The VA can reduce a veteran's VA disability rating if it determines that the veteran's disability has improved. The VA can reduce a disability rating at any time a medical examination indicates improvement - the veteran does not have to file a new claim or file for an increased rating for the VA to reduce a disability rating.
Previous decisions of the VA which are final and binding such as decisions of service connection, age, marital status, duration of service, dependency, line of duty, extent of disability, and other issues decided by the VA are accepted as correct in the absence of clear and unmistakable error (CUE). Clear and unmistakable error is a legal argument that a VA decision was wrong. It is not enough, however, to simply allege that the VA was wrong. The veteran must prove that VA regulations and facts specific to his or her case, in existence and in the case file at the time the VA issued its decision, could have led to only one conclusion and that the VA adopted the wrong conclusion. The veteran must show that the VA's decision would have been manifestly different but for the alleged error of fact or law. Generally, CUE comes into play when the correct facts were not before the Board of Veterans' Appeals or the regulatory provisions in existence at the time were incorrectly applied by the Board of Veterans' Appeals.
Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU or IU) allows a veteran to receive compensation for 100% disability even if the veteran has less than a 100% schedular rating. TDIU is based on the fact that the service connected disability, though less than 100%, causes the veteran a total inability to work. VA regulations provide that for a veteran to receive TDIU the veteran must have one service connected disability rated at 60% disabling or a combination of disability ratings totaling 70% with one of the included ratings being at least 40% disabling. To be entitled to TDIU, however, the veteran must also prove that he or she is unable to secure or follow gainful employment as a result of his or her service connected conditions. Call the experienced Veteran's Disability attorneys at Gardberg, Clausen & Kemmerly, P.C. today for a free case evaluation to determine if you are entitled to TDIU.
Mardi Gras on the Gulf Coast is just around the corner. With parades in Mobile and all along the Gulf Coast, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the festivities. Click below to see the upcoming parade schedules for your city!
Many individuals entitled to disability benefits are denied by the Social Security Administration on a daily basis. Although the Social Security Administration does not require you to have a disability attorney, there are numerous benefits to hiring a disability attorney to represent you in your application for Social Security disability benefits.
Currently SSA is processing and approving claims for same-sex spouses of retired workers if the couple is married and currently living in a state that recognizes same-sex marriages. But what if you live in Mobile or Pensacola or Biloxi? Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi do not currently recognize same-sex marriages. What should you do if this applies to you? In short, if you meet all of the other requirements for Social Security benefits, you should apply now to preserve your filing date. These claims will be held until SSA issues further instructions on processing. There is no indication yet on when SSA will establish a new policy for processing these claims, but protect yourself and your filing date by filing your claim as soon as possible. For frequently asked questions about U.S. v. Windsor, the repeal of DOMA, and how this affects Social Security benefits, you can find more information at www.ssa.gov/doma.
A recent decision in a Federal District Court held that a nurse's treating records for Social Security disability cases must be considered by the Administrative Law Judge, despite the same not being considered "acceptable medical sources".
The United States House of Representatives voted this week to give final approval to a bill giving disabled veterans and veterans' survivors a 1.5 percent cost of living increase. The United States Senate voted on the 1.5 percent COLA increase in October so if, as expected, President Obama signs the measure into law the cost of living increase will become effective December 1, 2013. Veterans will begin seeing the increase in January of 2014.
Remember those Social Security statements you used to receive in the mail each year around your birthday? You may have noticed that you no longer receive those. Due to budget concerns, Social Security stopped mailing them out. Now, however, you can access them online! Just visit Social Security online at http://www.ssa.gov/myaccount to access information. You can create an account and access information about:
Nearly 80,000 Vietnam veterans were discharged under other than honorable conditions. Being discharged under other than honorable conditions prevents those Vietnam veterans from receiving veteran's disability benefits. How many of those veterans discharges could have been honorable had PTSD been taken into consideration? This is the exact question raised by the case of Shephard v. McHugh. Shephard v. McHugh, 3:11-cv-00641 (D. Conn. 2013).