Does The VA Pay Retroactively To The Disability Date?

Applying for VA disability benefits involves a lot of paperwork, time, and moving targets. Many veterans become frustrated with the difficulty, the length of time it takes, and the dead ends they encounter. But there are a few bright spots.

Does The VA Pay Retroactively To The Disability Date?

The VA has streamlined a few processes that are intended to help alleviate the backlog of claims. The “Fully Developed Claim” is one, and it increases the veteran’s involvement in his or her application. The VA also created “Disability Back Pay,” allowing a retroactive lump-sum payment for the time you spent waiting for your benefit claim to be active. Before you start your application, though, there are a few things you need to understand about receiving benefits and back pay.

Determining The “Effective Date” To Receive Pay Retroactively

The VA will pay benefits and back pay retroactively, according to your “effective date.” The date is established by the later of these two dates:

• The date your entitlement began, or
• The date the VA receives your application

The first criteria of the effective date is when a veteran is treated for a condition, and when the VA should have started paying you.

If your application is within the first year after your service separation, the eligibility date is your date of separation. Disability Back Pay will then be paid retroactively to that date. If you are planning to file a claim, you should do so as soon as possible after you leave the military (if not before, since it takes a lot of time.) Don’t wait until the last minute! When your claim is approved, your back pay will be paid to the date of separation.

If your application is more than a year after service separation, even by one day, the effective date will be the date it’s received by the VA. Your retroactive back pay will only amount to the time since your application was submitted. This usually occurs when a veteran develops a medical condition long after separation. By submitting your application a year after your separation date, you will lose an entire year of benefits.

If the VA makes an error, they will adjust your effective date to where it should have been.

If The VA Denies Your Claim

Once you receive your denial letter, you will have one year to file a Notice of Disagreement with the VA. If you can supply additional evidence (i.e., newly discovered military medical reports) to support your claim, and your benefits are granted, your effective date should be the date of your original application, before the claims denial. An experienced attorney can help you formulate your appeal and help you submit it.

Get Started Now To Receive Pay Retroactively

You can informally notify the VA in writing that you plan to file a claim, giving you an earlier filing date than you would have had. You can use their Statement of Support, or write a letter stating your name, SSN and service dates. The VA will respond by sending you an application form, which must be filled out and returned within one year of your intent letter. If you don’t, you’ll lose the extra time you gained by notifying the VA of your impending claim.

Another Form Of Back Pay

While it doesn’t happen very often, you may occasionally receive additional back pay. If Congress changes the amount that a particular disability should be paid, you could receive an additional back pay disbursement, retroactive to your effective date. These funds would be the difference between what your disability paid you and the new amount of disability payments. Like the original back pay, you would receive it in a single lump-sum payment. You won’t need to apply for it—the VA will automatically process the back payment and send it to you.

You Don’t Have To Do This Alone

Herren Law has experience helping thousands of veterans navigate the VA’s difficult claims system, and we’re ready to help you do the same. Call us at (713) 682-8194, and we’ll discuss how we’ll work with you on your case. The consultation is free, and our contingency fee arrangement means you won’t owe us anything until you begin collecting benefits.

Military Sexual Trauma, PTSD, and Your Houston VA Disability Benefits Case

Unfortunately, sexual assault does occur in the military, and according to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), sexual assault is classified as military sexual traumas (MST). Furthermore, according to Title 38 U.S. Code 1720D, MST is a “psychological trauma, which in the judgment of a VA mental health professional, resulted from a physical assault of a sexual nature, battery of a sexual nature, or sexual harassment which occurred while the Veteran was serving on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training.”

Military Sexual Trauma, PTSD, and Your Houston VA Benefits Case

National data suggests that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 100 men experience sexual trauma while serving in the military, and although PTSD is commonly associated with military sexual trauma (MST), it is not the only diagnosis that can result from MST. As such, if you are a U.S. Veteran living in Houston or the Houston area, and you want to receive your rightfully owned VA disability benefits due to MST or PTSD, then it’s critical to contact a Houston VA disability benefits attorney as soon as possible.

