Are you a veteran who has suffered an injury while serving our country? Rolnick & Hengst, Houston Veterans’ Disability Attorneys, are experienced in helping honorably discharged veterans obtain the disability benefits they deserve. If your claim for service-connected disability benefits has been denied, please call Rolnick & Hengst today. Representation is provided both before the Veterans Administration and in the Court of Veterans Claims.
Rolnick & Hengst can apply their many years of experience in disability law to fight for the rights of veterans that have served our country. They engage their veteran clients on a personal level to gain the information needed and to deliver the personal consideration that is deserved.
To obtain service-connected disability benefits from the Veterans Administration, three elements are required. First there must be a diagnosis of a current impairment. Secondly, there must be an event in service that caused the impairment. Finally, there must be a medical nexus between the current diagnosis and the event in service.
The event in service that caused the current impairment does not have to be an injury that occurred on the battlefield. Any event that occurred in service can support a disability claim if all three elements are present. Veterans’ disability benefits cover an extremely wide range of injuries and conditions – not just simply the ones seen by the naked eye. A solider that suffered a loss of legs in a road side attack is obviously disabled, as is a serviceman with life-altering spinal damage. These servicemen’s circumstances obviously qualify for disability medical and financial support upon returning home. But what about the injuries that you can’t see? What about injuries that do not manifest themselves until years after the person has left military service?
Veterans who served in the Korean War, Vietnam War, Iraq War, as well as the War in Afghanistan may seem healthy and able, but could be suffering from life-altering health issues linked to their service in our Armed Forces. Certain war and combat sustained conditions can make it difficult to work, sustain relationships or even carry on what is considered a “normal” life. These conditions could support a successful claim for disability benefits.
Most common injuries, symptoms, and illnesses suffered by U.S. Veterans, are as follows:
• Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and other head injuries
• Shrapnel related eye injuries and visual impairments
• Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
• Sleep apnea & Night Terrors
• Complications from Agent Orange exposure
• Complications from radiation exposure
• Hypertension (high blood pressure)
• Heart disease
• Mental disorders
• Hearing loss due to inner ear injuries
• Back, neck, and spinal cord injuries
• Joint problems
• Sexual trauma
• Lou Gehrig’s disease
• Cushing’s Syndrome
• Gulf War Syndrome
If you receive a decision from the Veterans Administration that denies your claim for service-connected disability benefits, in whole or in part, you can appeal that decision. Your best chance to win your appeal is to hire the experienced Veterans Law attorneys at Rolnick & Hengst to represent you. The appeals process is summarized as follows:
Regional Office Appeals
The first step in appealing an adverse decision is to file for a Regional Office appeal. You must choose one of two methods of appeal – Decision Review Officer Appeal or Traditional Appeal. Regardless of which method of appeal you chose, Notice of Disagreement with the initial decision must be filed within one year from the date of the decision.
Appeal by Decision Review Officer appeal allows an opportunity to obtain a decision from a different individual, not the same person who made the initial decision. Additional evidence can be submitted and in some instances a hearing will be required. If the claim is denied, in whole or in part by the Decision Review officer, an appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeals can be requested.
In the Traditional Appeal process, the claim is reviewed by an appellate team and the case is submitted to the Board of Veterans Appeals for a new decision. Usually, no separate decision is made by the appellate team if Traditional Appeal is requested.
Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) Hearings
An appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) involves a hearing before a Veterans Law Judge. The veteran and his attorney can present medical evidence and witness statements to the Veterans Law Judge in support of the claim. The Veterans Law Judge has the authority to grant benefits, remand the case for additional development or affirm the decision of the Regional Office.
Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) Appeals
An appeal to the Court of Appeals Veterans Claims (CVAC) is a judicial review of the final decision of the BVA. Proper presentation of legal arguments to the Court of Appeals for Veteran Claims is imperative in order to win your case. The Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims can reverse the decision of the BVA, remand the case to the BVA for additional development or affirm the decision of the BVA.
Contact us today for a free consultation with a trusted, experienced SSDI and SSI lawyer. All Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income cases are handled on a contingency basis, which means that you will not pay us a fee unless we win your claim.