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Berta

Terry- The Down Side

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Terry -

I woke up at 5 AM with an unusual thought-

Say vet get a gung ho young lawyer-who realises that the longer the VA screws around with a valid probative claim- the more retro the vet accumulates, therefore the bigger the lawyers fee----

This lawyer might well have no incentive to attempt to get a good award in a reasonable period of time-

another thing-

I prepared a NOD for a vet who the VA wanted to pay his CAVC lawyer 8,000 bucks.

The VA has 5 conditions that a lawyers fee is dependent on-

The lawyer did not fulfill all of these conditions.

This was one of the best NODs I ever wrote as it was an act of Love-I love VA regs but I also love the way they can support a veteran's position. I provided excellent facts and evidence based on VA case law.

The vet got $32,000 but the 8,000 left is held up and I think the VA will reduce that by 3-4 thousand.

It sure is taking the VA a lot of time to do this though.

My point- what conditions will there be as to these legal fees?

I believe the regs will not provide any means at all for a vet to challenge any fee they think is unfair.

We will sign an agreement right off the bat for 20% or 25 % whatever it will be-

and it will come out of the retro-

but lets say the retro involves a claim that has been in the system for years-lots of retro and a big lawyer fee-

do you think this new reg will only apply to new claims? or to claims denied but are still within NOD period?

or will it apply to any claim?

One thing about lawyers-I cannot stess this enough- I worked for lawyers and know many around here-

which I will contact to see if they are going to represent vets-

a lawyer cannot perform a miracle- they will most likely not want to represent all claimants who seek their help--

and lawyers ,like the VA itself, will depend on evidence- the only thing that can make a claim succeed.

They aren't doctors either so they will probably suggest getting an IMO to many claimants.

If these lawyers are smart they will establish an IMO data base by specialty right away.

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Berta

The IMO date base will be the best thing that the lawyers bring to the process. SSA lawyers have doctors to whom they refer their clients. This is part of the game. Of course, as we know the VA has a way of ignoring the vet's doctor's opinions. The lawyers may be able to stick the VA's nose into the IMO and make them read it. It does not matter what an IMO or doctor's report says if the VA won't read it.

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Guest jangrin

Berta,

There will probably be a "cap" on the amount the attorneys will be able to charge, you know "not to exceed" or "no fee shall be in excess of". This also could be a matter of trial and error. They leave the fees the way it is currently and handle any problems with fees on a case by case.

But as most all attorneys will tell you, ANYTHING IS NEGOTIABLE, vets need to get control of this right away. We may be able to do the same with para-legals and by-pass attorneys if we want.

The problem I am seeing is an imbalance. On one side you will have the veterans, the attorneys and the SOs (whatever role the attorney will let them remain in the picture for ) and on the other side we have some VA employees???? RIGHT THAT"S GONNA WORK. NOT!!!

We will see a grand influx of attorneys for the VA handling claims.The VA employees are not trained to interact with attorneys just us veterans (who they believe they can buffalo). I am not convinced having attorneys is the answer. I am convinced the VA having regulations in how much time they are allowed to make determinations could have been a better solution.

I am with you on attorneys "stalling" on a vets claim they might just look at this as a little mini savings account along with thier SSA claims and their PI cases. It don't know, but it looks to be interresting.

Jangrin

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Jangrin- you always raise good points-

as I understood it- they might accept law students too--

but I agree with you- as happy as I am that vets finally have this choice of hiring attorneys-it is the VA that remains what it is -regardless of anything else that changes-

always in a chronic state of SNAFU.

Another thing- vet reps often have POA reps right at the VARO buildings.

There are four from my POA who work at the VARO but it seems they are totally scared to death to go in to the VARO and ask anyone a question like- where are Ms. Simmons 3 IMOs!

I cant believe the emails I have gotten from my POA lately which avert this simple question-please check my c file for my IMOs-I have asked them for over 2 weeks to do this-but they wont-

I get excuse after excuse---NVLSP agreed with me that something sure is wrong there-

but after I get results from the VBA complaint I sent- I will determine if I have to go up there myself and kick ass.

I wonder what the heck the taxpayers of NY state are paying these reps for when they cannot even check a c file for evidence.

If I have to do it myself -I will send the Governor a copy of the bill from the Radisson Hotel-I would have to stay in a hotel overnight- long trip for me to go there to do what my POAs should do-

Then again- the IM0s seemed to disappear right after the last time the POA did check the file in 2005 and said they were there.

(again I thank you Jangrin!- that letter from Deputy Sec Mansfield to Dr. Bash you posted gave me the idea to send my complaint directly to Mansfield as to Dr. Bash's IMos that they say they never got) The c file went to a claims examiner (maybe the VSM-800 wasnt sure) as soon as they got the complaint.

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Guest jangrin

Berta,

(again I thank you Jangrin!- that letter from Deputy Sec Mansfield to Dr. Bash you posted gave me the idea to send my complaint directly to Mansfield as to Dr. Bash's IMos that they say they never got) The c file went to a claims examiner (maybe the VSM-800 wasnt sure) as soon as they got the complaint.

Thanks for the many Kudos, however, the Mansfield Post here on Hadit was not my info, I believe it was posted by Morgan. The direct post was under "bash bashing"and included a download of a letter. Just wanted to give credit where credit is due. :P (I get credit for posting the VCAA letter :P

I remain convinced that the VA will become slower as VA employees are not attorneys and the claims process will become a bigger quagmire than it currently is. VA employees have a most difficult time reading and understanding the medical aspects and "DOCTOR TALK" now they will be expected to understand "LEGAL TALK",

I wonder how many lawyers and paralegal jobs will become available when this goes into effect and the VA employees start screaming they can't understand the legal speak of the claims being filed.

I believe that the VA people will be very leary of processing anything for fear of making a mistake or being reprimanded for errors in determinations, thus slowing the process down even more.

Having access to lawyers is good for the vets that need help with their claims but it's doesn't seem like this change is going to speed up the claims, ratings and appeals process.

JMO

Jangrin

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