VA Benefits Lawyers in Waco Proudly Serving Those Who Have Served for Our Country
James Rainey, a founding member of Rainey & Rainey, Attorneys at Law, LP, proudly served in the U.S. Army Reserve as a JAG officer for ten years. James is passionate about assisting Veterans in obtaining the benefits to which they are entitled.
Rainey & Rainey, Attorneys at Law, LP, is determined to assist Veterans in pursuing benefits for in-home or long-term care from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Because you served your country honorably, P. James Rainey and the team at Rainey & Rainey, Attorneys at Law, LP, believe it is time for your country to serve you. And they will start by developing an attorney-client relationship with you to understand your needs.
Rainey & Rainey, Attorneys at Law, LP, represents veterans in non-service connected pension claims and aid and attendance claims for Veterans in Waco and across Central Texas. To learn more about how to take advantage of your VA compensation and overall relationship with the Department of Veterans Affairs, contact Rainey & Rainey, Attorneys at Law, LP, today at (254) 457-5083.
How Do I Become Eligible for a Non-Service Connected Pension for Veterans?
Veterans who meet particular disability or age requirements may qualify to receive continued benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs in the form of a pension. Your countable income and the number of dependents you have – if you have dependents – will directly reflect the money which you are entitled to receive as a part of this pension plan.
To qualify for non serviced connected pension with aid and attendance, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must not have been discharged from your service in the military through dishonorable conditions;
- You must have served 90 days of active-duty service with at least one day of which was during a war time.;
- You must be using your income to pay for long-term care;
- Your net worth must be below the maximum asset limit not including the value of your home and not including your car;
- You must be 65 years of age or older:
- You must be disabled and homebound and need assistance with activities of the living.
Some veterans may not only have eligibility for the basic pension but may also qualify for an increased rate after filing an aid and attendance claim. To be considered for an aid and attendance claim, you must have qualified for a basic pension, be confined to your home, or require in-home care.
What is the VA Appeals Process?
As the law currently stands, there are three primary options to choose from in order to appeal the denial of disability claims or benefits through the VA:
- Filing a Supplemental Claim
- Seeking a Higher-Level Review
- Requesting a Board Appeal
Filing a Supplemental Claim
This option lets you provide additional proof to the VA that is both new and relevant to the original claim. The VA defines “new” evidence as information that the agency did not receive during the filing of the initial application for benefits and information the VA did not receive while making its initial decision. The VA defines “relevant” evidence as information that has a chance to impact the agency’s understanding of a crucial element of the original claim. This supplemental claim can be submitted by filing VA Form 20-0995, indicating what type of benefit you seek and what issues the VA are to review. A lawyer with a background in veterans appeals can help with this process.
Seeking a Higher-Level Review
The second option, requesting a higher-level review, is similar to petitioning a higher court in the legal system but within the VA. As opposed to the process of a supplemental claim, there is generally not any additional evidence to submit during a higher-level review. Instead, a senior review at the VA takes a second look at the denial of the initial claim (or supplemental claim). It determines whether or not the denial was the correct decision initially. You or your lawyer can request this through VA Form 20-0996, which has the same requirements as VA Form 20-0995. You may also have your attorney make a phone call to the senior reviewer looking over your case in order to make further points about why the VA should overturn the initial decision.
Requesting a Board Appeal
The final option is to submit an appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeals. This request can be made after the initial claim, after a supplemental claim, or after completing a higher-level review. If your application is still being denied, you may request that a Veterans Law Judge reconsiders the claim. During this appeals process, you may ask them to consider the initial evidence, submit additional evidence to the Board, or request a hearing to testify before a Veterans Law Judge. Any of these requests can be made through VA Form 10182 with the help of a qualified legal professional.
How Do I Get Help With VA pension with Aid and Attendance?
The VA benefits process can be complex to go through. Call Rainey & Rainey, Attorneys at Law, LP, to speak with one of our experienced lawyers about your specific situation. Contact us at (254) 457-5083.