Maintaining Evidence And Health During VA Injury Wait Time

It’s no secret that the Veterans Affairs claim system can be slow. From systemic issues to the sheer number of veterans needing targeted attention for their claims and appeals, it’s not uncommon for veterans to wait an entire year for a decision for a single claim. If you’ve complained as much as you can and haven’t seen any changes in speed, it’s important to get a legal professional on your side while building on your claim in case of denials or requests for additional information. Here are a few things you can do as you wait for a response from Veterans Affairs.

Set All The Appointments Possible

Your Veterans Affairs (VA) injury claim or appeal is all about delivering the right kind of evidence showing that your injury is related to military service (service-connected) and that you’re still suffering from the problem.

One issue with initial claims and some appeals is that they lack enough information. It makes sense that veterans fresh from the service might not know how the VA works; unless you worked in a legal department, your job had nothing to do with the complex VA disability system and filing claims are fairly intensive. Veterans may simply think that showing their wounds or symptoms are enough, since after all, they did serve honorably.

Unfortunately, the VA has to battle against fraudulent claims, which means you’ll need an up-to-date record of your problem. As you wait, you can set appointments at VA clinics and hospitals to examine the problems that you’re complaining about. 

The VA healthcare system has issues with backlogs, but it’s free. On the other hand, you can get examinations from non-VA healthcare providers and pay out of pocket. If your claim is accepted–even after multiple denials–you just need to turn your invoices for related medical care in to the VA for reimbursement.

One big issue is knowing whether your medical professional is good enough. You can take a shortcut in the search by contacting a personal injury lawyer, who may have more medical professional connections suited to your needs. Although many doctors are skilled at their profession, specialists who have dealt with claim systems have a set of reporting and organization skills that centered around convincing claim systems.

Medication And Therapy To Maintain Your Health

VA disability provides many benefits, such as monetary compensation and more advanced medical treatment. Before being approved for benefits, you can stabilize your condition or at least get some assistance that can make survival a lot cheaper.

If you need pain medication or prescription refills, visit the VA ahead of time. There’s no need to pay for many form of pain medication, allergy relief or physical therapy assistance if you go to the VA before your prescription is empty or before the situation becomes dire.

Although the VA is reducing its abused system of high-potency medication with a simple visit, if you really need a prescription, a VA clinic or hospital visit with a doctor can get what you actually need. You can then use the My Healthy Vet website to refill prescriptions, and you’ll only need to visit the clinic again if you need to be evaluated for another solution or continued refills.

For more information, contact Walz Law Office or a similar firm.

Learn More

Dismissal With Prejudice: Why It Is Bad And How To Avoid It

If you are contemplating a bankruptcy filing, it’s essential to plan for it well so that your case isn’t dismissed with prejudice. A dismissal with prejudice is bad for your case because it means either of these two things:

You May Be Barred From Filing another Bankruptcy for Some Time

If your bankruptcy application goes south, your first thought would be to correct the anomaly that got your case dismissed and reapply right away. However, this is not possible if your case is dismissed with prejudice. If the application had placed an automatic stay on your creditors’ collection efforts, they would be free to start hounding you until the designated period elapses and then reapply.

Some of Your Debts May Not Be Discharged In Subsequent Bankruptcy

Many people who fail at their first bankruptcy applications reassess their situations, prepare, and try again. This is because they don’t have alternative means of solving their financial difficulties. Unfortunately, a dismissal with prejudice may make it difficult to succeed at a subsequent hearing. This is because even if you are allowed to file for bankruptcy, you may not be allowed to discharge the debts that your first bankruptcy would have dismissed. So if those are the same debts you were still interested in discharging, you may have no reason to file for bankruptcy again.

Considering the above disadvantages of bankruptcy dismissal with prejudice, it makes sense to avoid it all costs. Luckily, that is achievable via planning to ensure that:

Don’t Hide Assets

The temptation to hide assets might be overwhelming if you want to discharge your debts and keep your assets. Unfortunately, this is one of the easiest routes to getting your case dismissed with prejudice. Instead, use your bankruptcy exemptions to save the assets you wish to save. Talk to a bankruptcy lawyer for help with how to maximize your exemptions.

Follow the Courts Orders

Willfully disobeying the bankruptcy court’s orders is another way of getting your case dismissed with prejudice. Once the bankruptcy case starts, prepare to follow every directive to the letter. For example, if the court requires you to complete a debt counseling class within a certain time, do it; there is no shortcut.

Don’t Make Numerous Applications Unnecessarily

A bankruptcy dismissal without prejudice allows you to make a subsequent filing as soon as you wish, but you shouldn’t make that step without thorough preparation. This is even more necessary if it isn’t the first time your bankruptcy case has been dismissed. You need to analyze and correct your shortcomings before filing again. This is because if you make too many applications without merit, your case might be dismissed with prejudice. The court might make that move on the suspicion that you are just filing for bankruptcy to delay your credit obligations, which is an abuse of the process. Contact a business, such as Vandeventer Black LLP, for more information. 

