Brandon, FL (Law Firm Newswire) November 7, 2011 – Changes to the law now make it possible for service members to receive traumatic injury benefits regardless of where they were serving when the injury occurred.
The Veterans Benefit Improvement Act of 2010 opens the door for service members who served outside of Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom to receive the same traumatic injury benefits, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“This is great news for our country’s service men and women,” said Brandon veterans disability lawyer David Magann, who specializes in veteran disability claims and is a Marine Corps veteran. “Service members who were originally denied claims because they served here at home or elsewhere overseas are now eligible.”
Each branch of the military is reviewing claims previously denied because the injury did not happen in OEF/OIF and is reaching out to those individuals, according to the VA. The law went into effect on Oct. 1, 2011. Qualifying dates for the injuries are between Oct. 7, 2001 and Nov. 30, 2005.
“File immediately and be persistent,” Magann said. “Filing for benefits can be slow and frustrating.”
The Traumatic Injury Protection Benefit is known as TSGLI. It provides a payment ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 to service members sustaining certain severe traumatic injuries resulting in losses, according to the VA.
These losses include:
o limb salvage
o loss of sight, hearing or speech
o facial reconstruction
o 15-day continuous hospitalization
o daily living activities decreased due to traumatic brain injury or other traumatic injuries
The change in the law also means that members of the National Guard and the Reserves will be eligible as long as their injuries happened while they were in service, according to the VA. Because the new law is retroactive, Magann expects the VA to be flooded with requests from service members injured in the qualifying period.
“The VA will have a lot of paperwork to go through,” Magann said. “It will be imperative for your claims to be filed properly.”
It is important that the medical evidence of a service member’s current condition be connected to the in-service event, Magann noted. “Without this ‘service connection,’ it is virtually impossible to receive compensation,” he said. It is necessary to provide the VA with doctor and hospital reports documenting the traumatic injury and dependency records like marriages and children’s birth certificates.
“I expect the Veterans Benefit Improvement Act is welcome news to some members of our nation’s military who paid a heavy price for their service with a traumatic injury,” Magann said.
David W. Magann, P.A.
156 W. Robertson St.
Brandon, FL 33511
Call: (813) 657-9175