Veterans Have Opportunity to Re-apply for New Disability Rating

By: Bethany Gillis Email
By: Bethany Gillis Email

(Dothan, AL) -- More than 77-thousand veterans have the opportunity to re-apply for a new disability rating. The Disability Board of Physical Review has already given many vets a pay raise.

Vets who were injured between 2001 and 2009 can now have their disability rates re-assessed.

Lance Gieselmann lost his ability to work after he was injured in Iraq back in 2003.

"I was injured in an IED, I suffered a spinal injury and lost my left leg above the knee," Gieselmann said,

After mike returned home, he went through applications for veterans’ assistance and got a rating he didn't think was fair.

"I'm not greedy, but after I lost my leg I thought I’d be compensated for that," Gieselmann said

The DoD Physical Disability Board is now trying to review cases for wounded service men and women who still have concerns about their income.

"We have the ability to make the recommendation to the service secretary to make those changes in those records to reflect a higher rating,” DoD Board of Physical Review President Michael LoGrande said. “We can not lower their rating, which was not originally assigned we can only raise it or keep it the same,” he said.

Fewer than five percent of the eligible population has applied to date... but most people, like mike, don't know that option is even available

"I had no idea that they were going to review it,” Gieselmann said. “I’m definitely going to re-apply though, because anything to help out my family is worth doing for me,” he said.

A problem Michael LoGrande says he takes personal blame for, but hopes to make better this year.

"As of July of this year, we are fully manned and fully funded and that's why we're stepping up our outreach to make sure those people who are eligible are aware of the board,” LoGrande said.

The main goal of this operation is to ensure every service man and woman is treated equally and will get the compensation they deserve.

"If they've served, we want to treat them equally and use one set of rules,” LoGrande said.

Gieselmann says he will apply and hopes others will too.

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