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Appeal an unfavorable veterans benefits decision

For those who were not happy that they didn’t get the veterans benefits they believed they deserved or were perhaps denied altogether, the Department of Veterans Affairs has the Board of Veterans’ Appeals located in Washington, D.C. This board looks to review benefit claims decisions made by local VA offices and issue decisions on these appeals.

“These law judges, attorneys experienced in veterans law and in reviewing benefit claims, are the only ones who can issue Board decisions,” VA said on its website. “Staff attorneys, also trained in veterans law, review the facts of each appeal and assist the Board members. “

While there are pamphlets and explanations on VA’s website, it is suggested that veterans get a representative to help them with this appeal so that they can be sure they get the result they want. Even if these veterans cannot make it to Washington, a video hearing can be set up in front of the board in an effort make sure anyone who wants to appeal can do so.

The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick & Associates can assist a veteran in presenting evidence and help fortify their legal argument to the Board of Veteran’s Appeals.

Calculating veterans benefits via VA’s rating system

Those who are looking to obtain veterans benefits are often frustrated by the Department of Veterans Affairs’ rating system that may end up taking away some benefits after previously granting an award. This can turn into a situation where benefits are granted in one area but taken away in another.

“Eligibility for VA health care is dependent upon a number of variables, which may influence the final determination of the services for which you qualify,” said. “These factors include the nature of a veteran’s discharge from military service (e.g., honorable, other than honorable, dishonorable), length of service, VA adjudicated disabilities (commonly referred to as service-connected disabilities), income level, and available VA resources among others.”

The upper limit of what VA can award is a 100 percent rating, as Congress does not allow for disability ratings over this number. Regardless of the disability or severity of it, once the veteran has reached this ceiling, they cannot get anymore per month. However, there can be ways benefits are taken away if VA’s rating system deems percentage points need to be taken from another area.

As in all claims for disability benefits with the federal government, it is important for the veteran to have sufficient medical records to prove entitlement to an increased rating. These medical records can be from any source, military or civilian. The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick & Associates are experts in obtaining and presenting medical records to support claims for increased benefits.

Benefits for children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy

One of the most devastating illnesses a young child can get is Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a form of muscular dystrophy that quickly gets worse. The U.S. National Library of Medicine said this is caused by a defective gene but often occurs without a known family history of the condition. Since those affected by this experience social security disability qualifying conditions, parents should look to file for benefits with the Social Security Administration to help cover medical bills and other costs.

“Because of the way the disease is inherited, boys are affected, not girls,” the website for the U.S. National Library of Medicine said. “The sons of females who are carriers of the disease (women with a defective gene but no symptoms themselves) each have a 50 percent chance of having the disease. The daughters each have a 50 percent chance of being carriers. Duchenne muscular dystrophy occurs in about 1 out of every 3,600 male infants.”

Symptoms of this disease, which make it very difficult to live with, can include fatigue, learning difficulty, muscle weakness, difficulty walking that progressively gets worse and intellectual disability.

Children affected by muscular dystrophy, especially Duchenne’s, are candidates for children’s Social Security benefits. It is critical that these children seek early treatment and obtain the best ongoing medical care possible. Federal Medicare benefits cover more medical treatment than most state Medicaid plans. However, such federal benefits are only available for children under certain exceptional circumstances.

The law offices of Harold W. Conick & Associates are experts in successfully representing children with serious medical conditions before the Social Security Administration .

Medical bills of children can be costly; benefits could help

Nobody wants to see their children afflicted by a disease, illness or affliction that stands to hamper health, and it gets even worse when the medical bills start coming. ABC News reported that one family who had a child affected by Tourettes syndrome, in which their five year old daughter did not have control over muscle movement, said they were financially “milked” dry by medical bills. Families may be able to get some relief by applying for benefits through the Social Security Administration.

While there have been moves to try to help patients save money, including the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, which was tagged onto the financial bailout to help make sure those affected by mental illnesses were treated the same as those with physical, a study by Colleen L. Barry, associate chair for research and practice at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, shows this may not be enough. This law only brought about 5 percent, or $178 per year, in savings.

“I think that we worry most about the sickest children,” Barry said to ABC News, because the costs in these situations are the greatest. “The concern is that [high out-of-pocket costs] inhibit treatment seeking and pose a barrier to families trying to get high quality treatment for their children. There are definitely cases of families being bankrupted from this, taking years to pay off medical expenditures, and making decisions for treatments motivated by cost of care.”

The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick & Associates have successfully represented numerous children before the Social Security Administration in obtaining important financial income and medical benefits for disabled children and their families. Childrens’ disability claims are different than adults’ claims and the evidence required to win these cases must be carefully prepared and presented to the judge. We are experts in successfully presenting critical evidence of childhood disability to the Social Security Administration.