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American Legion or Private Attorney

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I need expertise help.......

I was recently denied for a sinusitis claim.

I think the local regional office rater totally ignored evidence. Read my post on 8/7/15 and you make a determination.

I filed my Form 9 to the VBA.

I made contact with a law firm which handles veteran claims/appeals.

I think the American Legion has nice people, but expert help is lacking.

I'm considering sitting down with the law firm for a consultation.

I was told they don't charge up front and only require 20% of any money awarded.

In addition, we talked about requesting my c-file to strengthen my argument at the VBA level.

 

1. Has anyone dealt with a law firm for disability claim appeals (pros and cons)?

2. What services did they provide?

3. Where they present in Washington, D.C. or regional office for hearings?

4. Do you pay them directly or is their pay subtracted from retro amount?

5. Do they try to add additional language to contract about fees for services?

6. Are they able to address claim even though I have already filed form-9?

7. Will I sign form making them my new representative (power of attorney)?

 

Definitely all replies are welcomed...........

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1. Has anyone dealt with a law firm for disability claim appeals (pros and cons)?   yes

2. What services did they provide? I you hire an attorney they are suppose to handle all your appeals

3. Where they present in Washington, D.C. or regional office for hearings? yes if need be

4. Do you pay them directly or is their pay subtracted from retro amount? from retro

5. Do they try to add additional language to contract about fees for services? most don't but always read your contract

6. Are they able to address claim even though I have already filed form-9? yes they r

7. Will I sign form making them my new representative (power of attorney)? yes u will have too do this also. RU

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I need expertise help.......

I was recently denied for a sinusitis claim.

I think the local regional office rater totally ignored evidence. Read my post on 8/7/15 and you make a determination.

I filed my Form 9 to the VBA.

I made contact with a law firm which handles veteran claims/appeals.

I think the American Legion has nice people, but expert help is lacking.

I'm considering sitting down with the law firm for a consultation.

I was told they don't charge up front and only require 20% of any money awarded.

In addition, we talked about requesting my c-file to strengthen my argument at the VBA level.

 

1. Has anyone dealt with a law firm for disability claim appeals (pros and cons)?

2. What services did they provide?

3. Where they present in Washington, D.C. or regional office for hearings?

4. Do you pay them directly or is their pay subtracted from retro amount?

5. Do they try to add additional language to contract about fees for services?

6. Are they able to address claim even though I have already filed form-9?

7. Will I sign form making them my new representative (power of attorney)?

 

Definitely all replies are welcomed...........

Were you denied by a DRO or are you skipping the DRO process and going directly to the BVA? If you are headed to the BVA, you should definitely get an attorney. The BVA is much more a game of law then the earlier stages of the claims process. As someone stated earlier, there are veterans attorneys who will arrange for IMOs and IMEs and will even front the cost for them. Here's one law firm that does this : http://www.veteranslaw.com. I haven't worked with them so don't consider this a recommendation. Just information. 

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I need expertise help.......

I was recently denied for a sinusitis claim.

I think the local regional office rater totally ignored evidence. Read my post on 8/7/15 and you make a determination.

I filed my Form 9 to the VBA.

I made contact with a law firm which handles veteran claims/appeals.

I think the American Legion has nice people, but expert help is lacking.

I'm considering sitting down with the law firm for a consultation.

I was told they don't charge up front and only require 20% of any money awarded.

In addition, we talked about requesting my c-file to strengthen my argument at the VBA level.

 

1. Has anyone dealt with a law firm for disability claim appeals (pros and cons)?

I tried to consult, but since it was reduction there was no upside to them to take the case, so i have no idea personally on dealing with attorneys.  go to chris attigs veterans law blog and get his book (i bleieve for free) that deals with what you should ask and know before getting an attorney.  +

2. What services did they provide?

3. Where they present in Washington, D.C. or regional office for hearings?

4. Do you pay them directly or is their pay subtracted from retro amount?

They CANNOT legally charge you more than 30% of the retro, however it is legal for them to recoup fees, so what you will probably see is the % you agree on (they said 20%) + fees which will cover cost of travel, IMO/IME, etc.  this is not upfront and is taken out of retro.  However look over ANY documents well before signing them.

5. Do they try to add additional language to contract about fees for services?

6. Are they able to address claim even though I have already filed form-9?

 

7. Will I sign form making them my new representative (power of attorney)?

yes it will, part of the process will be the signing of a new power of attorney that will overrule any previous POA's.  so if you sign wiht them you will not be able to engage the services of the legion as your rep

 

Definitely all replies are welcomed...........

I also had a question regarding your appeal and why you didnt seek a DRO hearing via a NOD first? was this the denial you are talking about or did you go from claim -> denial -> I9

If not you may want to revoke you I9 and go with a NOD for a DRO review, will save you money and you may very well get what you want as far as rating without engaging a attorney and going direct to BVA.

If i were you i would revoke the I9 file a NOD and ask for a DRO hearing and engage a IMO/IME at your own expense (its the same as having the attorney do it, it all comes out of you pocket one way or the other).

if you get denied at the DRO level then go attorney to BVA

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Thanks for the information. 

I was initially denied and filed a NOD (de novo review).

They denied the claim again and now I have filed the form 9.

I plan on getting a nexus statement for the sinusitis claim; however I'm waiting for my medical records (on CD) from the VA Records Management Office.

I'm planning on reopening my service connected rhinitis claim (0%) with new & material evidence.

I might let them handle that one claim and see how they do...........

 

MORE REPLIES WELCOMED............

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To me, this is an easy decision.  If you can find capable counsel to represent you, I vote for getting an attorney.  The saying holds true that 80% of something is better than 100% of nothing.  Sinusitis is a tough claim to win; my husband had to appeal it to the BVA before it was finally awarded, and that was with the IMO from the USAF ENT surgeon who worked on him while he was active duty.   The VA prefers to think that these are episodic head colds.

Do you also have a deviated septum and/or suffer from Sleep Apnea?

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