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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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MarkInTexas

Ready To Hire Attorney - Who Do Y'all Recommend?

Question

OK Folks,

Been a while since I posted on here, but I've been lurking and reading.  After receiving my SOC on several conditions, and being informed by the Houston VARO that they will be sending an SSOC within the week, I think it's time that I hire somebody a good bit smarter than I am, and who can navigate the BVA system.

I ran the gambit myself for the most part, obtaining all of my military medical and personnel records from NPRC when the VA said they couldn't find anything, getting an IME/IMO from Dr. Ellis in Oklahoma, an IMO from Dr David Anaise in Arizona, an IMO from my oncologist of the past 18 years, and a bundle and a half of my civilian treatment records.

I fought with the help of Ted Ebert of the VA to get 95 pages of medical records that belonged to other veterans out of my C-File.  (First denial and first SOC contained a ton of citations of these records, some of which were before I was even born.). I still have one record from some poor Airman whose name is nowhere close to mine, who has a rough condition that they still cannot seem to remove, but at least it's only one page now....I hope.

I requested and received three copies of my C-File, gettting a different number of pages each time, and always something new from my military records that they couldn't find before when they did their first rating.

I went through three C&P's, with an affirmative one in 2012, and two adverse ones in 2015 (after introducing Dr. Ellis' IME/IMO) and another in 2016 (after introducing Dr. Anaise's IMO).

I started all this in June, 2010, and have to say that it has been a ride, bumpy, but educational.

I've filed NOD's, Form 9 Appeals and all kinds of other junk, and have learned that eBenefits has a long way to go before being truly veteran friendly. (But it is better than the old VONAPP system that I used when I first started this mess.)

When I receive my SSOC in the next few days, (It should have already arrived by now, but hey...it's the VA, right?), I'll do whatever needs to be done to keep the ball moving, but old Mark is ready to let somebody else navigate.  I don't mind working, submitting to more exams, blood work, x-rays, etc, but I think I need an attorney to move on.

My American Legion guys, who have been friendly, etc. through it all have only really served to help me eliminate the long waits on the 1-800 number, and that's about it.  And of course, the VA finally has fixed that a bit and the waits are pretty small now.

So, question is, who do you folks recommend to help me from here as I enter BVA land?

Thanks again for the wealth of information so far, and I have to say that I would not have gotten the much-needed 20% that I received without your advice early on in this march.  Have a great weekend, and I look forward to hearing from everyone who has had experience with good law firms, and warnings from those who have bad experiences from others.

Mark

 

Edited by MarkInTexas
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Mark,  from what I've heard the Attig Law Firm is excellent. I'm sorry to hear that you still haven't received your well deserved rating increase and I wish you the best. 

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Thanks, Flores!  Same to you!  Thanks again for your service.

Mark

 

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Mark, if your potential Retro is significant ($40+k) and your case appears strong, you shouldn't have a problem choosing from the long list of VA Accredited (For Fee) Attorneys.

On the other hand, Retro Of less than say $40K and a case requiring significant Attorney effort, you could have a problem finding representation among the "For Fee" Legal Firms.

You're at the BVA, have you been assigned a Docket Number?

It's been since 02/14 that I checked out (2) national advertised "Big Time" VA Legal Firms and 1 local VA Accredited Lawyer, for a DRO Hearing that had been pending for 4 yrs.  Both national outfits, after about a 1/2 hr Legal Associate interview, wanted me to sign right away and cancel the DRO Hearing request in favor of a BVA Hearing. Never spoke with an actual Attorney.

The local VA Accredited Lawyer offered me a "Free Consult" which lasted about 25 min. At the end, she thought I would prevail repping myself at the DRO, but offered her service if needed for the BVA. I was really impressed with her attitude, had I not been Awarded all issues at the 06/14 DRO Hearing, she would have been my choice for the BVA.                                               Semper Fi

 

 

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32 minutes ago, Gastone said:

 Both national outfits, after about a 1/2 hr Legal Associate interview, wanted me to sign right away and cancel the DRO Hearing request in favor of a BVA Hearing.

...

The local VA Accredited Lawyer offered me a "Free Consult" which lasted about 25 min. At the end, she thought I would prevail repping myself at the DRO, but offered her service if needed for the BVA. I was really impressed with her attitude, had I not been Awarded all issues at the 06/14 DRO Hearing, she would have been my choice for the BVA.                                               Semper Fi

I suppose the 'big box' firms want it drawn out as long as possible;

Longer time til decision=Larger retro=more $ for them

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It's always about the $$ with the Legal Eagles.

In early 15 I advised a friend, that was about 4 or 5 years into a BVA Appeal with DAV Rep, to contact Attig Law. After doing the what appears to be the standard legal associate interview, they begged off. Citing that the Firm was too busy with other Vet Representation to take his case. They wished him well and told him to try other Firms.

He called me all Pi$$ed off, really down in the dumps. I pointed him at the DC Pro Bono Vet Firm, (?Veterans Legal Consortium?). I had told him before he contacted Attig Law, being already IU, his 5+ yr SMC K  Retro ($7K) was going to be a problem.

The DC Pro Bono outfit signed him, got a Denial at the BVA end of 15 and Rep'd him at the CAVC. I think about 9/16 CAVC Remanded his case back to the RO, as of last week, still pending. However, the DC Pro Bono Firm scored VA Legal fees to the tune of either $13 or $18K, to be paid by the VA. At the CAVC a Remand is considered a WIN (Legal Fee eligibility wise), regardless of the final outcome.

Semper Fi

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