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Lawyer Has Agreed To Represent Me At Bva ? About % Of Retro Being Charged

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Make sure you know THIS:

You wont pay anything now. You only pay if/when you win money and you "get" your back pay (Retro).

Even then, you will likely pay LESS than 30% for 2 reasons:

1. First, you can ask your lawyer to ask the court for EAJA to pay the fees. If you win, the court often awards EAJA fees, so the VA has to pay, not you. EAJA can pay the full amount, partial amount, or none.

2. Next, the COURT has to approve lawyer fees. If the lawyer only put in 2 hours, and you got your retro, then the court normally will only permit the attorney to bill you for 2 hours...not 30 percent. However, often the lawyer will have much much more time invested, but he will have to provide a bill to the court for his hours and the judge looks it over and will reject fees he considers excessive, for the number of hours the attorney worked on your claim and documented the hours.

The bottom line is you pay a MAXIMUM of 30 percent and it will likely be much less, because of the reasons given above. EAJA sometimes foots the whole bill.

You can shop, if you like, to try to find an attorney who will do it for 20%, but then he will charge expenses, and that could work out nearly the same as 30 percent. Lawyers have expenses..sometimes they have to copy your file which can be thousands of pages, they may have Federal express fees, filing fees at the CAVC (50 dollars) etc etc.

Some one said the bitterness of low quality remains long after the sweetness of low price has disappeared. You do whats best for your family, but I suggest "cheapest" is not always the best value. If your attorney is a pro, and charges 30 percent and gets you a hundred grand in retro, and gets the EAJA to pay for it all, then that is much much better than a rookie lawyer who gets you 50 grand and charges you 20 percent plus expenses and botches the EAJA.

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An attorney can charge 30% legally if both parties agree, it's just that the VA will not withhold and pay the fee to the attorney, the veteran will have to pay the attorney when he gets his money. At 20% the VA presumes the fee is reasonable and will withhold that amount from the past due and pay it directly to the attorney.

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If a veteran feels an attorney fee is unreasonable they can appeal it. There is a 5 point criteria for that.

I helped a local vet do that. Many years ago . I guess he made out OK.

He was calling me daily pressuring me about his longstanding claim , after his vet rep asked me to help with it.

Neither his lawyers or even his Vet rep however had read his BVA denial. He was also at the CAVC twice.

He won the claim and I assume the VA found the evidence I gave them persuasive  enough not to pay them either the whole fee or maybe just some of it, otherwise he would have been constantly badgering me again about that.

The regs for that might be here somewhere.

Before the rep brought him here to meet me I had a feeling he didn't have the BVA decision with him...(he did forget it) and I managed to find it at the BVA web site with the limited info I had to search for it with.

The first paragraph of the decision contained a medical term that was the key to his award.

That medical term was how I got him the award. Of course I had to do a lot of research on the term and then convince his doctor that he needed to prepare a second IMO because the first one would not fly. After the private doc read my lay medical opinion and the vet's evidence, (and after some problem with me -he was angry because I got a healthgrade rundown on him to prove his credentials were fantastic )

his IMO garnered the award. He was very well known as an diabetes expert but the VA needed to have that and he would not do a Curriculum Vitae so I had to prove it via heathgrades.

One of the biggest problems I see here and elsewhere, and with VA is that people do not read well anymore.

If I skim over something I read, I can easily make an error in what I think it says.

I often read questions here many times. And it pays to pour over every single thing in your decisions, your C files, and your med recs....but ofyten better to have a real doctor do that if there is possibility you will need an IMO.




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correction His evidence got him the award.

All I did was read and research the claim , the SMRs and all the other VA med rec stuff etc etc that his vet rep sure would not take the time to do

 and I prepared it all for his IMO doc.



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Exactly right. 

Not many people would help the way you do. You gave me the momentum to keep going.

It worked.


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