Did you apply for scarring alopecia veterans benefits and receive a denial from the U.S. Department of Veterans (VA)? The road does not need to stop here. You have the right to appeal VA’s decision. However, the process of appealing a VA disability claim denial is difficult and time-consuming. It can take years to navigate the appeals process. Fortunately, you do not need to handle this process yourself. A veterans’ disability lawyer can help you complete your appeal and possibly get you the monthly benefits you deserve.
Challenges That You May Need to Overcome to Get Fair Benefits
As you may already know, securing fair benefits for your disability is not easy. VA may present several challenges that you don’t deserve, but that you must overcome to get the benefits you seek. An attorney will work with you to address any challenges that you face, including:
- Unjust denial of your VA disability claim: VA officials may not recognize your disability or may deny your claim for benefits on other grounds. Your attorney will appeal an outright denial of your disability benefits claim.
- Underrating of your disabilities: The specific rating you receive for your scarring alopecia or other disabilities will determine what amount of benefits you’ll receive. If VA doctors rate your disabilities less than is appropriate, then you may appeal their rating. Your attorney could present medical documentation and other evidence to refute an inaccurate rating by VA representatives.
- Broken communications with VA representatives: You may face difficulty communicating clearly with VA representatives. Inconsistent communication can make it tough to know exactly what you need to complete a successful appeal. An attorney will handle appeal-related communications, sparing you stress while working to resolve your appeal.
VA disability claims and appeals are complex by nature. Understanding ratings can be difficult. Determining the proper rating for your own disabilities can be even tougher. An attorney versed in these matters will address all challenges that your appeal presents.
A VA Disability Lawyer Could Help You Get Scarring Alopecia Veterans Benefits
Scarring alopecia, also known as cicatricial alopecia, occurs when the hair follicle is destroyed. It can be a primary or secondary condition. Primary alopecia is the result of an inflammatory process, while secondary alopecia is the result of an external injury, such as burns or radiation exposure.
Symptoms of scarring alopecia include:
- Redness and scaling
- Decreased or increased pigmentation
You may also have draining sinuses.
Unfortunately, just having these symptoms and a diagnosis of scarring alopecia is not enough for a successful appeal. To obtain benefits, your appeal must also establish:
An In-Service Event or An In-Service Onset
Your lawyer must show that you experienced a specific in-service event that could have caused your scarring alopecia. For example, secondary scarring alopecia can result from burns, infections, radiation, and tumors.
You must show evidence of an event capable of causing scarring alopecia. You can also satisfy this requirement if you can prove to VA that your scarring alopecia began while you were in the service.
A Nexus Between the In-Service Event or Onset and Your Scarring Alopecia
You must show that your scarring alopecia, at least as likely as not, resulted from the in-service event.
Depending on your unique situation, you may be able to establish a secondary service connection. A secondary service connection means your condition stemmed from another, service-connected condition.
For example, say you developed cancer due to exposure to toxins during your military service. After the emergence of cancerous tumors, you went to the doctor with complaints that you were losing your hair and developing scaly patches on your scalp. Your doctor did a biopsy and determined that you have scarring alopecia. In this case, the scarring alopecia would be a secondary service-connected condition.
A Veterans’ Disability Lawyer Will Fight to Get You the Most Compensation Possible
VA issues disability rating criteria to determine how much compensation a veteran will receive monthly for service-connected conditions. For scarring alopecia, VA issues three ratings: 20 percent, 10 percent, and 0 percent.
The criteria are as follows:
- 20 percent disability rating: Scarring alopecia “affecting more than 40 percent of the scalp”
- 10 percent disability rating: Scarring alopecia “affecting 20 to 40 percent of the scalp”
- 0 percent: Scarring alopecia “affecting less than 20 percent of the scalp”
These disability ratings correspond with the monthly compensation VA will issue, with the following examples reflecting rates for a single veteran with no dependents:
- 20 percent: $301.74 each month
- 10 percent: $152.64 each month
- 0 percent: $0 each month
A lawyer will fight to get you the highest possible disability rating. If you have another service-connected disability, you could receive a combined rating which may increase your rating and your monthly compensation.
A VA disability lawyer will investigate your case and determine whether you might have a case to recover increased compensation.
Who Can Benefit From Hiring an Attorney?
Anybody who is dealing with a VA disability claim may benefit from hiring an attorney. Even though an attorney can never guarantee a positive result, they will fight hard on your behalf. They couldobtain the benefits you deserve.
Regardless of the outcome of your VA disability decision review, hiring a lawyer could help:
- Preserve your health: If you’re seeking benefits for a disability, you have health-related responsibilities to tend to. You may require regular rest, treatment, medications, and other measures to preserve your health. Dealing with a VA disability claim is, generally speaking, not helpful for recovery. Your attorney will lead your claim so that you can focus on your health.
- Create a more detailed, accurate claim: Again, an attorney is never a guarantee of a perfect result. However, it can benefit you to have the services of a lawyer who has handled claims before. Your lawyer’s team will review all aspects of your decision review request for accuracy. Your attorney may also know which types of documentation and evidence are helpful to a disability benefits claim review.
- Secure the benefits that you need: If your attorney works for you and you end up securing the benefits you deserve, your lawyer will have played a key role in helping you. If you believe that an attorney could help your disability benefits claim in any way, then it may be worth retaining their services.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help. For disabled veterans, requesting a decision review from VA for proper benefits is a high-stakes process. Most applicants can use all of the help available to them, and an attorney who specializes in this process can be an ideal resource.
Get Help from a VA Disability Lawyer Today
Getting the compensation you need for your scarring alopecia can be difficult. However, you do not need to handle it alone. A VA disability attorney can help you file your decision review request. A lawyer can represent you through the entire process, which includes determining the proper filing lane to choose.
Depending on the lane your attorney chooses, they can ensure that you have all the necessary evidence to prove your entitlement to benefits or represent you during a hearing with the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA).
Call today for veterans’ disability legal help. The consultation is free, and you pay nothing unless you win benefits. Get help from a law firm with over 40 years of experience handling veterans’ disability claims.