Should You Hire An Attorney to File a Veterans Disability Claim?

March 25,2021
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Are you looking to file a disability claim with the VA? Do you think you might need some assistance? Well, you might benefit by hiring a veterans disability attorney.

In essence, a VA disability lawyer specializes in disability claims with Veterans Affairs. By hiring one, you improve the likelihood of your claim being a success.

However, there are some things you should know before you go and hire the first lawyer you see. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about hiring a VA lawyer.

So whenever you’re ready to learn about this opportunity, keep reading and get your notes ready.

Should I Hire A Veterans Disability Attorney?

First and foremost, this should always be a personal choice, it’s up to you to decide if you’d like to hire an attorney. However, there’s certainly great benefit in doing so. 

The only reason to hire a veteran’s disability attorney should be based on your understanding of their ability to help you get a better result on your disability claim that has not been rated to your liking or denied. That’s about it. 

Next, current law standards prevent lawyers from charging you for initial claim assistance with disability benefits. The lawyer can only propose a fee for helping when you challenge a disability claim decision.

Thus, a reputable attorney will most likely not even take a case until you have already applied for disability and received a decision from the VA. Keep in mind, most lawyers do not work for free.

Any attorney that tells you that they will help your claim and charge you for it—is breaking the law. If you think you need help with filing your claim, you should communicate with the veteran’s service organization for assistance (for free).

How to Find the Right Lawyer

It’s important to find an attorney that will represent you and your interests, but also is knowledgeable about VA claims. Here are some of the questions you can ask a potential attorney:

  1. How long have you practiced veterans law?
  2. Do you have VA accreditation?
  3. Will you represent my interest through the appeals process and are you admitted to practice in that circumstance?
  4. When was the last time you attended veteran law training?

There are also other things to look out for when hiring an attorney, such as their reputation, experience, their energy, and attitude. If you don’t feel an authentic connection with your lawyer and don’t feel as if they are wanting to help you, look elsewhere. 

How Much Will It Cost Me?

The question of how much a lawyer can charge you is variable. However, attorneys are allowed to charge anywhere from 20 to 33% for appeal handling. These charges are contingency fees and they are only paid out to the attorney if they win the case and you are awarded your benefits. 

In most cases, these fees are paid out directly out of lump-sum payments that you receive from the VA. For instance, if you filed your disability claim on January 1st, 2020, and you were denied.

On January 1st, 2021, you hired an attorney and signed a 20% contingency fee contract. On January 1st, 2022, you were granted a 100% disability rating retroactive to the first date of application.

The retroactive amount is a 100% monthly amount for the periods between January 1st and January 1st, 2022. Let’s say you received about $80000. Hence, the attorney’s fee would be about $16000 (20%).

The lawyer will only get paid if you win your case. Always make sure to read any proposed contracts before signing them. Some lawyers will want to rip you off, that’s the truth. Make sure you go for VA accredited lawyers.

This means several things. First, they know what to do. Second, they will most likely not rip you off.

Will Hiring An New York Attorney Speed the Process Up?

In some cases, yes. In other cases, no. There are certain things lawyers can do that might speed up your appeal claims, but if you simply want to speed up your VA claim, you can contact your service officer at VA.

A skilled lawyer can make it so that you in a position to win your appeal from the first go, this will certainly make things go by faster. Veterans’ claims are often stuck in cycles of appeal, remand, denial, so on and so forth.

A lawyer who is experienced in disability veterans law will effectively present your case and the facts to VA on his first try, which in most cases results in receiving disability benefits faster.

However, simply hiring a lawyer will not make things faster. VA regional offices try to work old claims first and even though new claims process quickly, appeals will always take longer. Keep in mind that your attorney will not get paid unless you do, which means they are very motivated to make your case a success.

VA Support for You

Now that you know why you should hire a veterans disability attorney, you are that much closer to deciding if you’d like to do it. In any case, there’s no rush and it’s up to you to make a final decision.

As long as you do enough research and personally vet the attorney candidates you will ensure that you get the most optimal outcome in your case. If you’re interested in working with experienced NY/NJ lawyers who specialize in VA disability, get in touch with us and we will happily accommodate your legal needs.