America’s Veterans should receive the disability compensation that they deserve for the sacrifices they made and injuries they incurred while serving our country, and this includes Veterans in North Dakota, where there are approximately 53,000 Veterans. The Census Bureau estimates that 19% of that group have at least one service-connected disability (the average state is 17%). However, there are likely many individuals in the state who have suffered injuries but do not have a VA disability rating. A North Dakota VA disability lawyer from Berry Law could help you fight the VA for the disability benefits you are entitled to.
Our skilled attorneys at Berry Law Firm have represented Veterans from across the world, helping Veterans in every state in the US and in some foreign countries. We pursue Veterans’ disability appeals at every VA Regional Office in the United States and take great pride in defending Veterans’ rights. If you have been denied VA benefits, or received an inadequate rating or effective date, you may want to enlist the support of a North Dakota VA disability attorney. Please read on to learn more about how we can help Veterans in North Dakota.
The process of applying for disability benefits can begin from any location in the US, regardless of where you served. You can apply directly online through the VA website or get help from 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 may need to submit additional forms based on your individual circumstances. 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, 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. 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 for their monthly disability payments from the final decision date 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 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 they are entitled to. You should also note that 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. See below for additional information about appealing VA decisions in North Dakota.
Despite a solid claim, the VA Regional Office may still make an improper decision for a Veteran’s initial claim. When initial claims are denied, given a lower-than-expected rating, or applied to an incorrect effective date, you can appeal the decision. This is the first point in the claims process that a dedicated North Dakota VA disability lawyer from Berry Law can step in and assist. A VA appeals lawyer can look at the individual merits of your case and determine the best course of action.
There are several different ways to appeal a ruling based on what you believe the VA’s error was. Berry Law can help you present the most compelling appeal for your case and has been a crucial part of helping Veterans get the disability compensation they deserve, resulting in large back pay awards for our clients. Berry Law Firm has helped its clients recover over $100 Million in backpay over decades of client service. We have VA accredited attorneys in multiple cities, but the location of your attorney does not actually impact the process because it is Federal in nature. This means that you do not actually need a VA disability lawyer in North Dakota. Our team at Berry Law has helped Veterans in North Dakota and each of the other 49 states, along with Veterans living abroad.
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 Offices in North Dakota are located at: 2101 Elm St N, Bldg 40, Fargo, ND.
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 North Dakota, please contact a North Dakota VA disability lawyer on our team to schedule a free case evaluation and see what options you have.
Don’t assume that every North Dakota VA disability attorney is the same. If you decide to hire an attorney to help with your claim, it is a good idea to select one that will continue working with you throughout the multi-year process, an attorney 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 for several years. Beware of firms that only began practicing Veterans Law after 2007 when it became more “profitable” for them.
Sometimes the hardest trait to find 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 gauge work product 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.
It’s also important to many Veterans to have lawyers who are Veterans as well. Choosing to work with a North Dakota VA appeals lawyer who has actually served in the military can make communicating about difficult issues easier 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. Will your law firm understand the intense stress of combat? You may want to gauge responsiveness to your inquiry to see how likely the attorney is to help quickly when you really need it. At Berry Law, we take great pride in helping our Veterans in their fight for disability compensation. If you have been denied disability benefits and need help appealing, contact a North Dakota VA disability lawyer on our team to see how we can help.
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. 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 serving in both Bosnia and Iraq during Active Duty periods. John has built a Firm that lives on military tradition and values. On our staff 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 they have the accompanying ribbon racks of sustained superior service to the country. Also on staff are Reservists and National Guardsmen still serving. At Berry Law, we combine our military and legal training to assist North Dakota Veterans with their legal needs.
Our North Carolina VA disability lawyers are dedicated to helping Veterans receive the disability compensation they deserve. Berry Law represents Veterans throughout North Dakota, including those located in:
Unfortunately, certain legal restrictions keep us from helping Veterans file initial claims. However, local VSOs can be extremely helpful in assisting you with your initial claim. The VA recognizes some VSOs to help prepare and present claims to the VA. Common examples of VSOs include AMVETS, The American Legion, and VFW Posts.
A few of the VA locations located in North Dakota include:
Regional Benefit Office
VA Health Care System
Community Based Outpatient Clinic
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