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

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Berta

Dav's Take On All This

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http://www.dav.org/voters/claims_process.html

" no disabled veteran should have to pay an attorney to obtain the benefits that a grateful nation provides and the veteran is rightfully due

the disabled veteran, or his dependent or survivor seeking VA assistance, should receive the full economic value of the benefit to aid in the purchase of the necessities of life or to ameliorate the effects of disability

the claimant’s application may very well result in an award of benefits on the initial VA decision, and it would be especially unwarranted to divert 20 percent or more of the claimant’s retroactive award to an attorney for merely assisting the claimant in completing the application for benefits

for fulfillment of the VA mission to award benefits to all entitled claimants, the VA claims process should remain open, helpful, informal, and pro-veteran to provide every reasonable assistance to claimants in filing and prosecuting claims for the benefits reserved for them as a special and highly deserving class of government beneficiaries

allowing attorneys to prosecute VA claims for their own economic gain is likely to change the non-adversarial relationship between claimant and VA by requiring a more guarded reaction to claimants by VA decision makers and by requiring new and less informal procedures to counter the effect of attorneys attempting to wear VA adjudicators down as they would an opponent

enactment of this legislation is likely to aggravate the claims backlog, require an infusion of substantially higher appropriations to deal with the consequent added burdens upon an already overburdened system, and require additional personnel to monitor and process fee awards

enactment of this legislation would represent a disavowal of the government’s obligation to ensure veterans receive the benefits due them and an abandonment of the social contract between the citizens of our Nation and the special few who willingly make extraordinary sacrifices on their behalf in our national defense

in those cases in which attorneys represent claimants before the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, as permitted by current law, attorneys have no higher success rate overall than veterans service organization representatives whose services are wholly without cost to the claimant

on the whole, enactment of this legislation will benefit neither claimants nor VA, but has a great potential for adverse effects and unintended consequences

For these same reasons, VA also opposes this change in law. The DAV therefore urges legislators to not support passage of this legislation."

They do make a provocative argument here- then again they are thinking of their own Service division's future too- I was intereste in this part-

'in those cases in which attorneys represent claimants before the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, as permitted by current law, attorneys have no higher success rate overall than veterans service organization representatives whose services are wholly without cost to the claimant

on the whole, enactment of this legislation will benefit neither claimants nor VA, but has a great potential for adverse effects and unintended consequences'

I dont know how they determined this as to the success rate of attorneys but they have a point-

I have seen vets at BVA represented by attorneys who did not seem to handle the claim well-

I think it will still be up to us , as claimants, whether we hire attorneys or not, to acquire every bit of evidence we need and stay on top of the claim.

" the claimant’s application may very well result in an award of benefits on the initial VA decision, and it would be especially unwarranted to divert 20 percent or more of the claimant’s retroactive award to an attorney for merely assisting the claimant in completing the application for benefits" good point there too-

but there is a lot more than completeing an application and I thought attorneys would not even need to be involved in the 21-526---if that is what they mean-

The reality is- none of us can depend on getting ample Vet rep or SO help from every vet rep out there-

many of these orgs really do not maintain continuous training -or even if they do it is still up to the rep to be aware of anything new in the regs etc-

What gets me is this-

most of our vet orgs are chartered by Congress-and their reps get paid whether they do the job well or not-

state and county reps get paid via our taxes.

It is an odd point of view by the DAV to assume that vets should not pay for VA claims help- of course they shouldn't have to- but the fact is- in many ways vets already have paid via taxes as well as their service for that help.

Another thing gets me- the big vet orgs are chartered by Congress yet there is no congressional oversight as to how that charter applies to their Service programs.

It just makes me sick when I read vet org mission statements and know personally of many vets that these orgs have failed--in spite of those missions statements.

I do think lawyers are a good thing-

but I also still view a claim holds the veteran's responsibility to support it with evidence.

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Unfortunately the VA is adversarial I really don't think I can recall when the VA went out of its way to help a Veteran with a claim. Its almost always a dogfight.

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arf arf Grrrrr grrrrrrrrrrrrr chomp chomp chomp and that is just the warm up

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Lets get this straight

Congress created the VA to "help" veterans

Charter the SO's to "help" veterans with the VA

Allow the VA to have attorneys

DO not allow Vets to have attorneys

Now allow the Vets to have attorneys

The VA and SO's are against vets having attorneys -- why would they be against anything that helps vets??? They are looking out for the vet because they will lose 20% of their retro. Guess what -- 80% of retro + lifelong benefits are much better than 0 retro and 0 benefits.

It must have been a democratically controlled congress that thought all this up. Hmmm.. lets think about this. How many govt. entities can we create that are huge, have a lot of govt. employees, appear to be doing something and we (congress) must constantly debate over them so that we can look like we are doing something. I know, health care is next...yeah that sounds good.

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We all knew this was going to happen, all of the SO orgs are now jumping on the bandwagon saying it will take away from the Vet. We all know this is BS, if the SO''s did there job they would not be dealing with this now.

I am not saying all SO's are bad, they are not. I wont say all VA employees are bad , they are not, but you lump the bad So's with the bad VA employees then you have got a big problem, coupled with underfunding, this problem got bigger and made it almost impossible for the good SO's and Va staff to do the right thing the first time, not to mention the political side of appointments.

It is a shame that a Vet must seek a lawyer to get benefits, but this is the only way to get the VA and the Vet orgs to get there act together. Lawyers run this system from the ground up, and it will take lawyers to change the way that the VA and the SO's do things, and if that means that the SO orgs are going to take a big hit, than so be it, as it will be well served on both sides.

The Vet orgs are a very good idea that served many Vets well, but they have changed over the years, they have gotten a little to big for their britches as we say in KY, so bringing them back down to size will benefit all Vets.

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