I was denied benefits. What’s next?
If you have been denied a previous VA disability claim and need help with VA disability appeal, You should seek help from VA disability attorneys who are experienced with VA disability law. Veterans who are denied VA benefits should not take ‘no’ for an answer. Once you are denied benefits or if you do not agree with your rating, you have ONE YEAR to file a Supplemental Claim, Higher Level Review or Appeal to the BVA from the date on your rating decision letter. You also have 90-days to submit new additional evidence from the time you file a Supplement Claim. No new evidence is allowed for Higher Level Reviews. You also have 60-days to file an appeal if you received a decision from the BVA.
What happens during an appeal?
Formal appeals can be decided in front of an Administrative Judge at the Board of Veteran Appeals or can be decided by document review. During a hearing, it is possible that you provide testimony regarding your disability and service connection in the military. This is a very important stage in the process. Here, the Judge can approve or deny your appeal or even send your case back to the VA Regional Office for further review. The good news is even if the Judge denies your case, you can appeal that too! From there your case would go to the United States Supreme Court. VABenefits4Vets has the experience and is also licensed to handle cases at the Supreme Court level as well.
Should I hire an attorney?
Starting in 2007, the VA authorized attorneys to represent Veterans. While VA Law is relatively new, having an attorney represent you against the VA will give you an edge. In addition, to knowing case law, rules and regulations; Attorneys go through law school and have the proper education and experience as compared to non-attorneys. While Agents, Officers, former VA employees may have great experiences, attorneys review and attack issues in a different perspective. Attorneys are able to write legal memos, legal complaints, pleadings and numerous other legal types documents. We do far more than type in a Veterans information on free VA forms.
• Low-Rating Decisions: If you feel your initial rating decision was too low than what you deserve, you can certainly appeal. VABenefits4Vets has helped may Veterans who were initially rated too low.
• Worsened Impairments: If your injuries whether mental or physical or if your disease has worsened since your original rating, you are entitled for an increased rating. However, it is not that easy. Call VABenefits4Vets to help advise you on your next steps.
Should I use a free service organization?
Absolutely! As previously mentioned, VSO's, DAV's, etc., all serve a great purpose and most do a great job. Please keep us in mind should you need to appeal to the next level or need that edge to win your case.
I don’t have money to hire an attorney.
No money, no problem! Our services are at no out of pocket cost to you. Same as Personal Injury Law and Social Security Law, VABenefits4Vets will represent you on a contingent-fee agreement. If we don’t win your case, we don’t get paid. The overall fee is 20% of back pay and is paid directly by the VA. More importantly, this does not apply to future monthly benefits. Lastly, the VA pays compensation based on a Rating Schedule with increasing benefits as the level of disability increases (from 0% to 100%). In many cases, your case may need nexus statements by way of independent medical opinions (IMO). The fees for IMO's range from $1500-$2000. Simply put, in most cases, you will not win without a competent and thorough IMO.
This is a rip off, a scam, shame on you for charging Veterans a fee.
The owner of this firm is a Veteran himself and served in the Marine Corps for eight years. As attorneys, we are held to the highest ethical standards. Our intent is to not take advantage of any Veteran. As fellow Veterans, we know the task of battling the VA is not easy. After many years of schooling and experience, charging a fee is how we are able to keep helping Veteran secure the lifelong financial benefit they deserve. It is unfortunate when a Veteran quits on their case due to the complexity of VA law and other challenges they may have. It is concerning when fellow Veterans provide false or incorrect VA advice via social media. It is even more concerning when fellow Veterans and the VA advise Veterans that they do not need an attorney. We see this happen quite often. We feel it is most likely because attorneys keep the VA on their toes and ensure they do their job, we also call them out if they do not. Please keep in mind that every case is unique and every Veteran has different skill sets. Not all Veterans can handle their case. Just because one person on social media was able to secure a rating for the same claims you have, does not mean it is the same for every Veteran.
What is the process?
The VA disability claims process can be daunting. There are many Government forms applications, questionnaires and releases required needed to apply and appeal. For many, the VA claims process can be confusing and tedious. Southwest Law Firm is here to answer your questions and provide information that will help you throughout the process. If you have not filed a claim for VA disability compensation, complete VA Form 526EZ and submit the completed form to your VA Regional Office. If you are not sure where you closest Regional Office is located, go to http://www.benefits.va.gov/benefits/offices.asp.
Can you help with Nexus Statements?
Absolutely! This is what separates us from other law firms and free organizations. Your nexus statement will be drafted by actual doctors who have experience with the VA. We have exclusive agreements with top doctors with an array of specialties. Most have decades of experience and also have published articles and treatises. They only draft nexus statements for Southwest Law Firm clients. When you work with us you also work with a very large network of doctors at your disposal.
How much do nexus statements costs?
The cost ranges from $1895.00 to $2000.00 per nexus statement and can include up to five conditions depending on the condition. Be aware of cheap nexus statements. There are firms that claim they can connect you with doctors that can write nexus statements for much less. Truth of the matter is there are no reputable doctors who will draft a quality nexus statement for $300, $500 or even $700! These reports can take hours or days to complete. Don't be fooled by these cheap offers. They are most likely drafted by clerks or assistants and they do not have the skill set to draft these reports. Once written, they are most likely quickly reviewed and signed by a doctor who does not care about the overall quality. Especially since you will most likely not know better. Of course the attorney will boast about the doctor, quality and success rate. We ask that you use common sense. If it is too good to be true...it probably is. If you did not work with an attorney from day one, that should be your first indicator. Cheap service will lead to cheap results.
We believe in the American Veteran and all the veteran stands for through service. We believe in justice. We believe in fairness. We believe in doing what is right. That is why VABenefits4Vets.com exists. That is why VABenefits4Vets serves fellow Veterans.