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Are VA Disability Lawyers Worth It?

Are VA Disability Lawyers Worth It?

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides disability benefits to people who became sick, injured, or developed disabilities while serving in the military. Most people agree that Veterans deserve all the benefits they are entitled to, yet too many Veterans experience difficulty obtaining these benefits.

If you or your loved one is struggling to obtain proper VA disability benefits, it may be in your best interest to seek legal representation. Berry Law’s VA disability lawyers represent Veterans nationwide. We help disabled Veterans appeal rating decisions or denials and fight for the benefits they deserve.

Why Seek Help from An Experienced VA Disability Claims Lawyer

The VA disability claims process is often challenging. An attorney can help you better understand what to expect at each stage of the VA disability appeals process. As soon as you file for VA disability benefits and your claim is received, a Veteran Service Representative with the VA will review your claim. They will determine if additional evidence is needed.

When additional evidence is required, these requests can be difficult for applicants to deal with. An experienced Veterans disability lawyer will know what kinds of evidence the VA is seeking and help you collect and provide the proper information to minimize the chances of further delays. In many cases, a lawyer can help you get a better result from the VA on your disability claim if your claim has been denied or if you believe you deserve a higher disability rating than you were given by the VA.

The evidence that is collected and submitted to the VA for a VA disability claim is critical to the case’s outcome. An experienced VA claims lawyer will collect and present the most compelling evidence to support your claim. If your application is denied or you receive a rating that is too low, our team can provide legal assistance.

Common Challenges in the VA Disability Claims Process

The VA disability claims process can be complex and challenging for Veterans, and some common hurdles they may face include:

  • Lengthy Processing Times: One of the most significant challenges is the often lengthy processing times for disability claims. Veterans may have to wait several months or even years before receiving a decision on their claim.
  • Bureaucratic Red Tape: The VA system can be bureaucratic and complex, with numerous forms, regulations, and requirements that must be met. Navigating this bureaucracy can be overwhelming for Veterans, especially those with limited experience.
  • Difficulty Gathering Evidence: Proving a service-connected disability often requires collecting and submitting substantial medical and military service records, as well as statements from medical professionals. Gathering and organizing this evidence can be a daunting task.
  • Incomplete or Inaccurate Medical Records: Sometimes, Veterans may find that their medical records are incomplete or inaccurate. This can lead to challenges in establishing a clear link between their current condition and their military service.
  • Inconsistent Decisions: The VA’s decisions on disability ratings can sometimes appear inconsistent, leading to frustration among Veterans. What one claims examiner approves, another may deny, which can make the process feel arbitrary.
  • Denial of Initial Claims: Many Veterans face the initial denial of their disability claims. This denial can be disheartening and requires further appeals and legal assistance to challenge.
  • Appeals Process Complexity: The appeals process itself can be complex, with multiple stages and requirements. Veterans must meet strict deadlines and provide additional evidence to support their case during the appeals process.
  • Mental Health Conditions: Proving a service connection for mental health conditions, such as PTSD or depression, can be particularly challenging due to the subjective nature of these conditions and the stigma associated with them.
  • Secondary Service Connection: Establishing a secondary service connection for conditions related to a primary service-connected disability can be difficult, as it requires demonstrating a clear medical link between the two.
  • Changes in Medical Condition: Veterans who experience changes in their medical conditions may need to go through the process of reevaluating their disability rating, which can be time-consuming and uncertain.
  • Communication Issues: Veterans may struggle with effective communication with the VA, especially when dealing with large caseloads and limited resources. Getting timely responses to inquiries can be a challenge.
  • Appearing at VA Exams: Veterans may be required to attend VA medical exams, which can sometimes be inconvenient or pose logistical challenges.
  • Lost Records and Documentation: Occasionally, Veterans’ records and documentation may be lost or misplaced within the VA system, causing delays and frustration.

These challenges highlight the importance of seeking assistance from VA disability lawyers or advocates who are experienced in navigating the system and can help Veterans overcome these obstacles to secure the benefits they deserve.