At Herren Law in Houston, we’ve helped numerous Veterans with their VA applications, appeals, and other issues regarding disability benefits. For representation with one of the leading VA benefits attorneys in Houston, make sure to call Herren Law today at (800) 529-7707. We work on a contingency basis, and initial consultations are always free.

Overview of Military Sexual Trauma and PTSD

First of all, it’s essential to note that military sexual trauma is not a medical diagnosis. Because MST is a traumatic event, there are multiple reactions that a person can have. PTSD may be the most common diagnosis associated with MST, but other diagnoses often include depression, mood disorders, and substance abuse disorders.

Keep in mind that not every individual will have the same reaction. Some reactions to military sexual trauma can include:

  • Strong emotions, including depression, sudden and emotional responses to things, and feeling angry or irritated all of the time
  • Numb feelings, where you feel emotionally flat or have difficulties experiencing emotions such as happiness or love
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Difficulties with attention, memory, and concentration
  • Problems with alcohol or drugs
  • Difficulties with things that may remind the Veteran of the traumatic sexual experience
  • Difficulties with relationships, such as feeling disconnected or isolated from others
  • Physical health problems

Military Sexual Trauma and the VA

Military sexual trauma is a very serious issue, and, fortunately, the VA has responded to MST claims and every VA health care facility has a designated MST Coordinator. The MST Coordinator often acts as the contact person for any MST-related issues, and the Coordinator can help you find and access various VA services and programs. Additionally, because MST is massively underreported (due to stigma and other reasons), VA health care providers often must ask a Veteran if he/she experienced military sexual trauma. For more information on MST Coordinators, and finding these individuals near, please refer to the VA’s official list of Military Sexual Trauma Coordinators.

When applying for disability compensation with the VA, you won’t receive compensation for MST itself, but for the conditions that resulted from the MST.

Evidence to Support a Military Sexual Trauma Claim

No matter the severity of your traumatizing event, the VA still requires documentation and evidence to validate your claim and provide regular VA disability benefits. Some common and effective pieces of evidence come from the Department of Defense forms used to report incidents of sexual assault or harassment, as well as investigative reports, while you were in the military. However, because sexual trauma isn’t often reported, the VA has “relaxed the evidentiary requirements and looks for ‘markers’ (i.e., signs, events, or circumstances) that provide some indication that the traumatic event happened.”

This evidence can include:

  • Records from law enforcement agencies, rape crisis centers, hospitals, mental health counseling centers, and others
  • Pregnancy tests or test results for STDs
  • Statements from family members, fellow Servicemembers and Veterans, counselors, clergy members, and others
  • Requests for transfer while the Veteran was in the military (reasonably attributed to the sexual trauma, assault, or harassment)
  • Deterioration in work performance
  • Substance abuse
  • Unexplained economic or social behavior
  • Relationship issues
  • Sexual dysfunction

Due to the evidentiary requirements, it’s absolutely critical to document as much as you can. Furthermore, it’s important to note that increases in MST awareness led the VA to offer special training for all VA regional office personnel who process MST-related claims and the mental health clinicians conducting the examinations related to these claims. This occurred in 2011, and if your past MST claim with the VA was denied before this date, you can request a re-evaluation from your local VA regional office.

For a Free Consultation, Call Herren Law in Houston Today

Military sexual trauma is a very serious incident that can have lifelong consequences for the victim. As such, if you were the victim of MST, sexual assault, or sexual harassment while you were in active service with the military, and you are continuing to suffer, make sure to not hesitate any longer and call Houston VA disability attorney William Herren today. We work on a contingency basis, meaning that you won’t pay a cent unless we win your case. Initial consultations are also free, so call Herren Law in Houston at (800) 529-7707 or (713) 682-8194 today.

4 Ways to Improve Your VA Disability Claim in Houston TX

When you or a loved one joined the military, you, like thousands of other veterans, dedicated everything to your service, giving the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, etc your 110%. Nevertheless, the VA is notorious for inefficiencies when getting disabled veterans their much-needed benefits. Despite your dedication, that may have left you disabled, the VA all-too-often rates the severity of a disability lower than it should be, or the VA takes way too long.

