America’s Veterans deserve the compensation that they sacrificed for while defending America, and this includes all the brave Veterans in Wyoming, where there are roughly 52,000 former servicemembers. The Census Bureau estimates that 20% of these Veterans have a service-connected disability rating, above the national average of 17%, but Berry Law Firm’s mission is to ensure that each eligible Veteran is receiving all the compensation that they are entitled to by law.
The team at Berry Law has represented Veterans and servicemembers in every state over the past 50 years. We pursue Veterans’ disability appeals at every VA Regional Office in the United States, and take significant pride in our mission to defend and support Veterans’ rights. If you have been denied VA benefits, or received an inadequate rating or effective date, you could benefit from the help of a Wyoming Veterans disability appeal attorney. The following article is meant to help you understand the Veterans’ disability benefits process in Wyoming.
Getting started with a VA disability claim can begin from any location in the US, regardless of where you served.
You can apply directly online through the VA, or get free help from a local VSO (Veterans Service Organization), which are congressionally recognized to provide services to Veterans. Local VSOs in Wyoming.
To get started, you need to complete VA Form 21-526EZ, or apply online through the VA eBenefits portal. If you want the VA to collect medical evidence on your behalf, you must also complete VA Forms 21-4142 and 21-4142a. Other relevant forms include VA Form 21-0781 or 21-0781a for PTSD claims, and VA Form 21-8940 and 21-4192 for 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, although they can be expedited for certain reasons, including terminal illness, Veteran age over 75, homelessness, or financial hardship.
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 settle 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 pay at the monthly rate they are entitled to reaching from the final decision date all the way back to the effective date.
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. 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. See below for additional information about appealing VA decisions in Wyoming.
The effective date for each disability claim is independent so an early effective date for a claim based on knee pain will usually not apply to a gastrointestinal claim initially filed years later.
Unfortunately, the VA does not always make the correct decision for a Veteran’s initial disability benefits claim. If an initial claim is denied, rated too low, or given an improper effective date, you can appeal the decision.
You can appeal 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 been a crucial part of helping Veterans get the compensation they sacrificed for, including back pay. Berry Law Firm has helped its clients recover over $100 Million in backpay over decades of client service.
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. We have helped clients in Wyoming, and each of the other 49 states, along with Veterans living abroad.
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. 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 Offices in Wyoming is located at: 2360 East Pershing Blvd. Cheyenne, WY 82001
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 conduct their own review to reach a decision. 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 Wyoming you can contact Berry Law for a free consultation on what your options may be.
Don’t assume that every Wyoming VA disability attorney is equally equipped to help you bring firepower to your appeal. 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 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. Some firms only recently added Veterans Appeals to their Social Security practice and are not invested in actually helping Veterans.
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.
Military service may also be important to you. Utilizing a Wyoming VA appeals lawyer who has actually served in the military may help improve understand of your situation 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 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, resulting in major news coverage and an elite reputation. While developing a criminal defense practice, 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 serving in both Bosnia and Iraq during Active Duty periods. 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 attorneys hailing from each branch, and feature both Officers and Enlisted, with service ranks ranging from E2 – O6 (including an E9). Our Veterans served during every major conflict since Vietnam, and combined have earned hundreds of awards, ribbons, and commendations for their service. We also have members of the Reserves and National Guard still serving. Every month we provide paid time off to servicemembers to continue training to serve the nation.
We bring both our passion for the military and our passion for the law to help Wyoming Veterans in their fight for disability benefits.
Berry Law represents Veterans throughout Wyoming, including in:
Many Veterans utilize VSOs to file initial claims. Some VSOs have special recognition from the VA for helping Veterans file claims
VSO locations in Wyoming include:
A few of the VA locations in Wyoming are:
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