Leaders in Veterans
If you are a veteran with a service-connected disability, gaining access to the full benefits you are entitled to is essential to providing you and your family with the support you deserve. The VA disability attorneys at our law firm have decades of combined experience assisting veterans in recovering the total compensation they deserve now and into the future, in addition to what is owed from the past. Back-pay for payment from the time of your application is possible, and with experienced attorneys by your side, the VA will take your claim or appeal seriously.
VA Disability Benefits are Not Automatic But Must be Applied For
While it would be great if you received the total VA disability benefits you are entitled to immediately after your discharge from the military, that is not the case. To collect VA disability benefits, you must file VA Form 21-526EZ, Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits.
To collect, you need to prove to the VA the following:
- You have a diagnosis for a current condition or disability
- Your current condition or disability was incurred in your active service in the U.S. military
- You have evidence that your current diagnosis or disability is linked to your active service
The evidence you provide with your application determines, in part, your VA disability rating. The difference between an accurate VA rating for your disability and an inaccurate one or a denial could equal thousands of dollars in monthly tax-free payments. You’ll receive $0 in tax-free monthly payments with a 0 percent rating. In comparison, a 100 percent rating entitles a single veteran to over $3,000 each month in tax-free payments, increasing with the number of dependents in their family.
We work to ensure that you collect the total amount in compensation you are entitled to. Our experienced VA disability lawyers know what kind of evidence the VA is looking for and how to package it to ensure that they find it to incorporate into your VA rating and disability compensation amounts.
With decades devoted to defending veterans’ rights, we are respected leaders in the arena of veterans’ disability law. We have helped thousands of honored veterans and their dependents win extremely challenging cases in VA Regional Offices, the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Your appeal may end up in various forums, and not all VA disability lawyers have enough experience to feel comfortable within them. The forum of a case determines how it is processed, as well as the perspective of the judges overseeing claims. Our attorneys have extensive experience in all the venues your appeal may appear and have experience in front of a wide variety of judges nationwide to achieve victories on behalf of our clients.
Our highly regarded legal professionals and medical experts come from the ranks of the nation’s most qualified veterans’ advocates. Each of us brings authentic compassion, deep knowledge of how military service affects the mind and body, and rigorous skill in preparing and presenting compelling claims and medical nexus opinions.
One of the most critical pieces of evidence your VA disability claim or appeal can include is a nexus letter. A nexus letter is the opinion of a medical professional that links your current condition to your active service, having assessed your condition and your relevant military and medical records.
The medical expert ranks the likelihood that your condition is linked to your active service on the following scale:
- Not likely
- At least as likely as not
- More than likely
- Highly likely
When your claim for VA disability benefits for a current condition that the medical experts find is at least as likely as not caused by an event, injury, or illness during your active service, the VA will likely approve your claim. It is vital to ensure that the medical expert is provided with sufficient evidence to consider your claim and that they have the expertise to accurately understand your disability and how the VA defines it.
Working with our firm provides access to our network of medical professionals who work extensively with veterans trying to collect the disability benefits they deserve. The medical professionals working with us have established our trust and can accurately assess how your condition impacts your day-to-day life and ability to work.
We prioritize veterans who are unable to work due to their service-related disabilities, and we accept cases where we can make a difference, no matter how easy or hard those claims may be to prove. The purpose of filing a VA disability claim is to provide you with tax-free compensation payments to compensate for the economic cost and hardships your service-related disabilities create. Additional benefits such as an automobile allowance or adapted housing allowance are also sometimes available. These tax-free benefits are meant to provide veterans with the resources needed to alter their homes and automobiles to accommodate their disabilities.
Areas of VA Disability Law We Handle
Our VA-accredited attorneys can handle any phase of your claim so long as you have filed your initial application and completed the initial paperwork. VA-accredited agents and attorneys cannot be paid a fee to assist you in preparing your initial application. However, you can receive free assistance from VA-accredited persons working at the VA and with related agencies.
The value of a VA disability law firm like ours comes into play when your initial claim has been denied. We also assist veterans who disagree with their initial VA rating or if you need to file a supplemental claim if your condition has changed and/or worsened. It is essential to work with a law firm that understands what you are going through as a client and has a proven record of success in winning cases on their behalf.