4 Ways to Improve Your VA Disability Claim in Houston TX | Herren Law

At Herren Law in Houston TX, we strongly believe that disabled veterans deserve their rightful and full benefits in a timely manner. With the help of Houston VA disability benefits attorney William Herren, we’ll help you through the VA benefits process every step of the way, from gathering and filing the claim to vigorously representing your case. We work on a contingency basis, meaning that you don’t pay a thing unless we win your case. If you are looking to claim your VA disability benefits, don’t hesitate and call Herren Law today at (713) 682-8194. Free consultations are available.

Reasons to Improve Your VA Disability Claim

Once the VA has determined that you have a service-connected disability, the organization will rate the severity of your disability on a scale between 0 and 100, whereas 100 is the most severe (offering the highest amount of benefits) and 0 is the least severe (offering the lowest amount of benefits, but still making health care and other benefits available to veterans).

This rating is designed to give veterans a fair amount that reflects the severity of their disability and their inability to work. However, like many disabilities, a veteran’s disability might not be static and could worsen over time. Additionally, the VA is not perfect, and they can sometimes rate a veteran’s disability as too low.

Keep in mind that the VA disability benefits process is time-consuming and complex, for both the VA and the veteran, and if your documentation isn’t complete or as clear as possible, then the VA might not connect the dots.

However, if you approach your VA disability claim (with the help of an experienced VA disability attorney) with the same discipline and grit as your military career, then you stand a chance of beating the VA and getting the full and fair benefits that you’re entitled to.

4 Ways to Improve Your VA Disability Claim

1. Make your VA disability claim as complete as possible

It’s no surprise that getting your VA disability documentation together is a full-time job. To start, you’ll need to get your VA claim file and your service medical records.

If you don’t have these records, you can request them from your local VA regional office or by mailing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

Next, do your due diligence and research any disability or condition in your records and connect that disability with the 38 CFR Part 4: Schedule of Ratings. Write up a summary of your conditions as well as any dates of treatment (during and after service), and bring this documentation with a one- to five-page summary. This documentation should be in addition to doctor’s opinions and, ideally, a nexus letter.

2. Get your VA C-File

Although there is already a ton of documentation to gather (seeing a trend?), your VA C-File is perhaps the most important document that you’ll need. Don’t wait until your hearing and go to your local VA regional office to try and get a copy.

3. Understand the law, and get a Houston VA disability attorney

The average denial rate in 2011 in front of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA) was around 24.2 percent, and that same year, according to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals Annual Chairman’s Report (Fiscal Year 2011), veterans who were represented by an attorney had a denial rate of about 17.7 percent. By knowing the law, and using your right to have a VA disability at your side, some benefits will include:

  • An experienced legal professional who’ll zealously advocate on your behalf, answer claim-related questions, and help you understand and obtain the evidence you need.
  • An attorney can analyze your entire claim, find weak and strong points, and help assess the most efficient path to getting you your benefits.
  • An attorney can help assist with your sworn testimonies at hearings

4. Use optimal evidence proving disability and service-connection

There are many paths to take when proving to the VA your disability and service connection. Always remember what you’re building in your claim: Eligibility, Service Connect, Impairment Rating, and Effective Date. With any of these four factors, if you have bad or wrong evidence, you may thoroughly sabotage your claim. When gathering your evidence, remember these 5 tenants of good VA disability evidence:

  1. Material
  2. Probative
  3. Relevant
  4. Competent
  5. Credible

Contact Houston’s Top VA Disability Attorney

Unlike the battlefields you faced in your service, filing for your VA disability benefits claim is a battlefield that you can choose and control. The most important parts of this process are gathering the correct evidence and documentation and making sure that the evidence and documentation are complete and clear. For these reasons, it can be extremely helpful to have an experienced, knowledgeable VA disability attorney at your side. For a free, no-obligation consultation with Houston VA disability benefits attorney William Herren, call our law firm today at (713) 682-8194.

