How to Hire the Right Veterans Claims Attorney Near You
When it comes to hiring the right veterans claims attorney near you, you might have to make a choice—hire the right VA claims lawyer or hire the lawyer nearest you. Since legal work can be done online, when you need to make a choice, hire the best, not the nearest. VA disability law is federal law, which means that VA disability lawyers do not have to be qualified in any particular state. All your lawyer needs is for the VA to accredit them to represent veterans. Once you have narrowed the field down to a shortlist of qualified VA lawyers, then consider distance. Remember that a lot goes into making an effective VA disability lawyer. When You Need a VA Disability Lawyer There are several scenarios when you are likely to need a VA disability lawyer. Your Claim Was Denied Talk to a lawyer if the VA has already sent you a claim denial letter and you don’t like your chances on appeal. This might seem like the end of the world to you, but it need not be the end of the story. Although the appeal process is complex, we have navigated it many times before, and we can navigate it for you. Your chances of ultimate success are much, much better if you retain a lawyer. Your Veteran Service Organization Couldn’t Give You the Help You Needed If you tried working with a veteran service organization (VSO) and you were not satisfied, you may find that an experienced VA disability lawyer could help you. Although many VSOs are dedicated and competent, some of them are not. Even those that are often struggle with more complex claims. Many of our clients come to us seeking representation for an appeal because a VSO error resulted in the initial denial of their claim. You’re Frustrated by Handling the Claim on Your Own If you’ve been trying to handle your claim on your own, you may have reached your wit’s end. Rest assured, you are not alone—frustration is the norm for a disabled veteran dealing with the VA alone. We know how to navigate the VA system, and we will take care of everything for you so that you can focus on safeguarding your health. Your Claim Is Complex VSOs are often ideal for simple claims. The more complex they get, however, the more you are going to need the professional experience of a licensed attorney to help you navigate the VA legal minefield. Individual unemployability benefits claims, for example, are notoriously complicated. Complex claims require a lot of evidence that must be prepared in a particular manner. When Do You Not Need a VA Disability Lawyer? You may not need a VA disability lawyer if you are merely applying for benefits for the first time. In that case, you could be better off seeking the free-of-charge assistance of a VSO. How the VA Qualifies Attorneys to Represent VA Disability Claimants An aspiring VA claims lawyer must apply for VA training to help veterans navigate the VA benefits system. This training teaches lawyers about the VA compensation system as well as some of the legal nuances involved in pursuing VA disability claims. The VA will then accredit the lawyer to represent claimants before the VA. An accredited VA claims lawyer must meet certain standards of professional conduct and continuing education to remain accredited. What to Look for in a VA Disability Lawyer The best veteran disability attorneys combine many of the same skills that make any lawyer outstanding, with a specific skill set dedicated to handling VA disability claims. The first qualification to look out for, of course, is VA accreditation. Without this qualification, the lawyer is not even qualified to represent you. The lawyer should also be part of a generally successful practice to demonstrate their skills as a lawyer. In addition to the foregoing qualifications, the following personal qualities are important: Caring: If the lawyer doesn’t care about your claim, nothing else matters. If they do care about your claim, every other positive quality possessed by your lawyer is magnified. There is no mathematical formula for determining how much your lawyer cares. It’s a gut feeling you get from talking to them. The ability to listen: Your lawyer cannot understand your claim or your concerns unless they listen. When you speak with your lawyer, note how many and what kinds of questions they ask. Observe how much attention they are paying to what you are saying. Patience: Dealing with VA disability claims can be tedious, and it often involves dealing, directly or indirectly, with tiresome VA representatives. Patience also applies to how thoroughly your lawyer explains the claims procedure to you. Judgment: Ultimately, you are the decision-maker in your own case. When it comes to tactics, however, your lawyer will likely be making a lot of small decisions that could determine the outcome of your claim. Sound judgment is a must. Integrity: Your lawyer represents you and only you. Any lawyer who allows their loyalties to be compromised, or who sacrifices your interests in favor of theirs, doesn’t belong in practice. Knowledge: Your lawyer must be familiar not only with the broad strokes of VA disability law, but also with the little nuances that have been defined by case law. They must be able to apply facts to the law to come up with plausible and persuasive inferences. Persistence: Some claims require the lawyer to stick to them like a bulldog. A good VA claims lawyer will have successfully resolved claims, through sheer persistence, that initially appeared hopeless. If you are unsure whether your lawyer possesses any of the above-described attributes, try looking on the Internet for comments from former clients. Your lawyer’s most obvious personal qualities will come through again and again, for better or for worse. We Will Help You Fight Back! Start Today A VA claim denial, or an unsatisfactory result, doesn’t have to be the end of the road for you. Thousands of disabled veterans have […] Read More
Should I Get a VA Disability Lawyer?
