FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who is Strategic VA Claims and Compensation, LLC?
- We are a private education-based coaching and consulting company for disabled vets exploring eligibility to increase their VA disability benefits
- We are a structured solution serving as a consultation service to Veterans.
- We are a strategic consulting company that assists Veterans in submitting disability and compensations claims with the Veteran’s Administration.
- We are not associated with the Department of Veteran Affairs.
- We are not and are not associated with any Veterans Service Officer (VSO) program
Are You a Veterans Service Officer (VSO)?
No, we are not a Veterans Service Officer. A VSO provides help with acquiring services, filing claims, and representing Veterans at VA hearings. A VSO is not a government service, but an accredited agent of the VA available free of charge to Veterans. Strategic does not fill out forms for you. We are a service that helps you optimize VA disability benefits you medically and ethically qualify for with supporting medical evidence to try and achieve the best results possible. We offer medical consulting in support of your claim. You can call us at any time with questions, and our team is on hand to help.
What Do We Offer?
- Disability Claims Assistance with the VA.
We guide you through out the entire claim process from beginning to end.
- Life Coaching Services.
What happens after you receive your compensation? Our Life Coaching Services will bring out the best in you and our services allow you use your strengths to your benefits though out your life.
- Health and Fitness Instruction.
If you’re in need of a health and fitness upgrade we can guide you by sending your personal training routines all based on your own health and fitness level.
- Nutritional Guidance.
We use the latest nutrition software to provide professional tailored and structure meal plans solely designed just for you.
What is the VA Rating Decision Letter?
When you file a disability claim with the VA, you will receive a VA Rating Decision letter. This letter outlines the decision of the VA Rating Board. It will include a decision on whether your conditions are deemed service-connected if they’re eligible for benefits, the amount of benefits, and when you will begin receiving your VA disability payments. Your rating will be a percentage from 0%-100%, and that determines the percentage of benefits you’ll receive.
What is the VA Disability Rating?
The VA Disability Rating is decided by the VA’s Rating Authorities, based on your claim and condition. It is given a percentage score dependent on whether your claim is service-related. Disability ratings are rounded off to the nearest ten, i.e., 50%, 60%, 70%.
What is the Total Combined VA Disability Rating?
The total combined VA Disability Rating is the combination of all of the disabilities and medical conditions in a Veteran’s medical file. All of your various ratings are combined into one number that decides the exact amount of disability benefits you will receive.
What is the C&P Exam?
The C&P exam is sometimes called the Compensation & Pension examination. It’s a medical examination that determines your compensation and pension. A doctor performs the C&P exam on behalf of the VA. The C&P exam can include multiple exams, as some require a specialist or follow-up visits.
Can I receive VA and Social Security Benefits at the Same Time?
Yes. At the same time, a Veteran can receive both VA disability and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). However, receiving VA disability benefits can impact your eligibility for SSI benefits. Also, your VA benefits may be lower if you are receiving Social Security disability benefits.
Can I Work While Receiving a Disability Claim?
Generally, you can work while receiving disability benefits from the VA. However, an individual unemployability rating of 100%, for example, means you cannot work full-time. Also, to receive some benefits, you can only make a certain amount of money per year. This is generally anything above the poverty line. This will vary depending on the disability, affliction, and your claim.
Are my VA benefits Taxable?
No. Veteran’s disability benefits are not federal taxable income. Money for education or training, subsistence allowances, and disability compensation are all non-taxable income.
How Does the VA Disability Claim Process Work?
Recent changes to the claims and appeals process have streamlined some of the timelines for claims. As of the passing of the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017, the VA’s goals for completing claims are as follows.
- For a Supplemental Claim: an average of 125 days.
- For a Higher-Level Review: an average of 125 days.
- For Appeals to the Board of Veterans Appeals: Timelines vary by each docket.
- The Direct Docket: Claims are decided within 365 days.
- Evidence Docket: Claims may take longer than 365 days.
- Hearing Docket: Appeals in this docket are projected to take the longest time and may exceed 365 days.
The passing of the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 has restructured the appeals process. Suppose you are unhappy with the rating or result of your claim; you can choose three different review options when filing an appeal. Additionally, if you are still dissatisfied with the outcome, you can choose to pursue a second and even third appeal using whichever process you have not used.
- Supplemental Claim: The Supplemental Claim is an appeal that includes the addition of new and relevant evidence. The VA has a duty to assist you in gathering evidence to support your claim. When using this appeal, you get to keep your same effective date while also submitting new and relevant evidence. You keep your effective date as long as the supplemental claim is submitted within one year of their Regional Office’s initial decision.
- Higher-Level Review: With the Higher-Level Review, you request the Regional Office (RO) issued another decision based on a higher level of review. A more experienced rating specialist conducts this review. The higher-level reviewer can overturn a previous decision. You are not allowed to submit any additional evidence with this appeal.
- Notice of Disagreement: With the Notice of Disagreement, you can appeal your case directly to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. There are three choices you can make. You can request a hearing with the Board of Veteran’s appeals, or you can simply ask for a direct appeal to be considered without a hearing, or you can request to submit more evidence also without a hearing.
If you receive an unfavorable result from your appeal, you can file an additional appeal using the other strategies. For example, you can file a Supplemental Claim or Notice of Disagreement after an unfavorable Higher-Level Review.
Why Was Strategic VA Compensation and LLC created?
