Posts Tagged ‘LaVan & Neidenberg’

A VA Case Study

Friday, November 6th, 2009

Last month we ran an article in the LaVan & Neidenberg Newsletter* that discussed how common disability rating disparities are amongst service members separated from the military. We also discussed the importance of appealing an unjust disability rating. For many vets, appealing the VA’s decisions can be a scary thing.

Some vets might feel they are being overzealous and should be content with the rating they received, while others decide they would rather not go through another year or two of the bureaucratic torture that is the disability claims process. Either way, these vets are forfeiting their rights to receive fair compensation for the physical and/or psychological injuries they sustained during combat.

In January, our firm accepted a case for a former Marine who suffers from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and hearing loss in one ear. Though every case is unique, this soldier’s story was familiar. He had witnessed the deaths of several of his fellow service members while fighting in combat and lost his hearing in one ear as a result of shots being fired at close-range and loud explosions.

After filing a disability claim with the VA on his own in early 2005, he received a rating of 50% for his PTSD and 10% for his hearing loss – a combined rating of 60%. When the Marine appealed for a higher rating, he was denied by the VA’s regional office. He never appealed the denial.       

Sadly, as is the case with many vets, the Marine’s condition got worse. He suffered for four years at his original rating before deciding that he needed to do something. That’s when he contacted our firm. What happened next is rare, but certainly possible with the help of an experienced veterans disability lawyer.

Because so much time passed since our client was denied a higher rating, our firm had to reopen his claim and start a new application. This gave us the opportunity to gather his most recent medical records and have his treating doctors complete special medical and mental assessment forms that would help prove his condition deserved a higher disability rating. Remember, the most critical aspect in any veteran’s disability claim is strong medical evidence.

Within months of submitting his new medical evidence, our client’s disability rating was increased to 100% on the first decision! Our client was shocked by the quick response and extremely grateful for the positive outcome. 

Did you know that you can continue to receive disability benefits at your current rating while we fight to get you a higher one? Contact us for details – 1-888-234-5758.

*Let us know if you’d like to be added to our e-mail distribution list for the monthly newsletter on topics related to Social Security and Veterans Disability.

Illinois VA facility receives low marks after inspection by VAOIG

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

The VA Office of the Inspector General released a report earlier this week regarding its inspection of a VA medical facility in Marion, Illinois.

The inspection, conducted in August, comes after the VA implemented a moratorium on surgeries at the VA hospital after nine deaths during a six month time frame were linked to substandard care. Since that time, an additional 10 patients were identified by the VAOIG as receiving questionable care and dying.

Problems at the Marion VA identified in Monday’s VAOIG report include:

  • Lack of infection control
  • Poor tracking and investigation of deaths
  • Insufficient monitoring of privileges for physicians

The facility is part of a VA district in Southern Illinois, Southern Indiana and Western Kentucky that serves approximately 127,000 veterans.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida disability lawyers, LaVan & Neidenberg, represent over 5000 disability claimants. Our disability attorneys have experience with cross examining agency-appointed medical and vocational experts and take time when speaking with you about your disability claim. Call us today at 1-888-234-5758 for a FREE legal consultation. There is NO OBLIGATION to hire our firm and there are NO FEES unless one of our trained disability lawyers wins your case.

More information on military experiments exposed

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Information regarding “military human experimentation” is being exposed by a VA watchdog website thanks to its readers. According to testimony presented by the General Accounting Office (GAO), a “classified medical research program” was conducted at the Edgewood Arsenal at Fort Detrick, Maryland, and four other locations, from 1952-1975.

The GAO’s testifying representatives indicated that the service members were volunteers that were exposed to testing nerve agents, nerve agent antidotes, psychochemicals, and irritants.  The service members were told that the program consisted of a wide variety of tests, including “chemical agents that may affect a person either mentally or physically.  It is unknown if the volunteers were compensated in any way for their exposure to deadly chemicals and potential diseases.

Read the GAO’s 1994 report  “Human Experimentation – An Overview on Cold War Era Programs.”

