Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. Attorneys at Law

Veterans' issues: VA benefits program assists disabled veterans

This past Memorial Day, people in Mobile and nationwide took a moment of remembrance for those in the military who made the ultimately sacrifice in serving our country -- their lives. However, it is also important to remember that some of the veterans who are fortunate enough to come home from active duty may come home with a physical or mental disability related to their time in service.

These disabilities can seriously affect a veteran's ability to adjust to civilian life. Their condition may be so severe that it keeps them from holding down a job or even merely functioning in their day-to-day lives. Fortunately, there are programs in the United States meant to assist veterans in such situations.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has a disability compensation program meant to help veterans who become disabled due to their time in active service by providing these individuals with monetary help. This help is meant to provide compensation for the loss of the veteran's earning potential.

Veterans with a service connected disability may seek benefits if their disability is related to their time in active duty. The VA will rate the severity of the veteran's disability, which could be anywhere from zero to 100 percent. If a veteran is deemed to be 10 percent disabled or more, he or she may seek monthly disability benefits. Moreover, if the veteran is deemed to be 30 percent disabled or above, then he or she may also seek additional benefits for his or her dependents. The veteran will not be taxed on these benefits. There may also be other benefits available to veterans, depending on their disability rating. However, a veteran cannot seek benefits if he or she was dishonorably discharged.

In the end, veterans who are disabled in the course of active duty deserve to be taken care of once they return home. The VA has programs available to provide these veterans with disability benefits. However, applying for such benefits can be confusing, especially if it is a person's first time doing so. Therefore, individuals seeking VA disability benefits or who have questions about other veterans' issues may want to first seek the advice of an attorney so they can move forward on the right foot.

Source: The Durango Herald, "Veterans: Do you know about the disability compensation program?," May 26, 2017

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