A VA Disability Attorney’s Role in a VA Disability Claim
Can a VA disability attorney provide assistance in a Veterans Administration Claim? In his second inaugural address, President Abraham Lincoln envisioned the service that would become our modern Veterans Administration compensation structure. His vision included a service that would “care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan.” Today, disability benefits for veterans and survivor benefits for their immediate family are available through the VA compensation structure. These benefits usually include monthly cash payments and free medical care at any VA facility.
The process begins with the veteran filing a claim for service connection for a disability. Some Veterans are immediately granted service connection at the level requested, and begin receiving their benefits. However, in many cases, the disability claims process is long and often frustrating.
Even for the Veteran’s claims that the VA granted, the process has not always been straightforward. For example, the VA may have entitled a veteran to a service connection from an earlier date or at a higher disability level than what is initially granted. Such veterans may not realize that the VA may entitle them to more.
Because of the complexity of the VA compensation system, an experienced VA disability attorney is an important partner in this process. Some veterans unknowingly settle for less just to start receiving checks sooner. Make sure an attorney is part of your compensation claim until the end.
What will my attorney do for me?
Let’s say the VA denied your initial claim for compensation. Or, maybe the VA granted the claim, but for a shorter time period than you requested. Do you enter the appeals process, or move on without the amount of compensation you requested? An experienced attorney can evaluate your claims file and give you honest advice on the strengths and weaknesses of your claims. It is worth noting that no one can predict how an appeal will pan out, but an attorney can point out legal strengths or weaknesses in your claim that you may not know to look for.
Disability claims are inherently complex. For example, you may be surprised to know that simply having a condition caused by an in-service event may not be enough for compensation. The condition has to be disabling in some way. The term disabling is not necessarily limited to conventional, physical meaning. There are vocational, economic, educational, and emotional facets to a disability that could warrant compensation. An experienced attorney can effectively research veteran disability case law and make a strong argument for you.
Veterans have multiple legal options. One good example that is not widely popular are “partial” disability claims. Partially disabled veterans may follow one of several avenues to reach a higher level of compensation, such as secondary or private medical opinions or unique unemployability (“TDIU”) claims.
The unfortunate truth is that the VA disability compensation system is difficult to navigate alone. Over time, the strong presumption of entitlement to benefits that Lincoln envisioned has become a weak presumption, with many unwarranted denials and backlogged appeals in the system at any given time. An attorney can help you craft the strongest possible case so that the chances of fair compensation are higher.
No, attorneys are not doctors. But using case law, attorneys can effectively challenge erroneous or inadequate VA examination results, which can sometimes form the entire basis of the VA’s grant or denial of benefits. Sometimes, these errors pertain to a doctor’s lack of qualifications, or to the examination report itself. The requirements for examination reports are detailed, but reports often fall short due to doctor error and the general strain on the understaffed VA system.
Attorneys can arrange for independent medical opinions if needed, and at the very least, will know when one is necessary. Additionally, a veteran may incur no additional cost for these examinations if scheduled by an attorney.
Frequently, a weak point in a VA claim is the non-medical evidence. For example, often, the ability the Veteran to work is central to a claim. Vocational experts can enlighten decision makers to the nuances of employability. Qualifications and background alone do not necessarily mean a veteran is employable. Such evidence is especially compelling in the aforementioned TDIU claims. Again, an attorney will know when to seek out such an opinion.
Cost to You
The Cameron Firm, P.C., is proud to serve veterans nationwide who must navigate the complex VA legal system. Most of the time, there is no cost to the veteran unless the case is resolved in his or her favor. In the matter of appeals, there is no cost to the veteran at all, even in successful cases.
Count on Diligent Attorneys
An attorney is a valuable partner in all phases of a disability claim. For a free consultation with an experienced Veterans disability lawyer, contact the Cameron Firm, P.C. at 800-861-7262 or fill out the contact box on our website at www.veteranappeal.com.
This article is for educational and marketing purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship.