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8up4life

Attorney Fee Eligibility Determination

Question

Hard to believe no one ever asked what this is or how it works.

Kept in the dark about EVERYTHING, until it is complete, despite the fact that an attorney fee has absolutely no bearing on what your final ratings are.  

Any idea how long VA will force me to look at this status?

Edited by 8up4life
update

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You should not worry about it.  While ebenefits did not say that about mine, I got my money right away, while it took quite some time (more than 2 months) for the attorney to get paid.  

The attorney will pretty much be eligible for payment if:

His name is on your POA, and he has submitted the applicable forms to VA.  

And, he does not charge more than 20 percent of your retro. 

And, of course, you are due a retro payment.  

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Thanks for the info Bronco.

Ratings were completed Aug 28th.

So far no deposit, no rating decision.

 

I think there is a difference in respect to Attorney Fees for NOD filed after 2007: If the NOD was received on or after June 20, 2007, the finance activity must withhold an assessment from the attorney/agent’s payment.

Not sure what "withhold an assessment" means, obviously a delay of some sort.

Edited by 8up4life

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"Withold an assesment" means that 20 percent of your retro will be witheld and paid to the attorney, unless your fee agreement is less or more than that.   If your attorney fee agreement is MORE than 20 percent, the attorney may need to "justify" this higher payment.  (Such as:  Yours was a complex case, the attorney had to do a lot of work, etc)

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Yeha nothing to stress about you won already and the money will come in my case I called the RO to figure out what they needed to push it along basically I spoke with my attorney to get into contact with them to speed up the process.

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Still no rating decision, no retro, no update in e-benefits.

BVA Granting service connection Jul 24

Ratings done Aug 28th

Sep 10. Attorney Fee Eligibility Determination estimated completion date: Nov 29

Seems they are ignoring the fast letter and waiting for the 120 day appeal period lapse to implement.

 

DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Veterans Benefits Administration Washington, D.C. 20420
January 6, 2010

Director (00/21) All VA Regional Offices and Centers
In Reply Refer To: 211B Fast Letter 10-02

SUBJ: Implementation of Board of Veterans’ Appeals Decisions

Purpose
This fast letter provides clarification of the existing procedural guidance for implementation of Board of Veterans’ Appeals Decisions. The instructions provided in this fast letter supersede all prior guidance on this issue.

Background
It has come to the attention of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA) and the Compensation and Pension Service that there is inconsistent processing of claims involving implementation of BVA decisions with partial favorable findings. 
It was determined that some regional offices (ROs) were delaying implementation of these BVA partial grants until expiration of the 120-day period within which a veteran may appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC). Delayed implementation of favorable BVA decisions is inconsistent with the Department’s long standing pro-veteran position and unnecessarily delays payment of benefits to the claimant.

Procedures

Grants and Partial Awards
ROs are required to review all files returning from BVA to determine the type of action to be taken. 
ROs must expeditiously implement favorable decisions rendered by BVA in all cases, including those decisions that may also contain unfavorable findings subject to appeal with CAVC.

For processing purposes, a partial grant or an increased evaluation less than the schedular maximum available is considered a “favorable decision.” Partial grants rendered by BVA are subject to expedited processing.
Although a claimant may elect to appeal the evaluation assigned by BVA and continue to pursue an increased or total evaluation for the same disability before CAVC, the partial grant should still be implemented immediately.

In many instances, the claims file will not be required to complete the grant or partial grant of benefits ordered by BVA. 
If a decisionmaker needs the claims file to accurately comply with the BVA mandate, he or she should follow the instructions regarding locked CAVC files provided in M21-1MR, section I.5.J.48.e.

Denials
Denials of entitlement to benefits rendered by BVA should continue to be processed in accordance with the procedures outlined in M21-1MR, sections I. 5.G.33.c and d.
Questions
Questions concerning this fast letter should be e-mailed to VAVBAWAS/CO/ 21FL.
/S/
Bradley G. Mayes Director Compensation & Pension Service

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