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

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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Cash For Nothing



I hired and then fired attorney in the same month and the attorney removed himself from my appeal as referenced by the administrative law judge before she made a decision on my claim. In Dec. 2013 I thought about using an attorney but thought better of it and wrote a letter stating that I no longer needed his services. He then sent in a letter removing himself from my claim. He never did anything for me so I assumed that, that was that. Later in 2016 the VA sent him a payment of over 900$ for what I do not know. I contacted the VA and was told that even though I did not still have the services of said attorney he was allowed to receive that payment per our agreement. I told the person on the phone that he did not do anything for me and still, I was told there was nothing I could do, IT WAS THE LAW.  Fast forward to this year and the same lawyer was paid over 3000$ for the same service, which was absolutely nothing. I have initiated a complaint with the Florida Bar Assoc. and with the VA to get that money back. I have in my possession the letter I wrote to the attorney and to the VA along with the judge's reference to him withdrawing from representing me in the decision she wrote. So no representation at either court hearings no legal literature sent on my behalf. CASH FOR NOTHING!!! WTF

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The VA has regulations somewhere here at hadit that I posted long ago but I am sure they were here within the last 10 years.

I helped a local vet win his claim but His attorneys were allowed 8,000 or more for 2 CAVC cases he filed and many trips to the BVA. The RO deducted that amount from his retro. But he had the right to appeal the amount.

The lawyers  didnt do crap. I used the 5 point criteria here under how VA regulates attorney fees, in the NOD I prepared  and I told the VA how I had helped him win his claim ( I was the only person, in years at that point who had read his first BVA denial and it contained one word, that when I googled it, helped me to make sure he would succeed. IOne word was the foundation of his SC award.The lawyers and his vet rep never even read through his SMRs )full of evidence but that took me weeks to decifer) and I told the VA, and testified to what the attorneys did not do,to,in any way, advance his claim.

This vet was very difficult to deal with and one reason I never help local vets anymore.

He had started to bully me about his claim  and I put up with that because it was a great claim and so I assume since I never heard from him again, that he was sent the 8,000 bucks due to the NOD I wrote. Otherwise he would have been calling me ,emailing me relentlessly, or showing up here....as he did a few times.

My point is that fees that a VARO  holds back ,if they fall into the fee regulation I used (forget what reg) can be Nodded when the vet gets notice from their RO on the fee that is being withheld from their retro. I think the regulations might have even been in the letter they sent as to his award.

Some Vet attorneys are GREAT and Some are dumb and lazy . Just like some vet reps and VSOs


Edited by Berta
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Im not an expert on attorny compensation BUT, I have read a bit on it.  Attorney fees have to be what they call "reasonable".  

Pretty much, "reasonable" is defined as 20 percent of the back pay.  If the attorney charges MORE than 20 percent he is going to have to justify his or her fees to the court.  

One problem is that Vets dont know what an attorney does, and how much time he/she invested in your case.  You probably dont know either.  

Its quite possible the attorney filed documents on your behalf that assisted you in winning your claim...and you may not even know about them.  

If you hire a guy to put in a bathroom, and you fire him before he is done, you probably will still have to pay him for "the work completed".  

In a similar way, this attorney could have submitted a bill to the VA for the number of hours he worked on your claim.

I dont know where you live, but most states "reasonable" attorney fees are over $100 per hour.  I think in Dallas they are about 165 per hour.  So, if your attorney worked 6 hours on your claim, then he should get paid for that six hours, even if you fired him.  

My RBA is 1300 pages long.  If you could read 2 pages in a minute (that would be a fast reader) then it would take 

10 hours "just to read my file".  

If you take your car to many places, they will charge you just to diagnose what is wrong with your car.  (Some do that free, but others simply do not.)   Not to FIX your car, but to hook it up to their engine diagnosis machine that costs a lot of money and takes a lot of training to understand.  

While many attorneys may not charge you for the six hours or so they may have spent  just reading your file, it is reasonable, in my opinion, that your attorney be paid for that.  

I think you should contact your attorney and ask him about the fees.  Ask him how many hours he invested and what he did.  

Im not taking the attorney's side, but I do know that we have to pay a worker for the "hours worked" even when we fire them.  You may be able to come to some sort of agreement with the attorney.  He or she probably does not want to invest more hours fighting you about his fees..in court.  

In your case, this amount is likely  less than 20%, but, of course, I dont know the amount of your retro.  When the attorney charges 20 percent, or less, it is presumed to be reasonable.  

The attorney has to work many hours just to prepare your claim for trial.  If he fails to do that, then you wont likely get a good result.  

You need to check your fee agreement with the attorney, and see what it says.  It may even address a termination before the decision has been made.  

YOu could ask your attorney for a copy of the fee agreement, if you dont have it.  

Edited by broncovet
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Update On the lawyer fees. Lawyer agreed that he did not deserve the 3,000$ because he didn't do anything and,has written a letter to the VA stating such. I am waiting on my letter he supposedly wrote to me also. I did contact the Florida Bar Assoc. regarding this matter and was told that if there was no legal briefs filed or any filings on my behalf then the lawyer should not have received any money. Waiting on the letter and for the regional office to refund that money to me. The lawyer and VA said that they haven't sent out that money yet. So maybe, just maybe there is hope.

Edited by cowboys4life
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