If you’re a veteran, you’ve probably heard horror stories about the VA benefits application process. You’ve probably also been advised to hire a veterans benefits attorney before dealing with the VA. Should you consult an attorney, and how do you select a firm? We’ll try to answer these questions here.
Is it Necessary to Hire an Attorney When Dealing With the Veterans’ Administration?
While the hiring of a lawyer is a personal decision, there are a few things to know beforehand. The only real reason to hire a lawyer is if you believe they can help you achieve a more favorable outcome. Furthermore, the law prohibits attorneys from charging you for the help they provide during the initial claims process; they can only charge you during the appeals phase. Most lawyers won’t even take your case until you’ve received a disagreeable decision.
How Much Do Lawyers Charge?
The amount charged may vary, but lawyers are allowed by law to charge 20-33% for handling a VA appeal. These fees are only paid to the Veterans Benefits Attorney if they win the appeal and you receive an initial award or an increase. In most cases, fees are paid out of the lump sum payment provided by the VA. The lawyer is only paid if they prevail, but it’s important to read the contract carefully before signing.
Lawyers Aren’t Always Local
An important thing to consider is that you may not find a local attorney. A Veterans Benefits Attorney works at the federal level, and as long as they’re VA-certified, you can choose a lawyer from anywhere in the country. You might never meet your attorney in person, and in many instances, they can do everything by phone, email, and postal mail.
When appealing a VA decision, it’s important to have a knowledgeable attorney on your side. Visit website for more details or call the Jackson & MacNichol Law Offices to schedule a consultation.
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