At The Law Office of Paul J. Dombeck PLLC in Phoenix, our experienced Arizona attorneys answer all types of questions relating to veteran’s benefits, including:
Extensive engagements in the Middle East over the past the two decades have led to sharp increases in the number of veterans collecting disability benefits. A 2018 review from the Department of Labor found that approximately 4.7 million veterans receive benefits, about 25 percent of the overall veteran population. However, that rate increases to 41 percent among those who served in a post-9/11 war zone.
A veteran who was anything other than dishonorably discharged can seek VA disability benefits if they have a medical condition that was caused or aggravated by their military service.
The amount of a veteran’s disability benefit payment depends on the extent of the impairment and the claimant’s family situation. For many conditions, the average disability rating is 10 percent, and a veteran would receive $144 for less severe conditions. On the other hand, the benefit is 10 times higher for a 70 percent impairment.
If you receive a 100 percent disability rating, it is an acknowledgement that your service-connected medical condition completely prevents you from working. This entitles you to the maximum monthly benefit payment. In 2021, the 100 percent benefit amount for an individual with no spouse, children or dependent parents is $3,146.
A veteran who is classified as 80 percent disabled receives payments, but they are substantially less than someone with a 100 percent disability. For example, under the 2021 rates, monthly compensation for a veteran living alone with an 80 percent disability is $1,679. If you have two or more impairments, it’s important to remember that the total percentage is not necessarily the sum of the percentage disability associated with each impairment.
Surviving spouses who qualify can receive Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) benefits after their veteran spouse dies. There are several different factors that are taken into account in DIC cases, and working with an experienced Phoenix veteran’s disability lawyer can help you understand if you’re entitled to payments.
Benefits are paid on a monthly basis, usually on the first of the month following the month for which the payment applies.
Depending on the particular circumstances, a disabled veteran could file for disability benefits through the mail or on the VA website. Working with a knowledgeable Phoenix veteran’s disability lawyer can help you avoid common mistakes and improve the likelihood of a favorable result. Likewise, if benefits have been denied or you did not receive the rating that you believe is warranted by the evidence, an experienced attorney will outline your appeal options.
Typically, creditors such as financial institutions and tax authorities cannot garnish a veteran’s disability benefits to satisfy a debt. However, in situations involving back child support and alimony, disability payments might be partially diverted to comply with a court-ordered obligation.
Veteran’s disability benefits are not taxable. If you paid taxes on previously received disability severance payments, you could be eligible for a refund under the Combat-Injured Veterans Tax Fairness Act of 2016.