so that veterans receive full payouts. That being said, the agency is not satisfied with the delays in what it described as a “continuous improvement process.”

The Extent of the Problem

What recourse do veterans have if they have been denied disability benefits?

The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, put in place by Congress in 1998, does not hear cases that aggregate veterans’ denial of benefit complaints. Now, a group of veterans is arguing that this policy denies them of their right to bring class-action lawsuits to fight grievances.

The group has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of thousands of veterans who have suffered financial and medical hardship because of delayed claims. The overarching issue is whether the court’s refusal to hear cases brought on behalf of a class of veterans denies them recourse typically available in most state and federal courts.

What is a Class Action Lawsuit?

A class action lawsuit is one in which a group of people who have suffered the same or similar injuries caused by the same product or action sue the defendant as a group. By combining the suits, thousands of claims can be resolved at the same time, rather than being litigated individually.

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