Veterans deserve disability compensation for disabilities that occurred as a result of their time in service, and this includes Veterans in New Jersey, home to roughly 950,000 Veterans. The Census Bureau calculates that roughly 12% of these Veterans have a service-connected disability rating (the average state is 17%). This means that there are most likely Veterans who may have incurred disabling injuries yet do not have a VA disability rating. A New Jersey Veterans disability lawyer from Berry Law Firm can help you fight the VA for the disability benefits you are entitled to.
Berry Law Firm has represented Veterans and servicemembers in every state. We fight for 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 received an inadequate rating or effective date, you could benefit from the help of a New Jersey VA appeals attorney. Please read on to learn more about how we can help Veterans in New Jersey.
The process of applying for Veterans disability benefits can be initiated from anywhere in the world, regardless of where you currently reside. You can use the VA’s website to apply or get help from a VSO (Veterans Service Organization).
To get started, you need to complete VA Form 21-or apply online through the VA eBenefits portal. If you want the VA to collect medical evidence on your behalf, you must also complete VA Forms 21-4142 and 21-4142a. 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 generally take several months to process, although they can be expedited for certain reasons, including terminal illness, Veteran age over 75, homelessness, or financial hardship.
It is a good idea to put in an initial claim as soon as possible to set an early effective date for your claim. Once set, the effective date will not change 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 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 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. 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 your disabilities. See below for additional information about appealing VA decisions in New Jersey.
Each individual disability claim has its own effective date based on when it was first claimed, so an earlier effective date for a shoulder claim will usually not apply to a gastrointestinal claim initially filed years later.
Even the most thoroughly prepared claim for disability benefits may not be granted by the VA. When initial claims are denied, given a lower-than-expected rating, or applied to an incorrect effective date, the Veteran has the right to appeal. This is the first step in the VA claims process that a New Jersey Veterans disability lawyer from Berry Law can step in and help.
You can appeal in a number of different ways depending on how the decision was reached. 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 Veterans Affairs. 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. So, you do not actually need a VA disability lawyer in New Jersey. In fact, our team has helped clients in New Jersey and each of the other 49 states, along with Veterans in US territories and foreign countries.
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 New Jersey is located at: 20 Washington Place, Newark, NJ 07102.
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 review the material to make its own determination. 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 New Jersey, you can contact a New Jersey VA disability lawyer from Berry Law for more information and a free case evaluation.
Don’t assume that every New Jersey VA disability attorney is the same. If you choose to get help from a New Jersey Veterans disability lawyer during the appeals process of your claim, it is a good idea to select one that will continue working with you throughout the multi-year process and who has represented Veterans with every type of appeal. 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.
Sometimes, the hardest skill to gauge is how well your lawyer will perform when it comes to extensive research, well-structured arguments, and compelling evidence. While number of years of practice can serve as a proxy, it’s hard to know how good work product will be until it’s done. Testimonials and reviews can provide additional insight that may help you determine how well the firm has done for other Veterans.
You may also want to focus on attorneys who have actually served in the military. Choosing to work with a New Jersey VA appeals lawyer who has actually served in the military may help improve their understanding of your situation and eliminate the need to explain your military experiences to someone without similar experience. Fellow Veterans often make great wingmen when it comes to helping you work through difficult situations. When it’s time to fix bayonets and charge a position, will your attorney understand? Selecting the right firm can make a big difference in reaching the outcome you want. A New Jersey Veterans disability lawyer from our team will fight for you during every step of the appeals process.
Berry Law Firm was founded in 1965 by John Stevens Berry, Sr., who spent part of his time in the Army serving in Vietnam. While in Vietnam, Berry successfully defended the Green Berets in a highly publicized murder case, earning him significant national praise. While developing a criminal defense practice, he also helped Veterans with legal work, particularly supporting fellow Vietnam Veterans who had been disabled in service.
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. On our staff are Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force Veterans. We have lawyers from each branch and feature both Officers and Enlisted, 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 they have the accompanying ribbon racks of sustained superior service to the country. Also on staff are Reservists and National Guardsmen still attending drill and occasionally mobilizing.
We combine our military and legal training to assist New Jersey Veterans with their legal needs. Contact Berry Law today to see how a New Jersey Veterans disability lawyer from our team can help you fight for disability benefits.
Our New Jersey Veterans disability attorneys helps Vets from all across the state, including those currently residing in:
VSOs can help you file an initial claim. Some VSOs have special recognition from the VA for helping Veterans file claims. If you need assistance filing a claim, we recommend you seek the help of your local VSO. Local chapters in New Jersey include:
Some of the VA facilities in New Jersey are:
VA Health Care System
VA Medical Center
Community Based Outpatient Clinic
Regional Benefit Office
Intake Site (Pre-Discharge Claims Assistance)
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