Puerto Rico Veterans who were injured while serving in the military may be eligible for Service-Connected Compensation. Examples of such injuries include severe brain damage, TBI, burn pit diseases Gulf War Syndrome, Agent Orange diseases, amputation, and post-traumatic stress disorder syndrome (PTSD). Additionally, a spouse, child, or parent may also get some benefits.
The Puerto Rico VA will provide services to veterans living in Puerto Rico. The Veterans Administration Regional Office in Puerto Rico will provide Puerto Rico veterans with a rating decision after they submit an application for disability benefits. However, a large majority of the time, these decisions end up being denials. In some cases, you may be granted service connection, but you may not receive the rating you are entitled to. Having a VA disability lawyer in Puerto Rico on your side might be very beneficial.
Exactly What Kinds of VA Benefits Might You Get?
There are two types of Veterans' disability benefits available through the Puerto Rico VA, if you are a Veteran:
- Service-connected benefits
- Non-service-related benefits
Veterans with illnesses or injuries that began or worsened because of their military service may be eligible for benefits under the concept of service-connected compensation. Additionally, a spouse, child, or parent may get some benefits as well.
Serving at least 90 days of active duty, including one day during a period of war, is required for a non-service-connected pension. To qualify for this pension, you must be disabled or older than 65 and satisfy the conditions.
To What Extent Is a VA Disability Considered?
A service-connected Veteran's disability is defined as a debilitating injury or disease caused or exacerbated by your active-duty military service. A Veteran may be eligible for disability compensation if he or she is diagnosed with a sickness or condition that is believed to be connected to military service. Toxic chemicals, such as herbicides, that were often used in the military may cause a Veteran to acquire ailments later in life that are assumed to be linked to their service. The Puerto Rico VA can process these claims.
If your medical condition worsened due to your military service, you may be eligible for disability compensation based on the theory of aggravation.
Additional monthly payments may be available to Veterans with certain serious impairments that require extra skilled care. This is called special monthly compensation or SMC. This is also something that can be addressed at the Puerto Rico VA.
In Puerto Rico, How Do You Apply for VA Disability Benefits?
You can submit an application for Veterans' disability benefits at the Veterans Administration Regional Office, San Juan, or a VA hospital, regardless of whether your disability is service-connected or not. If the Puerto Rico VA grants service connection, you'll get a rating from them.
If the rating is too low or service connection is denied, you should appeal it. Disabilities that are eligible for VA disability benefits are graded from 0% to 100%. All the same federal laws that pertain to veterans apply to veterans at the Puerto Rico VA.
Protect Your Disability Benefits from the Puerto Rico Veterans Administration
Medical proof must be used to support your claim. A Veteran's illness or disability must be linked to their military service, which can be difficult to establish. As such, when it comes to rating decisions, it's often negative. It's possible that you won't get full VA benefits, or that you won't get any at all.
If you do not like your rating or were rejected, you have to file an appeal one year after obtaining your rating decision.
The Veterans Disability Info disability benefits attorneys can assist you in efficiently preparing and presenting your case to increase your chances of success.
How Do I Qualify For 100% VA Disability Benefits?
The Veterans Administration examines a Veteran's medical records, doctors’ reports, military service records, and other data to decide whether the Veteran is eligible for benefits.
If you have two or more service-related disabilities with a combined rating of 100 percent disability, you may be entitled to TDIU or VA IU if you are unable to sustain gainful occupation due to your service-connected disabilities. Because of your service-connected impairment and inability to find or hold down gainful employment, you may be eligible for a total disability rating of 100 percent.
It's called "Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployment" (TDIU) by the VA. The VA can issue disability payments based on a 100% disability rating if it determines that an individual is unemployed from gainful work and is very unlikely to be able to find a job. To reiterate, if you have a combined rating of 70 percent with at least one disability rated at 40 percent by itself or have one disability rated at 60 percent by itself, you are eligible for TDIU if your service-connected conditions prevent you from maintaining a gainful occupation.
TDIU pays a veteran at the 100 percent rate even if he or she does not have a combined rating of 100 percent. A Puerto Rican veteran who fits this criteria should apply for TDIU through the Puerto Rico VA.
Is the VA Disability Rating I Received Everlasting?
Over time, many service-related impairments have the potential to progress. Some disability ratings are not regarded to be long-term, therefore they are open to further evaluation.
For example, if a Veteran has surgery to treat a service-related condition and requires a 30-day or longer recovery period, the VA may pay at a 100% disability rate. Under the 100 percent temporary disability rating, a veteran is entitled to a temporary 100% rating during this period of convalescence.
There will be no subsequent examinations to re-evaluate a Veteran's rating of 100% permanent and total if he or she has a service-related ailment that does not improve.
Contact a Puerto Rico VA Disability Lawyer
If you are dissatisfied with your disability rating, you can file an appeal to have it changed. If you are a Veteran in Puerto Rico in need of disability benefits, Veterans Disability Info attorneys may assist you.
If you have questions about your case, please contact us today. We would be happy to assist you. We are one of only a few mainland law firms with a physical presence and satellite offices in Puerto Rico, and we even serve the Virgin Islands. Our network of VA disability benefits attorneys around the country enables us to assist our customers across the country more efficiently.