Should I Hire a Lawyer?

VA laws and regulations are complex, difficult to understand, and subject to frequent change. Additionally, the claims process is excruciatingly long. Having an attorney will not reduce the time it takes the VA to process your claim. But quality legal assistance can help your chances of success in obtaining the maximum amount of
benefits you are entitled to receive.

When You Need an Attorney

It would be advantageous to have attorney representation before you file a claim but VA regulations do not allow attorneys to charge a fee for representing you when you are first applying for VA benefits. Your must have already been denied and have filed a Notice of Disagreement before an attorney can step in and be paid for her work. (This only applies to claimant’s who filed their Notice of Disagreements after June 20, 2007, those who filed before must wait until the BVA issues a final decision before hiring an attorney or agent for a fee.)

Questions to Ask an Attorney before hiring
It’s important to have an attorney who is competent in VA matters and who will fully represent your interests. Here are some questions to ask any attorney you’re considering hiring.

  1. Are you a VA-accredited attorney? Click here to view accredited attorneys
  2. Are you a member of a highly regarded veterans advocacy organization such as National Organization of Veteran’s Advocates (NOVA)? Check here to see.
  3. Are you admitted to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC)? Check here to see.
  4. Have you successfully represented veterans through the CAVC?
  5. How long have you been practicing veteran’s law?
  6. When did you last attend a veteran’s law training?
  7. How will you help me obtain the earliest effective date possible for my benefits?
  8. How will you help me obtain the highest possible rating for my disability?
  9. How far up the appeals ladder will you represent me?
  10. How Much Do Veterans Disability Attorneys Cost?

Disability Benefits Appeals
Attorneys are permitted by law to charge between 20% and 33½% of the back benefits awarded upon successful appeals. These fees will be paid to the attorney only if the veteran wins the appeal and the veteran is awarded benefits.