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What Is The Job Of A VA Lawyer?

Posted by Gregory M. Rada | Disability Compensation,Firm News,Legal Update,PTSD Benefits,State Veteran Benefits

In my opinion, a VA representative’s job is two-fold. First, help the veteran win their appeal for disability compensation benefits by obtaining the evidence needed to win the claim and putting forth persuasive legal arguments. Almost as equally important is to review a veteran’s entire VA claims file to determine if any additional past-due benefits (backpay) can be recovered due to mistakes made by VA in the past.

Some representatives only focus on winning the current appeal, but I’ve had great success in recovering large sums of backpay due to past mistakes of VA, so it’s very important to hire an attorney that is going to thoroughly review your entire VA claims file and not only focus on the current appeal. For example, I once had a client hire me to win a TDIU appeal that only resulted in 2 years of backpay, but when I reviewed their claims file, I saw they had an appeal pending since 1992 that VA had forgotten about. We eventually won the 1992 appeal and recovered over half a million dollars in past-due benefits.

Who Can Represent Veterans in VA Disability Claims and Appeals?

If you need help filing a VA claim or appeal, the Department of Veteran Affairs accredits three types of representatives — attorneys, veterans service officers (VSOs), and claims agents. Regardless of what type of representative you choose, make sure they are accredited by searching VA’s accreditation database. Never use a company (such as a medical consulting company) or person that is not listed in VA’s database.

  1. VSO representatives are employed by veterans service organizations such as the American Legion or Disabled American Veterans. VSOs provide their services free of charge, but they are limited in what they can do and they are often overwhelmed with work. For example, I’ve never seen a VSO help a veteran obtain an independent nexus opinion. I recommend using a VSO only for initial claims or when your appeal is extremely straightforward.
  2. Attorney representatives are accredited by a state bar, and to represent veterans before the VA, they must also be accredited by the VA. Statistics show that attorneys win a higher percentage of appeals than VSOs.
  3. Claims agents are non-attorney representatives that have been accredited and approved by the VA to represent veterans before the VA. I know several claims agents that are just as good as attorney representatives.

How Can I Help: A Veteran for Veterans

I am a veteran and been through the VA disability process myself, so I personally know how frustrating it can be. Now, I work as a VA attorney representative to help my brothers and sisters win the benefits they deserve.

One of the biggest complaints I hear about attorneys is that they are never available to speak with clients. The attorney talks to the client one time at the beginning of representation and then the client is ignored or handed off to paralegals or case managers. That is why I created After Service LLC – I work one on one with all my clients from beginning to end. I do not use paralegals, case managers, or other support employees. It’s just me and my clients.

I also make myself readily available– my clients can call, schedule appointments, text, or email me.

To figure out if I can help you win your claim or appeal for VA disability benefits, use the link on my webpage to schedule a free consultation and let’s talk.