2017 VA Disability Chart With Compensation Rates

If you’re a veteran who was injured or suffered a serious illness while combat, then you may be able to request disability benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). After filing the initial claim to the VA, and proving that your disability is service connected, among other evaluations, the next step is for the VA to assign you a rating for your disability. This rating, which reflects the severity of your disability and how much it impacts your ability to work, also sets the amount of your disability compensation.

At Herren Law, VA disability benefits attorney Bill Herren has helped numerous veterans throughout the Houston area with their benefits claims, and we have the resources, legal know-how, and vigorous litigation strategies to help you too. If you were injured while in the military, call Herren Law’s Houston office today at (713) 682-8194. Consultations are always free, and we work on a contingency basis, which means that you won’t pay a thing unless we win your case.

Below, we’ve detailed the 2017 VA disability rates, and how much you can expect to receive for your specific disability rating.

How Does the Schedule of Rating Disabilities Work?

The VA’s schedule of rating disabilities comes after the VA determines whether or not your disability was connected to your military service. The rating reflects the severity of your disability and how your disability may adversely affect your ability to work. As such, less severe disabilities receive lower ratings, while more severe disabilities receive higher ratings. The rating ranges from 0% to 100% and moves in 10% increments.

The VA schedule of rating disabilities is also categorized by the medical issue. For instance, just some of these categories include:

  • The musculoskeletal system
  • Organs of special sense
  • The respiratory system
  • The cardiovascular system
  • The digestive system
  • The endocrine system
  • And several others…

The VA and Your Rating

To rate your disability from 0% to 100% at 10% increments, the VA looks at your disability, the body system category, and the diagnostic code that best matches your disability. It’s important to note that, even if your disability fits under more than one diagnostic code, the VA is required to choose the diagnostic code that provides the higher rating.

If your disability isn’t listed in the Schedule of Rating Disabilities, the VA is supposed to look for a disability code closest to the one you have. Like any other agency, the VA can make mistakes and not apply the rating correctly. Furthermore, sometimes the VA will give you a lower rating that doesn’t reflect the severity of your disability.

2017 VA Disability Rates

Throughout 2016, veterans receiving disability payments didn’t see an increase in their rates. In 2017, however, the VA disability rates saw a small increase of 0.3%. Eligible veterans can receive up to $3,458.06 per month as a tax-free disability benefit. However, your disability rating and other factors will determine the actual amount you will receive.

Below, we’ve listed these rates (source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website):

No Dependents:

  • 10% – $133.57
  • 20% – $264.02

30% to 60% Without Children

Dependent Status 30% 40% 50% 60%
Veteran Alone $408.97 $589.12 $838.64 $1,062.27
Veteran with Spouse Only $456.97 $654.12 $919.64 $1,159.27
Veteran with Spouse & One Parent $495.97 $706.12 $984.64 $1,237.27
Veteran with Spouse and Two Parents $534.97 $758.12 $1,049.64 $1,315.27
Veteran with One Parent $447.97 $641.12 $903.64 $1,140.27
Veteran with Two Parents $486.97 $693.12 $968.64 $1,218.27
Additional for A/A spouse $45.00 $59.00 $74.00 $89.00


70% to 100% Without Children

Dependent Status 70% 80% 90% 100%
Veteran Alone $1,338.71 $1,556.13 $1,748.71 $2,915.55
Veteran with Spouse Only $1,451.71 $1,686.13 $1,894.71 $3,078.11
Veteran with Spouse and One Parent $1,542.71 $1,790.13 $2,011.71 $3,208.56
Veteran with Spouse and Two Parents $1,633.71 $1,894.13 $2,128.71 $3,339.01
Veteran with One Parent $1,429.71 $1,660.13 $1,865.71 $3,046.00
Veteran with Two Parents $1,520.71 $1,764.13 $1,982.71 $3,176.45
Additional for A/A spouse $105.00 $119.00 $134.00 $149.08


