The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) doesn’t always give disabled vets their rightfully owed VA disability benefits. Unfortunately, it happens more often than you might realize, leaving VA disability appeals as the only option for many disabled vets. The Department of Veterans Affairs has mistakenly withheld millions of dollars in disability benefits from eligible disabled veterans. In fact, the VA mistakenly paid $44.3 million meant for housebound veterans to the wrong beneficiary in recent years.
LAWYERS IMPROVE OUTCOMES IN NEARLY 90% OF DISABILITY APPEALS CASES
There’s a ray of hope for disabled vets currently held up in the system or wrongly denied their benefits. The Chairman of the Board of Veterans Appeals’ annual report shows that vets with legal representation had much better luck. In 2015, Wisconsin Veterans Benefits attorneys had the lowest denial rates for VA disability appeals cases at just 10.1%! That’s the lowest denial rate for any representative advocating for vets going back to 2004, according to published BVA reports. Plus, vets with lawyers enjoyed an 8% higher success rate than all other representatives and advocacy groups combined.
In addition, AMVETS represented just 156 VA disability cases that year. Lawyers helped nearly 3,000 vets win the benefits they were wrongly denied by the VA.
Vets with attorneys representing their cases have a significant advantage during the VA disability appeals process. In fact, attorneys get nearly 90% of appealed VA disability claims approved or remanded. Remanded cases often include errors the Regional Office must fix, and nearly always reverse prior denials or award partial benefits. According to the VA’s officer training materials, “The good news is that BVA usually remands a case because they are looking for evidence that will give them a basis to change the prior decision.” But veterans with no representation lose their VA disability appeals three times as often, with a denial rate of 30.1%.
When it comes to winning VA disability appeals, an attorney is your best bet for contingency-based representation. In addition to helping vets win their appealed claims, new legislation aims to speed up the VA disability appeals process, too.
WHY LEGAL REPRESENTATION MATTERS FOR WINNING VA DISABILITY APPEALS
Getting a Wisconsin Veterans Benefits attorney to appeal your denied claim costs nothing unless you win benefits during the VA disability appeals process. By comparison, the only comparable veterans advocacy group with a similar success rate is AMVETS, which costs $250 to join. Still, 13.2% of VA disability appeals filed through AMVETS get denied, and another 5% are dismissed. Attorneys, on the other hand, only see 3.6% of their VA disability cases dismissed by the VA.
Getting an wisconsin veterans benefits attorney to appeal your denied claim costs nothing unless you win benefits during the VA disability appeals process. By comparison, the only comparable veterans advocacy group with a similar success rate is AMVETS, which costs $250 to join. Still, 13.2% of VA disability appeals filed through AMVETS get denied, and another 5% are dismissed. Attorneys, on the other hand, only see 3.6% of their VA disability cases dismissed by the VA.
But experienced attorney representation doesn’t just improve your chances of winning benefits during the VA disability appeals process. Legal representation can maximize any compensation you’re entitled to, based on your VA disability rating and back pay status. Over the nearly five-year average wait time to resolve pending VA disability appeals, this could be a substantial compensation amount.
Another reason veterans should secure legal representation during the VA disability appeals process is the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA). This means if your attorney prevails upon appeal, the government must pay your legal fees. In other words, you keep 100% of your back pay, and your Wisconsin Veterans Benefits Attorney won’t deduct any legal fees from the lump-sum payment. For attorneys, the EAJA rule ensures they’ll get paid for their work without financially impacting clients who served our country.