Learn More

3 Questions To Ask When Choosing A Social Security Attorney When You Have An Invisible Disability

When your disability is invisible to the naked eye, such as a mental illness or chronic pain disorder, you are likely to find that getting the social security payments that you are entitled to can be very challenging. In that instance, it will be particularly useful to be aware of the following questions you should ask of any lawyer that you may consider hiring.

#1-Is The Lawyer Familiar With Changes To Social Security Law?

Unfortunately, people who suffer from endocrine disorders like diabetes and other thyroid disorders and cannot work as the result of their illness are likely to find that getting approved for disability payments is even harder than it was a few years ago. That is due to the decision implemented by the Social Security Administration in June of 2011 that removed those conditions from the list of approved illnesses for payments. Any lawyer with whom you will be speaking should make efforts to stay up-to-date on changes like that one.

#2-Does The Social Security Attorney Have Experience With Your Type Of Disability?

However, you may still be eligible for payments if your endocrine problem has resulted in additional serious health concerns like an amputation or organ failure. In addition, it can be particularly hard to be approved if you suffer from fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue. Due to the details associated with specific types of invisible disabilities, you are likely to find that it is best to always be represented by a social security attorney with extensive experience helping other people with the same disability you have.

#3-At What Point Will The Attorney Accept Your Case?

When you are sick, in pain or suffering from other symptoms of your invisible disability, you should not have to also worry about dotting i’s and crossing t’s in a long and complicated application for disability payments. Even worse, you should not have to do the work associated with the application, like procuring medical records, and still be unable to access legal assistance until your case has been turned down by the government. Therefore, it will be helpful to find an attorney who will help you every step of the way, from applying for benefits to appealing the denial of your case, if an appeal is eventually necessary.

In conclusion, the first application for social security disability benefits when you suffer from an invisible disability will often be turned down. Therefore, it is a good idea to ask the above questions when interviewing lawyers to help you file for benefits or appeal the decision about your case.

For more information and advice, talk with a social security lawyer, such as those at Todd East Attorney at Law.

Learn More

Tips For Starting A Wrongful Death Lawsuit In Alaska

If you recently lost a loved one, then you probably have a lot on your mind. You might be dealing with a number of financial hardships, including a future without the wages of your loved one. To help ease your burden, you could file a wrongful death lawsuit, but you should be aware of all the facts before you proceed. Here are some of the relevant rules and laws that you will encounter when it comes to filing a wrongful death lawsuitt in Alaska:

The Statute of Limitations

Alaska requires that you file your lawsuit within two years of theddeath. If you are familiar with the statute of limitations in the related field of personal injury lawsuits, then you might also be familiar with some of the exceptions that can be used to extend the statute of limitations, including the idea of discovery.

Wrongful deaths are a little less lenient, and you may find it very difficult to extend your window of opportunity beyond the initial two years. If you do discover that the death was due to negligence on behalf of another party (medical malpractice and fraud can lead to this situation), and that you were misled about the nature of the death, then you can likely get an extension, allowing you to file long after the two years is up.

Parties That Can File

In order to actually file a wrongful death lawsuit, you need to be the personal representative of the deceased’s estate, or a direct dependent, including spouses and children.

If you are not one of these parties and wish to file, you will likely to be unable to do so. However, exceptions do exist, so if you believe that you have a particularly strong case for whatever reason, then it’s a good idea to consult a lawyer. From there, you can decide whether you should proceed.

Damage Caps

The amount of money that you can win in your case is generally divided into two categories: economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages include financial costs, such as the price of a funeral and future lost wages. Economic damages are also rarely limited, meaning that you can ask for as much as you are owed.

Non-economic damages are restricted to $400,000 or $8,000 per year of remaining life expectancy, which basically means that the cap is $400,000 unless their life expectancy exceeded 50 years. This restriction applies to any sort of emotion suffering, including loss of consortium and general disfigurement.

To learn more, contact a personal injury lawyer like Henry C. Devening

Learn More

Can Bankruptcy Be Used To Get Rid Of Tax Debts?

Eliminating tax debts through bankruptcy is possible, but there are a lot of rules that govern whether or not you can in your specific situation. In some situations, even if you file for bankruptcy, you might still owe tax debts. If you are considering filing bankruptcy, here is what you need to know about filing and how it can impact tax debts.

What Are the Rules for Discharging Tax Debts?

If you are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you have to meet several requirements. If you fail to meet any of them, it is highly unlikely that the court allows a discharge. 

One of the first requirements is that the tax debt is actually an income tax debt. If the tax debt is something else, such as fraud penalties, they cannot be discharged. The debt also has to be three or more years older. Taxes later than that must be repaid. Other requirements include:

  • There was no fraud. If you attempted to commit fraud or evade taxes, a bankruptcy cannot help your situation. 
  • You have already filed a return. If you have not filed a return for the debt you want discharged two or more years ago, the debt cannot be discharged. 
  • The debt must be at least 240 days old. The debt must have been assessed by the Internal Revenue Service at least 240 days prior to your petition for bankruptcy.

