Veterans Disability Benefits

Veterans Disability Benefits Offered to Pilots and Crews Exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam

by Staff Blogger | June 15th, 2015

There are currently millions of former members of the American armed forces who are unable to work due to medical conditions that stem from their service to our country. Our California veterans benefits attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers explain that many of these individuals receive veterans disability benefits, but there are others who continue to struggle to get the benefits they deserve decades after becoming injured or ill. A prime example of this suffering can be seen in soldiers who were exposed to a toxic defoliant during the Vietnam War, known as Agent Orange. The chemical was dropped onto the jungle from the air to kill off the leaves, trees, and plants so that the enemy could be seen and identified from the air. Unfortunately, exposure to Agent Orange has also been linked to a number of health conditions over the years, including prostate cancer, leukemia, and diabetes. For many years, only soldiers who were exposed to the chemical while on the ground were able to collect veterans disability benefits for their health problems. An article from Newser says the Department of Veterans Affairs may reverse that decision though. Officials announced late last month that Air Force pilots and crews of C-123 aircraft, the workhorse that was used to spread Agent Orange during military campaigns until 1975, may be eligible to receive veterans disability benefits. Our team of California personal injury lawyers at Berg Injury Lawyers applauds the efforts being made to get our nation’s veterans the benefits they deserve and we’re hopeful it can help veterans who have fought for benefits for decades to get back on their feet.

Thousands of California Veterans Disability Benefits Claims Ignored by the VA

by Staff Blogger | March 2nd, 2015

Getting veterans disability benefits can be extremely difficult, but thousands of former service members are now frustrated after an investigation discovered the Department of Veterans Affairs simply ignored their claims—in some cases, for decades. Reports from the Washington Free Beacon indicate that a recent CBS investigation determined a total of 13,841 claims for veterans disability benefits filed at the VA’s Oakland, California, office were simply placed into a filing cabinet and ignored. At least five VA employees have come forward saying the actions were not a mistake and that they were instructed to “hide the claims” rather than process them. In one of those cases, a veteran was owed $36,000 in benefits. This isn’t the first case of claims being ignored or forgotten though. Investigations indicate as many as six other VA offices located in large cities have had similar issues with claims being discarded, lost, or ignored. The VA says it’s working to reduce incidences of mismanaged claims by implementing an electronic filing system that will help eliminate the need to use the postal service to file a claim and the proper documentation of said claim; however, the system is still flawed, which is why you should consider speaking with a legal representative if your claim for benefits has been lost or denied. The California personal injury attorneys with Berg Injury Lawyers can help answer any legal questions you may have regarding the process of filing a veterans disability claim. Simply call us today at (800) 400-2374 to get started on your case.

VA Undergoes Restructuring to Improve Veterans Disability Benefits Services

by Staff Blogger | January 26th, 2015

When veterans are no longer able to work due to a disabling medical condition that’s related to their service to our nation, they may be entitled to receive veterans disability benefits. However, gaining access to these benefits through the multiple facets of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) can often be an arduous task to complete. One of the main reasons for this issue is the fact that the VA is divided into numerous smaller organizations that often operate independently of one another. To help address the problem, VA officials recently announced a reorganization that will help the agency’s different entities operate as one. Reports from 12 News Now indicate the VA currently has more than nine different organizations under its umbrella that host more than a dozen different websites. Each of these groups and sites often require different pieces of information to be utilized. This prompted officials to downsize the number of organizations under the VA to just five. Furthermore, the new organizations are expected to work more closely with one another in a, “ seamless, integrated, and responsive” manner. Officials stated they hope the reorganization of the VA can be completed by next summer. At Berg Injury Lawyers, we know how difficult navigating the VA’s systems can be and are hopeful the reorganization is successful in making the organization easier for veterans to navigate. That’s why we’re here to help if your claim for veterans disability benefits has been denied. Call our team of California personal injury attorneys at (800) 400-2374 and we will work diligently to help you get the compensation you deserve.

