Understanding the Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) Program: Streamlining VA Claims for Service Members
Hill & Ponton, P.A. Blog
by Claire Szewczyk
2w ago
Transitioning from military to civilian life is a significant step for any service member.  The Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) program, offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), is designed to help service members file their disability claims before they are discharged.  This is in order for a veteran to receive benefits promptly after separation.  Eligibility and Application Process for BDD To be eligible and apply for the BDD program, service members must first meet a series of criteria and then follow certain steps. Below is a list of the criteria necessary t ..read more
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The Impact of Toxic Exposure Risk Activities (TERA) on Veterans’ VA Benefits
Hill & Ponton, P.A. Blog
by Claire Szewczyk
2w ago
Toxic Exposure Risk Activities (TERA) and a TERA medical opinion are critical components in the evaluation of veterans who were exposed to hazardous substances during their service. TERA encompasses a range of activities where toxic exposure could have occurred, and is meticulously monitored through an exposure tracking record system, such as the Individual Longitudinal Exposure Record (ILER). This system allows Veterans Affairs (VA) and others to manage and review exposure details that are important for processing claims. Awareness and understanding of what constitutes a TERA is crucial for v ..read more
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A Guide to Proving Service Connection for PTSD
Hill & Ponton, P.A. Blog
by Claire Szewczyk
2w ago
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a significant issue in VA disability claims, stemming from a traumatic event, or “stressor,” experienced by veterans during service.  Navigating the PTSD claim process involves understanding key regulations and overcoming unique challenges.  This guide simplifies the essentials of building and filing your PTSD claim. Essential Criteria for PTSD Claims Successful PTSD claims hinge on three critical elements: 1. Current PTSD Diagnosis Must be diagnosed by a qualified medical professional such as a psychiatrist or psychologist. The diagnosis sho ..read more
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VA Disability Rating for Female Sexual Arousal Disorder (FSAD)
Hill & Ponton, P.A. Blog
by Claire Szewczyk
2w ago
Female Sexual Arousal Disorder (FSAD) is increasingly recognized as a significant health issue among female veterans.  This condition encompasses various symptoms of sexual dysfunction, which can profoundly impact quality of life.  In 2018, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs updated its rating schedule to include FSAD, reflecting a commitment to acknowledging and addressing this condition equitably among veterans. What is Female Sexual Arousal Disorder? FSAD may manifest as: Low Sexual Desire: A lack of interest in initiating or participating in sexual activity. Orgasmic Disor ..read more
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Understanding Non-Service Connected (NSC) Disability Pension Benefits
Hill & Ponton, P.A. Blog
by Leslie Gaines, Senior Attorney
3w ago
Veterans seeking VA benefits often focus on service-connected disability compensation.  However, there’s another type of benefit that doesn’t require a disability to be linked to military service: the non-service connected (NSC) disability pension.  This benefit is particularly important for veterans with limited income or those who are elderly and disabled. Service-Connected vs. Non-Service Connected Benefits While most VA disability benefits are tied to injuries or illnesses caused or aggravated by military service, the NSC pension is available under different criteria.  It su ..read more
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Critical Flaws in VA Disability Exams Put Your Benefits at Risk
Hill & Ponton, P.A. Blog
by Claire Szewczyk
3w ago
What if the very system designed to help veterans is failing them at their most vulnerable moments? Recent investigations over the last decade have revealed shocking flaws in the VA disability exam process–flaws that may be costing many veterans rightful benefits and impacting their families’ lives. This article dives into the alarming findings from recent inspector general reports and what they mean for veterans and the people they love most.  Read on to discover how these oversights are affecting lives and what you can do about it. What are VA Disability Exams? VA disability exams are e ..read more
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What is the Difference Between Flexion and Extension? A Guide for Veterans with Knee Disabilities
Hill & Ponton, P.A. Blog
by Heather Staskiel, Attorney
1M ago
Chances are, if you are a veteran who is suffering from a knee-related injury, you have heard the terms “flexion” and “extension.”  These are movements that occur at the knee joint and are crucial for everyday mobility.  Simply put–flexion refers to bending the knee vs extension refers to straightening the knee. Want to know why these are so important for your VA disability claim? Read on! What’s the difference between Flexion and Extension? As mentioned above, in a nutshell, it’s just words referencing movements of the knee, but they’re a little more complicated than that when it co ..read more
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What Do I Do if My Rating Isn’t High Enough? An Attorney’s Quick Guide to Getting TDIU
Hill & Ponton, P.A. Blog
by Shannon Brewer, Senior Attorney
1M ago
Navigating the path to obtaining a Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU) rating from the VA can be a complex journey for veterans.  Despite the challenges in securing a 100% schedular rating, TDIU presents an alternate route for veterans whose service-connected disabilities inhibit their ability to obtain or maintain gainful employment. Understanding TDIU: A Gateway to 100% Rating TDIU is designed to assist veterans whose service-connected disabilities don’t meet the criteria for a 100% rating on VA’s rating schedule but still render the veteran unable to work.  This ben ..read more
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What are the VA Benefits for Veterans Exposed to Jet Fuel?
Hill & Ponton, P.A. Blog
by Claire Szewczyk
1M ago
Veterans exposed to jet fuel during their military service may face a range of health issues, from neurological disorders to respiratory problems.  While the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) does not offer specific benefits for jet fuel exposure, veterans suffering from conditions linked to this exposure may be eligible for VA benefits.  This guide outlines how veterans can understand and pursue these benefits effectively. Understanding Jet Fuel Exposure Jet fuel exposure can occur in various settings – from aircraft maintenance to being stationed near fuel storage areas.  Ve ..read more
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What is the VA’s Automated Decision Support System (ADS) and How Can it Help Aid Your Claims
Hill & Ponton, P.A. Blog
by Claire Szewczyk
1M ago
The journey to obtaining VA disability benefits can often feel overwhelming to both veterans and their loved ones involved.  With numerous forms to fill out, medical records and other evidence to obtain and the sheer complexity of the claims process itself, it’s no wonder there is a constant need for clarity and efficiency.  The VA’s Automated Decision Support System (ADS) was a key innovation designed by Veterans Affairs to help streamline the disability claims process.  This system utilizes advanced technology to quickly gather and analyze information pertaining to veterans cl ..read more
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