If you do not meet these requirements, talk to your tax attorney about other ways you can handle your tax debt. 

What If You Are Filing Chapter 13?

Chapter 13 debts are viewed differently from Chapter 7 when dealing with tax debts. Since you are agreeing to repay your debts through the Chapter 13 filing, you also are agreeing to pay off your tax debts. 

When you file for bankruptcy, you must submit a bankruptcy repayment plan that also accounts for the tax debts. The court will review your plan and determine whether or not it is acceptable. If not, you will have to change your repayment plan.

At any point, if you are unable to continue your repayment plan, you can request a hardship discharge of your remaining debts. If your current situation meets the requirements for tax debts to be discharged, you might be able to eliminate some of the debts then. 

Before taking any action, review all of your options with your tax attorney. He or she can help determine if your debts meet the requirements for discharge and help you explore other options for handling them, if necessary. To learn more, visit a website like

Learn More

Should You Use A Living Trust Instead Of A Will?

A living trust, also referred to as a revocable trust, is a popular tool that you can use when planning your estate. It will help prevent your property from going through probate court, which avoids a lot of hassle for your loved ones so they can inherit your property faster. If you are not sure if you should use a living trust instead of a will, here is what you should know about this form of estate planning.

What Are Living Trusts?

A living trust is a document that allows you to move your assets to a trust when you’re still living. It can include bonds, stocks, real estate, jewelry, art, vehicles, and all types of personal property. You’ll also name the trust’s beneficiaries, and what assets they will receive.

How Are Living Trusts Similar To Using Wills?

Much like with a will, you’re allowed to make changes to your trust whenever you want. You can add additional assets, remove assets, change who the beneficiaries are, or even cancel the trust completely.

A trust also requires a trustee, who has responsibilities that are very similar to a will’s executor. The trustee is the person responsible for distributing assets after you pass away. They will also have the power to manage aspects of any financial affairs that you need taken care of if you are incapacitated, which include paying bills.

How Are Living Trusts Better?

The biggest difference between these documents is what happens after you pass away. A will needs to be officially filed with the probate court, then follow a legal procedure that could take a long time to finalize. All your beneficiaries are required to wait until this process is finished before they are allowed to receive assets. A will also becomes public record, and anyone can gain access to it to see what you left behind to your beneficiaries. This can make it difficult to maintain privacy with how assets are divided.

A living trust allows the trustee to start distributing assets immediately, without the need to go through the probate process. The distribution of assets in a living trust is private, with only the trustee knowing how assets are to be divided.

As you can see, a living trust is a valuable tool when planning your estate. If you need help setting up a living trust of your own, work with an estate planning attorney at a firm like Wright Law Offices, PLLC, in your area.

Learn More

What You Can Do To Make Sure Your Loved Ones Don’t Have To Go To Probate Court

It is not particularly enjoyable to realize that you are going to die one day. As you come to accept that truth, knowing that you can choose how to divide your estate and pass on different things to friends and family members can fill your heart with pride because you are able to give to the people you care about. That’s why it can be distressing to think about your loved ones having to head to probate court after you’re gone. If you want to ensure that doesn’t happen, use the following suggestions.

Take Steps to Settle Your Debts

You may be excited to give your oldest son your house in your will, but you may not realize that your creditors must be notified that you have passed on and may lay claim to that house. Your loved ones may have to head to probate court to settle the issue. 

Therefore, before you think of giving away expensive heirlooms or real estate, make sure you have settled as many of your debts as possible. That way, when you give someone something in your will, they can keep it without a problem. Consult a local accountant or a probate lawyer, like David R Webb Attorney, to make a list of the debts you need to take care of.

Take Your Estate Planning Documents Out Every Thanksgiving

Life events such as births of your grandchildren and your kid’s divorce happen throughout the year; you might not remember to add the names of the new twins to your will, take your son-in-law off off of the beneficiary list for your life insurance policy, or make many other changes that reflect your new wishes. As a result, when you pass away, your loved ones might end up in probate court arguing over what your wishes truly were.

For that reason, it is a good idea to have a regular time for updating and changing estate planning paperwork so that you make a habit of it. A great time for reviewing these documents is Thanksgiving or another major holiday when your loved ones are already in your thoughts.You might also mention to them that you are updating your estate planning materials and ensure that everyone knows where the materials are kept. When the papers are needed, everyone will know where to look for them.

Be sure to do everything possible to protect your loved ones after you pass away and help them to avoid having any problems related to the assets you leave them. Talk over your actions with a reputable probate lawyer who understands what you’d like to do and can assist you in helping your loved ones avoid probate proceedings.

Learn More