If you are a veteran of the United States military and are enduring a disability, an Iowa veterans disability attorney may be able to help you obtain the benefits you need – even if your disability was caused by misconduct. This process is often an uphill battle, but is not impossible with the right help and support. For more information about how to start the process, or to appeal a recent denial of benefits from the VA, be sure to contact an Iowa veterans disability attorney as soon as possible.
Iowa Veterans Disability Lawyer Describes the Basics of Willful Misconduct
In general, the VA will not provide disability benefits for disabilities caused by willful misconduct. However, if you are suffering from an additional service-related disability not caused by misconduct, you may be able to obtain benefits for that medical issue, your misconduct-related issue notwithstanding.
Fortunately, whenever a veteran is injured in the line of duty, there is a rebuttable presumption against the conclusion that the injury occurred due to willful misconduct. In order to overcome this presumption, thereby preventing the veteran from receiving disability, the VA has the burden of proving beyond a preponderance of the evidence that the misconduct meets the standard. As your veterans disability attorney will explain, this is a presumption in your favor.
How Does the VA Classify Willful Misconduct?
Willful misconduct may also be categorized as reckless behavior, or behavior undertaken without regard for the likely consequences. This can, but not always, include drug or alcohol abuse, reckless discharge of a firearm or certain driving charges. It may also include illness caused by smoking. If you are the surviving family member of a veteran who committed suicide, you may be denied benefits if the VA determines the veteran was of an unsound mind when he committed the act.
Contact an Iowa Veterans Disability Lawyer Today
If you are having difficulty obtaining benefits due to the exclusions contained in the VA’s willful misconduct rules, a disability attorney may be able to help. For more information, call attorney Thad J. Murphy at 888-256-7413 today.