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Prior to 9/11, around 25% of post-war veterans had disability ratings after their service. Since 2001, that percentage had jumped to 41%.
Are you a veteran trying to understand your rights and benefits? Have you had a VA disability claim denied? Should you hire a VA disability lawyer?
Veterans affairs is a tricky world to navigate, but we’re here to help. Keep reading to learn more about your disability claim and how a lawyer can help your case.
Do I Need a VA Disability Lawyer?
This is important, so take note: You do not need a lawyer when you first apply for VA benefits. The claim process is fairly straightforward. If you do need help for any reason, there are free resources available at your local Veterans Services Organization (VSO).
In fact, current laws prohibit attorneys from charging you for help with your initial claim. A reputable attorney will only take your case after your claim has been denied (or not rated highly enough). Any veterans lawyers that offer “free” help with filing your initial claim are breaking the law.
What Veterans Lawyers Can Do for You
So, your claim was either denied or it came back with an unacceptably low rating. This is the time when you need to consider hiring a VA disability lawyer to help you fight your case.
A qualified veterans attorney can analyze your case and help you file an appeal. They can also help you get a discharge upgrade if that’s preventing you from qualifying for VA benefits.
Remember that these benefits aren’t dependent on your locale. No matter where you live, you can find a VA disability lawyer in your state.
Once you hire an attorney and submit your claim, there’s not much to do except sit back and wait for the VA to respond. If you win your case, expect to pay your attorney 20%-33% in contingency fees.
What Veterans Lawyers Cannot Do for You
Attorneys are experts in handling the law, but they’re not magicians. If your case isn’t strong enough to move forward with an appeal, there’s not much they can do to help you.
Veterans lawyers have some of the strictest regulations in the legal world. Your lawyer cannot “stretch the truth” or fabricate evidence that doesn’t exist.
These attorneys also are not in a position to help with any related problems that arise due to your disability. They’re accredited by VA to represent you for your appeal or claim only.
You may wonder if it’s worth hiring a lawyer to fight your case. Studies show that accredited VA lawyers win nearly 45% of disability cases. This is a much higher percentage than other sources of legal aid, so it’s definitely worth pursuing.
Get the Veterans Benefits You Deserve
You served your country, and now it’s time for your country to take care of you. If your VA disability claim was denied, be sure to consult with a lawyer to learn more about your rights.
Now that you know more about veterans lawyers, what’s next? Keep browsing our site for more tips and advice.