Veterans who were injured during their time in service are entitled to disability compensation, including approximately 51,500 Veterans who currently live in Austin, Texas, area. If you are a Veteran in Austin and you have been denied disability benefits for a service-connected injury, we can help. An Austin VA disability attorney on our team could ensure you are receiving the VA compensation you deserve.
Our team is dedicated to providing Veterans the legal support they need to get their disability claims approved. Founded in 1965 by Vietnam Veteran John Stevens Berry, Sr., our team has helped Veterans in their fight for disability benefits for over 30 years. Berry Law features attorneys from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. We understand the difficulties Veterans face when they return from service, and we are zealously fight on behalf of our clients. If you need assistance appealing a VA decision, an Austin VA disability attorney from Berry Law can help.
Starting a VA Disability Claim in Austin
Unfortunately, legal requirements restrict our Austin VA disability lawyers from helping Veterans filing initial claims. However, Veterans in Austin can apply for disability benefits in one of three ways. They can:
- Apply online through the Veterans eBenefits portal
- Complete VA form 21-526EZ and mail it to the Evidence Intake Center in Janesville, Wisconsin
- Seek the assistance of a local Veteran Service Organization (VSO)
You must submit your claim as early as possible to establish an early effective date. The effective date is important because it marks the date your claim was initially filed and is the date the VA will pay back to when a claim is granted. So, if you file a claim that undergoes multiple appeals before it is granted, you are entitled to payment for the entire time the claim was open.
For example, if you submit a claim in June of 2012 but do not receive a favorable decision until June of 2015, you are entitled to compensation for the 3 years that elapsed. So, if your claim was finally granted at 40%, you will receive a lump sum payment for the monthly compensation you missed while your claim was opened.
This is also why it is so important for Veterans to thoroughly appeal every unfavorable VA decision. By keeping your claim open, you are preserving your effective date and ensuring you receive the entire compensation you’re warranted.
VA Appeals Lawyers in Austin
In an ideal world, the VA would correctly grant disability compensation for a Veteran after they submit their claim. However, this rarely happens. When a claim for benefits is denied or given a lower than expected rating, the Veteran has the right to appeal. This is also the first step in the claims process that an Austin VA disability attorney on our team can help.
Under the new Veterans Appeals Modernization and Improvement Act (AMA), a Veteran has tactical decisions to make when appealing their claim. They can appeal their decision through one of the three appeals lanes:
Under the Higher-Level Review lane, the Veteran has the option to let a more senior VA claims adjudicator review their decision. In this lane, a Veteran is not eligible to submit new evidence in support of their claim.
Under the Supplemental Claim lane, the Veteran must submit new and relevant evidence in support of their claim. This option is great when a Veteran discovers new evidence that they did not have when they initially filed for disability benefits.
Appeal to the Board
Under the Appeal to the Board lane, a Veteran is given more tactical decision for appealing their claim. A Veteran can ask to submit additional evidence in support of their claim, ask to have a direct review, or request a hearing in front of a Veterans law judge.
Each appeal lane has its own advantages and disadvantages. When you are appealing your decision, it is important that you know what the benefits are for each lane. An experienced Austin VA disability attorney could assess your claim and determine which lane would be most effective for your appeal.
Selecting an Austin VA Disability Lawyer
Unfortunately, not all VA lawyers serving Texas are the same. When selecting an attorney to help appeal a decision on your behalf, it is important that you select an Austin VA lawyer who has experience appealing decision through every appeal lane. You can ask your attorney what some of their most successful arguments have been and why they think they can get your claim approved. It is also a good idea to look at reviews and testimonials when selecting a VA accredited attorney.
Contact an Austin VA Disability Attorney
If you need assistance appealing a VA rating decision, we can help. The experienced Austin VA lawyers on our team understand how the claims process works, and we could help you craft the most effective appeal. Contact Berry Law today to take the next step in your battle for VA disability compensation. We help Veterans throughout Texas, including those in San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, El Paso, and Fort Worth.