February 3rd, 2015|
When soldiers or veterans are left unable to work because of medical conditions related to their service, they may be entitled to veterans disability benefits. But a majority of claims are initially denied, and this can leave veterans to wade through the veterans disability appeals process.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reported last week that more than half of all veterans disability claims are reviewed numerous times before decisions are issued or other cases are evaluated. This process is leaving many veterans waiting years for decisions on their claims.
According to an article from the Washington Times, there are more than 300,000 veterans awaiting decisions on their appeals. The issue has prompted lawmakers and veteran advocates to call for changes to the system.
Some of the reforms being considered include hiring more claims processors and awarding incentives to employees with the highest accuracy rates. Still others have called for teleconferencing to be allowed for appeal hearings so as to reduce the need to coordinate schedules and transportation.
Until these changes are made, veterans will continue to struggle to get the benefits they’re owed. The most important thing for these individuals to know is that help is available.
At Norris Injury Lawyers, our team of Birmingham personal injury lawyers knows the countless difficulties a disabled veteran can encounter and we are hopeful changes are made soon to get these true American heroes the care they need in a timely manner.
November 25th, 2014|
The men and women who serve in our military are often entitled to veterans’ disability benefits if they suffer from a service-connected disability. However, the system used to determine who gets benefits hasn’t been updated in decades, which has led to issues in recent years.
According to the L.A. Times, one of the most serious problems is the way an individual’s disability rating is determined. The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) looks at each case to decide the veteran’s level of disability. The issue is that there are no real standards, which may allow veterans suffering from less severe disabilities to receive higher disability ratings than veterans with more severe injuries or illnesses.
Another problem is that many of the veterans who are now considered disabled never served during a time of combat. In fact, a majority of disability recipients served during peacetime.
Still others say the issue is the types of injuries that are being considered disabling. While less than 20 percent of disabled veterans are wheelchair-bound, tinnitus—a hearing condition—is the most common disabling condition among veterans, accounting for 373,673 claims.
So what does this mean to a veteran who’s been injured? With the system facing scrutiny, it may be wise to discuss your situation with a qualified attorney.
At Norris Injury Lawyers, our Birmingham personal injury attorneys can help you apply for veterans’ disability benefits. Call (888) 318-4245 today to discuss your case.
April 16th, 2013|
April 16, 2013
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression are becoming increasingly common conditions in soldiers applying for Alabama Veterans Disability Benefits. Experts are attempting to help these individuals by offering more non-drug therapy solutions.
According to a story released by WKRG 5 News, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) Medical Center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, will be holding a special training event to help pastors, priests, and other church leaders better understand the effects that PTSD can have on soldiers.
The seminar will be held this coming Thursday and will discuss topics such as the warning signs of PTSD and depression, and the legal issues associated with soldiers and veterans suffering from these conditions.
Some of the warning signs a veteran may be suffering from PTSD include withdrawal from social situations, hypersensitivity, and mood swings.
VA Chaplain, John Bailey, explains getting this information out to church leaders is extremely vital because research has shown troubled veterans are more likely to turn to the church for help before seeking medical assistance from mental health professionals.
The program will begin at 9 a.m. and will conclude at noon.
The Birmingham Personal Injury Attorneys with Norris Injury Lawyers are aware of the devastating effects that PTSD can have on veterans and their friends, families, and acquaintances. That’s why the firm urges anyone who is available to take part in the upcoming seminar.
January 22nd, 2013|
Jan. 21, 2013
Those who retire from military service often see a slight decrease in their income. An article from The Reporter discussed several ways veterans may be able to supplement retirement income through other Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits.
The story explained that Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC) is a type of veterans disability benefit for veterans who have retired from the military. These benefits can be received on top of retirement pay a veteran is already receiving. To sign up, a veteran has to be eligible to receive retirement pay and over the age of 60 or temporarily retired through the Temporary Early Retirement Authorization program. A vet must also have at least a ten percent disability directly caused by time in combat.
