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VA Disability Attorneys

The last thing a veteran needs, wants or deserves is to be injured while in service to our country, receive an honorable discharge, then have to turn around and battle the government for your rights, the same government which you have been fighting to protect. The government can be an overwhelming burden when you are going up against the agency to fight for a claim to your benefits that has been denied. Don’t face the battle alone. On average, the first applications for veteran disability claims get denied, despite having sufficient evidence of a legitimate injury. It is best to go into the fight with a lawyer by your side at the start of the application process.

VA Disability Attorneys

What many veterans are not aware of is that you, as a servant to our country, are eligible to receive disability benefits from the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs. If you are a veteran living in the State of Florida and you have been injured or had an injury aggravated during active duty or while in service to our country, you are eligible to receive disability benefits. However, it can be difficult to get your application approved by the department, and going through the grueling appeals process can be daunting. If you approach the department with a lawyer at your side, they are liable to take more notice of your case, and to take your claim seriously. When you go through a VA disability attorney in order to file a claim, the chances of getting approved upon your first application are much higher.

If you or a loved one is seeking an appeal for a benefits claim that has been denied, let Rue & Ziffra, VA Disability Attorneys, stand by your side. At Rue & Ziffra, we understand the hardship that falls on our soldiers and veterans while in the line of duty, and how devastating it can be to not only suffer an injury, but to struggle through the process of making a disability claim. The denial of that claim not only adds to your family’s financial burden, but it can add to your emotional and physical stress as well. At Rue & Ziffra, our team of legal experts are in your community and on your side. We are here 24/7 to answer any questions about your VA disability case. Give us a call today.


Author: Gary Vela / Number of views (8) / Comments (0)

Veterans Group Shows Appreciation to Local Law Firm

for its Support of “Those Who’ve Served”

Veterans Assistance Coalition Inc.

PORT ORANGE –Two members of the Veterans Assistance Coalition Inc. of Daytona Beach visited the Port Orange office of Rue & Ziffra Tuesday 4/22 to present the company with a plaque in appreciation of the annual Rue & Ziffra Heroes Gala. Veterans Gary Benson and Jim Kreinest, treasurer and director respectively of the non-profit veterans’ organization, presented the plaque to Attorney Luis Gracia and Marketing Director Jessica Eckelbarger for the firm’s recognition of veterans throughout the year. Eckelbarger said the firm is “honored to help support veterans in any way they can.” “Veteran’s Day remembers those who have and are currently serving our country, but these annual events also are fundraisers for non-profit agencies that help provide for hungry, disabled and homeless veterans.” This year’s Heroes Gala is set for Nov. 7th. For more information, visit Heroes Gala on Facebook or the Rue & Ziffra event calendar. 


 About Rue & Ziffra: Founded by John D. Rue and Allan L. Ziffra, the personal-injury law firm of Rue & Ziffra has served the Central Florida community for more than 30 years. The firm’s commitment to its profession and its clients has earned it a reputation as one of the top personal-injury law firms in Central Florida. Known for handling everything from automobile and motorcycle accidents to medical malpractice, wrongful death, and social security and disability cases, Rue & Ziffra has recovered millions of dollars for injured clients and their families. With a staff of eight attorneys, the firm maintains offices in Port Orange, DeLand and Palm Coast.

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Categories: Blog News VA Disability

How to Appeal a Veterans Disability Rating or Denial

When those who have given their time and dedication to serve in the military are injured as a result of that service, it only seems fair that they receive disability benefits. Unfortunately, many injured veterans are often awarded a disability benefit amount that is not enough to meet their needs or, worse, they are denied benefits altogether.

If a disabled veteran is injured due to his or her time in the service, a veterans disability lawyer can often help him or her appeal their VA compensation claims to secure the benefits they deserve. However, many people in this situation don’t understand how the appeals process works, or try to work through it alone.