30% to 60% With Children

Dependent Status 30% 40% 50% 60%
Veteran with Spouse and Child $492.97 $702.12 $978.64 $1,230.27
Veteran with Child Only $440.97 $632.12 $892.64 $1,127.27
Veteran with Spouse, One Parent and Child $531.97 $754.12 $1,043.64 $1,308.27
Veteran with Spouse, Two Parents and Child $570.97 $806.12 $1,108.64 $1,386.27
Veteran with One Parent and Child $479.97 $684.12 $957.64 $1,205.27
Veteran with Two Parents and Child $518.97 $736.12 $1,022.64 $1,283.27
Add for Each Additional Child Under Age 18 $24.00 $32.00 $40.00 $48.00
Each Additional Schoolchild Over Age 18 $78.00 $104.00 $130.00 $156.00
Additional for A/A spouse $45.00 $59.00 $74.00 $89.00


70% to 100% With Children

Dependent Status 70% 80% 90% 100%
Veteran with Spouse and Child $1,534.71 $1,781.13 $2,001.71 $3,197.16
Veteran with Child Only $1,414.71 $1,642.13 $1,845.71 $3,024.27
Veteran with Spouse, One Parent and Child $1,625.71 $1,885.13 $2,118.71 $3,327.61
Veteran with Spouse, Two Parents and Child $1,716.71 $1,989.13 $2,235.71 $3,458.06
Veteran with One Parent and Child $1,505.71 $1,746.13 $1,962.71 $3,154.72
Veteran with Two Parents and Child $1,596.71 $1,850.13 $2,079.71 $3,285.17
Add for Each Additional Child Under Age 18 $56.00 $64.00 $72.00 $80.76
Each Additional Schoolchild Over Age 18 $182.00 $208.00 $234.00 $260.91
Additional for A/A spouse $105.00 $119.00 $134.00 $149.08


It is important to note that these numbers reflect the VA’s compensation benefits, and it might not reflect the exact benefits that you’ll receive. For instance, the VA also has rates for:

  • Special Monthly Compensation (SMC)
  • Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
  • Automobile Allowance, Clothing Allowance and Medal of Honor
  • Birth Defects (Spina Bifida, Children of Women Vietnam Veterans)

Call Herren Law for Houston’s VA Disability Lawyer

There are countless factors involved with the VA disability process, and it can be very long-winded and involve medical evaluations, work evaluations, and other issues; often, the process gets very complex. For this reason, it’s critical to have an experienced and knowledgeable Houston VA disability lawyer at your side.

By calling Herren Law in Houston, you won’t pay a cent unless we win your case. For a free, no-obligation consultation with Houston VA disability benefits lawyer William Herren, call us today at (713) 682-8194.

VA Reexaminations – How To Protect Your Veterans Benefits

Once you have received your VA disability benefits, you are able to access the care and help you need without worries or stress about finances or other matters. It is for this reason why VA disability benefits are so essential to our disabled veterans. However, it’s essential to remember that your benefits might not be available forever, and the Veterans Affairs can reexamine your case. Based on the reexamination, and under certain circumstances, the VA can reduce or terminate your disability benefits.

How To Protect Your Veterans Benefits | Houston VA Attorney Herren Law

At Herren Law, we’ve come across many veterans in the Houston area who lost or experienced reduced disability benefits. In many cases, this has created havoc in their lives. If you or someone you know is facing a VA reexamination (or has lost or faced reduced benefits), then call Houston VA benefits attorney William Herren today.

In the meantime, you can find out how to protect your veterans benefits below.

Understanding the VA Reexamination Process

Reexaminations for veterans receiving disability benefits are covered under U.S. Law (Title 38, § 3.327). This law states:

“Reexaminations, including periods of hospital observation, will be requested whenever VA determines there is a need to verify either the continued existence or the current severity of a disability.”

In other words, if it is likely that your disability has improved, the VA may send a notification for reexamination. Remember, the VA is legally entitled to request reexaminations, and failure to follow the VA’s requests could result in the termination of your benefits.

Fortunately, you won’t get “surprised” with a reexamination, as the VA must send an advanced notice. After receiving this notice, you have 60 days to submit evidence proving that a reduction in benefits is not warranted. You have 30 days to request a hearing.

Scheduled Reexamination

Some injuries get better with time. Veterans receiving disability benefits for these types of injuries may have to undergo scheduled reexaminations. Generally, if you have a disability that may get better over time, the VA may schedule a reexamination within 2 to 5 years after you first started receiving benefits.

