| Read Time: 3 minutes | Veterans Disability

How Long Does an Expedited VA Claim Take?

Veterans can file for veteran disability compensation. Veterans may qualify for disability benefits if they suffer from physical or mental conditions before, during, or after service, so long as the  conditions are related to service. Veterans who would like the opportunity to receive compensation must file a VA claim.  If you wish to file a VA claim, the process may take some time—anywhere from three to six months to receive a decision. Certain circumstances, including missing information in the claim, can slow down the process. Fortunately, in some cases, you may qualify for a VA expedited claim process.  There is, however, no exact way to determine how much faster the expedited VA claim process is. Claims are deemed “priority” or “non-priority,” meaning priority claims will be handled first. Still, because there are other priority requests, expedited claims may still take a little time.  First and foremost, before deciding whether you are a qualified candidate for an expedited VA claim, it is important to understand the criteria.  Common Circumstances That Can Get a VA Claim Expedited If you are a veteran interested in expediting your VA claim, you must first qualify. There are special circumstances that, if present, can allow a veteran to expedite the VA claim due to hardship. The Veteran Is Going Through Financial Hardship If a veteran is experiencing extreme financial hardship, they may be able to expedite their claim. The veteran applying will need to provide evidence of their financial situation, which can include: Collection letters, Past-due bills, or Eviction notices. If the evidence submitted is substantial enough to support the claim of financial hardship, your VA claim will be taken care of more quickly. The Veteran Is Terminally Ill If a veteran is suffering from a terminal illness, their claim will be expedited. Medical evidence of the terminal illness is needed to qualify. Medical proof can include medical records or a letter from a physician. The veteran can provide this documentation themselves or allow the VA to gather their private treatment records. The Veteran Is Diagnosed with ALS Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a disease affecting the nervous system, eventually causing the loss of muscle control. As with a terminal illness, veterans diagnosed with ALS will qualify for an expedited VA claim if proof is present. The veteran can provide this to the VA, or the VA can obtain these records for them. The Veteran Was Seriously or Very Seriously Injured or Ill During Military Operations Veterans filing VA claims are likely already suffering some injury or illness. However, veterans that have suffered an injury or illness during military operations can qualify for an expedited VA claim. The VA sets this category apart, defining it as “a disability resulting from a military operation that will likely result in discharge from military service.” To qualify, veterans must provide a copy of their military personnel records and medical evidence showing severe disability or injury. With permission from the veteran, the VA can get the required treatment records on their behalf. The Veteran Is of Advanced Age Veterans 85 years or older may qualify for an expedited VA claim. In their request, the veteran will simply need to provide their accurate date of birth. The Veteran Is a Former Prisoner of War Veterans who were prisoners of war are eligible to have their VA claims expedited. Veterans must provide a copy of their military personnel records, including their DD Form 214 (Certificate of Release of Discharge from Active Duty), and other important information, such as their service number, branch and dates of service, or any other information relevant to their detainment. The Veteran Received a Medal of Honor or Purple Heart Award Veterans decorated with a Medal of Honor or Purple Heart Award will qualify to have their VA claim expedited. The veteran will need to furnish a copy of their military personnel records, including DD Form 214 or some information exhibiting receipt of the Medal of Honor or Purple Heart. What Can I Do to Make My VA Claim Go Faster? If you are a veteran and qualify under one of the above-mentioned criteria, you may wonder how to speed up your VA disability claim. To do so, you must fill out a Priority Processing Request form.  What Can an Attorney Do for Me? An attorney cannot guarantee that your VA claim will go any faster. Nonetheless, your lawyer can help in a variety of ways, including: Thoroughly explaining the process; Answering your questions; Helping you navigate the VA claims process; and Supporting you from beginning to end.  The VA claims process can be tricky and challenging to handle on your own. With the assistance of a qualified attorney, you can have a better chance at a successful outcome to your claim. Consult with a VA Disability Attorney Today Gerling Law exists to help clients get the help they need during a trying time. We believe in putting our clients first and always having their best interests at heart. Gerling Law’s attorneys are all experienced and well-versed in the law, making them your best ally. We aim to help our clients in any way we can, getting them on the right path to recovery. Our firm offers free consultations. Contact us today, and let’s see how we can help you. Go with Experience. Go with Gerling. ®

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Social Security Disability

What Conditions Automatically Qualify You for Disability?