The attorneys at Rue, Ziffra & Caldwell are knowledgeable in the VA disability appeals process and how an applicant should proceed in order to help receive compensation for his or her injuries. Below are some basic steps to help you understand the process and your role in it.


Step 1: Initial application

This may seem obvious, but the first thing that a disabled veteran needs to do to receive benefits is to fill out a disability application. In Florida, you can apply on your own by visiting the regional office located in St. Petersburg, or by visiting the VA website. You can also seek the help of a veterans service organization to help you apply.

When you initially apply, it is important to apply for all the possible service-connected disabilities you think you may be eligible to claim. Even though you can file new claims any time, you can only be paid in most cases from the date you apply, or the date you left service if you applied within one year of leaving service. Also, if you successfully claim more service-related disabilities, then you are in a better position to receive a higher disability rating, which leads to greater benefits.


Step 2: Appealing a decision

  • Receiving Your Rating – After you apply for disability benefits, you will receive a disability ratings decision from the Florida regional office. The ratings are assigned in 10% increments, ranging from 10% to 100% disabled. A higher disability rating indicates the veteran has a more severe disability, and therefore receives a higher monthly compensation payment.
  • Filing an Appeal – If you did not get a compensation amount you think you deserved, you can then appeal by filing a notice of disagreement to the regional office that decided your claim. This notice will specify the specific issues you are contesting. When appealing, you can either request to have a decision review officer look over your claim (which typically gets you results quicker) or you can request the traditional review process in which you file a VA 9 form and your case is sent to the Board of Veterans Appeals for a decision. You have one year from the date of the ratings decision to file your notice of disagreement.
  • Requesting a Hearing – Whether you ask for a decision review officer or send your claim to the Board of Veterans Appeals, you can request that a personal hearing be conducted. At the hearing, you will have the chance to provide testimony and evidence in support of your case.

Should I Hire An Attorney?

Many individuals are troubled when it comes to making the decision of whether to hire a lawyer when appealing a veterans disability rating. Keep in mind that the appeals process can often involve complicated procedures, formal hearings, and strict deadlines that are only touched upon in this article. As such, Hiring a dedicated veterans disability attorney after you receive an unfavorable disability rating can keep you from tackling each step alone.

At Rue, Ziffra & Caldwell, we know that the veterans disability claims process  is often difficult and time consuming.  If you want full and fair compensation for the injury you sustained while in service, we strongly urge you to retain experienced counsel. We proudly serve areas throughout and around Volusia County and Flagler County, Florida, including, Port Orange, Daytona Beach, New Smyrna Beach, Edgewater, Ormond Beach, Palm Coast, Flagler Beach, DeLand, Deltona, Bunnell, Orange City, Sanford, Orlando, and Leesburg.

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Why is an Attorney Helpful in Securing Veteran’s Disability Benefits?

Serving in the military is a wonderful, selfless act that many brave Americans commit. This service protects the freedoms and rights that we are so lucky to have in this country. Unfortunately, many of these service men and women suffer life-altering injuries during their time in the military.

If you or a loved one have an injury or disability as a result of serving in the military, things can become difficult. Medical bills and other expenses can add up, especially if you’re unable to work as a result of your condition. Disabled veterans in the State of Florida may be eligible to receive a variety of benefits made available from the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs, including tax-free compensation and education benefits.

Submitting a claim for benefits to the VA can be a complex process. Although you may have the proper documentation, it can be difficult to prove that your injury or disability is a direct result of your service in the military. It can become frustrating if your claim is denied and you’re unable to secure the benefits that you deserve.

At Rue, Ziffra and Caldwell, we have skilled attorneys who are here to help you understand your rights and to secure the benefits you need to recover and get back on your feet. Attorney Darren Collman has been practicing personal injury law in Central Florida for over 10 years. Mr. Coleman can help you to understand what is required of you during your claim or appeal process, meet important deadlines and gather the proper documents, medical records and other materials needed to make your claim a successful one.

For more information on our practice area of Veteran’s Disability, please visit our practice area page here.

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