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Veterans Disability Lawyer Serving St. Louis, Missouri

If you are a veteran living in St. Louis, Missouri, and seeking assistance with appealing your VA benefits decision, Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD (CCK) is here to help.

Understanding the complexity of VA benefits and the challenges of the appeals process can be overwhelming.  Our experienced team is dedicated to supporting veterans in navigating these challenges.  We can provide guidance and representation to ensure that you receive the VA disability benefits to which you are entitled.

At CCK, we recognize the unique needs of veterans in St. Louis, MO.  We are committed to advocating for your rights and working to secure the benefits you have earned through your service to our nation.  Call us today at (800) 544-9144 for a free case evaluation.

VA Regional Offices Near St. Louis, Missouri

VA Medical Facilities for Those Living in St. Louis, MO

Securing VA Disability Benefits

For veterans in St. Louis, Missouri, securing VA disability benefits starts with filing a claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  This process involves demonstrating a service connection for your disability.  To establish this connection, you must provide evidence supporting three critical elements:

  • A current diagnosed condition: You need to have a clear and current medical diagnosis for your disability, documented by a healthcare professional.
  • An in-service event, injury, or illness: You must show that an event, injury, or illness occurred during your time in military service.  Veterans often prove this by submitting service records, medical logs, or personal statements.
  • A medical nexus linking the in-service occurrence to the current disability: This requires medical evidence or expert opinion that connects your diagnosed condition to the event, injury, or illness that happened while you were in service.

After filing a claim, a veteran may need to attend a Compensation & Pension (C&P) examination.  These examinations aid VA in assessing the severity and service connection of the disability.  If you do not attend a C&P exam, then VA could deny your claim.

Following a comprehensive evaluation of all submitted evidence and documentation (including examination results), VA adjudicators will issue a decision on the veteran’s claim.  All veterans have the option to appeal an unfavorable decision.

Types of Evidence to Support a Claim for VA Disability Compensation Benefits

When filing a claim for disability compensation with VA, providing strong and relevant evidence is crucial.  This evidence supports your claim and demonstrates the connection between your military service and your disability.  Key types of evidence include:

  • Private Medical Records: These are vital and should include civilian medical records that document your disability. Ensure these records clearly show your diagnosis and the extent of your condition.
  • VA Medical Records: Records of treatment at VA medical facilities post-service for ongoing health issues related to service can help strengthen your claim.
  • Service Records: These records help establish the occurrence of an in-service event, injury, or illness.  They can include your service treatment records, duty assignments, and any other documentation of incidents or exposures during your service.
  • Lay Statements: Statements from yourself, family members, friends, or fellow service members can provide personal accounts of your condition and how it affects your life.  These are especially useful in showing the impact of your disability on daily activities.

It is important to gather as much relevant and detailed evidence as possible to strengthen your claim and improve the chances of a successful outcome.

4 Ways to File a VA Claim in St. Louis, Missouri

Veterans seeking to file a VA claim for benefits have four main options:

  • Online through the VA website: Using website, veterans can submit their claims electronically.
  • Through a VA-accredited representative: These representatives, including Veterans Service Officers (VSOs), can help submit a claim on the veteran’s behalf.
  • In person at a VA regional office: Veterans can file their claims directly at a local VA office.
  • By mail: By sending the necessary forms and documentation to the VA evidence intake center at:

PO BOX 4444
JANESVILLE, WI 53547-4444

Filing a claim online is typically the best way to file for benefits for several reasons.  First, it is faster and more efficient, as it eliminates time delays associated with mail processing and reduces the likelihood of paperwork being lost or misfiled.

Additionally, the online system provides immediate confirmation of receipt, allowing veterans to track the status of their claim in real-time.

Current VA Disability Pay Rates Top of Form

VA disability ratings are assigned to veterans based on the severity of their service-connected condition, with ratings ranging from 0% to 100% in 10% increments. These ratings are crucial as they determine the amount of compensation a veteran receives.