When you develop a medical condition that impedes your ability to hold a job, it can significantly impact your life. There are no two ways about it. In such a situation, it is important to figure out what options you have for financial help, including disability benefits. After developing a life-altering medical condition, you may find yourself wondering, Do I qualify for disability? The answer to this question is not always cut and dried. That said, there are a number of conditions that automatically meet social security disability qualifications by definition. Other conditions can qualify you for an expedited decision on your application but are not automatic. Whatever your questions are, Gerling Law is here to help you navigate the disability application process from start to finish. What Conditions Qualify You for Disability? Some medical conditions will, with a diagnosis, automatically qualify you for disability. You can find these conditions on the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Compassionate Allowances List (CAL). With a medical diagnosis of one of the conditions on this list, you will, by definition, qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or both. SSA has published a complete list of all CAL medical conditions here. The list is too long for this piece, but some of the notable medical conditions on the CAL include: Adult non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Adult-onset Huntington’s disease, Anaplastic adrenal cancer, Bladder cancer,  Batten disease, Canavan disease (CD), Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, Esophageal cancer, Gallbladder cancer, Heart transplant waitlist, Inflammatory breast cancer, Lou Gherig’s disease (ALS), Pancreatic cancer, Small cell lung cancer, and Stage IV breast cancer. If you have a medical diagnosis of one of the diseases noted on the CAL, the SSA simply requires proof of that medical diagnosis for approval of your application for benefits. Suppose you are applying for disability benefits on the basis of one of the conditions in the CAL. In such a case, you do not need to do anything different in your application than you would for any other medical condition. Simply submit the application with the required materials. Once your application is received, it will be flagged automatically by the SSA system for expedited review. The Importance of Documentation Maintaining proper documentation of your medical diagnosis is critically important in the application process. Your medical diagnosis is the most indisputable documentation and record of your medical condition and disability. This is what the SSA will look at, so we cannot overstate the importance of keeping track of it.  It is also important to document your symptoms before and after you go to the doctor. If you make a journal of symptoms and bring it to medical appointments, it will help your service providers make an accurate diagnosis. An accurate diagnosis is critical. Documenting symptoms is also a great help in managing your disability. How to Submit Your Application There are three ways to submit your application for disability benefits to the SSA. The first way to apply is to do so in person. For this, simply go to the closest Social Security office. To apply in person, you do not need an appointment. The SSA’s online field office locator tool will help you find the office closest to you. If you don’t want to apply in person, you can call 800-772-1213 to schedule a phone appointment with an SSA agent. The third option to apply for SSA disability benefits is to use their online application tool. To apply online, visit www.ssa.gov/applyfordisability/ on the SSA website. You will also find more detailed information on the application process on this web page, so be sure to give it a visit even if you plan to apply in person. If you have any questions or troubles with the SSA disability application process, contact us at Gerling Law today. Our disability attorneys have extensive experience helping people claim their disability benefits. From wrongful denials to application and administrative details, our disability attorneys have seen it all and are here to help you. Don’t just take our word for it; be sure to check out our testimonials page to see how we have helped our clients in the past. If you need help, reach out and tell us your story in a free consultation, and we’ll do our best to make things right. Remember Go with Experience. Go with Gerling®

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Car Accident

Go With Experience

If you are searching for legal counsel in Evansville, Indianapolis, Louisville, Owensboro, or surrounding communities, contact Gerling Law. Our lawyers have one purpose: to make your life better through assertive advocacy, legal experience, and a commitment to results. For over five decades, our firm has helped individuals get their lives back after an accident or when they can no longer work due to an injury or illness. We are dedicated to getting the compensation you deserve and have a solid reputation as a large settlement attorney law firm. “I am proud that Gerling Law is a leading personal injury law firm. We have represented thousands of people over the past 50 year and obtained recoveries totaling more than $300 million,” stated Owner Gayle Gerling Pettinga. Professional Results Just some of the recoveries made by Gerling Law include: $7.5 Million Settlement; Brain Injury to Child; Auto and Tractor-Trailer Collision $3.01 Million Judgment; Permanent Brain Injury; Motorcycle – Tractor-Trailer Collision $2.5 Million Settlement; Wrongful Death; Auto and Tractor-Trailer Collision $2.1 Million Settlement; Traumatic Brain Injury; Motorcycle and Tractor-Trailer Collision $350,000 Settlement; Burn Injuries; Propane Tank Explosion $225,000 Settlement; Shoulder Injury; Pedestrian Struck by Auto Of course, these results are provided for informational purposes only and are not to be considered as a promise or guarantee as to the outcome of your specific case. Each case contains different facts and circumstances. The facts and circumstances of other cases will likely differ from the facts of the cases listed. Contingency At Gerling Law, we work on a contingency fee basis. That means you don’t have to pay us anything upfront or directly. We get paid only at the end of your case and when your case ends successfully. If your case is not successful, and you do not receive any kind of financial recovery, we will not charge you for the services we provided on your behalf. You’ll owe absolutely nothing. A Final Word Gerling Law has successfully represented clients from every walk of life and with every sort of legal challenge. We are confident that we can assist you with your legal needs. Clients are always treated fairly and with courtesy and respect. Every case receives the highest-quality representation matched by unparalleled integrity to obtain the compensation you deserve. Call the Gerling Firm today at 888-437-5464 for a no-obligation initial consultation.

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