Record Number of Veterans Applying for VA Disability Benefits
In the aftermath of Iraq and Afghanistan, more veterans are seeking disability benefits through the VA than ever before.
July 11, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- There can be no doubt that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are having a significant impact on returning veterans. Even though death rates are lower than in previous wars, the fighting isn't any less violent.
Today, however, there is better medical care which means that more soldiers are surviving their injuries. But, as a result, more veterans are returning home with service-connected disabilities like wounded or missing limbs and traumatic brain injury. Of course, physical disabilities aren't the only scars of war -- many veterans return home with service-related mental health problems, like post-traumatic stress disorder.
In the aftermath of Iraq and Afghanistan, more veterans are seeking disability benefits through the VA than ever before. As of May 2012, 45 percent of the 1.6 million veterans who served in those two wars had applied for disability benefits for service-related injuries. By comparison, 21 percent of veterans applied for benefits after the first Gulf War.
This generation of veterans is also claiming a greater number of injuries. On average, veterans now claim between nine and 14 individual aliments. The average Vietnam veteran, on the other hand, receives compensation for four. Most World War II and Korea veterans claimed just two injuries.
The high number of applications is leading to a huge backlog at the Department of Veterans Affairs. As a result, a number of qualified veterans haven't yet been able to receive payments. Generally speaking, about one-third of applicants will ultimately be approved for VA benefits.
Get Help Applying for Benefits
Some veterans' advocates are worried that the backlog may lead to a higher than usual number of claim denials. Veterans can increase their chances of getting approved by working with a veterans' benefits attorney who can help them navigate the process.
Just like with Social Security disability claims, many veterans' benefits claims are initially denied because the applicant made a procedural error or did not provide sufficient evidence to prove a service-connected disability.
If you are seeking VA disability benefits -- or if your claim has been denied and you are pursuing an appeal -- talk to a veterans' disability attorney who can help you get the benefits you are entitled to.
Article provided by Jacobowitz & Gubits, LLP
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