A large majority of Veterans are very under-rated. There are missing factors in Veterans reaching a 100% Disability Claims mainly being EDUCATION. The vast majority of Veterans are unaware as to how to process a successful VA claim.
We feel there should be additional services offered to Veterans in addition to claims assistance which we do offer. You fought for our country now let us fight for you.
What are the Cost for Professional Services?
Instead of charging Veterans thousands of dollars to access our proprietary resources up-front, we decided to make these resources FREELY available to those who join our membership program, and you only pay AFTER you win your VA disability claim AND get a higher VA rating. If you don’t win your claim and get a higher rating, you don’t owe us a dime. If you do win and get a higher rating, our standard fee is three times (3x) the monthly increase. For example, if your VA rating before utilizing our services is 50% at $1,000 per month, and your rating after utilizing our services is 90% at $2,000 per month, your membership fee would be 3x the monthly increase, or ($2,000-$1,000) = ($1,000 x 3) = $3,000. In this example, if the lump sum option is selected, the total owed would be $3,000-$300 (10% discount) = $2,700. You can also choose our no interest monthly payment plan, which in this example, would be $250 per month for 12 months at no interest.
Are Nexus Letters connections solely by the C&P exam?
No. The VA will rely on a C&P examiner to determine a Nexus connection. However, you must be proactive in establishing a Nexus connection between your current diagnosed disability and an in-service event, injury, or illness. You can hire a consulting company such as us to help you compile medical evidence to establish Nexus connections with medical evidence. The VA will take all of this into account, along with the report from the C&P exam.
Are Veterans who are unable to work because of their service-connected disabilities entitled to a 100% rating?
Yes. Veterans who are unable to work because of their service-connected disabilities are entitled to a 100% total rating under a benefits program called Total Disability for Individual Unemployability ( TDIU).
Why don’t I just hire a VSO at no cost?
Veteran Service Officers are overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated.
How motivated will a VSO be to go above and beyond with helping you and your VA claim when they can barely feed their own family?
Many VSOs are paid at about the poverty line, have way more veterans that need help then they can possibly serve, and many of them are part-time workers stuck in non-profit cultures of low performance and unaccountability.
Are single Veterans are awarded the same amount as Veterans with dependent children?
No. Veterans with a spouse or dependents are entitled to a higher rate of compensation.
If I submit a claim within 3 years of separation from your military service and it gets approved, will my benefits date back to my separation date?
No. If the VA gets your claim within one year of the day you left active service, the effective date can be as early as the day following separation. However, if more than one year has gone by the VA will date your award back to the day they received the claim which is your active date.
Once I submit an application for disability can it be amended?
No. If you develop a new disability that is related to your service or your disability progresses but you have already submitted your claim, you can amend your application. You do this by completing and submitting a Statement in Support of Claim, which can be found on the VA Forms Website.
Once I receive a Rating Decision Letter from the VA do I have 365 days from the date of the letter to request a review or appeal?
Yes. Mark your calendar! In most situations, you have 365 days from the date on your decision letter to request a review or appeal. The deadline to file may be different if you have a fiduciary claim or a contested claim, or you’re filing a Supplemental Claim. Either way Strategic is here to assist.
Do I need a lawyer to file a notice of disagreement?
No. You can file a NOD (Notice of Disagreement) if the VA denies your claim or approves you for less compensation than you deserve. The paperwork to file your notice comes with your decision letter from the VA. We can assist you file a Higher Level Review or an Appeal.
Who provides an examiner for a C&P Exam?
The VA provides compensation to Veterans who are at least 10% disabled because of injuries or diseases that occurred or were aggravated during active military service.
Disability Compensation is a tax free monetary benefit paid to Veterans with disabilities that are the result of a disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active military service. Compensation may also be paid for post-service disabilities that are considered related or secondary to disabilities occurring in service and for disabilities presumed to be related to circumstances of military service, even though they may arise after service. Generally, the degrees of disability specified are also designed to compensate for considerable loss of working time from exacerbations or illnesses. Compensation and Pension exams are done by each medical center to support the disability evaluation process within VA
Is Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) pay is separate from regular VA Disability Compensation?
Yes. Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) is a tax-free benefit paid in addition to the regular VA Disability Compensation, to a Veteran who, as a result of military service, incurred the loss or loss of use of specific organs or extremities. Some disabilities, such as erectile dysfunction, have a maximum rating of 0% but provide additional monthly payments in the form of SMC pay.
Do I only get one C&P exam?
No. If you are claiming multiple disabling conditions, you may be asked to attend more than one C&P exam. Therefore, we make sure you find out which condition is scheduled to be evaluated so that you can be prepared for the correct exam.
Is it best to keep your answers short at the C&P exam?
Yes. It is critical that the medical examiner gets into your file to review evidence thoroughly. It is THEIR report which shows the evidentiary gap – not your statements in the C&P. Do not launch into a 30-minute recap of everything you have experienced for the last year or two. Paint a picture of your symptoms and how they disrupt/affect your everyday activities. Be brief, be specific. Specificity helps the examiner understand how this symptom/disorder is impairing your functioning. Schedule a C&P class with us to get the most out of your C&P exam.
Is receiving a 0% rating is a sign that you will not be eligible for any benefits in your lifetime.
No. While a 0% rating can be disappointing, it is in fact a great start. What this means is that the VA is acknowledging that your disability is service-connected. Service-connection is the start of the process, paving the way for you to make a stronger medical case with medical evidence to support your claim for increases and secondary claims.