Have You Been Denied a VA Benefits Claim?

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Have You Been Denied
Veterans Disability Benefits?

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We work nationwide with disabled Veterans who have been denied disability benefits by the VA. Our Charlotte NC-based legal team serves Veterans nationwide and is highly experienced. We routinely obtain benefits for Veterans that have been previously denied, regardless of whether you applied by yourself, using a veteran’s organization, or another law firm.

We also have several Veterans ready, willing, and able to give a testimonial. Don’t take our word for it; check out what our fellow Veterans who have received benefits have to say!

Do You Feel like You’re Locked Out of Your Benefits?

​The VA Disability process can be extremely daunting.

The truth is, it is quite complicated. The difference between getting the benefits you deserve or being “locked out” of the benefits, you should be receiving is only a matter of knowing which key to use.

Our staff consists two case coordinators and two full-time attorneys highly trained and experienced in Veterans’ Disability law.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD can have many causes—whether from the stressors of being in the theater of wartime activities including fear for one’s life or safety, assault, or witnessing things that are an unfortunate fact of war: dead, burned, or mutilated combatants or civilians, and even the immense guilt of knowing that carrying out one’s duties resulted in death or injury to other human beings. PTSD is VERY common among service members, as being in the military exposes our service-members to horrors of war. Let’s face it: Any military throughout history has two purposes: To deter attacks on our homeland, assets, and allies, and when efforts at deterrence are exhausted, to kill the enemy.

PTSD can manifest even several years after the incident or incidences (the “stressors”) that caused it, and is known to get worse over time, especially if left untreated.  PTSD can manifest in many ways, including:

  • Hyper-vigilance
  • Disturbed sleep patterns, nightmares
  • Suicidal or homicidal ideations
  • Heightened startle response
  • Avoidance of crowds, people and events that cause great aggravation and discomfort for the Veteran
  • Strained family relationships
  • Difficulty in relating and working with others, leading to disciplinary actions at work, and even to termination
  • “Road Rage” and other events that may involve altercations with others including law enforcement

Many Veterans we talk to do not even know they are suffering from PTSD, but their lives and relationships are crumbling all around them.  

PTSD is a very REAL and debilitating condition often caused by the Veteran’s active-duty service, and the VA will compensate you for your suffering.  

Once you have applied and been DENIED (or short-changed), the law firm of Joseph M. Bochicchio, PLLC can take on your appeal and fight on your behalf.  CALL NOW for a free evaluation of your PTSD claim to get you the treatment and the money that you deserve. 


What’s the PACT Act and how will it affect my VA benefits and care?

The PACT Act is perhaps the largest health care and benefit expansion in VA history. The full name of the law is The Sergeant First Class (SFC) Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act.

The PACT Act will bring these changes:

  • Expands and extends eligibility for VA health care for Veterans with toxic exposures and Veterans of the Vietnam, Gulf War, and post-9/11 eras
  • Adds more than 20 new presumptive conditions for burn pits and other toxic exposures
  • Adds more presumptive-exposure locations for Agent Orange and radiation
  • Requires VA to provide a toxic exposure screening to every Veteran enrolled in VA health care
  • Helps us improve research, staff education, and treatment related to toxic exposures

If you’re a Veteran or survivor, you can file claims now to apply for PACT Act-related benefits.


What does it mean to have a presumptive condition for toxic exposure?

To get a VA disability rating, your disability must connect to your military service. For many health conditions, you need to prove that your service caused your condition. 

But for some conditions, we automatically assume (or “presume”) that your service caused your condition. We call these “presumptive conditions.”

We consider a condition presumptive when it’s established by law or regulation.

If you have a presumptive condition, you don’t need to prove that your service caused the condition. You only need to meet the service requirements for the presumption.

The PACT Act also adds locations to the list of areas where exposure is legally presumed.  

Burn Pit Exposure

Burn pits, notably prevalent during the Gulf War cause respiratory diseases:  Rhinitis, Sinusitis, Lung conditions, gastrointestinal conditions, and certain cancers.  There are now over 20 conditions that enjoy the legal presumption of being caused by exposure to toxic fumes from burn pits under the PACT ACT, including the listed conditions below.   This change expands benefits for Gulf War era and post-9/11 Veterans.

