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Which veterans are automatically considered disabled?

Our country owes our military members a debt that is difficult to repay. These brave men and women put their lives on the line to protect our nation's freedom and our way of life, oftentimes fighting to ensure the safety of others across the world as well. When these military members come home, though, they often have extensive medical needs. They may have suffered serious injuries and mental trauma, all of which can affect his or her ability to adapt to civilian life, find work and acquire financial stability.

Fortunately, the federal government provides disability income to those veterans who are qualified. But who qualifies? To qualify, a veteran must have at least a 10 percent disability caused by a condition that was created due to military service or worsened due to military service. There are certain individuals who are presumed to be disabled.

Amongst those with presumed disability are those who were, at one time, prisoners of war, military service members who were exposed to radiation, Lewisite or mustard gas during service, Vietnam veterans who were exposed to dangerous herbicides, those who, during the Gulf War, served in Southwest Asia and those who suffer a chronic disease that presented itself within a certain period of tie after being discharged from military service. Those who fit into one of these categories are automatically considered disabled, which could help expedite the disability income recovery process.

Yet, even those who are automatically considered disabled can face difficulties when dealing with the Social Security Disability system. This is why seeking assistance from an experienced attorney may be beneficial, as competent representation may help an individual recover the compensation he or she needs to pay for long-term medical care and address other veterans' issues.

Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, "Compensation," accessed on Sep. 27, 2015

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Alan E. DeWoskin, P.C.
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