A higher percentage reflects a more severe disability and entitles the veteran to greater compensation.  When a veteran has multiple disabilities, VA uses a special formula to calculate a “combined rating.” You can calculate your VA disability rating using our VA disability calculator.

As of December 1st, 2023 the VA disability rate benefit amounts are as follows:

  • 0 percent disability rating: $0.00 per month
  • 10 percent disability rating: $171.23 per month
  • 20 percent disability rating: $338.49 per month
  • 30 percent disability rating: $524.31 per month
  • 40 percent disability rating: $755.28 per month
  • 50 percent disability rating: $1,075.16 per month
  • 60 percent disability rating: $1,361.88 per month
  • 70 percent disability rating: $1,716.28 per month
  • 80 percent disability rating: $1,995.01 per month
  • 90 percent disability rating: $2,241.91 per month
  • 100 percent disability rating: $3,737.85 per month

Common Medical Conditions Covered VA Disability

Before contacting a VA disability lawyer or filing an initial claim for VA disability benefits, it is important for veterans to have an understanding of the types of medical conditions that could qualify.

VA disability benefits are intended for conditions that are service-connected, meaning they were caused or aggravated by the veteran’s military service. Recognizing whether a medical condition falls under this category is a crucial first step in the claims process.

Some common medical conditions that may qualify for VA disability include:

Once this connection is established, they can proceed with gathering the necessary medical evidence and documentation to support their claim.

You Have Options for Challenging a VA Disability Denial in St. Louis, MO

After receiving an initial denial of VA benefits, a veteran has one year from the date of the decision to file an appeal.  This timeframe is crucial.  Timely action is required to preserve a veteran’s effective date.

VA’s appeal system, the Appeals Modernization Act (AMA), governs all VA appeals.  This system offers veterans three options to appeal:

  • Requesting a Higher-Level Review: This involves having a more senior VA reviewer examine the same evidence that was available at the time of the original decision.
  • Filing a Supplemental Claim: In this option, veterans can submit new and relevant evidence that was not included in the original claim.
  • Filing an Appeal Directly to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals:This allows veterans to appeal directly to the Board, where they can choose between three different dockets: direct review, evidence submission, or a hearing request.

It is important to choose the right path based on the specifics of their case and the evidence available to support their claim.

Our Process for VA Appeals

At CCK, our process for handling VA appeals is designed to provide comprehensive support to veterans seeking disability benefits.  Once we take on a case, our first step is to thoroughly review the veteran’s original claim and VA’s decision.  This helps us identify any potential errors or omissions that could have led to the denial of benefits.

We understand that navigating the VA system can be complex, and our goal is to simplify this process for our clients, ensuring they receive the benefits they rightfully deserve.

Some of the ways we assist our clients at CCK include:

  • Obtaining Copies of Medical, Service, and Personnel Records: We gather all relevant documentation that can support the appeal.
  • Securing Testimony from Subject Matter Experts: We consult with experts who can provide authoritative opinions on matters related to the veteran’s case.
  • Obtaining Statements or Testimonies from Fellow Service Members: Such testimonies can be crucial in establishing a service connection for the veteran’s condition.
  • Reviewing the Veteran’s Original Claim for Errors and Omissions: A meticulous examination of the original claim helps us identify any areas that need to be addressed in the appeal.

Our approach at CCK is to leave no stone unturned in advocating for our veteran clients.  We work diligently to ensure that every aspect of their claim is thoroughly evaluated and presented in the best possible manner to VA.

Call Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD Today

Consulting with a VA disability lawyer is vital for veterans appealing for VA compensation benefits due to the complexity and nuances of VA law and procedures.  An experienced lawyer brings expertise that significantly increases the chances of a successful appeal.

If you are a disabled veteran who needs assistance with their VA appeal, then CCK may be able to help.  Our dedicated team has been helping veterans since 1999 obtain the disability compensation they deserved, and we may be able to help you too.  Call us today at (800) 544-9144 for a free case evaluation with a member of our team.