Countless men and women from North Carolina and from every other state in the union have put their lives on the line to serve in the armed forces. Those courageous and selfless individuals have experienced threats to their security and safety so that others may live in freedom, and for their noble efforts many who serve suffer illnesses and injuries as a result of their times of service. Although the federal government provides service members with the means of applying for veterans' benefits and submitting disability claims, many who do so must wait years to find out if their requests for support will be fulfilled.
For example, a Vietnam veteran who suffers from tumors potentially caused by a substance he was exposed to during the conflict has waited nine years to have his matter resolved. He has submitted his claim to his regional Veterans' Benefits Administration office and that office passed it on to the next level up. His matter is on appeal and therefore moving between the levels of hierarchy in the veterans' benefits system; the average wait time for a service member whose claim has been appealed to find out if the matter has been approved is five years.
It is not unusual for service members to develop illnesses related to their service or to suffer injuries while they are serving their country. The delays that they experience while waiting for support for the losses they have suffered causes many to experience deteriorating conditions as their appeals languish in the various offices of appeal.
Although every disability claim is different, some veterans use the services of attorneys who include veterans' disability law in their practices to help them keep track of the progress of their pending claims. Attorneys who work in this field of law might be able to assist their clients with moving their disability claims along, providing adequate information to the reviewing offices to support their clients' claims, and guiding them through the appeals process in the event it is necessary to secure their veterans' disability benefits.
Source: roanoketimes.com, "Veterans injured by service wait years for compensation hearings," Luanne Rife, Feb. 19, 2017