Veterans should receive compensation for injuries they incurred while fighting for our country, and this includes Veterans in Philippines. The Census Bureau estimates that 17% of Veterans have at least one service-connected disability. However, there are others who may have incurred disabling injuries yet do not have a VA disability rating. A dedicated Philippines VA disability attorney from Berry Law could help you fight for the disability benefits you earned.

The attorneys of Berry Law have represented Veterans in all 50 states. 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 Philippines Veterans disability appeal attorney. Please read on to learn more about how we can help Veterans in Philippines.

Starting a VA Claim in Philippines

You can apply for VA benefits from any location in the world, regardless of where you currently live.  You can use the VA’s website to apply or use the services of a Veterans Service Organization (VSO).

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 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, 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 can take years in some cases. The importance of the effective date is that the Veteran should receive back pay at the monthly rate from the day the claim is granted 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 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 receive all the compensation for their disabilities that they earned. See below for additional information about appealing VA decisions in the Philippines.

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 an initial claim for PTSD submitted years later.

Submitting a VA Appeal in the Philippines

Even the most thoroughly prepared claim for VA disability benefits may not yield the desired result 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 step in the VA claims process that a Philippines VA disability attorney from our team can help. You can appeal your claim in a number of different ways, depending on how the decision was reached.

Berry Law helps simplify the process for our clients, crafting well researched 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 all claims are Federally adjudicated. So, you do not necessarily need a VA disability lawyer in the Philippines. In fact, we have helped clients in Philippines and other foreign countries, along with Veterans in every US state and US territory.

Some appeals processes can last years, but as long as you have preserved your effective date by keeping appeals open, you are entitled to back pay for the whole 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 Office in the Philippines is located at: U.S. Embassy, 1501 Roxas Blvd., Pasay City, PI 1302.

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 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 the Philippines, you can contact a Philippines VA disability attorney at Berry Law for more information and a free case evaluation.

Selecting a VA-Certified Disability Appeals Attorney Serving the Philippines

Not every Philippines VA disability attorney is the same. If you choose to get help from an attorney for preparing and submitting your disability claim, it is a good idea to select one that will continue working with you throughout the multi-year process, and who has experience with appeals at every step of the 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. Beware of firms that only began practicing Veterans Law after 2007 when it became profitable for them.

One of the most difficult traits to assess 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 Veterans themselves.

Utilizing a Philippines VA appeals lawyer who has actually served in the military can make communicating about difficult issues easier and eliminate the need to explain your military experiences to someone without similar experience. Nothing can replace the camaraderie developed through shared service experiences.

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.

Berry Law: Veterans Serving Veterans

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, 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 earlier Active Duty tours in both Bosnia and Iraq. John has built a Firm that lives on military tradition and values. The firm employs Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force Veterans. We have attorneys hailing from each branch, and feature 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 combined have earned hundreds of awards, ribbons, and commendations for their service. We also have members of the Reserves and National Guard still wearing the uniform.

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 bring both our passion for the military and our passion for the law to help Philippines Veterans with their legal needs. If you need help appealing your VA rating decision, please contact a skilled Philippines VA disability attorney from Berry Law to see how we can help.

Serving Clients Throughout the Philippines

A Philippines VA disability lawyer from our team will help Veterans throughout the country. Berry Law Firm helps Vets from all over the Philippines, including in:

  • Davao City
  • Zamboanga
  • Ilagan City
  • Calbayog City
  • Butuan City
  • Iligan City
  • General Santos City
  • Cagayan de Oro
  • Cebu City
  • Antipolo
  • Island Garden City of Samal
  • Digos City
  • Legazpi
  • Cabanatuan City

Resources for Veterans in the Philippines

VSOs can help you file an initial claim. We often urge Veterans to seek the assistance of a VSO in filing an initial claim. In fact, some VSOs have special recognition from the VA for helping Veterans file claims  Some examples of VSOs include AMVETS, The American Legion, VFW Posts.

VA Facilities in the Philippines

Some of the VA locations located in the Philippines include:

Outpatient Clinic

Pasay City, PI – Manila Outpatient Clinic

Regional Benefit Office

Pasay City, PI – Manila Regional Office