Veterans Disability Lawyer in Colorado Springs
The Sawaya Law Firm is honored to serve U.S. military veterans in Colorado Springs who suffer from service-connected disabilities. We work hard to pursue the Veterans Administration (VA) disability benefits they deserve. These benefits come in the form of monthly, tax-free payments. We know how these benefits can make a major difference in the lives of disabled veterans and their families.
Whether they are applying for benefits or appealing adverse decisions, we want veterans to know that they can count on us to provide skilled, experienced and compassionate representation. If you currently suffer from a physical or mental condition that was incurred or aggravated by your active duty service in the U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy or Marine Corps, contact us to discuss your case in a free consultation. We also help National Guard and Armed Forces Reserves veterans in Colorado Springs, CO who are eligible for VA benefits. Call or reach us online today to learn more from one of our disability lawyers.
Who Is Eligible for VA Disability Benefits?
If you are unsure of whether you are eligible for VA disability benefits, The Sawaya Law Firm can review your case and help you to determine whether you meet the VA’s criteria. Generally, to qualify for these benefits:
- You must be a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces (or a National Guard or Armed Forces Reserves veteran who was called to active duty for a period by a federal order, and you completed that period of service).
- You must have been discharged under other than dishonorable conditions.
- You must currently suffer from a physical injury or disease or a mental health condition that is connected to your active duty service.
The VA deems a disability to be “service-connected” if it was caused by your active duty service, or if your active duty service aggravated a pre-existing condition. For instance, you may have suffered from a knee condition that became worse while you served on active duty. Some of the most common disabilities among the veterans we serve are:
- Severe hearing loss or tinnitus
- Chronic back pain
- Lung disease or breathing problems
- Loss of range of motion
- Cancer (due to exposure to toxic chemicals)
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
You may be eligible for benefits even if several years have passed since you served in the military. The Sawaya Law Firm can work with you to compile and present evidence which establishes not only your current physical or mental condition but also the connection, or nexus, with your active duty service.
The Sawaya Law Firm also helps veterans to apply for non-service-connected VA pension benefits. You may qualify for these veterans benefits if you meet income requirements, served at least 90 days of active duty (including at least one day during a period of war) and you either suffer from a permanent or total disability, or you are older than age 65.
What Types of VA Benefits Are Available?
When you apply for VA disability benefits, your claim will go through a review process. As part of that process, you will receive a VA disability rating ranging from 0-100 percent for each service-connected disability that you claim. The rating reflects the severity of the disability, or its impact on your ability to earn income and properly care for yourself.
If your disability, or combination of disabilities, comes out to 10 percent or higher, you should be eligible to receive compensation as long as you meet all other requirements. The higher your VA disability rating, the higher amount you will receive in monthly benefits.
A veteran with a 100 percent disability rating is considered to have a “total disability.” Some veterans can receive total disability benefits even if their disability rating falls below 100 percent. These benefits are called total disability individual unemployability (TDIU) benefits. To be eligible, you must:
- Have a service-connected disability with a rating of 60 percent or higher, or
- Have two or more service-connected disabilities with a combined rating of 70 percent or higher (at least one of which is 40 percent or higher), and
- Be unable to perform the physical and/or mental tasks that will allow you to secure and/or maintain substantial gainful employment due to your condition.
If your disability rating is 30 percent or higher, you may receive additional compensation based on your number of eligible dependents (such as your spouse and children). Additionally, if you suffer from a severe disability, you may qualify for Special Monthly Compensation. The loss or loss of use of your limbs, specific organs or sensory functions (such as vision or hearing) are a type of severe disability that would qualify for this form of additional compensation.
How Do You Apply for VA Disability Benefits?
Before you submit your claim for VA disability benefits, you should do your best to gather documentation that will support your claim. The Sawaya Law Firm can help you to track down items such as:
- VA medical records or other hospital records which describe your symptoms or provide a diagnosis of your condition
- Supporting statements from family, friends, clergy members, fellow veterans or others who can describe your condition and its effect on you.
- Discharge papers or other relevant records about your service.
If you can provide this documentation with your application, it will speed up the claims process. Once you are ready to file your application, you can do so:
- Online – Go to the VA website to learn more about whether you are eligible to file your application online
- By mail – You can use VA Form 21-526EZ and send it to:
Department of Veterans Affairs
Claims Intake Center
P.O. Box 4444
Janesville, WI 53547-4444
- In person – You can simply go to your nearest VA regional office. In Colorado Springs, that office is the PFC Floyd K. Lindstrom VA Clinic located at 3141 Centennial Boulevard.
To establish the earliest possible effective date for your disability benefits, you should submit your application as soon as you are diagnosed or aware of your symptoms. The Sawaya Law Firm can also help you to submit an “intent to file,” which will establish the effective date for your benefits, and advise you on whether your claim is eligible for fast-track status.
Can You Appeal a Decision on Your VA Disability Benefits Claim?
If the VA denies your claim, you disagree with your disability rating, or you find anything else wrong with the VA’s decision on your application, you have the right to appeal. However, you need to be careful about you handle the appeals process. It involves meeting strict deadlines, filing specific paperwork and making important decisions about what information you provide and what arguments you make. For this reason, you should seek help as soon as possible from an experienced disability benefits lawyer.
The Sawaya Law Firm can help you to file a Notice of Disagreement, which is the first step in the appeals process. We can also work with you to pursue your appeal at the VA regional office and/or the Board of Veterans Appeals. If necessary, we will work with you to file an appeal with the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. In short, we will do everything we can to fight for the benefits you need and deserve.
Our Veterans Disability Benefits Attorneys Are Here for You
It is important to take prompt action when you seek veterans’ disability benefits. Don’t wait. Contact The Sawaya Law Firm today in Colorado Springs. We can provide a free review of your case and get work right away on helping you to apply for VA disability benefits or pursue a decision on your claim. Call or reach us online now to get started.