Veterans of The United States of America deserve disability benefits for injuries or disabilities that arose as a result of their time in service, and this includes Veterans in Wisconsin, where there are approximately 408,870 Veterans. The Census Bureau calculates that roughly 16% of that group have at least one service-connected disability (the national average is 17%). This means that there are others who may have incurred disabling injuries yet do not have a VA disability rating. On top of that, many Veterans have a disability rating that is too low and therefore are not receiving the full compensation they are entitled to. A Wisconsin VA disability attorney from Berry Law could help you in your fight for disability compensation.
The attorneys at Berry Law have represented Veterans and servicemembers in all 50 states. We pursue Veterans’ disability appeals at every VA Regional Office in the United States and are dedicated to ensuring Veterans’ rights are protected. If you have been denied VA benefits, or are unhappy with your rating decision, you may want to enlist the support of a Wisconsin VA disability attorney. Please read on to learn more about how we can help Veterans in Wisconsin.
A VA disability claim can be initiated from anywhere in the US, regardless of whether you served in that location or where you currently reside. You can apply directly online through the VA eBenefits portal or seek the help 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 over 75 years old, homelessness, or financial hardship. It is important to start your claim early so you will set an early effective date for your claim. The effective date remains in place regardless of how long it takes to fully settle a claim, which may last several years depending on the individual claims you are filing. The importance of the effective date is that the Veteran is entitled to compensation for every month (all the way back to the effective date) until the claim is granted by the VA.
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 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. See below for additional information about appealing VA decisions in Wisconsin.
Even the most thoroughly prepared claim for benefits may not yield the desired result for a Veteran. If an initial claim is denied, rated too low, or given an improper effective date, you can appeal the decision. This is also the first step in the VA claims process where you can enlist the support of a Wisconsin VA disability attorney from Berry Law.
You can appeal a rating 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 that have helped Veterans recover over $100 Million in backpay. We have attorneys and advocates in various locations throughout the US, but the location of your attorney does not actually impact the process because it is Federal in nature. So, you do not actually need a VA disability lawyer in Wisconsin if you plan on appealing your decision. In fact, our team has helped clients in Wisconsin and each of the other 49 states, along with Veterans living abroad.
The first type of appeal is usually a Notice of Disagreement (NOD). This form 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 Wisconsin is located at: 5400 W National Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53214.
The Regional Office responds to NODs with a Statement of Case (SOC), which outlines the details 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 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 Wisconsin, you can contact a Wisconsin VA disability attorney at Berry Law for a free consultation on what your options may be.
Not every Wisconsin 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. Beware of firms that only began practicing Veterans Law after 2007 when it became more “profitable” for them.
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. Opting for a Wisconsin VA appeals lawyer who has deployed or mobilized may help improve understanding of your situation and reduce the amount of time that you need to spend explaining how the military works. Having a “battle buddy” or “shipmate” who has been in similar circumstances may make you more comfortable opening up about your experiences and individual needs. When it’s time to fix bayonets and charge a position, will your attorney understand?
Making the right decision on hiring a law firm can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. A Wisconsin VA disability attorney from our team will fight to ensure that you’re receiving the disability benefits you deserve.
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, 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 earlier Active Duty tours in both Bosnia and Iraq. John has built a Firm that lives on military tradition and values.
The firm employs Veterans from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. We have lawyers 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 Reservists and National Guardsmen still serving.
John Berry recently 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 Wisconsin Veterans in their fight for disability benefits. Contact our team today to see if a Wisconsin VA disability lawyer from Berry Law can help.
A Wisconsin VA disability attorney from Berry Law will help you fight for disability benefits no matter where you live. Our team represents Veterans throughout Wisconsin, including cities such as:
Many Veterans utilize VSOs to file initial claims. Certain VSOs are recognized by the VA to help Veterans file claims. Some common VSOs include AMVETS, The American Legion, and VFW Posts.
Some of the VA facilities located in Wisconsin include:
VA Medical Center
Community Service Programs
Community Based Outpatient Clinic
Regional Benefit Office
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