Why Most Veterans Appeal Disability Claims With an Attorney Instead of a VSO

Why Most Veterans Appeal Disability Claims With an Attorney Instead of a VSO

Many Veterans understand that they can appeal a denied VA claim with assistance from a local Veterans Service Organization. Local VSOs assist Veterans in many ways, such as providing transportation to and from VA medical center appointments.

But filing an appeal of a denied VA disability claim involves complex legal and medical issues involving Veterans law. If your future depends on the outcome of the appeal, you want the help of an attorney with years of experience handling VA disability appeals to give yourself the best chance of success.

At Berry Law, the Veterans appeals attorneys have experience fighting the VA on behalf of our Veteran clients. They have helped thousands of clients increase their disability rating and get the full disability compensation they are entitled to.

We Are Veterans Serving Veterans Since the Vietnam Era

The attorneys of Berry Law have dedicated their legal practices to helping fellow military Veterans pursue appeals to obtain the proper disability rating. Our team focuses on appealing denied VA disability claims. We don’t just file papers. Our attorneys litigate cases and have helped to establish VA law.

Our founder, John S. Berry Sr., is a Vietnam War Veteran who earned the Bronze Star. Managing partner John S. Berry Jr. served as a company commander in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom and as a platoon leader during Operation Joint Forge in Bosnia. Additional Berry Law attorneys and staff members are former officers and enlisted military personnel as well.

There are many levels to the VA claims appeals process and numerous issues that can come up. Working successfully with the VA often requires developing a strategic approach to your goal. We have the skill set and knowledge of VA regulations to mount successful appeals — and we have done it for over 20 yeras. We have recovered hundreds of millions in past-due VA benefits for thousands of Veterans.

What is a Veterans Service Organization?

A Veterans Service Organization is set up to help former service members in a variety of ways, including offering assistance with filing claims for VA benefits. In fact, we often recommend Veterans seek the assistance of a local VSO when filing their initial claim. A VSO may also provide counseling, medical referrals, education and training, and other programs, such as work focusing on homeless Veterans.

VSOs offer some good services. But the emphasis and expertise of local VSOs differs greatly depending on what the organization’s leaders focus on. VSOs may be local nonprofits or connected to local or state government.

Some VSOs are “chartered,” which means they are federally recognized or approved by the VA Secretary for preparing, presenting and prosecuting claims under VA laws. A VSO’s accredited representative will have undergone a formal application and training process and be recognized by the VA as capable of helping Veterans with claims before the VA. \

The VSO accredited rep is an employee of the VSO, and essentially the organization is representing you. They are typically not lawyers and do not have legal training. Although most VSOs have the best interest of the Veteran in mind, they are often overworked and are trying to juggle too many cases. How up-to-date an individual VSO rep is on VA disability rules, relevant court decisions, or legislation will vary.

Non-chartered organizations do not have VA recognition and their representatives are not recognized for representing Veterans who are seeking VA benefits. Non-recognized organizations and individuals can advise Vets informally but cannot act on behalf of Veterans in VA proceedings.

Free VSO Help vs. Attorneys’ Fees

An obvious attraction of seeking a VSO’s assistance instead of an attorney’s is that a Veterans Service Organization’s assistance is usually free. They may request reimbursement for unusual expenses connected to filing a claim for you.

But there is a lot of substance to the truism that you get what you pay for.

The best reason to hire a Veterans’ disability lawyer to handle your disability appeal is because you want the knowledge and resources of an experienced VA appeals lawyer on your side to maximize your chances of a successful appeal.

A fee may be charged only for services provided after the VA makes its initial decision and after the notice of disagreement has been filed (38 U.S.C. § 5904(c)(1)). An attorney can only charge a fee when they help you appeal a VA decision.

Even then, by law (38 U.S.C. § 5904(d)), the fee we charge:

  •  Is paid directly from past-due benefits awarded by the VA
  • Does not have an upfront cost

This means that if Berry Law cannot obtain past-due benefits (benefits you should have been paid already) for you, we will not charge a fee.

This fee arrangement provides your Berry Law attorney a financial incentive to win your case against the VA that a VSO representative does not have.

Why Hire Berry Law to Appeal a VA Disability Claim

Most Veterans file an initial claim for VA disability benefits on their own or with the assistance of a Veterans Service Organization representative.

The real battle begins when a VA claim is denied or has failed to result in the appropriate disability rating. That’s when you want the attorneys at Berry Law fighting for you. Our attorneys have the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to pursue the full VA disability rating you deserve.

We’ll make sure your claim package is complete, accurate, and submitted properly. We’ll go the extra mile to help you get the benefits you are entitled to.

Berry Law is a national law firm representing Veterans from across the United States. Our staff features both officers and enlisted personnel. We are Veterans serving Veterans, and we know the way forward.

Contact us online or at (888) 883-2483 today for a free, no-obligation legal consultation.

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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