Veterans deserve disability compensation for injuries or disabilities they received as a result of their time in service, and this includes Veterans in Michigan, where there are roughly 672,000 Veterans. The Census Bureau estimates that only 12% of these Veterans have a service-connected disability rating (the national average is 17%). This means that there are likely others who may have incurred disabling injuries yet do not have a VA disability rating. A Michigan VA appeals lawyer from Berry Law could help you fight for and receive the disability compensation you deserve.
Berry Law Firm has represented Veterans from coast to coast. We fight for Veterans’ disability appeals at every VA Regional Office in America, and we are dedicated to ensuring Veterans’ rights are protected. If you have been denied VA benefits or are unhappy with your rating decision, you could benefit from the help of a Michigan VA accredited lawyer. Please read on to learn more about how we can help Veterans in Michigan.
The process of applying for Veterans disability benefits can be initiated from anywhere in the world, regardless of where you served or currently reside. You can apply directly online through the VA, or seek the help of a local Veterans Service Organization (VSO).
To get started, you 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. Additional forms that you may need to submit include forms for PTSD (0781 or 0781a) and TDIU (21-8940 and 21-4192). Once completed, these forms can be submitted to the VA. Initial claims can take a long time to process, so patience may be required.
It is important to start your claim early to set an early effective date. Once set, the effective date will not change regardless of how long it takes to fully settle a claim, which can take years. The importance of the effective date is that the Veteran is entitled to back pay at the monthly rate for every month all the way back to the effective date. It is important to keep in mind 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 which will lead 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 get all the compensation you are entitled to. See below for additional information about appealing VA decisions in Michigan.
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 years later.
Despite a solid claim, the VA Regional Office may nonetheless make an improper decision 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 the decision in a number of different ways, depending on how the decision was reached. This is the first time in the VA claims process that a Michigan VA appeals lawyer from Berry Law can assist. Our team can help you present the most compelling appeal for your case, and we have achieved desired results for Veterans for decades.
We have representatives in multiple cities, but the location of your attorney does not actually impact the process because it is Federal in nature. Therefore, it is not necessary to have a VA disability lawyer in Michigan. In fact, our team has helped clients in Michigan and every other state in America, along with Veterans in US territories and foreign countries.
The appeals process 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. An NOD can simply state “I disagree” or can include substantial amounts of supporting evidence. The Regional Office in Michigan is located at: 477 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48226.
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 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 Michigan please contact a Michigan VA appeals lawyer from our team to schedule a free case evaluation.
Not every Michigan VA disability attorney is equally equipped to help you appeal the VA’s decision. If you would like to use an attorney, 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 VA claims 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. Some firms only recently added Veterans Appeals to their Social Security practice and are not invested in actually helping Veterans.
Sometimes, the most difficult trait to evaluate is how effective your lawyer will be at presenting your case with research, evidence, and arguments. 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. Utilizing a Michigan VA disability lawyer who has military experience can facilitate better communication and reduce 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. When you are in a serious fight for your disability benefits, will your attorney understand what it means to go to battle? Selecting the right firm can make a big difference in reaching the outcome you want.
Berry Law Firm was established by Vietnam Veteran John Stevens Berry, Sr. During a JAG tour in Vietnam, he successfully defended Green Berets against murder charges, among other courtroom victories for his fellow servicemembers. This earned 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 built a Firm that lives on military tradition and values. In our ranks are Veterans from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. We have attorneys hailing 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 we have the accompanying ribbon racks of sustained superior service to the country. Also on staff are members of the Reserves and National Guard still wearing the uniform. A Michigan VA appeals lawyer from our team will military and legal training to assist Michigan Veterans with their legal needs.
A Michigan VA appeals lawyer on our team will help Vets from all of Michigan, including those located in:
Some examples of VA locations in Michigan are:
VA Medical Center
Community Based Outpatient Clinic
Regional Benefit Office
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