Change in Condition

The VA can also order a reexamination if there is new, material evidence showing a change in your condition. For instance, if you have a type of cancer and it goes into remission, then the VA may request a reexamination.

Fortunately, the VA may return your full benefits if your condition worsens again. When this occurs, you’ll need to write a letter to your VA regional office and provide medical evidence showing an increase in the severity of your condition.

Groups Who (Normally) Aren’t Called For Reexamination

If you are part of the following groups and you receive a notice for reexamination, there’s a chance that the VA made a mistake. In other words, eligible veterans who receive a notice should call the phone number on the letter they receive to explain why they think they shouldn’t have to go.

The types of veterans that the VA usually doesn’t call for reexamination include:

  • Veterans aged 55 and older
  • Veterans who have static disabilities, such as loss of a limb
  • Veterans who have a permanent disability resulting from a disease
  • Veterans who have the minimum rating for their disability

Protected Benefits

As part of most veterans’ disability benefits, there are Protected Benefits and Unprotected Benefits. Even if called for reexamination, it is very hard for the VA to reduce a veteran’s Protected Benefits. These benefits include:

  • Ratings in effect for 5 years or more
  • Ratings in effect for 20 years or more
  • 100% ratings

Unprotected Benefits

Your benefits can be reduced if the following circumstances are true:

  • If there is an actual improvement in disability
  • That improvement led to an increased ability to function in your life and work
  • The reexamination report is thoroughly detailed
  • The reexamination has reviewed your entire medical history

Call Veterans Disability Benefits Attorney Bill Herren

VA disability benefits law and practices can be complex, but by understanding this process, you can best protect your VA benefits. Nonetheless, whether you’ve been called for reexamination, or your reexamination led to a reduction or termination of benefits, one of the best protections available is a Houston TX VA disability attorney, like William Herren. At our law firm, we offer one thing: experience helping veterans just like you.

Moreover, we work on a contingency basis, meaning that you won’t pay a penny unless we win your case. For a free, no-obligation consultation with attorney William Herren, call our Houston law firm today at (713) 682-8194.

Houston TX Veterans Disability Attorney – What benefits are available for disabled veterans?

When returning from active-duty service in the U.S. military with an injury or disability, veterans can often rely on the Veterans Affairs to help cover the costs of service-related injuries or provide income to a disabled veteran that can no longer work. As such, if you are a veteran with a disability, it’s important to understand the VA disability benefits process, what benefits are available, and the varying eligibility requirements associated with certain benefits.

Benefits for Disabled Veterans | VA Disability Benefits Attorney Herren Law

If you’re finding difficulties getting rightfully owed disability benefits from the VA, then you may want to call a Houston VA disability benefits attorney as soon as possible. With years of experience helping veterans in Texas, attorney Bill Herren of Herren Law understands what it takes to get benefits, and what benefits may be available for you. We operate on a contingency basis, and you won’t pay a fee unless we win your case. For a free consultation, call our Houston law firm at (713) 682-8194.

Eligibility for VA Disability Benefits

There are certain eligibility requirements associated with the various disability benefits. However, veterans must meet two basic conditions to be considered for any VA benefits, including:

  • The veteran must have been on active service
  • The veteran must have received a discharge under conditions other than dishonorable

It is important to note that a veteran who was disabled by his/her own willful misconduct may be barred from receiving VA disability benefits.

Service-Connected Disability Compensation

After meeting these basic requirements, the veteran can look at other requirements associated with the VA’s disability benefits. For disabled veterans, the specific benefit they can pursue is:

Service-connected disability compensation: The service-connected disability compensation includes a monthly cash benefit, and it is available to eligible veterans who incurred an injury or illness that caused a disability or made an existing disability even worse. If the disability is particularly severe, there is special monthly compensation that’s also available.

The amount of benefits ranges from $133 to over $3,000 paid every month. The exact amount depends on several factors, such as the severity of your disability and the number of dependents you have. Furthermore, you may be paid additional amounts if any of the following are true:

  • You have a severe disability or you lost a limb
  • You have a spouse, children, or other dependent partners
  • You have a seriously disabled spouse

You can apply for disability benefits at any VA office, including those right here in Houston.