These cancers are now presumptive:

  • Brain cancer
  • Gastrointestinal cancer of any type
  • Glioblastoma
  • Head cancer of any type
  • Kidney cancer
  • Lymphatic cancer of any type
  • Lymphoma of any type
  • Melanoma
  • Neck cancer of any type
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Reproductive cancer of any type
  • Respiratory (breathing-related) cancer of any type

These illnesses are now presumptive:

  • Asthma that was diagnosed after service
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Chronic rhinitis
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Constrictive bronchiolitis or obliterative bronchiolitis
  • Emphysema
  • Granulomatous disease
  • Interstitial lung disease (ILD)
  • Pleuritis
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Sarcoidosis
Military Sexual Trauma/Military Assault

It’s alarming how many MST cases our firm has handled.  You entrusted your life to the military and your superiors to protect you and treat you with fairness and respect.  Military Sexual Assaults are a complete and total violation of that trust.  Trust can be further eroded when MST incidents are reported through the appropriate channels, but then never investigated, or the perpetrator is never punished.  

With Military sexual trauma or assault, special handling of the case is required under VA regulations to allow “circumstantial” evidence to support the claims.  Generally, MST incidents have been “swept under the rug” by superiors in many cases, and direct eyewitnesses are generally rare, making these cases particularly hard to prove.

That being said, under the relaxed evidentiary standards, a skilled lawyer with experience handling MST claims can assist in gathering the appropriate evidence that, while circumstantial, can be used to successfully prosecute your claim.  Joseph M. Bochicchio and his staff are heavily experienced in handling MST claims for Veterans, and in using the law to win cases.

If you have been assaulted (or sexually assaulted) in the military, it’s important to understand that “just because” you filed and were denied does not mean that your case cannot succeed, as an experienced legal team can turn your denial into a grant of benefits.  

Orthopedic Injuries

Injuries of the spine, neck, knees, hips, and other joints are unfortunately common in the military.  The truth is that being in the military can be a dangerous occupation—Aside from the injuries caused by war, there are a plethora of injuries that Veterans sustain in war-related and peacetime service activities.  

Whether it’s an injury during training that never healed, or lifting something as part of your routine duties in your MOS, an injury at the age of 20 where you are prescribed Motrin and light duty for a week can become quite troubling in your 40’s and beyond through the normal process of the injured areas degenerating over time.

It’s important to deal with counsel that has a network of physicians that are practice with Veteran’s orthopedic injuries.  And it’s not just about words on a page… it’s about what the doctor’s opinion actually states, and the wording within the opinion, making it critical to deal with advocates that are highly experienced in VA law.  Without careful work and thoughtful consideration of your claims by a team of competent professionals, your chances of a good outcome are dramatically reduced.  

Chronic Diseases Acquired while in service

When you sign up for your military career, there is a trade-off.  The government OWNS you… they can assign you to do anything, and go anywhere in the world at their whim.  As part of that tradeoff, they OWN you for the good and the bad.  

If you are diagnosed with a chronic illness (i.e. that endures for a long time) such as diabetes, heart conditions, cancer, mental health conditions, or had symptoms of the beginning of those conditions (that are often left undiagnosed while still in active duty), under current law, the VA MUST pay you benefits.

It’s important to deal with competent counsel to help gather the correct evidence and make legal argument as to why you are due benefits.  

Vaccine Injuries

Soldiers are facing health complications from the mandatory COVID 19 vaccines for service members.  As we learn more about the vaccine, certain health complications are dramatically higher amongst those vaccinated military members.  Research points to increased miscarriages, myocarditis and other heart problems, blood clots, and even death.  

While this body of law is expected to develop over the next year or two as major litigation exposes the injuries suffered as a result of the COVID vaccine, it’s important to file your claim NOW so that when those changes are eventually implemented in the law, your case is already matriculating through the system.

Toxic Chemical Exposure/Agent Orange/Radiation

If you know or suspect you have been exposed to toxic herbicides such as Agent Orange, radiation, burn pits, or other toxic substances and have health issues as a result, it’s imperative, now more than ever, to seek competent counsel regarding your claim(s).

A poorly prosecuted case at the beginning reduces your odds of a win on appeal, especially with new provisions under the law.  Competent legal counsel can guide you through the process to avoid the pitfalls that may jeopardize your case.  

If you have been denied for VA benefits for exposure to toxic substances or radiation, you have only ONE YEAR from the date of your denial to appeal your claim.