How Much Do VA Disability Lawyers Cost?

The VA provides tax-free disability compensation to Veterans with injuries or diseases incurred during active service in the United States military. Compensation can be paid for post-service disabilities related to your time in service or secondary to disabilities occurring in service. They can also be paid for disabilities that may have arisen after military service but are presumed to be related to their service.

VA disability attorneys who are admitted to practice before the VA are required by Title 38 Code of Federal Regulations § 14.636(e) to charge reasonable fees based on the time spent on the case, the complexity, the type of service performed, the results achieved, and rates charged by other attorneys, among other factors.

Agreements for payment for attorneys’ services must be in writing and signed by both the claimant and the lawyer. The agreement must outline the specific terms of how payment to the attorney will be determined.

This means that the fee agreement must specify whether the VA will pay the attorney directly out of past-due benefits or if the individual will. At Berry Law, we handle all VA disability claims on a contingency fee basis. This means that we do not charge our clients anything unless we win your case. Upon winning, we charge a contingency of the back-pay award, so you pay no fee out of pocket or up-front.

Should I Get a Lawyer for a VA Disability Claim?

Every Veteran whose claim has been denied or who believes they deserve a higher disability rating than they received from the VA could benefit from the services of a VA disability lawyer. Hiring an attorney is not always necessary when first filing a disability claim. However, when the VA denies or issues an inadequate rating, it may be difficult for you to receive the full disability compensation you deserve without experienced legal representation.

A VA disability advocate can be an invaluable ally when your VA benefits claim gets denied or when you need to file an appeal.

As a Veteran, you need a VA disability lawyer who understands every facet of the VA law and the VA process for claims. VA disability lawyers are an important resource when appealing a VA decision. An attorney can help you appeal unfavorable decisions and work to increase your VA disability rating. Berry Law is your fire support team in your battle with the VA, and our experience working with complex Veterans’ disability claims can help you win your disability appeal and get the full compensation you are entitled to.

Disabled Veterans who receive a low disability rating often need a lawyer who can help them show the VA why they deserve a higher rating. At Berry Law, we understand VA disability law at a personal level because many of the Veterans on our team have had to fight to get their own disability benefits. Founded by a Vietnam Veteran, Berry Law now features attorneys from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. We are passionate about Veteran benefits, and we will continue to work hard to appeal disability claims until every Veteran receives all the Veteran’s benefits they earned.

Who is Eligible for Veterans Disability Benefits?

When applying for Veterans disability benefits, you must meet the criteria to be eligible for a claim. As a Veteran, you must have a service-connected medical injury, and the injury must have been caused or exacerbated by your time in service.

The VA has strict deadlines related to appealing your claim. You need to appeal an initial VA decision within one year of the rating decision. If you wait too long, you will lose your effective date and could lose out on thousands of dollars of back pay awards. Please do not wait to call a lawyer if you need help appealing your claim.

If you have one of the following medical injuries, you can file a claim for Veterans disability benefits:

  •       You have a long-term illness from your years of service in the military
  •       You developed medical issues later in life that you believe relate to your service in the military
  •       You have a medical condition that was caused by a separate condition known to be related to your service (secondary service connection)
  •       You developed a condition due to exposure to toxic chemicals while in service
  •       You were a Prisoner of War and sustained a medical injury

If you suffer from psychological trauma resulting from your military service, you also have the right to file for VA benefits. To maximize the firepower for your claim or appeal case, please call the VA disability lawyers from Berry Law.

You may have trouble with the appeals process, or your Veterans disability claim could get denied repeatedly. If you need assistance appealing your VA claim, call our offices today for a free case evaluation. Our team can provide you with the legal support you need to get the VA compensation you deserve.

VA Disability Lawyers’ Fees

The fees you pay to a VA disability lawyer are on a contingency basis, meaning you only pay if your attorney wins. Berry Law charges no more than 30 percent of the lump sum back pay award, which is awarded as part of your rating increase. We will not take money from future payments after we help you get the disability rating you’re entitled to.

