Most veterans, their spouses and children are aware of benefits like disability compensation and veterans’ home loans, but one local veteran and attorney is eager to share his knowledge on the ones that are harder to find.
“Many veterans and their families who come to see me are surprised and relieved to learn that there are several more benefits available to them and their dependents,” said Scott Collins, Owner of Elder Law Guidance: The Elder Law Practice of Scott E. Collins, PLLC, in Richmond, and a veteran of the U.S. Army.
Collins is a VA accredited attorney and is trained to help claimants understand and pursue the VA benefits available to them, especially the following five little-known benefits:
Nehmer Claims – VA issues retroactive benefits to Vietnam veterans or their survivors whose disability claims were originally denied when their claimed medical conditions were not known to be associated with herbicide exposure like the dioxin found in Agent Orange.
Unemployability: If a person is between 60-70% disabled due to a service-connected disability, they can automatically be upgraded to 100% disabled under certain conditions without a doctor verifying.
Educational Benefits for Survivors and Dependents: AKA Chapter 35 benefits provide education and training for dependent or surviving spouses and children of veterans through a GI Bill program.
Veterans Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC) Benefits: If you’re the surviving spouse, child, or parent of a service member who died in the line of duty, or the survivor of a Veteran who died from a service-related injury or illness, you may be eligible for this tax-free monetary benefit.
Wartime Pension: Provides monthly payments to wartime Veterans who meet certain age or health care needs, and who have income and net worth within certain limits.
Collins is happy to help his fellow veterans and will stick with them through their battle for what is rightfully theirs.
“Sometimes it’s a quick meeting where I show them what forms to fill out and I don’t charge them a nickel,” said Collins. “For others, it’s more involved and they need additional legal advice,” said Collins.
“That’s why I do this, to help veterans like me who need an advocate,” he said.
Navigating VA waters can be confusing. If you are a veteran or know one who could be eligible for these benefits, please call Elder Law Guidance at (859) 544-6012 for a free consultation and to learn more about your options.