Who are your clients?
We often represent veterans who need to appeal a denied claim, have a VA disability rating that is too low, or need to re-open a previously denied claim for which the appeal period has passed.
How much do you charge?
We do not charge any up-front fees, and we never charge costs. If one of our attorneys successfully represents you before the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC), the VA pays our fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act. For appeals before the VA (which may include the Regional Office, the DRO, or the Board of Veterans Appeals), we are only paid if you are granted benefits, and we charge a flat fee of only 13% of any back pay awarded. We do not charge costs. The VA will pay this fee to us out of any back pay they award to you.
Do I need the help of an attorney to assist with my VA claim?
Under standard rules of administrative and court procedure, you can always represent yourself without the assistance of an attorney or accredited representative. This is known as proceeding pro se. But, historically this is one of the least successful routes to obtain VA benefits. And, given Veteran Service Organizations, non-profits such as us, and attorneys that are accredited before the VA, it really makes little sense not to be represented.
At the beginning of the process, when you file your initial application for benefits, you can typically get free assistance from a Veteran Service Organization (VSO) with filling out your application. If the VA denies your claim, or does not grant the claim at the correct rating, we recommend that you consult with an attorney. A service officer from a VSO will typically be a non-attorney, accredited representative. While this means they should be familiar with the legal framework within the VA system to assist in completing the initial application, it also means they are unlikely to possess the skill in crafting an appellate argument to the level of that of an attorney.
Who Can Apply for Veterans Benefits?
In order for a veteran to be eligible for VA benefits, that individual must have served as an active member of the armed forces which include the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or the National Coast Guard Service. Members of the reserves or National Guard may be eligible for certain benefits, depending on the circumstances surrounding the injury.
If the VA denies my claim, what can I appeal?
Sometimes veterans are under the impression that they can only appeal a denied claim, but you can appeal any decision by the VA that you think is incorrect. It is important to understand, however, that you file your appeal before the deadline noted in your decision letter.
Can I file a claim for injury at a VA hospital?
Yes. This is a complex area of law and the nature and circumstances of the injury will dictate whether you file a claim for benefits with your regional office, or whether you file notice under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA).