Service in the military can be a way for someone to uphold their family legacy or give back to a country that has given them many opportunities. Unfortunately, service often comes with a high cost.
Those who serve in the military can get hurt during basic training so badly that they never even see active duty. Those who do serve actively could wind up physically injured because of job responsibilities, permanently disabled because of injuries suffered during conflict, or even psychologically scarred by things they witness or have to do because of their position.
When those who have served return home with long-lasting consequences, veterans’ disability benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) can help them maintain a basic standard of living. Unfortunately, many veterans face the swift and unfair denial of their initial benefit claims.
How many veterans don’t receive the benefits that they should?
Benefits programs have different rates of denial, and those rates can fluctuate substantially. When it comes to veterans’ disability benefits, applicants have a pretty unignorable risk of not receiving the support that they deserve.
The VA makes mistakes all the time. They have a self-reported error rate of at least 14%, although outside agencies place it at around 38%. In other words, you have roughly a one in six chance of an unfair denial.
Denied benefits happen for all kinds of reasons. Perhaps the language used to describe your disabling medical condition wasn’t clear enough. Maybe you missed a deadline or didn’t sign everywhere you should have. Even tiny mistakes can lead to a denial, and some denials are because of the mistakes made by VA staff, not the applicant.
What can you do when the VA declines your benefit claim?
When you need veterans’ disability benefits but don’t receive an immediate approval, you have legal protections. The right to file an appeal is crucial for those relying on disability benefits to provide for themselves and their family members after military service.
Although the appeals process is often stressful, with the right support, it can help you get the benefits you need because of the injuries you suffered while serving your country.