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Should I Hire An Attorney To Help Me Apply For VA Aid And Attendance Benefits?

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2023 | Firm News

More often than not, the answer is yes. However, claimants can go to the VA or VSO and get assistance for free. What I tell people is you get what you pay for. The VA representatives, although well-meaning, don’t understand the intricacies of receiving benefits. Aid and attendance benefits are processed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and they don’t adjudicate these claims locally with the VA. The information goes out of state to reviewers, the rules are very complicated, and the process is extremely tedious. It’s challenging for someone to navigate the application for benefits as a do-it-yourself project. Even if you go to a VSO or a VA representative, they are only trained to intake information. They are not allowed to give legal advice or assist people in their planning. Therefore, I highly recommend that they seek advice and counsel if someone wants to receive benefits. You can advise them on the front end on whether they qualify or not and then have access to someone who can walk the application through the VA and represent them. Otherwise, 70% of people who apply for this benefit get denied.

What Are The Reasons That VA Aid And Attendance Benefits Are Typically Denied?

In my experience, eligibility is not usually the reason for denial. In other words, the reason for the rejection is that the paperwork was not in order. The VA requires specific information, and without that information, the application will be denied even though you may be eligible. On the other hand, the other reason people are denied is that they are not eligible, and that’s either because they are not spending enough money on expenses or have too much money in assets. This does not permanently exclude you, and you can make adjustments to aid yourself moving forward.

But again, you need legal advice to make those decisions. Another reason people get denied is for lack of knowledge and information from a knowledgeable attorney who can advise them and help them fit within the eligibility box.

Should I Appeal A Denial Of VA Aid And Attendance Benefits Or Should I Just Re-Apply?

Generally speaking, appeals are the very last resort, and there are other options before appeal. You can supplement your claim with information that was lacking in the application to keep the claim open, or you can request a higher-level review before an appeal that allows a supervisor to review the mistakes made by the caseworkers. Only when you’ve exhausted those remedies do you appeal, and depending on the reason for the denial, it would depend on whether the appeal would be beneficial or not. In my practice, I’ve never gone through an appeal because I enjoy a 98.5% success rate. The appeals that I would have done would not have changed the few cases that were denied.

Is It True That An Appeal Can Take Years To Resolve?

Absolutely, but most appeals are unsuccessful. If you get in a situation to appeal, you will most likely not receive benefits.

Who Decides What IS Actually A Qualifying Disability For VA Aid And Attendance Benefits?

A qualifying disability requires that the claimant need assistance in two Activities of Daily Living, or because of Cognitive Impairment, usually dementia, you cannot live alone and require round-the-clock supervision. The physician makes that determination by completing a VA examination report, and the VA accepts the physician’s decision for that disability.

If I Am Already Receiving Disability Can I Also Apply And Receive VA Aid And Attendance Benefits?

The VA does not allow someone to receive service-connected compensation, disability, and VA pension with aid and attendance at the same time. The VA only allows you to qualify for one benefit, whichever is higher.

For more information on VA Aid And Attendance Benefits in Arkansas, a No-Risk Consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling 501-400-7355 today.