How to Maximize Your Veterans Disability Benefits

by Staff Blogger | January 12th, 2015

It can be difficult for a veteran with a disability to make ends meet if their condition prevents them from working. That’s why it’s so important for disabled veterans who are under financial strain to plan, budget, and develop a strategy for paying the bills. Not to fret though, there are several resources available to injured and disabled veterans. One of the first resources you should consider applying for is veterans disability benefits. Such compensation is awarded to veterans who are no longer able to work due to a medical condition directly related to United States military service. These benefits are dispensed based on the claimant’s pay grade at the time of their injury or diagnosis and the disability rating the individual receives when their condition is examined by medical professionals. Incentives offered to former U.S. military service members are another option disabled veterans should consider pursuing. These incentives include tax breaks veterans can receive for their home. The Zanesville Times Recorder reports veterans are entitled to claim as much as $50,000 in tax exemptions for their residence if they are considered 100 percent disabled by the United States government. If you’re a disabled veteran who is struggling financially, the most important thing to know is that help is available. At Berg Injury Lawyers, we have a network of legal professionals who can assist you with getting the compensation you’re legally entitled to receive. To speak with our California personal injury attorneys about your case, call us at (800) 400-2374 anytime of day or night.

Why You Should Avoid Pension “Cash Out” Agreements if You’re a Disabled Vet

by Staff Blogger | December 22nd, 2014

Soldiers who have been left permanently disabled as a result of injuries they sustained during their service to our nation are often entitled to veterans disability benefits; however, these payments may not be enough for many to make ends meet—especially in the San Francisco area where the costs of living are some of the highest in the nation. These financial struggles may force many disabled veterans to consider using a service that would allow them to “cash out” their pensions or other disability payments. It’s important for veterans to know this may not be wise though, as the contracts that are used to bind these agreements are often not designed in favor of the veteran. According to an article from the Sacramento Bee, the contracts may contain stipulations that require veterans to pay multiple fees and commissions that, in the end, result in a disabled individual receiving far less money than their pension or payments were worth. If you’re a disabled veteran and have found yourself struggling financially, the team of California personal injury attorneys with Berg Injury Lawyers wants you to know that there are other options available. Some of the resources you may have in your area include nonprofit organizations that can offer work or financial assistance. You may qualify for grants and other benefits, such as Social Security Disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income as well. We hope these tips help to get you the financial assistance you deserve.

Proposed Bill Will Extend Property Tax Exemptions for Those Receiving California Veterans Disability Benefits

by Staff Blogger | September 15th, 2014

There are hundreds of thousands of Californians who depend on veterans disability benefits to make ends meet. Too often though, this isn’t enough, and these individuals are left struggling to pay bills— such as property taxes. Under the current law, a veteran is exempt from paying property taxes if they are deemed 100 percent disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs. This exemption is retroactive for up to four years from the time a disability claim is awarded. Wait times for decisions in disability cases can sometimes be several years though. That’s why California is considering a reform to the law that would extend the ability to receive a refund for property tax exemptions from four years to eight years. This would allow veterans whose claims are bogged down in the system to not miss out on their ability to benefit from the exemption. According to Rocklin Today, the proposed bill—known as SB 113—was approved by the assembly late last month and is now awaiting an approval or denial from the desk of Governor Jerry Brown. At Berg Injury Lawyers, we applaud the efforts being made to improve the services and benefits for veterans in our state. That’s why our team of California personal injury lawyers is hopeful these reforms will effectively help to ensure all current and former soldiers get the benefits and services they are rightfully entitled to.

Veterans Will Receive Expedited Processing When They Apply for Disability

by Staff Blogger | August 4th, 2014

As American combat campaigns continue to wind down in the Middle East, soldiers are returning home from service every day suffering from injuries and health conditions that prevent them from working. Many of these individuals should have access to both Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits and Veterans Disability benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), but a lack of communication and collaboration between government organizations often prevents service members from receiving both. To help address this problem, there have been changes made to the Social Security Disability eligibility policies for soldiers who receive a total and permanent disability (TPD) discharge or are deemed totally (100 percent) disabled by the VA. These individuals now qualify for expedited processing of their disability claim, but certain steps must be followed. The Social Security Administration explains 100 percent disabled veterans must have an onset date—or the date they were classified as totally disabled— of on or after October 1, 2001. Furthermore, these individuals should identify themselves as a “100 percent totally and permanently disabled veteran” in the remarks section of their paperwork when they apply for disability. Officials add that being a “100 percent totally and permanently disabled veteran” doesn’t necessarily guarantee an approved claim, but it will ensure a decision is reached faster. At Berg Injury Law, we know the difference that can be made by receiving a Social Security Disability decision even a day sooner. Hiring a personal injury attorney to assist with your case can help ensure the decision that is reached is accurate and fair. So if you have questions or you need help applying for disability or appealing a decision, call us at (800) 400-2374.