Eleven Things You Should Know About Veterans Disability Benefits

bg Many veterans find the VA and the process of filing for veterans disability benefits confusing.  We know that it can be confusing and would like to help clarify the process a little bit.  Here are eleven things you should know about veterans disability benefits.

1.  You must use VA’s forms to file for disability compensation benefits

VA changed its regulations in 2015.  The new regulations require you to use standard forms that are published by VA.  If you do not use the right forms, VA will probably deny your claim until you use the right forms.

2.  If you receive a rating decision from VA, you have one year to file a notice of disagreement

VA often denies veterans applications for disability compensation benefits.  Even when they do not completely deny the claim, they often assign an incorrect rating or the wrong effective date for benefits.  To appeal VA’s rating decision, you need to file a notice of disagreement.

3.  If you have more than one service-connected disability, VA math does not work like regular math

VA has special math that it uses when you have more than one service-connected disability.  While you would think that a 30% rating for a back condition plus a 30% rating for PTSD equals a total rating 60%, VA math will usually cause it to equal 50%.

4.  If you served “boots on the ground” in Vietnam, many conditions like diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, and certain types of cancer are presumed to be caused by your military service

Most veterans who served in Vietnam are presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange during their military service.  VA presumes that certain medical conditions are caused by that Agent Orange exposure.

5.  You cannot appeal a remand from VA, but you usually can improve your case

If you appeal VA’s rating decision, one way that you can be successful is by getting your claim remanded by the Board of Veterans Appeals or the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.  A case is usually remanded because VA made some error in your case.  This does not necessarily mean that you win your case.  Many times, it gives you an opportunity to improve your case by presenting additional evidence to VA.

6.  Like Vietnam veterans, veterans who served in the Gulf War are entitled to a presumption that certain diseases were caused by their military service

VA established presumptions that fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and certain other medical conditions are presumed to be connected to a Gulf War veteran’s service.  This presumption means that a Gulf War veterans will not have to prove that these conditions are service-connected.

7.  Veterans with service-connected traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) receive a presumption that certain other medical conditions were caused by the TBI

Secondary conditions are conditions that are related to a service-connected condition.  VA established by rule that certain conditions which develop are presumed to be secondary to a TBI.  Those conditions include depression, seizures, dementia, symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, and certain hormone deficiencies.  Whether the presumption applies depends on the condition and the severity of the TBI.

8.  You can get a 100% rating through total disability individual unemployability (TDIU) even if VA math does not add up to 100%

Many veterans have serious service-connected conditions that cause them to be unable to work.  In some situations, these veterans can prove that they are unemployable and qualify for a 100% rating using TDIU.

9.  Veterans can qualify for additional benefits using special monthly compensation

Special monthly compensation is payable in addition to the regular benefit that the veterans would receive.  Among other things, it can be paid for loss of a limb, loss of sight or hearing, and aid and attendance.

10.  You can get a free consultation with a VA accredited attorney to answer your questions about VA benefits

Many people have questions about veterans benefits.  We are happy to provide you with a free consultation so that you can get answers to your questions.

11.  Our VA accredited attorney’s will often represent you for free if you are filing an initial application for benefits

We can represent you on an initial application or an appeal.  If you decide you need help filing an initial application after talking to us, we will often agree to help you file that initial application for free.  Sometimes, our free representation can result in a significant recovery for you.


Travis Studdard is an attorney who focuses on representing veterans in VA disability compensation claims.  He regularly writes about issues that are important to veterans and their families.

You can subscribe to his Veterans Disability channel on YouTube.

Rita BarnesRita Barnes
00:03 20 Jan 22
This is a great group of people who really care about your well being. They all treated me as though I was family and helped me with my work comp case in more ways than the average would have.Thank you Jason and Thank you Tina! For doing an awesome job.
Cortex ButlerCortex Butler
18:09 29 Dec 21
I am a Veteran of United States Air Force and was awarded my first 30% in 1996 and have been fighting for my rating for 26 years I came to Perkins and Studdard in 2019 while my mom was in a terrible incident and was given to much anesthesia and through GODS Grace she was spared her life, She is disabled since 2018 and I have been struggling with my life and issues and yet I didn’t call the law firm every 10 minutes or call being rude anytime, I mentioned this as I got to know Jessica more than just a phone call and Mr Studdard was always available when not working on other cases or in court, They always called back and Never had to do a call back, My Review is Simple in Life there peaks and valleys and it doesn’t stop because you have issues, Perkins & Studdard took my case in 2019 in 2021 I received my 100% from VA, I Was Never Rude, I was Never Promised Success, I Was Never Lied too and I was Always Treated with Respect, Friendliness, and Kindness the Real Stuff not a (Money Thing) If You want a firm that Cares about the Client and will work on your case even through a pandemic, Will not lie, will not promise anything will communicate your case and will Give you their Best ALWAYS THIS IS THE Best Law Firm for VETS HANDS DOWN Perkins and Studdard THERE IS NO OTHER 100% we had 5 calls Total Case That’s Taking Care Of Business
annetteMomma nokesannetteMomma nokes
14:29 12 Sep 16
Jason and his paralegal Lisa were on point and on top of their game when it came to handling my worker's comp. injury case. I tried going it alone and the insurance carrier pushed me around. They denied extra physical therapy. They denied injections the doctor recommended to ease my pain. When I turned my case over to Jason things turned around, QUICK. They were at all times attentive and on top of my case. I cannot recommend Jason and his staff enough. If you are hurt at work, this is the firm you want on YOUR side.
Sheila KirklinSheila Kirklin
23:11 12 May 16
Jason Perkins, was my lawyer in a workers comp. case, my case has settled now, and I am very happy for all Jason and his office hard work on my case, he was always there to help me out with any questions that I had or help I needed. Jason is a excellent lawyer and if I ever need another one I would only go to Perkins,Because I believe they would be able to help me in any situation I am in need of..
Anna PabonAnna Pabon
23:16 13 Sep 15
I recommend Perkins Law Firm. Everyone I came in contact with there was very nice. Kim was very helpful and any time I had a question she made sure I got an answer. Ann Margaret really took the time to explain things to me.

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