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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims

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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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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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Oceanbound

Attorney hired

Question

I am a complete mess due to the VA.  The VA ruined my life.  I should not have to send nasty grams because you lie in my medical records instead of treating me, so now I am not complaining to the patient advocate but to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin after each doctor visit and hope you (the nurses who make up things or not actually put the things I'm being seen for in my record) lose your medical license. Since that is a federal crime!

This website helped me a lot, by being a platform, to get my game plan going with direction, because it seemed that I should be at 100% 15 years ago but I'm not.  Originally thought 100% should be granted for all my contentions sought right off the bat, only 10%, currently rated at 40%, and now I lawyer up. Going to get my 100%, huge 6 figures retro, and then go after SMC-T.

After reading countless threads here to become better aware, posted a few times, and every now and then someone mention a lawyer, and I took note/look up. Checked them out, as well as NOVA from my state, but kept going back to GloverLuck. Thanks in part from Broncovet.  Who I felt best could draw the line in the sand with me in ending this madness.

Last week I Fired the DAV. 

Quote

Gastone Posted April 10, 2016  

Ocean, what Appeal path, BVA or DRO, did you choose?

Quite often, the Strength of your case and to a great degree, the amount of Retro involved, will determine if the Law Firm of 1st choice, will choose you back.

Semper Fi

Got represented by Julie Glover herself at GloverLuck and was the only firm I contacted last week that I requested to represent me.

I am only one starfish being thrown back into the ocean. 

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Anyone have Eric Gang, attorney, as their legal representative?

I was checking him out and he has been at the BVA and CAVC on many, many appeals.

Looks legit to me.

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All VA Credentialed Lawyers are Legit. With Lawyers, other than Pro Bono outfits such as the Vet Legal Consortium in DC, it's all about the PAYDAY $$$$$ from your estimated Retro Award.

Run the numbers, based on your mid to best Award as of today, what's your est Retro Award? Figure once you hire the VA Lawyer, it's going to be at least another yr or 2+ before you get a Decision, additional 24+ mos of Retro $$$. At 20% of Retro, a $100K Award is a $20K payday. If your Appeal is relatively simple, requiring very little work at the BVA, that would be a very nice payday for 20 to 30 hrs of lawyering. Then there's always the possibility of a BVA Denial and a trip to the CAVC where the Lawyer could get Legal Fees Awarded even if he only gets you a Remand.

Back in 14 while I was waiting on a DRO Hearing for 4 yrs, the (2) National Legal outfits that I did phone interviews with in 02/14 wanted me to sign a POA right away and to authorize the to cancel my DRO Hearing and proceed directly to the BVA at 20% of Retro. I Declined both offers of representation.

Finally had the DRO Hearing (Decided on Informal) 06/14, everything Awarded including IU T & P.  Saved at least $16K in legal fees.

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As far as "saving" legal fees, be careful.  The only reason to hire an attorney is if, in your opinion, he can "net" you more money than you could get otherwise.  By "net", I mean the amount you get after applicable legal fees are deducted.  We have spoke here before about 80 percent of "something" is more than 100 percent of "nothing".  

From the Vets standpoint, we often dont "see" everything the lawyer does..yea maybe they filed a few documents for us, that we do see, but there is much more we dont see.  The lawyer does not email us every week and tell us, "I worked on your claim 10 hours this week".  

Vets have a unique protection going on here.  The attorney can only be paid what the court says is "reasonable".  

Generally, if the attorney collects a fee of 20 percent or less, then that fee will get a pass and be called reasonable.  However, if the attorney tries to charge 30 percent, or more, he has to justify that to the court, including an itemized summary of hours worked and what the attorney did in those hours.  If the court decides those fees are unreasonable, they reverse them easily.  

Further, make no mistake..not all claims suceed.  Then the attorney winds up working for nothing.  Accoriding to the BVA chairmans report, about 10 percent of attorney represented Vets at the CAVC are denied.  

This amounts to draining off 10 percent of the attorneys income.  Think of it as the attorney collecting an extra 10 percent to pay the fees for a less fortunate Vet than yourself, where the judge did not look as favorable upon the claimant.  

Mistakes Vets make is HIRING AN ATTORNEY AT THE WRONG TIME.  

Best time to hire an attorney:  AFTER a BVA denial.  No doubt.  REASON:

    CAVC, about 80 percent of the time, awards EAJA fees to successful claimants.  They also award fees often to remands, including JMR.  I know.  I got 6000 of attorney feees

paid by EAJA on my last trip to CAVC.  And that was a JMR.  At first, I got zero.  However, the result of the remand was at least partially favorable and that means I dont have to pay that 6000 in attorney fees.  

    Be smart about hiring an attorney and pick a good time:  Right after a BVA denial.  (You have 120 days to appeal a BVA decision, not 1 year.  It often takes a month or so to hire an attorney, you have to send him papers, wait for him to make a decsion, then he has to send you a fee agreement..you have to sign and return.  It can be done in less than a month, but dont wait until the last few days.  

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15 years seems like a long time before hiring an Attorney, especially if you thought you should have originally Rated as 100% SC. Any chance you could post redacted copies of your DBQ's and RO Denial/Award Letters also DRO or BVA Denials?

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