We believe that America’s Veterans are entitled to all due compensation that they earned in the service of our country, including Veterans living in Idaho, home to roughly 125,000 Veterans. The Census Bureau estimates that 25% of that group have a service-connected disability rating (outpacing the average state of 17%). Nonetheless, there are many more who have suffered injuries yet do not have a VA disability rating to show for it.
Berry Law Firm has represented Veterans and servicemembers from coast to coast. We pursue Veterans’ disability appeals at every VA Regional Office in the United States and take significant pride in defending Veterans’ rights. If you have been denied VA benefits, or are unhappy with your rating decision, you could benefit from the help of an Idaho VA disability attorney. The following article is meant to help you understand the Veterans’ disability benefits process in Idaho.
Getting started with a VA disability claim can be initiated from anywhere in the world, regardless of where you served. You can use the VA’s website to apply, or get help from a VSO (Veterans Service Organization). To see a list of VSOs in Idaho, click here.
To get started, you will need to complete VA Form 21-526EZ, or apply online through the VA eBenefits portal. You may need to submit additional forms based on your individual circumstances. Other relevant forms include VA Form 21-0781 or 21-0781a for PTSD claims, and VA Form 21-8940 and 21-4192 for Individual Unemployability (TDIU). Once completed, these forms can be submitted to the VA.
Initial claims generally take several months to process, so patience may be required.
It is important to start your claim early to establish an early effective date. Once set, the effective date will not change regardless of how long it takes to fully adjudicate a claim, which can take years. The importance of the effective date is that the Veteran should receive back pay at the monthly rate they are entitled to reaching from the final decision date all the way back to the effective date.
Keep in mind that the effective date can be lost if you don’t maintain appeals for your claims. For instance, if you have 90 days to file a VAF-9 but wait too long to do so, you may be forced to reopen your claim leading to a new effective date. One reason that Veterans fight so hard to appeal VA decisions is to keep the effective date in place and get all the compensation you are entitled to. See below for additional information about appealing VA decisions in Idaho.
The effective date for each disability claim is independent so an early effective date for a claim based on knee pain will usually not apply to a gastrointestinal claim initially filed years later.
Even the most thoroughly prepared claim for benefits may not yield the desired result for a Veteran’s initial claim. If an initial claim is denied, rated too low, or given an improper effective date, you can appeal the decision.
You can appeal in a few different ways depending on how the decision was reached. Berry Law can help you present the most compelling appeal for your case and has helped Veterans recover over $100 Million in backpay owed to them by the government. We have attorneys and advocates in various locations throughout the US, but the location of your attorney does not actually impact the process because it is Federal in nature.
Berry Law has helped Veterans in Idaho, and every other state in America, along with Veterans living abroad. Some appeals processes can last years, but as long as you have preserved your effective date by keeping appeals open, you are entitled to receive back pay for every month that elapsed during the process. Most appeals begin with filing a Notice of Disagreement (NOD) with your VA Regional Office. This form notifies the VA that you disagree with the decision that has been made. An NOD can simply state “I disagree”, or can include substantial amounts of supporting evidence. The Regional Office in Idaho is located at: 1112 W Main St #101, Boise, ID 83702. To see additional VA facilities in Idaho, click here.
The Regional Office responds to NODs with a Statement of Case (SOC), which outlines of the case and is sent to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA). The BVA will conduct their own review to reach a decision. If you are unsatisfied with the BVA decision, you can then appeal to the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) for further adjudication.
If you would like help appealing a VA decision in Idaho, you can contact Berry Law for a free consultation on what your options may be.
Don’t assume that every Idaho VA disability attorney is equally equipped to help you bring firepower to your appeal. if you choose to get help from an attorney for preparing and submitting your claim, you should pick one that will stick with you for the duration of your case, and who has experience with appeals at every step of the process. You may want to use a Firm with a long history of representing Veterans to make sure they will still be representing you if your case lasts for several years. Beware of firms that only began practicing Veterans Law after 2007 when it became more “profitable” for them.
The most difficult trait to assess is how effective your lawyer will be at presenting your case with research, evidence, and arguments. More understanding often translates to superior work product, but not always. You may want to read reviews and testimonials from a potential law firm before signing up. As well as, ask about the level of research they perform on each individual case and what some of their most effective arguments have been in the past.
It’s also important to many Veterans to have lawyers who are Veterans themselves. Choosing to work with an Idaho VA appeals lawyer who has served in the military can facilitate better communication and decrease the amount of time that you need to spend explaining how the military works.
Having shared military values with your law firm can make the process more comfortable and less stressful. Will your law firm understand the intense stress of combat? Making the right decision on hiring a law firm can make a significant difference for the outcome of your case.
Berry Law Firm was founded in 1965 by John Stevens Berry, Sr., who spent part of his time in the Army serving in Vietnam. During a JAG tour in Vietnam, he successfully defended Green Berets against murder charges, among other courtroom victories for his fellow servicemembers, resulting in major news coverage and an elite reputation. While developing a criminal defense practice, he also represented many Veterans on a pro bono basis against the VA. His son, John S. Berry, Jr., is now the Managing Partner of the Firm, and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the Nebraska National Guard, where he held multiple Command positions after earlier Active Duty tours in both Bosnia and Iraq. John has built a Firm that lives on military tradition and values.
In our ranks are Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force Veterans. We have lawyers from each branch, and are proud to have both Officers and Enlisted, who left the service ranking between E2 and O6. Our Veterans have served in Vietnam, Bosnia, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, at sea, and elsewhere around the world, and combined have earned hundreds of awards, ribbons, and commendations for their service. We also have Reservists and National Guardsmen still attending drill and occasionally mobilizing.
John Berry received the Patriot Award from the ESGR, and the firm has been named as “Military and Veterans Law Firm of the Year” by multiple agencies.
We combine our military and legal training to assist Idaho Veterans in their fight for disability benefits.
Berry Law represents Veterans throughout Idaho, including in:
VSOs in Idaho
Many Veterans utilize VSOs to file initial claims.
Some VSOs have special recognition from the VA for helping Veterans file claims.
Local chapters in Idaho include:
American Legion Posts in Idaho
DAV Locations in Idaho
VFW Posts in Idaho
Examples of VA facilities in Idaho include:
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