Applying for veteran’s benefits requires a lot of time, paperwork, and energy. Most veterans apply the first time on their own or with the help of a veteran service organization. Obviously, some receive approval with this first application. Yet the story for most veterans begins with rejection. So, what do you do after this rejection? Do not give up. If you are looking to appeal a decision made by the VA, it may be time to find an attorney to assist you with your claims.
Is your Attorney VA Approved?
For an attorney to help with your VA claim, they must first be approved by the Veteran’s Administration. Attorneys provide references and submit proper documents to verify they fulfill VA requirements to represent veterans. It should be noted that VA rejects filings by attorneys that have not been approved. This rejection delays your claim until you find another approved representative. So, making sure your attorney is approved is very important.
VA approval requires attorneys stay up to date on new case law, changes in review processes, and attend hours of continuing legal education. Like many areas of law, VA benefits is highly specialized. Continuing education requires attorneys to stay informed on this unique area of law. VA allows these attorneys to present claims to VA Regional Offices. In addition, this approval allows attorneys to appeal Regional Office decisions to the Board of Veteran’s Appeals. After an initial rejection at the Regional Office is when most attorneys become involved in benefits cases. The Veteran’s Administration maintains a list of all certified VA attorneys on their website for you to confirm.
In contrast, veterans appealing decisions by the Board of Veteran’s Appeals need an attorney approved by the Court of Appeals for Veteran’s Claims. This is the highest appeals court in the VA benefits system. Like the VA, the Court of Appeals for Veteran’s Claims maintains a list of approved attorneys on their website.
Choosing an Attorney for your VA Claim
VA approval sets a high standard for the representation of our nation’s veterans. The veteran’s claims and appeals process usually takes months or even years. Choose an attorney you feel you can talk to and work with for the long haul. Patience is important but expect your attorney to keep you up to date on the status of your claim, answer questions, and provide advice when there are choices to be made in the process. Above all, veterans must choose an attorney they trust with their claim.
Every claim for benefits made by a veteran is incredibly important. The veteran and their family rely on these benefits to pay the bills, get important medical care, or provide funding for education. Unfortunately, far too many veterans fight this battle alone or give up after a several rejections. Our veterans deserve a helping hand to help get the benefits their service promised. Veterans, do not give up and do not fight alone.
Have you been denied VA benefits? Are you looking to appeal a VA decision? The veteran’s attorneys at Ludlum & King, LLC are available for a free consultation.