ll of our Veterans are entitled to disability compensation for injures that arose as a result of the sacrifices they made while defending the United States, including Veterans living in Utah, where there are approximately 143,771 Veterans. The Census Bureau estimates that 16% of these Veterans have a service-connected disability rating (the average state is 17%). However, there are many more who have suffered injuries yet do not have a VA disability rating. A Utah VA appeals lawyer from Berry Law could help ensure you receive the disability benefits you deserve.
Berry Law Firm has represented Veterans in every state. We fight for Veterans’ disability appeals at every VA Regional Office in America and are dedicated to ensuring Veterans’ rights are protected. If you have been denied VA benefits, or are unhappy with your rating decision, you could benefit from the help of a Utah Veterans disability appeal attorney. Please read on to learn more about how we can help Veterans in Utah.
Getting started with a VA disability claim is not as difficult as you may think. In fact, your claim can be initiated from anywhere in the country, regardless of where you live or where you served. You can use the VA’s website to apply or get help from a local Veterans Service Organization (VSO).
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). 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, so patience may be required. It is important to start your claim early to establish an early effective date. The effective date remains in place regardless of how long it takes to fully adjudicate a claim, which may last several years depending on the individual claims. The importance of the effective date is that the Veteran should receive back for every month that has passed since the claim was originally filed until it is granted by the VA. 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 have 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 get all the compensation you are entitled to. The effective date for each disability claim is independent so an earlier effective date for a shoulder claim will usually not apply to a gastrointestinal claim initially filed years later. See below for additional information about appealing VA decisions in Utah.
Even the most thoroughly prepared claim for benefits may not yield the desired result for a Veteran’s initial disability benefits claim. If an initial claim is denied, rated too low, or given an improper effective date, the Veteran has the right to appeal. You can appeal 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 achieved desired results for Veterans for decades. A Utah VA appeals lawyer on our team could help you fight for your disability compensation.
We have attorneys and advocates in various locations throughout the US, but the location of your attorney does not actually impact the process because all claims are Federally adjudicated. Therefore, you do not need a VA disability lawyer in Utah to appeal your case. Our team has helped clients in Utah and every other state in America, along with Veterans in US territories and foreign countries. We understand the appeals process and can help Veterans no matter where they live.
The appeals process can be long, 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. 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 Utah are located at: 550 Foothill Dr, Salt Lake City, UT 84113.
The Regional Office responds to NODs with a Statement of Case (SOC), which outlines 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 feel that the BVA has made an incorrect ruling, the next step is to appeal to the CAVC. If you would like help appealing a VA decision in Utah please reach out to a Utah VA appeals lawyer on our team for more information and a free consultation.
Not every Utah VA disability attorney is identical. If you decide to hire an attorney to help with your claim, you should pick one that will stick with you for the duration of your case, 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. Some firms only recently added Veterans Appeals to their Social Security practice and are not invested in actually helping Veterans.
Oftentimes, the most difficult trait to evaluate is how effective your lawyer will be at presenting your case with research, evidence, and arguments. 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, as well as other case results.
Military service may also be important to you. Choosing to work with a Utah VA appeals lawyer who has actually served in the military can facilitate better communication 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? Making the right decision on hiring a law firm can make a significant difference for the outcome of your case.
Berry Law Firm was founded in 1965 by John Stevens Berry, Sr., who spent part of his time in the Army serving in Vietnam. During a JAG tour in Vietnam, he successfully defended Green Berets against murder charges, among other courtroom victories for his fellow servicemembers, resulting in major news coverage and an elite reputation. 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.
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. In our ranks are 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.
We bring both our passion for the military and our passion for the law to help Utah Veterans in their fight for disability benefits. Contact a Utah VA appeals lawyer at Berry Law today to see if we can help you.
Berry Law represents Veterans throughout Utah, including in:
VSOs can help you file an initial claim. Some VSOs have special recognition from the VA for helping Veterans file claims. Common VSOs include AMVETS, The American Legion, and VFW Posts.
Some of the most utilized VA locations in Utah are:
Regional Benefit Office
VA Health Care System
Community Based Outpatient Clinic
The American Legion
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