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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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11cvolley

Case with veteran law judge

Question

So about 2 years ago I was awarded 100% P&T for PTSD; however, the VA did the backpay to my last C&P exam. My lawyer feels the back pay should go back many years more than it did. When it shows as, 'Case with Veteran Law Judge,' how much longer do I have until I know if he grants be a better back date?

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Your Lawyer may be a wizard, be right on the date, or just stroking you to keep you off the phone and his email. He gets his 20% of every month of RETRO, he has at least one other source of income, you're the one that needs the Payday, not him.

You report we'll decide!   Be sure your direct Bank Account is set up to Real-time TXT and Email you regarding ALL Financial Transactions. I started many years ago with the CU TXTs, got a 1:30 AM on a Saturday Txt, that a sizable Retro hit at 11:00pm Friday. Felt so GOOD!

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Lawyers get, and deserve, the money they get from Retro pay.  Trust me, they dont like that it takes them sometimes years to get their money, either.  I spoke with a lawyer who quit representing Veterans as it just took him too long to get paid.  They dont like waiting years to get paid any more than we do.  There are not nearly enough lawyers to represent Veterans..way too many Vets, way too few lawyers who are willing to wait, sometimes, 5 plus years to get paid.  Social Security lawyers, and almost every other practice of law, is much faster, and more lucrative.  We need more lawyers who represent Vets...its often hard to even land a lawyer.  I have been turned down more than I have hired a lawyer, not always because my case isnt that great, but because they are too busy.  I dont recommend Vets lawyers anymore, because they get so booked up, that the Vets I send them are often disappointed when they get turned down.  

Example:  Chris Attig, who currently represents me, can only accept very few Vets, as he is just too busy.  

Edited by broncovet

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Yeah, I just hope my lawyer isn't feeding me bs, because it has my hopes up. I don't need the back pay, but it would be a nice Christmas gift. I already have Christmas money saved up and everything, and my next major purchase/finance will be in about 1.5Yrs when I pass the 2yr mark of my chapter 7. Then i'll be able to use my VA home loan. 

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On 9/12/2018 at 5:18 PM, Gastone said:

you're the one that needs the Payday, not him.

Gastone, my friend I'm afraid you misspeak. Even though I personally do not need the money due to my being blessed, think about this a little more deeply first. There is always a "back story" no one considers unless they walk the walk themselves.

When I began doing this after accreditation, I had many waiting who wanted me to help them. A brand new lawyer would not have that luxury. He would hang his shingle out and begin accepting clients. But remember... to get that Juris Doctorate degree, he had to graduate from a four year college and then graduate from three years of law school. My son just did this. VA paid the first 4 years- sort of- at about $925 a month.. He  had to rent, eat and pay for electricity/water/trash/car insurance, gas, cell phone service-and whiskey. After graduation, he had to study 4 months and sit for the bar exam. Then find a job. If he'd gone into VA practice solo, he'd have to come up with the $ to lease a place, hire a secretary and equip an office with copy/scan/fax and VBMS access. He'd have to advertise, too. And  have to take two weeks of training for VBMS to "graduate" and then 6 weeks for the Criminal background investigation etc. It took me a year from my VAF 21 filing. I had to prove I was medically and physically capable.

My son has a Pell grant for his education. It's about $200,000 @4.8% interest annually. A monthly payment is huge- like another house payment. Don't tell Cupcake but I "loan" him $ every time I see him. He can't even afford cable tv yet. 

Now let's talk about making money. From my first client, a 94 yr. old Marine Infantryman who had PTSD since 1944, I filed a NOD for increase from 30% to 100%. That was after I filed his claim for free. I won with a private shrink IMO six months later. That was another $2 K out of my pocket temporarily. VA makes you wait 60 days just in case the Veteran files a complaint that the lawdog screwed him. They take two weeks after that win date just to enter it into VBMS to begin the 60-day start date. About 70 days later,  I call up my CMA Tina and ask when I'm going to see the $. A week later, she calls me back or emails and says I should be hearing from the Attorney/Agent Fee Coordinator (AAFC) soon. A week later I get that call. Dennis says there's a time lag from the time he "certifies" that it is a valid "Debt" the govt. owes me until I'm gonna get the $. Turns out, he just certified it before he called me- but only because Tina assured him it was overdue. Time lag now? Another one month and one week average to seeing it deposited in your account. Oh, and I forgot. VA deducts $100 from us for "VA processing and handling charges". So, from the day of the client's win to the day I see it in my acct. is 107 days -give or take a week. That's just one client sir. I won one at the BVA on 3/18/18. VA rated him 6/27/18. I don't even see the payment to the Vet entered yet. I'll be lucky if I get that by Christmas. Getting your $ out of the VA, if you're a leagle beagle, is like pulling teeth out of a live alligator. Imagine having to call twice a week and remind them they owe you $. That subtracts time from representing other Vets. 

Trust me when I say the attorney or the agent needs the money just as much as the Veteran does. If it goes on appeal to the BVA, it's going to be four years from the day you filed the NOD, if you're lucky, to get to the point where you wait that extra 107 days for the retro. And to be clear, you don't get the retro for the 107 days. You get 20% -less $100- from the day of the decision in the Vet's favor. And no. We do not get EAJA fees for representation at the BVA-only the CAVC. It's not all champagne and roses by a long shot. Personally, if I didn't have the VA comp/SSI, I couldn't even imagine doing this for a real peanut butter and jelly sandwich living. If I were a real attorney, I'd have to ask myself why I was struggling to get paid 20% 3 1/2 months after a four year delay in justice when I could charge 40% chasing ambulances and get paid two weeks after the insurance co. agreed to settle out of court- and without that stupid $100 donation to the VA Christmas Bonus fund.

But I will say you couldn't pay me enough to quit doing this. I hate what they do to Vets. I will die with my fingers on my keyboard.

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Its about, "Adam Smith's Invisible Hand" that guides people into making choices based, in part or in whole, economics.  

Veterans law simply is not lucrative enough to attract enough people who have a JD into representing Veterans.  If this really were lucrative, then there would be a glut of attorney's waiting to represent Veterans.  However, this is not the case.  If you are a Veteran needing professional representation, its often difficult to attract a professional representative, often because he is like Alex, and is "booked up".  If Veterans law were an EASY million dollars a year, we would see law schools full of students waiting at the chance to become a Vets lawyer.  

Va hires about 500 or so lawyers to represent VA (not Veterans!) and, pretty much pays them under 165 k per year (mostly much less).  So how come VA can hire plenty of lawyers, but not plenty of physicians??  Its because most doctors can go to work at a private hospital and earn an easy 350k per year, but VA pays far, far less, so why work for VA?

In the legal segment, however, there are few attorneys who represent Vets, if any, that earn 350k per year, so if they make under 100k per year, and the VA offers them 110, or 120, they will go to work for VA.  I wish we had statistics, but my guess is that attorneys representing Vets earn LESS than my son who is an android developer earning about 125k.  Its just not that lucrative.  Im very glad we have attorney's who will represent us for a fee..but we need more..many more.  There are just a few hundred or so NOVA attorneys, but literally millions of Vets who need them.  

I have counseled numerous Vets who were unable to obtain the services of a lawyer representing Veterans.  The lawyers were simply booked up, or, frankly, they did not have a case that had the $$ potential to actually make it worthwhile.   Attorneys need to pay their bills, too, and buy Cheerios for their kids.  

Edited by broncovet

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