VA Disability FAQs
Can you help me file and represent me on a new claim?
Our veteran disability lawyers in Kalamazoo, MI typically represent clients on claims where there has been a recent decision, there is a pending appeal, or there is time still remaining to appeal the previous decision. If you are considering filing a new claim, one of our veterans attorneys will be happy to talk to you about what actions to take, the general requirements for various benefits, and when we might be able to get involved in your VA claim.
There are also many veterans service organizations (VSOs) that are able to assist you in filing your initial claim. The following link provides a list of recognized veterans service organizations: http://www.va.gov/vso/.
Nothing, unless we are successful on appeal. Our VA lawyers generally operate under a contingent fee arrangement for 20% of any past-due benefits you receive during our representation. Contingent attorneys’ fees and expenses only refer to those fees charged by attorneys for their legal services. Costs such as obtaining medical opinions and evaluations, filing fees, and other additional costs (e.g. faxes, courier fees, and photocopying) must be paid by the client.
If one of our veterans attorneys does represent you at the VA, the firm may need to obtain additional medical evidence to substantiate your claim. If this is the case, there may be additional expenses to you.
Typically, for work at the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, one of ourcan apply on your behalf for payment of attorney’s fees and expenses under the Equal Access to Justice Act so it doesn’t come out of your benefits.
The firm’s physical office is located near Kalamazoo, MI, which is in southwest Michigan. However, VA Disability Group PLLC is a nationwide law firm serving veterans and their families throughout the entire country.
Our veteran disability lawyers will provide routine updates on the status of your case that generally corresponds with documents received or submitted to the VA or Court, upcoming deadlines or appointments, and any action necessary on your part. Email is the preferred form of communication from clients, which allows for a timely, informed response. Please feel free to email.
No. Please do not send VA Disability Group any documents unless asked. Instead, our veterans attorneys ask that you scan or fax us documents so we can put the digital records in your file on our server. If we request you to send documents, do not send the originals. Only send copies.
It is unethical for any lawyer to say that he or she wins a certain percentage of their cases as it creates unrealistic expectations, which is misleading. When the case is still before the VA, we devise a plan for developing evidence and information, presenting a case we believe will give our clients the best chance of establishing entitlement to the benefits they deserve.
During the course of a case, ourcommonly represent veterans at the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. This Court rarely grants benefits, so it’s not accurate to talk about “winning” cases at the Court level. When at the Court level, we seek to get the case sent back to the VA (remanded) so that the agency can reconsider the award of benefits.
Be wary of lawyers who say they win a high percentage of their cases. In most instances, this only means they have a high percentage of cases that are “sent back” to the VA to be “redone.”
VA Disability Group offers continued representation to most our clients when we finish work at the Court.
However, you will have the option for representation by the following parties:
- VA Disability Group (typical 20% contingent fee arrangement)
- Veterans service organization (such as the VFW, American Legion, or DAV) for free
- Different accredited representative
- Representing yourself
Contingent attorneys’ fees and expenses only refer to those fees charged by attorneys for their legal services. Costs, such as obtaining medical opinions and evaluations, filing fees, and other additional costs, (i.e., faxes, courier fees, photocopying, etc.) must be paid by the client. If one of our veterans attorneys does represent you at the VA, the law firm may need to obtain additional medical evidence to substantiate your claim. If this is the case, there may be additional expenses to you.
This is the million-dollar question that, unfortunately, cannot be answered. All cases vary in how long they take to resolve. If a case is simple, your case may be resolved within a year. However, because the VA is currently backlogged with work, cases often take multiple years to complete.
For cases at the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, if we can convince the VA that there are errors in your case, it typically takes six months to a year for a case to work its way through the Court process and back to the VA. If the VA fights us, it can take one to three years to get a decision from a judge. Even once a case is sent back to the VA to be reexamined, it may take many more years to resolve and a claim may remain denied. It is essential that claimants remain patient, yet vigilant, when pursuing veteran benefits. It can be a long, drawn-out, process.
It is for this reason that our veterans attorneys ensure clients (1) understand, seek, and document the evidence that is needed to have the best chance to successfully appeal a case and (2) do what is needed to get a decision made as quickly as reasonably possible.
It’s simple to receive a free consultation. Just contact VA Disability Group online or call 1-844-VET-LAWS (1-844-838-5297) to schedule an evaluation. Just fill out and submit the online form with all the requested information. Once we have received your information, our VA disability lawyers in Kalamazoo, MI will review it and contact you shortly after to discuss it and let you know if we will be able to take your case. Our lawyers for veterans look forward to reviewing your VA claim and perhaps having the chance to represent you.