If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation by the VA, contact LaVan & Neidenberg. We can appeal your rating decision and fight for your rights. You are entitled to certain programs and benefits based upon your VA rating decision so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.

Prosthetic and Sensory Aids

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Disabled veterans requiring the use of prosthetic or sensory aids may be eligible for the medical devices through the VA, which is a self-described “world leader in prosthetics and rehabilitation.” The VA’s Prosthetic and Sensory Aids Service is the largest provider of medical equipment and prosthetics in the world.

The term “prosthetics” is not limited to artificial limbs as most would believe, but also to hearing aids and items that improve accessibility (e.g. ramps, vehicle modifications) and health (e.g. hips, pacemakers).

The VA maintains 63 prosthetic and orthotic labs and there are 131 board-certified prosthetists and orthotists working for the department.

If you are in need of a prosthetic, contact the VA. You may qualify for a special program and other benefits that you have earned as a United States veteran.

If you are interested in filing a VA disability claim so that you can obtain benefits, contact LaVan & Neidenberg, a veterans law firm.

The VA Pension Program

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Do you qualify for the VA’s Pension Program? Contrary to what you might think, the program is NOT just for retirees age 65 or older. If you are a young wartime veteran with a limited income who is permanently and totally disabled, you likely qualify for this veterans benefit.

You may be eligible for VA Pension if:

  • you were discharged from service under other than dishonorable conditions, AND
  • you served 90 days or more of active duty with at least 1 day during a period of war time*, AND
  • your countable family income is below a yearly limit set by law, AND
  • you are permanently and totally disabled, OR you are age 65 or older.

Your eligibility for benefits will be determined by time served in the military and varies according to when you served.

The VA pays up to $23,396 annually under this program, so if you think you might qualify, contact us for more information.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida disability lawyers, LaVan & Neidenberg, represent over 5000 disability claimants. Our disability attorneys have experience with cross examining agency-appointed medical and vocational experts and take time when speaking with you about your disability claim. Call us today at 1-888-234-5758 for a FREE legal consultation. There is NO OBLIGATION to hire our firm and there are NO FEES unless one of our trained disability lawyers wins your case.

Sports program inspires disabled vets

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

The game of golf is providing disabled veterans at Walter Reed Army Medical Center with a helpful distraction from their debilitating injuries. The program, coordinated by Disabled Sports USA, the National Amputee Golf Association and the military has been successful in helping injured veterans take a break from the monotony of rehabilitation and teaches them how to overcome physical obstacles.

According to an article by the Associated Press, veterans are hitting the links at the Woodmont Country Club, near Walter Reed. Most have lost at least one limb and some are trying their hand at the game of golf for the first time in their life.  Specially adapted golf carts and accessories help to make the game enjoyable and competitive.

Similar sports programs are available across the country and disabled veterans can participate in sports such as kayaking, sailing, scuba diving, rock climbing, and horse riding.

If you are a veteran who has been injured while serving in the U.S. military, please contact the  Florida veterans disability rights law firm of LaVan & Neidenberg.

Wounded veteran and author to speak at Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs

Monday, September 28th, 2009

Derek McGinnis, an author and veteran of the Iraq War, will speak at the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs on Wednesday about his experience in the war and his recovery from his injuries.

McGinnis served as a corpsman in the Navy and was attached to the USMC 3rd LAR from 29 Palms. He was injured while riding in an ambulance during a battle in Fallujah during Operation Phantom Fury in November 2004. According to his profile on the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund website, the ambulance was hit by a suicide bomber and the explosion left McGinnis with a TBI, injuries to his eye and severe injuries to his leg, necessitating amputation above the knee.

The veteran has written a book titled, “Exit Wounds: A Survival Guide to Pain Management for Returning Veterans and Their Families.” The book details McGinnis’s service in the war as well as his rehabilitation in the military and veterans affairs health care system.

Read more about McGinnis’s appearance this week at the Oregon VA.

If you’re a veteran who has been injured while on active duty, contact LaVan & Neidenberg, a veterans disability law firm.