VA Disability Appeals in Kansas
America’s Veterans should receive due compensation that they sacrificed for in the service of our country, including Veterans living in Kansas, home to approximately 220,000 Veterans. The Census Bureau estimates that 15% of that group have at least one service-connected disability (slightly below the average state at 17%). However, there are still many others who may have incurred disabling injuries yet do not have a VA disability rating. Getting proper compensation for all of these Veterans is our mission.
At Berry Law Firm we represent Veterans from coast to coast. We fight for Veterans’ disability appeals at every VA Regional Office in America, 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 a Kansas VA disability attorney. Please read on to learn more about how we can help Veterans in Kansas.
The process of applying for benefits can be initiated from anywhere in the US, regardless of whether you served in Kansas, entered service from Kansas, or currently live in the state. You can use the VA’s website to apply, or seek the help of a local Veterans Service Organization (VSO).
You can easily get started by using the VA eBenefits portal, or by manually filling out VA Form 21-526EZ (https://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-21-526EZ-ARE.pdf). You may need to submit additional forms based on your individual circumstances. Additional forms that you may need to submit include forms for PTSD (0781 or 0781a) and TDIU (21-8940 and 21-4192) The forms must be signed and dated, packaged with any evidence you wish for the VA to consider, and either mailed to the VA Evidence Intake Center in Janesville, Wisconsin, or faxed to the VA at the number listed on the form.
Initial claims generally take several months to process, so patience may be required.
It is a good idea to put in an initial claim as soon as possible to establish an early effective date. The effective date remains in place regardless of how long it takes to fully settle a claim, which may last several years depending on the individual claims. The importance of the effective date is that the Veteran is entitled to back pay at the monthly rate they are entitled to reaching from the final decision date all the way back to the effective date.
You should also know that the effective date can be lost if you don’t maintain appeals for your claims. For example, if you have one year to file a notice of disagreement but wait too long to do so, you may have to reopen your claim leading to a new effective date. This is one reason it is so important to appeal decisions thoroughly, to keep the effective date in place and receive all the compensation for their disabilities that they earned. See below for additional information about appealing VA decisions in Kansas.
Each individual disability claim has its own effective date based on when it was first claimed, so an early effective date for a claim based on knee pain will usually not apply to an initial claim for PTSD submitted several years later. There is no downside to starting your initial claim for all of your Kansas VA disabilities before having all the evidence assembled.
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, the Veteran has the right to appeal.
There are separate avenues for appeal depending on what kind of mistake the VA made. Berry Law helps Veterans cut through the red tape and file high quality appeals that have helped Veterans recover over $100 Million in backpay owed to them by the government.
We have representatives in multiple cities, but the location of your attorney does not actually impact the process because it is Federal in nature. Berry Law has helped Veterans in Kansas, and every other state in America, along with Veterans in US territories and foreign countries.
The appeals process for Kansas VA claims can be long, 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. NODs can be as simple as filling out the form and commenting “I disagree”, or can include dozens of pages of supporting material. The Regional Office in Kansas is located at: 5500 East Kellogg, Wichita, KS 67218.
The Regional Office will reply with a Statement of Case (SOC), which presents the state 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 feel that the BVA has made an incorrect ruling, the next step is to appeal to the CAVC.
If you would like help appealing a VA decision in Kansas you can contact Berry Law for more information and a free consultation with our staff.
Don’t assume that every Kansas VA disability attorney is the same. If you decide to hire an attorney to help with 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. A lengthy history of practicing Veterans law is a good indication that a Law Firm will not abandon you in the middle of an appeals process. Beware of firms that only began practicing Veterans Law after 2007 when it became more “profitable” for them.
The most difficult trait to evaluate is how well your lawyer will perform when it comes to extensive research, well-structured arguments, and compelling evidence. More experience 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. You may also want to 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 themselves Veterans. Selecting a Kansas VA appeals lawyer who has actually served in the military may help improve understand of your situation and reduce the amount of time that you need to spend explaining how the military works. Nothing can replace the camaraderie developed through shared service experiences. Will your law firm understand the intense stress of combat?
Lastly, you may want to gauge responsiveness to your inquiry to see how likely the attorney is to help quickly when you really need it. Is the Law Firm immediately responsive to your needs?
Berry Law Firm was founded in 1965 by attorney John Stevens Berry, Sr., who spent part of his time in the Army serving in the combat zones of Vietnam. During a JAG tour in Vietnam, he successfully defended Green Berets against murder charges, among other courtroom victories for his fellow servicemembers, earning him significant national praise. After leaving the service, he opened his own firm focused on criminal defense, but where he also represented many Veterans on a pro bono basis against the VA. The firm is now run by John S. Berry, Jr., who retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the National Guard, after serving in both Bosnia and Iraq during Active Duty periods. John has helped grow the firm while keeping its roots in military work ethic and values.
In our ranks are Veterans from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. We have attorneys hailing from each branch, and feature both Officers and Enlisted in our organization, with service ranks ranging from E2 – O6 (including an E9). Our Veterans have served in Vietnam, Bosnia, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, at sea, and elsewhere around the world, and have the accompanying ribbon racks of sustained superior service to the country. We also have members of the Reserves and National Guard still wearing the uniform, and are a major benefactor for National Guard charities and causes.
John Berry received both the Pro Patria and Patriot Awards from the ESGR, and the firm has been named as “Military and Veterans Law Firm of the Year” by multiple agencies.
We bring both our passion for the military and our passion for the law to help Kansas Veterans in their fight for disability benefits.
Berry Law represents Veterans throughout Kansas, including cities such as:
VSOs in Kansas
VSOs can help you file an initial claim. Some VSOs have special recognition from the VA for helping Veterans file claims
VSO locations in Kansas include:
AMVETS in Kansas
Kansas American Legion
VFW Posts in Kansas
The VA has many facilities across Kansas. Some of the notable sites include:
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