Whether you need representation before a Decision Review Officer or the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, need to file a supplemental claim with new and relevant evidence, or have not yet filed an initial application, The Veterans Law Office can help you obtain the benefits you deserve. We represent veterans nationwide. Let us help you. Fill out the form for a free case evaluation.
As a veteran, you are entitled to compensation for your service-connected disabilities. If you have been denied veterans disability benefits, our office can assess your claim and inform you whether we think there is an effective strategy to win your case. Our goal is to help every client receive 100 percent compensation from the VA on a permanent and total basis, from the earliest effective date possible, whether that means seeking a TDIU rating, a combined 100 percent schedular disability rating, or a 100 percent schedular disability rating for a single impairment. We also assess each case for entitlement to special monthly compensation due to housebound, aid and attendance, and loss of use.
The Veterans Law Office focuses exclusively on representing disabled veterans in claims for disability compensation before the Department of Veterans Affairs. Because our firm has extensive experience practicing veterans disability law and maintains an exclusive focus on strategizing how to win veterans disability benefits for our clients, you can rest assured that your claim will be handled with careful professionalism. Based on the circumstances in each case, we will develop your claim by obtaining independent medical examination reports from examining physicians, sworn declarations from treating physicians, vocational reports from vocational experts, and scientific reports from epidemiologists in toxic exposure cases. In cases in which the VA has denied service connection for PTSD, our law firm works with archival researchers and private investigators to corroborate in-service stressors. Based on the unique circumstances in your case, our law office will formulate the strongest possible strategy to win your appeal.
A veteran is entitled to service-connected compensation when he or she can show that his or her disability was incurred in service, caused by an in-service event, or is secondary to an already service-connected disability. Such disability compensation payments are made by the VA on a monthly basis. The amount of each payment is determined by the veteran’s combined disability rating, an indicator for the degree of current impairment.
Surviving spouses of deceased veterans are entitled to DIC benefits if they can show that (1) the veteran died after having been permanently and totally disabled for a period of at least ten years or (2) the veteran’s service-connected impairment(s) was a primary or contributory cause of the veteran’s death. Surviving children of deceased veterans may also be eligible to receive DIC benefits under certain circumstances.
If a veteran is unable to follow a substantially gainful occupation due to his or her service-connected conditions, he or she is eligible for a TDIU rating, which provides 100 percent compensation. Just like a combined or single 100 percent schedular disability rating, TDIU ratings can be permanent and total. A veteran may be entitled to a TDIU rating even if he or she is working on a part-time basis or is performing marginal employment in a sheltered workshop or family business.
On top of service-connected disability compensation, a veteran may be eligible to special monthly compensation due to special circumstances, such as the loss of use of a hand or leg, the need of aid and attendance of another person, or an inability to leave the home except for medical appointments.
Unlike the legacy appeals system, in which veterans are able to file Notices of Disagreement (NOD) via VA Form 21-0958, VA Form 9s, and responses to Supplemental Statements of the Case (SSOC), the VA’s Appeals Modernization Act (AMA) system requires that veterans appeal unfavorable decisions by filing Requests for Higher Level Review, Supplemental Claims, or Notices of Disagreement via VA Form 10182. The VA officially implemented the AMA system in February 2019, and all VA rating decisions issued on or after February 19, 2019 must be appealed via one of these three AMA-compliant appeal options. To understand better which type of AMA appeal option would be optimal in your case, please contact our office and a veterans disability lawyer will speak with you about your unique situation.
Our fee is 20 percent of your past-due benefits only if we win your case. If we do not win your case, there is no fee. This is the standard, twenty percent contingent fee set by the VA for withholding purposes. Though the VA allows attorneys to charge a contingent fee of up to one-third, The Veterans Law Office believes that a twenty-percent contingent fee is fair and reasonable even in the most difficult cases involving extensive archival research, novel legal issues, and/or extensive development of the medical record. In addition to representing veterans in appeals for disability compensation, our law firm also provides limited pro bono representation to veterans who need to file new claims for service connection or new claims for a TDIU rating. All veterans should be aware that no representative, including attorneys and claims agents, is allowed to charge any fee for representing a veteran in an initial application for benefits with the VA.
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Our Approach To Representing Disabled Veterans
As a veterans disability law firm, we take an aggressive approach to scrutinizing the VA’s rating decisions and other decisional documents to try to understand the VA’s rationale in denying your claim or failing to grant you the appropriate degree of disability under the relevant rating schedule or the proper effective date. We will then gather the information necessary to establish how and why that rationale was incorrect by speaking with you and reviewing your VA claims file, including your service personnel and medical records as well as your post-service medical records. In closely scrutinizing the rationale underlying the VA’s decision and the evidence of record reviewed by the VA already in the your claims file at the time of the decision, our veterans disability lawyers are then able to formulate an effective strategy to win your case on appeal.
Because of the amount of money at stake in veterans disability claims, it is absolutely critical to make sure that the VA assigned the proper disability rating with the proper effective date. A competent veterans disability attorney will speak with you about your conditions and resultant limitations and then review your treatment records, C&P examination reports, and, if relevant, your service medical and personnel records before filing an appeal because often times it is this careful review at the outset that allows attorneys to win a veteran maximum disability benefits on appeal. In some cases, the VA may have committed clear and unmistakable errors (CUE) in earlier rating decisions or failed to get military records that were already in existence; in these cases, it may be possible to obtain an effective date that is decades earlier than the date on which the veteran reapplied for benefits. In these cases, the VA is required to pay veterans significant monetary awards.
Why Hire A Veterans Disability Lawyer
Veterans disability law is a complex practice area, which requires constant training and studying of the law as both the law and the way it is carried out changes. In the years prior to 2006, veterans were not allowed to hire VA disability attorneys to represent them in cases at the Regional Office level or at the Board of Appeals for Veterans’ Appeals. Fortunately, Congress changed this law in 2006 and again allowed veterans to hire VA claims lawyers instead of just relying on veterans service officers accredited by VA-recognized veterans service organizations (VSO). Though VSOs without question mean well and strive to help veterans, they do not always have the proper time, resources, or experience necessary to represent veterans in appeals in an optimal manner, especially if the case requires extensive development. Though veterans disability claims are supposed to be adjudicated via a non adversarial, veteran-friendly process in which the VA resolves the benefit of the doubt in favor of the veteran, practically this is frequently not the case.
If you are going to hire a VA disability attorney to represent you before the VA, that lawyer must be able to provide you with better representation than the representation you can receive for free from a VSO. Any VA claims lawyer should be able to articulate to you the value they can add to your claim and what an effective strategy would be to win your case. Even if such an effective strategy is general in nature, an experienced VA claims lawyer should be able to provide you with a 30,000-foot view of the plan in your case and then provide you with a more definitive plan after the attorney has had an opportunity to review your previous decisions as well as the medical and other evidence in your case. Furthermore, though every veteran’s claim is unique to him or her as a person, it is important for veterans to seek representation from an attorney who has experience winning appeals that are the same type of case as your own, e.g., appeals for service connection for PTSD, entitlement to a TDIU rating, or entitlement to DIC benefits.
Lastly, veterans should ask any lawyer evaluating their claims what about their success rate as you want the lawyer representing you to have an excellent track record of success. At The Veterans Law Office, if we determine that we have an effective strategy to win a veteran’s case and offer representation before the VA, then we are ultimately successful over 95 percent of the time. Admittedly, there are times when we accept a case and it ultimately turns out that the evidence needed to win the case does not exist. However, the point remains: any experienced VA disability lawyer should have a very high record of success and be able to explain his or her track record with the caveat that past results do not guarantee future performance.