According to the American Bar Association, the most important factor to consider when hiring a lawyer is their experience. A lawyer is much like a doctor because their knowledge is often focused on a particular area. In the same way that it would not make sense to go to an eye doctor for heart surgery, a veteran should not go to a business attorney for their VA disability case. Our firm focuses exclusively on veterans and their VA disability claims, and we are here to win on your behalf.
As noted, VA-accredited agents and attorneys are disallowed from charging a fee for helping veterans fill out their initial VA disability applications. That portion of the process is generally straightforward, but you must also recognize the importance of providing enough evidence. The initial claim is best handled by a local VSO, whether with one of the service organizations or with a local or state-level veterans service agency. When your claim provides insufficient evidence to demonstrate your condition is service-connected or its severity, you may be improperly denied or receive an inaccurate and low VA disability rating.
Denials and Appeals Have Deadlines and Requirements
When your initial claim is denied, there are broad benefits to working with a VA disability benefits attorney. We can help you from start to finish, helping you gather medical information for an accurate VA disability rating with a network of medical professionals. Gathering the evidence you need, in the format you need it, to present your case to the VA is essential to collecting the full benefits you are entitled to.
There are multiple pathways to appeal, including higher-level review, supplemental claim, and Board Appeal through the BVA. For BVA appeals, through which a Judge originally hears your case on the Board of Veterans Appeals, you generally have 1 year from the receipt of your initial denial letter to appeal. Supplemental claims can be filed if your initial claim was denied but you now have new and relevant information in support of your claim.
A supplemental claim is a pathway that we have used to achieve success for a number of our past clients, testimonials from whom are below. It is important to ask your prospective attorney how experienced they are in the field you need their assistance in, and asking for prior client reviews helps to confirm their claims.
When your service-connected condition worsens, your VA disability rating may no longer reflect the current level of disability that your condition causes in your life. When this happens, you can submit new evidence to the VA through a supplemental claim, which can, in turn, increase your overall rating and level of disability compensation.
Individual Unemployability (IU) Claims
If you have a combined VA disability rating of 70 percent or more, you may qualify for individual unemployability. This means that you are compensated at the 100 percent disability rate. You can achieve IU when you have two or more conditions, and at least one of them has a 40 percent disability rating.
Secondary Service-Connected Claims
When a condition is a direct result of an event, injury, or illness that you experienced during qualifying active service, it is a “primary condition” and directly service connected. For example, a primary condition could be a broken leg from an accident during active service. If that leg injury were to also cause a back injury over time after service, then the back injury would be a secondary service-connected claim as the injury is a result of a primary service-connected condition.
Our firm is not a general practice; rather, our attorneys focus exclusively on VA benefits law. Veterans are our only clients, and we have decades of combined experience to support your case and a proven track record of success that you can rely on.Gang & Associates is committed to the core principle that bigger is not always better. And that quality is more important than quantity. Gang & Associates is nationally recognized for defending veterans in highly complex VA disability claims and appeals, particularly in hard-to-prove cases involving service-connection for psychological disorders, physical disorders, toxin exposure, and dishonorable discharge.
Our unique and proven approach to investigation, evidence collection, medical nexus letter preparation, and VA claims and appeals litigation has resulted in U.S. veterans collecting close to $100 million in retroactive and ongoing VA benefits.
Because veteran’s disability law changes frequently and is increasingly complicated, we invest in the most advanced training and investigative technology available. And because we maintain a low attorney-to-client ratio, each of our clients gets our focused attention on their individual case.
As Executive Director of the nonprofit veterans’ advocacy group, Disabled Veterans Resource Center, attorney Eric Gang, our firm’s founding partner, is committed to raising the bar for how veterans obtain justice from the VA, and how they can live a higher quality of life as a result. Read a personal letter from Eric Gang here.
VA Disability Claims & Appeals Guide
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Veteran Benefits Information
With more than 100 years of combined experience, we have deep experience in veterans law, and we offer the hardest hitting and most aggressive representation of VA appeals. We have won cases on behalf of hundreds of clients with a broad range of service-connected disabilities, including the following:
Betrayal of Valor
An exposé of a horribly flawed veteran's administration
Our Recent Victories
- Close to $100 Million in Retroactive and Ongoing VA Benefits Awarded to Our Clients
- Over 1,000 Appeals at the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
- $940,419Service Connection
- $854,602Service Connection
- Autoimmune Disease
- TDIU SMC
- Housing & Auto
- DIC DEA
- $654,169Service Connection & DIC
- Heart Secondary to Psych