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Veterans Disability Benefits Blog

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How Does the VA Determine My PTSD Disability Rating?

A military man hugs his English Bulldog

As every solider knows, you can’t go into battle alone. You need a reliable and dependable support team behind you. The same is true of veterans battling with PTSD. Having a compassionate, understanding PTSD recovery team can help the healing process along. But the road to recovery is not always easy. We know of veterans who’ve done all the “right” things. They’ve reached out to their people for help. Received a PTSD diagnosis from a doctor. Applied for disability benefits, had a VA medical evaluation--only to have the VA deny them benefits, or give them a rating lower than their...

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Jury Awards Veteran $1.7 Million in Third Trial Over Faulty 3M Earplugs

A Pensacola, Florida, federal jury has awarded $1.7 million in the third bellwether trial over 3M’s defective Combat Arms earplugs. Jurors found that 3M failed to provide adequate warnings for the earplugs, according to the plaintiffs' lawyers. From 2005 to 2012, 3M Combat Arms earplugs were standard issue safety equipment. Over that period of time, thousands, and possibly hundreds of thousands of military personnel used the faulty earplugs, exposing their users to loud noise events. A design flaw rendered the earplugs mostly ineffective, but many earplug users never realized the problem, or only realized they weren’t working after permanent hearing damage...

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Can a Fully Developed Claim Really Help Me Get My Disability Benefits Faster?

When you're in the business of helping veterans secure disability benefits, you inevitably field the following question: Why is the VA is taking so long to process my claim? There are many factors that affect processing time, including the current backlog, but sometimes the delay is beyond the VA’s control. When a veteran files a standard disability claim it is the VA’s responsibility, under the Duty to Assist doctrine, to gather all the evidence that could help prove your claim, including medical records from private (non-VA) healthcare providers. Sometimes delays are the result of a private doctor taking a while to...

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How to Calculate Your VA Disability Rating

Disabled veteran shows guide to calculating your disability rating on smartphone to friends

Here at the Rep for Vets, we have veterans ask us all the time: How does the VA calculate my disability rating? You may have heard the term "VA math" before. The person using the term is usually expressing confusion or frustration with the weird way the VA rates disability. Here's an example. John, who saw combat in the first Gulf War, has a 60% rating for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a 30% rating for a back injury, a 10% rating for the left knee disability, and another 10% rating for hearing loss. If you add up all these ratings you...

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How to Get Maximum VA Compensation for Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Pier, Onslow Bay, Camp Lejeune, November 1963 | Photo credit: USMC Archives We’ve written a lot about toxic exposure on this blog, from the burn pits that were used to dispose of waste in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to Agent Orange in Vietnam. But not all veterans who got sick from toxic exposure were deployed to an overseas conflict zone. Right here at home, as many as one million military and civilian staff and their families could have been exposed to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. What Happened at Camp Lejeune? Camp Lejeune has an illustrious history. During...

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Jon Stewart Teams Up with Veterans Exposed to Toxic Burn Pits in Fight for Benefits

Jon Stewart Poses for Photo with Servicemember

Image credit: Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for Public Affairs, CC license Jon Stewart is once again throwing his celebrity behind a campaign to pressure lawmakers to expand disability benefits, this time on behalf of veterans who operated near burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan and later developed serious illnesses. You don’t have to agree with everything he says to recognize the comedian’s gift for getting to the heart of an issue in blunt terms. Last September, speaking at a press conference where lawmakers announced a bill that would fast-track benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits,...

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Everything Veterans Need to Know About Gulf War Syndrome

What Is Gulf War Syndrome? Gulf War Syndrome is a widely used term for a chronic multi-symptom illness that affects many veterans of the 1991 Gulf War. Soldiers deployed to the Persian Gulf were exposed to a staggering variety of toxic chemicals, infectious diseases and combat stressors. Thirty years on, nearly 1 in 3 of these veterans suffer from a host of debilitating symptoms, from chronic fatigue to cognitive impairments. You can’t get a diagnosis of Gulf War syndrome, because doctors can’t say with certainty what causes it from a medical standpoint, and symptoms vary widely from one veteran to the next....

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How to Get Help with Disability Benefits for Schizophrenia

A veteran with schizophrenia enjoying a moment of serenity

Are you a veteran suffering from schizophrenia? As a veteran you are entitled to disability benefits that can help you cope with your symptoms, and you don't have to go through the VA claims process alone. This article will help you determine if you’re eligible for benefits, what you need to do to make your case to the VA, and how you can get help with your claim. Do I Qualify for Schizophrenia Disability Benefits? The first thing you need is a professional diagnosis of schizophrenia. You must also prove that you are unable to work despite medications. Finally, you need to...

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Am I Eligible for the 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Class Action?

Do you suffer from hearing loss and tinnitus? Did you serve in the armed forces between the years 2003 and 2015? Defective 3M Combat Arms earplugs could be the culprit, and you could be entitled to compensation, thanks to a large class action lawsuit set to go to trial early next year. Hearing loss and tinnitus can be distressing, and have serious negative impacts on your quality of life. The good news is that thousands of veterans may be entitled to receive compensation for hearing loss and tinnitus caused by defective 3M Combat Arms earplugs, which were manufactured and sold by...

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Should I Hire an Attorney or Agent to Get Veterans Disability Benefits?

The fight for disability compensation can be as tough and grueling as anything on the battlefield. Not only is the VA disability claims process complex, it can be long and error-prone. Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) have stepped in to shoulder some of the bureaucratic burden placed on veterans seeking disability compensation, but a typical VSO like Disabled American Veterans handles tens of thousands of claims a year. The level of personal attention a VA disability attorney or agent can devote to your claim might be reason alone to hire one. Experienced attorneys and VA-certified claims agents also help dig up evidence...

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Do you need help or advice? Contact us now.