I was awarded 100%, should I stop fighting the VA?
There are numerous reasons why you might want to continue to claim service connected issues regardless of your current rating. Please watch this video for more information.
100% compensation and beyond
There are numerous ancillary benefits available after you have been awarded 100%, 100% Permanent and Total (P&T) or Total Disability due to Individual Unemployability (TDIU). You and your dependents may also qualify for an ID card that would allow access to on-base privileges.
"I'm thinking about NOT applying for compensation because...
I'm doing alright and there are vets who are worse off then I am".
While this may be true (there is ALWAYS someone who is doing worse, and better, than you) that does NOT mean you should not claim the benefits you earned. The VA, like every federal entity, must go to Congress with hat in hand every year to justify their budget requests. They calculate this request by determining the number of veterans there are and will be for that year, assume they will ALL reach 100% and utilize ALL the programs they are eligible for. Obviously, not every veteran will attain 100% compensation and MOST veterans do not utilize every benefit they are eligible for, let alone every benefit the VA offers. So what does the VA do with this surplus budget? Spend it on Veterans programs? We wish! It usually pads the pockets of high ranking VA officials or goes towards an extravagant Holiday party. I have no facts to point to, but this is usually what happens when government entities have more money than they know what to do with. If you think that walking away from your benefits is going to help your fellow veteran, you are WRONG! In fact, given the nature of federal finance principals, it is more likely that next year the VA will decide to cut worthwhile programs due to poor utilization. In conclusion - don't walk away from your benefits thinking you are helping others...you are not. You are only hurting yourself.
Compensation for qualifying dependents
A Veteran receiving 30% or more service connected disability compensation may be eligible for compensation for qualifying dependents. If you are married and/or have children, are rated at least 30% and are not receiving compensation for your dependents please contact us and we will be happy to assist you in pursuing compensation for those individuals. Please gather your marriage certificate, birth certificates or adoption decrees and SSNs of all dependents you wish to add. If you or your spouse were married previously, please gather divorce decrees or death certificates or other proof that the previous marriage was lawfully terminated.
What is a "qualifying dependent"?
- Any unmarried biological or adopted child under the age of 18;
- An unmarried child between the ages of 18 and 23 who is attending school;
- A legal spouse - see the VA's website for guidance on what constitutes a "legal" spouse;
There are many exceptions to these guidelines. If you are unsure whether your dependents will qualify, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
Special Monthly Compensation (SMC)
SMC is an additional tax-free benefit that can be paid to Veterans, their spouses, surviving spouses and parents due to special circumstances such as the need of aid and attendance by another person or a specific disability, such as loss of use of a hand or leg.
If you have questions about whether or not you may qualify for SMC, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you.