Benefits Available for Disabled Veterans

There are several types of claims associated with disabilities, and the unique circumstances of your injury and disability should indicate what type of claim you should pursue. Some of the different types of benefits and disability claims available to veterans include:

  •  Pre-discharge claims: Service-members within 180 days of their discharge from active duty or full-time National Guard duty may file a claim for disability compensation.
  • Pre-service disability claims: During service, an injury could aggravate a known pre-service disability. If a disability becomes worse during service, a veteran can file a pre-service disability claim.
  • In-service disability claims: For disabilities that resulted from an injury or illness that occurred during active service, a veteran can file an in-service disability claim.
  • Post-service disability claims: Some disabilities result from a disability that occurred while the veteran was in active duty. Even though the disability occurred have service, the veteran may still be able to file a claim.

Some claims are based on special circumstances, such as a claim for a temporary 100% rating due to surgery for a service-connected injury, or additional compensation if the veteran requires regular aid and attendance.

Call Herren Law Today

It’s always important to remember that, before you’re awarded disability benefits, you’ll need to meet the VA’s strict guidelines for disability, which includes a Direct Service Connection, Aggravated Service Connection, Presumptive Service Connection, or a Secondary Service Connection. You may also win disability benefits if you establish a service connection for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

To get legal help with your VA disability benefits claim, and a prominent attorney who’ll vigorously fight for your interests, call VA disability attorney William Herren today at (713) 682-8194. Free consultations are available.


How Can I Prove That My Disability is Service-Related?


Herren Law is a team of Houston veteran’s disability attorneys focusing on helping veterans fill out and apply for their benefits claim. When our clients apply for benefits or a disability claim, however, one of the most important aspects is proving that the injury or disability is related to the client’s active service.

For legal help proving that your injury was related to your military service, contact Herren Law today. Our Houston-based veteran’s benefits attorneys ensure a full-service legal representation as well as one-on-one communication. We’ll work every angle and always put your interests first. Call today!

Presumed Service Connected Conditions

For veteran’s that have served for more than 90 days, there are certain conditions that, by law, are presumptively service connected. In other words, if you prove that you have a condition that’s presumed by the VA to be military connected, you only have to show that you have the condition (and don’t have to prove the service connection). For example, some presumed service connected conditions include:

  • ALS – Lou Gehrig’s Disease
  • Conditions related to agent orange exposure
  • Diseases resulting from radiation exposure for veterans who served at certain locations
  • PTSD in certain circumstances

Additionally, it is important to note that POWs that were confined for more than 30 days may be eligible for a presumptive service connection.

Criteria for Proving a Direct Service Connection

A direct service connection occurs when an incident directly caused your injury or disability. Therefore, to prove a direct service connection, you would need to prove that the event occcurred, provide medical evidence of your injury or disability, and provide medical evidence that the incident caused the disability or injury. In other words, you’ll need to prove:

  • An incident
  • Your disability
  • And the connection between the incident and your injury

For example, a parachuter broke his/her back in a landing. A direct service connection would be the connection between his/her paralysis and the jump.

Secondary Service Connections

Secondary service connections include disabilities that were due to or the result of a service-connected disease or injury. In other words, veterans can claim a secondary service connection when a service-related disability or injury caused another injury or disability.

Aggravated Service Connections

In some cases, an individual had a pre-existing condition before entering the military. During his/her time in the military, however, he/she suffered an injury or experienced an incident that aggravated that pre-existing condition. For example, let’s say a service member had a skin condition before entering the military, but during his/her service, he/she confronted a chemical that made the condition worse than it ever would have been on its own.

Call Herren Law for Your Disability Benefits

Often, the VA is quite strict about requiring veterans to prove that their injuries or disability was caused during service. Even the slightest mishap or missing piece of evidence could cause the VA to deny to your claim. For legal help building your evidence and showing a connection between service and your injuries, make sure to call our VA benefits attorneys at Herren Law at (800) 529-7707. Free consultations are available.