Millions of American veterans suffer from service-connected disabilities. If you are one of them, you are likely to be eligible for monthly disability benefits. Nevertheless, past experience indicates that your claim is likely to be denied, at least at first. The VA denies more than 80% of Gulf War-related disability claims, for example. Veterans who retain VA disability lawyers to handle their appeals fare better than other veterans. What Does the Department of Veterans Affairs Do? The Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), with over 250,000 employees, provides vital government services to our nation’s veterans, including the provision of disability benefits. VA disability lawyers who handle VA disability claims work frequently with the DVA. Although the relationship is frequently adversarial, the DVA does certify VA disability lawyers so that they can represent VA disability claimants. What Is the Best VSO for Disability Claims? You probably do not need a lawyer to file an initial claim for VA disability benefits. If that is what you are contemplating doing right now, then it would be a good idea for you to enlist the services of a veterans service organization (VSO) instead. VSOs are experienced in filing initial claims, and they offer their services free of charge. The Veterans Administration maintains a website that can help you find a qualified VSO in your area. When Should I Get a Lawyer? You are probably going to need a VA disability lawyer if your VA disability claim is denied or if it is underrated. Although some veterans handle their own claims or work with VSOs, this is generally not a good idea under these circumstances. You should give strong consideration to hiring a VA claims attorney if your claim is complex. Total disability individual unemployability (TDIU) claims tend to be complex, as do claims involving multiple issues. The good news about hiring a lawyer is that VA disability lawyers cannot charge you legal fees unless you win your claim, regardless of whether you receive your VA disability back pay in lump sum or in periodic payments. Even then, it comes out of your award—you don’t need a dime in your pocket to hire a VA disability lawyer. Indeed, in some cases you may be awarded attorney’s fees, meaning that your legal fees will not even be deducted from your claim award. How a VA Claims Lawyer Can Help You Win Your Claim A VA disability lawyer can perform claim-related services that you would find difficult to perform on your own, including: Gathering evidence: Nothing happens in a VA claim without evidence, and the VA accepts only certain kinds of evidence. Once we review your claim, we will know exactly what evidence you need and how to obtain it. Filing paperwork: Filing paperwork is a pain, and a lot of paperwork is required for a VA claim. We will handle it for you, and we will get it right the first time. Medical experts: Medical experts can be critical to your claim. We know how to generate medical evidence from the experts we work with. Our medical experts are knowledgeable about VA law. Filing appeals and briefs: Any paperwork submitted to a court must be prepared in a specific format, with little room for error. We are familiar with all the requirements, and we will take care of your appeals and briefs for you. Researching the law: VA law is particularly dependent on court precedent, and there is a lot of it to master. We are familiar with all the nuances of veterans disability law, and we will employ our knowledge to advance your claim. We offer numerous services, in addition to the foregoing, that only a VA disability lawyer is qualified to perform effectively. How Long Does It Take to Get Disability with a Lawyer? Ultimately, there is only so much a VA disability lawyer can do to expedite your claim. What your lawyer should not do, and will not do if you have selected carefully, is to try to speed up your claim during the preparatory phase by cutting corners. The best way your lawyer can speed up processing of your claim is to prepare a good claim the first time around so that there won’t be a legal mess to clean up later. So how long does it take to get disability with a lawyer? The VA itself estimates that it takes an average of 94 days to review a VA disability claim. This is only an average, however. Some claims are resolved more quickly, while others take considerably longer. Following are some of the most important factors (other than the identity of your lawyer): The type of claim you are filing—appealing a denial of benefits tends to take longer than most other types of claims; The number and complexity of disabilities you claim; How much evidence your claim requires—omitting required evidence could slow processing of your claim to a glacial pace; and Which field office you use—some field offices suffer from large backlogs. Under certain circumstances, such as terminal illness or financial hardship, you can ask the VA to expedite your claim. Contact the VA Claim Pros at Gerling Law At Gerling Law, we take your VA disability claim seriously, and we will not rest until you obtain the best possible resolution. Let us handle your claim so that you can focus on what matters the most—your health. VA disability law is federal law. A VA disability lawyer doesn’t need to be qualified to practice law in any particular state to handle VA claims. Accordingly, the VA claim pros at Gerling Law operate nationwide. Call us at 866-311-2894 or contact us online for a free claim evaluation. Read More
Veterans of Armed Forces Day
May 15, 2021 – While we are always honoring all Veterans and their families for their sacrifice and dedication to our Nation, today we honor veterans who are currently serving in our Armed Forces. Armed Forces Day is celebrated every year on the 3rd Saturday in the month of May. In 1961, John F. Kennedy declared this day a national holiday. This day honors members serving in all of our six branches of the US Military including Air Force, Navy, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Space Force. Veterans currently serving in the National Guard or the Reserves are also honored on Armed Forces Day. There are many other countries that also honor this day! Reference: Armed Forces Day 2021, https://militarybenefits.info/armed-forces-day/#:~:text=Armed%20Forces%20Day%20USA%20will,Saturday%2C%20May%2015%2C%202021. Read More