What's The Job Market For Veterans Disability Litigation Professionals?

What's The Job Market For Veterans Disability Litigation Professionals…

Marcella De Ham… 0 11 05.25 07:20
How a veterans disability lawsuit Disability Settlement Can Affect a Divorce Case

Jim's client, a 58 year old man, is permanently disabled because of his military service. He gets a monthly pension from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

He would like to be aware of whether a verdict by a jury will impact his VA benefits. It won't. It will, however, affect the income sources of his other income sources.

Can I claim compensation in the event of an accident?

If you've served in the military, and are permanently disabled as a result of injuries or illnesses, you could be eligible for a veterans disability settlement. This settlement will allow you to get compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other expenses resulting from your illness or injury. The kind of settlement you'll be able to receive will depend on whether your condition is service-connected or non-service connected, what VA benefits you are eligible for, and the amount your injury or accident will cost to treat.

For instance, Jim is a 58-year veteran who was diagnosed with permanent disabilities from two years of service during the Vietnam War. He doesn't have enough work quarters to qualify for Social Security disability benefits but there is a VA Pension benefit that provides medical care and cash based on financial need. He wants to know what the implications of a personal injury settlement will affect his eligibility to get this benefit.

The answer is contingent upon whether the settlement is a lump-sum or a structured one. Structured settlements are based on payments over a period of time rather than one payment. The amount paid by the defendant is calculated to offset the existing VA benefits. A lump sum payout is likely to affect any existing benefits because the VA considers it to be income and will annually calculate it. If Jim has extra assets after the settlement is annually adjusted and he wants to reapply, he will be eligible for the pension benefit. However the assets he has to be less than a certain threshold that the VA has agreed establishes financial necessity.

Do I need to hire an attorney?

Many spouses, military personnel and former spouses have questions about VA disability benefits and their impact on financial issues during divorce. Some people think that the Department of Veterans Affairs' compensation payments are able to be divided as a military pension in divorce or are "off limits" in the calculation of child support and Alimony. These misconceptions could lead to financial mistakes which can have serious consequences.

While it is possible to do an initial claim for disability benefits on your own, the majority of disabled veterans benefit from the assistance of an experienced lawyer. A veteran's disability lawyer who is experienced will review your medical records and gather all the necessary evidence needed to build a strong case at the VA. The lawyer will also be able to file any appeals that you require to obtain the benefits you are entitled to.

Additionally, the majority of VA disability lawyers do not charge fees for consultations. In addition that the lawyer will normally be paid by the government directly out of the retroactive past-due benefits. This is an advantage of the Equal Access to Justice Act. Your fee agreement should clearly specify the amount of retroactive benefits that will be paid to your lawyer. A fee agreement could stipulate, for example, that the government will pay the attorney 20 percent of retroactive benefits. Any additional amounts are your obligation.

Can I Garnish My VA Benefits?

If a disabled veteran is granted compensation from the VA the compensation is paid in the form of monthly payments. The funds are meant to offset the effects of injuries, diseases or disabilities that were suffered or aggravated by a veteran's service. Like all income, the veterans disability benefits can be subject to garnishment.

Garnishment is a court-ordered procedure that an employer or government agency stop money from the wages of a person who has an obligation and pay it directly to a creditor. In the case of a divorce, garnishment may be used to pay for spousal support or child support.

There are certain situations where the benefits of a veteran could be repaid. The most frequent is the veteran who waived his retirement from the military in order to receive disability compensation. In these instances the portion of the pension that is attributed to disability benefits may be garnished for family support obligations.

In other instances, a veteran's benefits may also be garnished in order to pay medical expenses or federal student loans that are over due. In these instances the court might be able to directly to the VA to get the required information. It is important for a disabled veteran to hire a knowledgeable attorney to ensure that their disability benefits aren't removed. This can stop them from having to rely on payday lenders and private loans.

Can I Represent Myself in a Divorce Case?

VA disability settlements can be a major assistance to veterans and their families, however they're not without their own set of complications. For example the case where a veteran is divorced and is awarded a VA disability settlement, they should be aware of how this will affect their benefits.

One of the major Veterans Disability issues in this context is whether or not the disability payments are considered divisible assets in a divorce. This issue has been addressed in a variety of ways. One option is a Colorado court of appeals decision that found that VA disability payments are not property and can't be divided in this way. Another method is an U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Howell which held that garnishing a veteran's VA disability payments to pay for the payment of alimony is in violation of the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA).

Another concern with this subject is how disability benefits are treated in the context of child maintenance and support. Both the USFSPA as well as the Supreme Court, prohibit states from claiming disability benefits as income. However, some states have taken an alternative approach. Colorado for instance adds all sources of income together to determine the amount required to support a spouse. The state then adds on disability payments to reflect their tax-free status.

It is also vital that veterans understand how divorce will affect their disability compensation and how ex-spouses can slash their income. If they are aware of these issues, veterans can ensure the security of their benefits and avoid unwanted consequences.


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