This benefit fills gaps in coverage for partially disabled veterans who have a portion of their retirement pay withheld due to their condition.
A recent change to the law allows those receiving Veterans Disability Benefits to also receive full retirement pay through a program called Concurrent Receipt.
The Birmingham Personal Injury Lawyers with Norris Injury Lawyers recognize how confusing the laws regarding Birmingham veterans benefits can be, and they suggest discussing your legal options with an attorney if you are preparing to file a claim or have had a claim for benefits denied in the past.
November 27th, 2012|
Nov. 27, 2012
The number of returning veterans suffering from disabling injuries is the highest it has ever been across the country—especially in Alabama. A recent article from The Birmingham News discussed the different types of injuries and what is being done to better treat our wounded warriors.
Estimates show that more than 20,000 soldiers and veterans are receiving treatment at four Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) medical facilities in Alabama. Nationwide, nearly half of all returning veterans are seeking compensation for service-related injuries.
New returning veterans are claiming to have sustained an average of between eight and fourteen injuries. This figure is higher than the less than four injuries claimed by Vietnam veterans or the two ailments typically claimed by World War II and Korean War veterans.
A majority of the injuries that VA facilities are treating today tend to be mental disorders, more specifically, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. One new treatment technique those suffering from the disorder and receiving Birmingham Veterans Benefits benefits includes the “Connect To Recovery” program, which gives a cellphone to at-risk veterans in an effort to keep them in touch with medical staff.
The Birmingham Personal Injury Lawyers with Norris Injury Lawyers understand how complex the process of filing for veterans disability benefits can be and are here to answer your questions if you are preparing to file a claim or have been denied in the past.
July 31st, 2012|
July 31, 2012
A 30-year-old Alabama Army veteran is hoping to use his disabilities to inspire others to achieve their goals of success. According to CNN News, he is hoping to show people a “happy and healthy way of leading their life.”
The soldier’s story started during his second tour of Iraq in 2005. During his tour, he and others were taking a fleet of Humvees to pick up the rest of their platoon. A roadside bomb hit the vehicle that the soldier was driving, taking the soldier’s left arm and leg. He also received severe facial injuries as a result of the blast.
He woke up four days later in a Maryland hospital where he would recover from his Alabama Veterans Disability for the next several weeks. Upon his release, he used his injuries as motivation to get himself in top shape. He began an intense workout regimen, and plans on participating in several extreme races to motivate others to achieve their goals.
He states “If I can show them the route I took to success, then they can follow the same, and that makes me feel good.”
The Birmingham Personal Injury Lawyers with Norris Injury Lawyers are inspired by this young man’s will to live and overcome the obstacles of life. The firm would like to congratulate him on his achievements and wishes him the best of luck in his future endeavors.
June 5th, 2012|
June 5, 2012
Most Americans realize that a large number of soldiers are returning home to the United States with permanent injuries and disabilities; however, many do not realize that the number of returning vets suffering from these life-altering conditions is record breaking.
According to an article published by the Navy Times, 45 percent of the 1.6 million returning veterans are seeking compensation for injuries that they claim to be service-related. That number is more than double the number of soldiers that filed claims following the first Iraq War and Bosnia.
The average number of injuries suffered by each soldier is also on the rise. Recent returning vets are claiming, on average, between 11 and 14 ailments. Soldiers returning from previous wars, such as Vietnam and World War II, averaged between two and four injuries.
Despite the growing number of injured returning soldiers, funding for veterans services is running out, leading to the closure of 17 veterans services offices in Alabama alone. This means that the 420,000 veterans in the state of Alabama will face longer waits for services at the remaining facilities or be forced to seek alternative care options.
The Birmingham Personal Injury Lawyers with Norris Injury Lawyers believe that injured soldiers returning home from active duty deserve only the finest care that our country can provide. That is why the firm is dedicated to helping those soldiers get the Veterans Disability Benefits they deserve for their service.