“The veterans of our military services have put their lives on the line to protect the freedoms that we enjoy. They have dedicated their lives to their country and deserve to be recognized for their commitment.” – Judd Gregg
Who do we help?
We help our military service men and women who have sustained a disabling injury or developed a disabling condition while on active duty. Compensation may be received if they are unable to work or continue their service. Surviving spouses and children may also apply for compensation.
The VA describes those who are eligible for benefits as:
- Veterans. A veteran is a person who served in the active military, naval or air services, including the Coast Guard, and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable. This means veterans with dishonorable discharges may not apply for VA benefits at all.
- Surviving Spouses. The VA offers Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) and Death Pension Benefits to spouses of active service members and veterans who die of service-related injuries — as long as they meet certain criteria. If your application for these benefits has been denied, please contact our office to see if we can help you appeal.
- Surviving Children. DIC and Death Pension Benefits are also offered to surviving children of service members and veterans. Children must be under 18, or 23 for students, and unmarried. Certain helpless adult children are also entitled to DIC benefits.
How our legal fees are paid:
The VA realizes that the claims and appeals processes may last for years. If your appeal is granted, then you receive compensation that is retroactive to the beginning of your original claim. This retroactive payment is provided in a lump sum. When you are represented by Albin Law, the VA deducts 20 percent of this lump sum for the payment of legal fees. (Note: Lawyers must collect their entire fee directly from the veteran they have represented if they wish to charge more than 20 percent.) Fees will not be collected unless we win your claim for benefits.
What we can do for you:
Once a claim for benefits has been denied, or you disagree with the disability rating the VA has awarded, Albin Law can begin representing you. An Albin Law veterans’ affairs disability lawyer can guide your appeal through the lengthy claims process. We have experience dealing directly with the VA’s Regional Offices, the Board of Veterans Appeals, and the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (Veterans Court). If necessary, we can pursue your appeal all the way to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.
Qualifying for Veterans Disability Benefits
To qualify for veteran’s disability compensation benefits, a person must:
- have a disabling injury or condition related to active duty service in the military
- have a disabling injury or condition that was made worse by serving in the military
- have been discharged under conditions that were not dishonorable.
You may be awarded more benefits if you have:
- a severe disability
- lost a limb
- a spouse
- a child or children
- dependent parents
- a disabled spouse
Applying for Veterans Disability Benefits
To apply for VA benefits, you can:
- Apply Online Here (recommended)
- Visit a VA office
The form you need is called the Veterans Application for Compensation or Pension, also known as VA Form 21-526. In order to receive additional benefits for family members or severe disabilities, include marriage certificates, birth certificates, and doctor reports with your application.
As with any insurance claim, keep track of any paperwork, medical bills, and correspondence as it relates to your claim in order to get the maximum disability benefits.
You can estimate the amount of benefits you can receive by consulting the chart available from the Department of Veteran’s Affairs.
Appealing a VA Decision
To appeal a decision made by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the first step is to write a letter to your local VA office. There is no form to file an appeal; you or your attorney can write a statement that specifically outlines why you disagree with the decision on your benefits. This statement is called a Notice of Disagreement. You have one year to appeal. Unlike Social Security Administration, the VA’s decision is considered final after one year and cannot be reopened.