Helping Veterans

get the benefits they deserve

Types of Veterans Benefits Claims

Veterans Disability Compensation

Veterans disability compensation is a tax-free financial benefit paid to a veteran who has suffered injuries or diseases that happened, or were caused by things that happened, while the veteran was on active duty, or which were made worse by the veteran’s active military service.

The attorneys at Jackson & MacNichol are dedicated to serving our nation’s veterans, whether they reside in Maine, greater New England, or elsewhere in the United States. We offer experienced and caring assistance to help all veterans obtain disability benefits for their service-connected disabilities, including disabilities from:

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Injury from chemical exposure (Agent Orange, nerve gases, mustard gas, toxic chemicals, herbicides). As noted by the Department of Veterans Affairs, for instance, the U.S. military used more than 19 million gallons of herbicides for defoliation and crop destruction in the Republic of Vietnam. Over 100,000 veterans who served in Vietnam are presumed to have been exposed to herbicides, and the government continues to propose additional illnesses that are presumed to be service-connected for herbicide exposure.
  • Other disabling injuries or illnesses.

Individual Unemployability

The VA offers another level of disability compensation for “Individual Unemployability.” This component of the VA’s disability program allows certain veterans to receive compensation at the full rate even if the VA has rated their service-connected disability at a lower than 100% level.

If you think you may be eligible for disability benefits on the basis of Individual Unemployability, contact Jackson & MacNichol today. We can arrange an initial consultation and help with your benefits eligibility.

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation

The VA also offers Dependency and Indemnity Compensation. This is a monthly benefit paid to eligible survivors, such as spouses and children, of certain members of the military services.

Jackson & MacNichol can assist with all types of Dependency and Indemnity Compensation claims. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

The Claims Process

One might expect the VA benefits system to offer a simple, easy, and fast way for disabled veterans to obtain crucial benefits in exchange for their valued military service. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs is a complex system of veteran assistance that employs nearly 280,000 people and operates with a budget of some $87 billion. The agency’s backlog of pending disability claims under review typically numbers in the hundreds of thousands. Thus it’s critical to submit a well-prepared claim with the benefit of professional advice – anything that delays your claim simply adds to the time required before benefits could be available.

The law firm of Jackson & MacNichol can provide effective, knowledgeable assistance based on years of experience with the VA disability benefits claim process. Whether you’re a veteran who is preparing a claim for the first time, or you’re in need of help in appealing the VA’s denial of your claim already on file, contact us today so we can begin working together to ensure that you receive, as soon as possible, the benefits to which you’re entitled.

The claims process begins when a veteran, a veteran’s dependents, or a veteran’s survivors submit a written claim for disability or other compensation. Claims are submitted to any one of numerous regional offices operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Each state has at least one such office. In Maine, the regional office is located in Togus (outside Augusta.)

When a regional office receives a properly submitted claim, it’s required to render a decision. The decision typically is in the form of a simple grant or denial of benefits. If benefits are denied, there may be little accompanying explanation.

If a disability or other veteran benefits claim is denied, the claimant may file a Notice of Disagreement with the regional office. This prompts the regional office to prepare an explanation for its denial of benefits, known as a “statement of the case,” along with an explanation of how to appeal the benefits denial.

To complete a request for appeal, a claimant must file a VA Form 9 within 60 days after receiving the statement of the case. In all events, the form must be filed within one year of the regional office’s notice that the claim was denied.

At this point, the veteran’s appeal is moved to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, located in Washington, D.C. The Board has a variety of options available when it decides the appeal. The Board may reverse the decision of the regional office and grant benefits. Or, the Board may affirm the regional office decision, in which case the veteran can pursue further relief in court. Other options include a remand by the Board to the regional office for further proceedings on the claim, or a “referral,” in which case the Board sends the claim back to the regional office to address an issue that it failed to consider.

When the Board affirms the regional office’s denial of benefits, a veteran has 120 days from the date of that decision to file a notice of appeal with the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

Given the slow and complex claims process, the pursuit of benefits is fraught with opportunities for error and delay. This makes it imperative that your claim be presented as completely and correctly as possible.
If you’ve filed a claim that has been denied, it’s imperative that you have professional representation as you appeal the benefits denial.

The attorneys at Jackson & MacNichol stand ready to take on the burden of pursuing the benefits that you deserve. We’ll handle all aspects of the appeal process on your behalf, from ensuring that your claim is properly documented to representing you in administrative hearings and, if required, in federal court. Our job is to see to it that you have the best opportunity to receive the maximum benefits to which you’re entitled.

The attorneys of Jackson & MacNichol have the experience, knowledge, and skills to help with your claim evaluation or benefits appeal. You can reach us toll-free at (800) 524-3339. For veterans in the Portland, Maine, area, our local number is (207) 772-9000. Our email address is [email protected].

Contact us now – the sooner we hear from you, the sooner we can begin helping you.

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Social Security

Social Security Disability Insurance payments are available to wage earners who have become disabled. Supplemental Security Income payments are available to those with limited income who are disabled.

We represent SSD cases in Maine, Boston, and the whole of New England.

Veterans Disability

As a proud member of the National Association of Veterans' Advocates (NOVA), we offer representation at all stages of the benefits claim process.

We represent Veterans in their disability benefits cases nationwide.

Estate Planning

Estate planning involves more than just writing a will. It’s an active process of evaluating your needs, keeping track of your assets, and determining what legal actions need to be taken to meet your goals and protect your loved ones.

We offer a no obligation, complementary estate planning and asset protection review.

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Jackson & MacNichol

Attorneys at Law

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South Portland, ME

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