A reputable VA attorney should agree to accept payment only after you receive your benefits. In your agreement with the lawyer, the method of payment is written into the terms. Do not hesitate to ask questions before accepting the attorney service, and be sure to choose a transparent legal representative that you trust.

A VA disability attorney understands the complexities of Veteran legal affairs, and fees are reasonable. Usually, payment is not an upfront requirement. If you do not win your case, you should not have to pay the lawyer.

Can I Get a Lawyer Through the VA?

Yes, you can hire a VA-accredited attorney through the Department of Veterans Affairs to help you with your disability benefits. The VA website has information on available legal resources, and Veterans can choose a disability lawyer from a list.

Even after choosing a lawyer with the right accreditation requirements, asking them a few questions before you sign a contract can clarify whether they have the skills and knowledge to help. Some questions you should ask a potential lawyer include:

  •       How long have you practiced Veterans law?
  •       How regularly do you attend Veterans law training events?
  •       Can you represent me at the Court of Appeals?

Do not begin working with a law firm if you do not feel comfortable with your attorney or you find their answers unsatisfactory. There are many resources to choose from.

You should not have to settle when it comes to the legal firm that will be defending your rights. Choosing the right lawyer could make a significant difference in your claims case. The wrong choice may cost you years of disability pay and thousands in compensation.

How Much Disability Do Veterans Get?

The disability payment a Veteran receives depends on their disability rating. Unless a veteran has a 0 percent rating, they will receive a monthly payment from the VA.

In some cases, the benefits you receive are just enough to cover the extra costs you are paying due to your condition. Veterans who suffer for years from injuries relating to their service are able to receive benefits and can appeal their decision if they wish to receive a higher rating.

It is important to note that the number of dependents you have can also impact the disability compensation you receive. According to the latest VA pay schedule, a Veteran will receive increasing benefits based on their disability rating.

The experienced Veterans attorneys at Berry Law can assist you with your appeal if your Veteran disability claim gets denied or rated poorly. If you believe that you deserve a higher rating or that the disability benefits you are receiving do not match your situation, our lawyers are here to help.

Berry Law fights for the rights of Veterans like you. We take on the most complex cases and use our experience in Veterans’ law to help military Veterans get the disability compensation they deserve.

Types of Disability Compensation for Disabled Veterans

The VA has multiple disability compensation programs. Three of the most common types include:

  • Disability Compensation — Tax-free monetary benefits paid to Veterans with disabilities as the result of diseases or injuries incurred or aggravated during active military service. Benefit amounts are based on the degree of the Veteran’s disability on a scale from 10 percent to 100 percent.
  • Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) — Tax-free monetary benefits paid to surviving spouses, children, or parents of service members killed on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training. DIC benefits are also paid to survivors of Veterans who died from service-connected disabilities.
  • Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) — Tax-free monetary benefits paid to Veterans, their spouses, surviving spouses, or parents for special circumstances requiring higher compensation, such as the loss of use of a leg or hand.

The VA also notes that Veterans can be eligible for other types of disability compensation after a disability is determined to be service-connected. Other VA disability compensation programs include:

  • Individual Unemployability
  • Hospitalization
  • Automobile Allowance
  • Clothing Allowance
  • Congenital Disabilities
  • Dental
  • Pre-stabilization
  • Convalescence

Berry Law: Lawyers to Help with VA Disability Claims

Do you or your loved one need help appealing a disability rating that was denied or rated too low? Berry Law has represented thousands of Veterans nationwide since 1965. We are ready to put our VA disability law experience to work on your claim. Our team has an impressive record of winning appeals before regional VA offices, the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans’ claims.

We are proud to serve Veterans in all 50 states. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a knowledgeable member of our team. Contact us online, via email (intake@berrylawfirm.com), or by phone to schedule a consultation today.

Berry Law

The attorneys at Berry Law are dedicated to helping injured Veterans. With extensive experience working with VA disability claims, Berry Law can help you with your disability appeals.

This material is for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship between the Firm and the reader, and does not constitute legal advice. Legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and the contents of this blog are not a substitute for legal counsel.

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