America’s Veterans are entitled to the benefits that they earned while serving our country, including Veterans living in New York, home to roughly 912,499 Veterans. The Census Bureau calculates that roughly 13% of these Veterans have at least one service-connected disability (the national average is 17%). This means that there are many Veterans who have suffered injuries yet do not have a VA disability rating. A New York Veterans benefits lawyer could help you receive the disability compensation you are entitled to.
At Berry Law Firm we represent 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 a New York Veterans disability attorney. Please read on to learn more about how a New York Veterans benefits lawyer from our team can help Veterans in New York.
Back Pay Recovered for
in New York
Back Pay Recovered for
in New York
Getting started with a VA disability claim is fairly straightforward. You can submit a claim from anywhere in the world, regardless of where you served. You can apply directly online through the VA or use the services of a local VSO (Veterans Service Organization). To get started, you need to complete VA Form 21-526EZ or apply online through the VA eBenefits portal. You can also submit VA Forms 21-4142 and 21-4142a if you want the VA to assist in gathering medical evidence on your behalf. Additional forms may be required if you are filing a claim for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or for Total Disability based upon Individual Unemployability (TDIU). Once completed, these forms can be submitted to the VA.
Initial claims can take a long time to process, although they can be expedited for certain reasons, including terminal illness, Veteran 75 years and older, 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 can take years. The importance of the effective date is that the Veteran is entitled to back pay for every month that has passed since their 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 miss the deadline, you may be forced to reopen your claim, resulting in 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 your disabilities. See below for additional information about appealing VA decisions in New York.
The effective date for each disability claim is independent, so an earlier effective date for a shoulder claim will usually not apply to an initial claim for PTSD submitted years later.
Unfortunately, the VA does not always make the correct decision for a Veteran’s initial disability benefits claim. If an initial claim is denied, rated too low, or given an improper effective date, you can appeal the decision. This is where a New York Veterans benefits lawyer from our team can step in.
You can appeal the VA’s decision 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. Our tam has 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 all claims are Federally adjudicated. So, you don’t technically need a VA disability attorney in New York. In fact, Berry Law has helped Veterans in New York 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. The NOD, usually due within one year of a rating decision, 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 Offices in New York are located at:
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 issue a decision that may or may not satisfy the Veteran. 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 York, please contact a New York Veterans benefits lawyer from our team for a free consultation.
Not every New York VA disability attorney is identical. If you choose to get help from an attorney for preparing and submitting your appeal, 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. 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 several years. Beware of firms that only began practicing Veterans Law after 2007 when it became “profitable” for them.
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. You should also see if your attorney or law firm has a military background. Utilizing a New York VA disability 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. 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?
Finally, consider the values of the firm to see if they align with your own. This is a law firm that you may be tied to for a decade, so be sure that they will be a good partner. A New York Veterans benefits lawyer from our team will fight for you throughout the appeals process, and we have a strong military background to help with communication.
Berry Law Firm was established by Vietnam Veteran John Stevens Berry, Sr. While in Vietnam, Berry successfully defended the Green Berets in a highly publicized murder case, earning him significant national praise. After leaving the service, he opened his own firm focused on criminal defense, but where he also represented many of his fellow Vietnam 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 Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force Veterans. We have attorneys hailing from each branch, and we are proud to have 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 have the accompanying ribbon racks of sustained superior service to the country. Also on staff are Reservists and National Guardsmen still serving.
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 were also named the “2019 Veterans Appeals Law Firm of the Year” by Lawyers Worldwide Awards Magazine. We combine our military and legal training to assist New York Veterans in their fight for disability benefits. Contact a New York Veterans benefits attorney on our team to see how we can help you.
A New York Veterans benefits lawyer from Berry Law will help all Vets in New York, regardless of which city you live, including those located in:
VA Health Care System
VA Medical Center
Community Based Outpatient Clinic
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