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Generally, a combination of a medical diagnosis, the disability’s symptoms, and its effect on the Veteran’s everyday life determines the amount of benefits the disabled Veteran receives. A change in any one of these areas could significantly, and positively, affect your VA disability rating. The amount of monthly financial benefits depends primarily on the disability rating. Free VA medical care, an equally-important benefit, is typically available to all disabled Veterans, regardless of the extent of disability.
Evidence on all these points is relatively easy to obtain. But different kinds of evidence are more effective in different situations. The most important are medical exams and your own statements. Additionally, presentation is important. An ordinary dinner looks much more appetizing when a professional chef arranges it on a plate. In the VA disability context, the professional you need is an experienced VA disability lawyer.
Lay statements have to be competent. That means they have to be something a non-expert would know. Usually, this means you or a friend can describe what symptoms you experience and when they started but not what your medical condition is. Even after you have a diagnosis, watch out any time you find yourself saying your condition caused your symptoms. That usually needs a doctor to say it.
Where lay statements shine is in describing your condition. Imagine you have service-connected arthritis. Without lay statements, VA would rate this based on medical evidence about how far you can bend the joints. But if a family member sends in a statement saying that the pain stops you from climbing stairs, that shows functional loss that might entitle you to a higher rating. Make sure VA has a complete description of your symptoms and of what it means for your daily life.
In most C&P-based claims, the Veterans themselves provide all the information related to their physical symptoms. That is allowed, but is usually a bad idea. Nobody likes the idea of depending on government benefits, so many Veterans subconsciously downplay their own symptoms. There could be a medical reason, as well. The brain sometimes conceals its own injuries. Therefore, many Veterans, especially those with brain injuries, do not know how badly they are hurt.
Statements from friends, family, colleagues, and other individuals are often very valuable in these situations. These people are not medical or legal professionals, and that is the point. They simply relate what they see about how a disability affects a Veteran.
Independent Medical Examination
VA disability claims often feature a Compensation & Pension (C&P) medical examination. A VA doctor examines the petitioner, focusing on the complained-of areas, and assesses the applicant’s medical condition. Frequently, this examination provides enough medical evidence to make a decision one way or the other. Claims Examiners and Administrative Law Judges usually trust C&P results and take them at face value. There are some exceptions. For example, the C&P doctor might focus on a certain disability area. A physician who focuses on head injuries might be unfamiliar with back problems. Or the C&P examination might happen on a good day, when the Veteran’s disability is not as severe. Usually, Veterans have no choice as to the doctor or appointment time. They just get what they get. If that happens, you should make sure VA knows the exam does not accurately reflect your disability. Your attorney can help you determine how to tell VA this.
If the C&P exam falls short for any reason, attorneys usually order independent medical exams. An independent doctor reviews the Veteran’s medical history, conducts a physical examination, and prepares a report. Veterans have complete control over who performs this examination and when they do it. IMEs usually cost nothing upfront. These providers usually agree to defer billing until the claim is resolved. As a bonus, IME physicians are not one-trick ponies. If they see other health red flags, they know how to handle them.
Sometimes, the best way to increase financial benefits is not to increase the rating, but to optimize the existing ratings. Total Disability due to Individual Unemployability allows partially-disabled Veterans to receive 100% disability benefits. Generally, Veterans are eligible for TDIU if they have a single 60% disability, or a combination of conditions which add up to a 70% disability, and they cannot find substantial, gainful employment in an unsheltered environment. How it adds up is complicated — for instance, a 30% rating and a 40% rating combine to 60%, not 70%. You can learn more about VA math here.
The important question is whether your disabilities make it impossible for you to hold substantially gainful employment. That can be true even if they don’t have ratings that look high enough. “Substantial, gainful employment” usually means a job which lifts the Veteran and any dependents above the poverty line. If you have SGE outside of a sheltered environment, you are not eligible for TDIU. Sheltered environments include family businesses which give Veterans accommodations that are unavailable elsewhere.
Contact Dedicated Attorneys
The initial VA disability rating is not set in stone. For a free consultation with an experienced Veterans disability lawyer, contact the Cameron Firm, P.C. at 800-861-7262 or fill out the contact box to your right. We are here to represent Veterans nationwide.
This article is for educational and marketing purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship.
The roles of Executive assistants and personal assistants often get confused, with many people unaware of the differences between these two key positions.
One reason people do not understand the difference is that both the executive assistant and the personal assistant require a very similar set of skills.
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Read the linked article.
With intense schedules, comes a lot of headaches. You’re constantly worried about missing something. If you’re caught up in this frantic wheel of life, you could use a helping hand.
Running your business smoothly with loads of subsequent meetings, project deadlines, or appointments make it mandatory to have a diary management system. Dedicating your time with a strategic approach will get you ahead of time.
Development of both personal and professional life starts with prioritising your time efficiently for the tasks that need your attention. And this would definitely bring a positive balance in your life.
Why Do You Need A Diary Management?
Keeping track of deadlines with a regular time check doesn’t fall under an effective schedule management technique. Having someone else manage the essentials can help direct your business towards high-geared efficiency.
A well-managed diary can convey a clear outline of occupied schedules, leaves, and send you reminders for the important deadlines lurking around.
Doing it all for the business is not the goal. Managing an up-to-date diary would also let you make time for yourself and your loved ones.
How Can Schedule Management Help
Setting aside some time for scheduling your tasks is often the last thing professionals have time for amidst the rush of a hectic day. But the irony is, scheduling your time properly could actually save you from the rush in the first place.
Accomplishing your goals is the art of prioritising your time for the right purpose. Planning your schedule will help you:
ü Ensure adequate time for the fundamental tasks
ü Realise what can be realistically achieved within the time frame
ü Work on your personal and career goals
ü Strategically plan ahead for the possibility of uncertain task
ü Avoid pressurising yourself with excessive workload
ü Make time for your friends, family, and yourself
Benefits Of Outsourcing Diary Management To A Professional
Business professionals need to deal with regular consultations, multiple meetings and events that do not allow them to be on the top of their Schedule management game all by themselves.
Outsourcing your diary management may seem unnecessary at first, but having a virtual assistant (VA) can ensure you’re doing what you are supposed to do at a specific time. Outsourcing diary management to a professional will efficiently keep you on track.
Here’s what they have to offer:
· Book and coordinate recurring business appointments
· Convenient amendment to meetings or conferences
· Tag or colour-code schedules to identify meetings, consultancy, or holidays
· Keep your daily schedule up to date across all devices
· Plan ahead to ensure there is enough time to meet deadlines
· Keep access codes and numbers of important calls and meetings handy
· Quick notes on paper for important reminders
Outsourcing diary management to a trained virtual assistant will not only keep your business and administration needs streamlined, but also maintain cohesion in your lifestyle.
Time is precious, so utilising it wisely can help you focus on the vital aspects of your professional and personal development.