However, there are many veteran service organizations (VSOs) that are able to assist you in filing your initial claim. The following website link provides a list of recognized veteran service organizations: http://www.va.gov/vso/.
Typically, for work at the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, we usually can apply on your behalf for payment of attorney’s fees and expenses under the Equal Access to Justice Act, which do not come out of your benefits.
- our firm (typical 20- percent contingent fee arrangement);
- working with a Veterans Service Organization (such as the VFW, American Legion, DAV, etc.) for free;
- another accredited representative;
- or 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 VA Disability Group 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.
For cases at the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, if we can convince the VA lawyer 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 still yet, 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 VA Disability Group ensures 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.