Why some law firms won’t help Veterans with their initial application for disability benefits
I take a lot of pride in the work I do, especially working with Veterans. In fact, I’d feel safe saying that I really enjoy it. However, I am not perfect. It’s hard for me to admit, but yes, I am flawed. I find that I get a little worked up when I see people being disrespectful towards Veterans. In fact, about 10 years ago my actions led to a regional fast food chain removing a disrespectful radio advertisement about Vets from the airwaves. This character flaw of mine comes up from time to time at work when I encounter another law firm or organization doing things poorly. Our goal at this firm is to help Veterans. Granted, we are a business and we need to make money to be successful, but we really enjoy working with Veterans. We want to help them. That is why you might see that we do things a little different than others.
Recently a young Vet who had been discharged a few years ago called for a free consultation. He had a great case for VA Disability. It was so solid that even Steve Harvey couldn’t mess it up. We talked in detail about his time in service. I then answered his questions and set him up for an appointment. Before we hung up he thanked me for my kindness and knowledge. He then told me that his previous encounters with two other law firms had not been as pleasant. He said that they were rude to him and would not help him at all. I recalled thinking that was odd with such a good case, so I asked if he knew why. He said they told him they would not help him because he hadn’t filed for benefits yet. Then it clicked. The other firm would not get paid if he was granted off of his initial filing. While I can’t say without a doubt this is why these other firms didn’t take this Veteran, I’d say there is a good chance that this is the reason why.
This is pretty common knowledge for anyone who works on VA disability claims. Essentially, an attorney can’t collect fees on a grant from the initial application. We are only entitled to fees once an appeal (Notice of Disagreement) has been filed. In other words, if you come to an attorney without filing your initial application for benefits, they take your case on, and you are granted without an appeal, that firm will not receive compensation for it, and thus will have worked for free. We do realize that, and we still help Vets with their initial application for benefits.
A lot of people will jump to conclusions when they hear this statement. They say that we will try to get a Vet denied on purpose so that we will get our 20 percent guaranteed. That is nowhere near the truth. Let me instead give you a little behind the scenes information about how the VA does things. Almost everyone, no matter how great your case is, gets denied or approved for a small amount from the initial application. Even Captain America would get denied the first time around because of how the VA is set up. So, we try hard to get a Veteran approved off of his or her initial application for benefits. However, we know that most of these Veterans are not going to get everything they deserve after the first filing. This will also help us be better prepared if the Veteran gets denied. It generally takes 8-12 months for a Veteran to receive a decision. So, if we wait until the Veteran gets denied to help them out, we will lose nearly a year of time that we could have been working on their case. We won’t get paid if you don’t get service connected, so we have a vested interest in getting you a favorable decision. You can read more about our fee agreement here.
It is also important to note that we will only pursue a claim if we believe a Veteran can get service connected for it. So, if you call us wanting to file for an ankle injury, and there is not enough evidence to support a service connected ankle injury, we won’t help you file that claim. We like being up front with Vets and we don’t think it is right to give anyone false hopes regarding a VA Disability Claim.
So, regardless if you have filed a claim for VA Disability in the past or not, give me a call today for a free consultation. Our toll-free number is 1-877-526-3457. Or, you can use our chat feature or fill out this form to schedule a time for a call.