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Things You'll Need













Mail your forms, documents
and evidence here...


Department of Veterans Affairs
Claims Intake Center
PO BOX 4444
JANESVILLE, WI 53547- 4444


Toll Free Fax: 844-531-7818
We recommend that you mail a copy and then

fax a copy!  Yes, it's twice thework but maybe

VA will only lose oneand the other will

be processed. Remember: Use Certified Mail!

Forms

VA Form 21-526EZ
For...

Disability Service Connection
Secondary Service Connection

IncreasedDisability Compensation

Temporary Total Disability Rating
 Individual Unemployability
Compensation under 38 U.S.C. 1151
 Special Monthly Compensation
Specially Adapted Housing

Special Home Adaptation

Automobile Allowance/Adaptive Equipment
Benefits Based on a Veteran's
Seriously Disabled Child


VA Form 21-0958 - NOD
​Notice of Disagreement


VA Form 21-534 EZ
Application for DIC, Death Pension


Change of Address​


TDIU Annual - VA Form 4140


Declaration of Status of Dependents
VA form 21-686c


How To

How To Apply For SSDI


How To Apply For

TDIU Unemployability


How To Use

Disability Benefits Questionnaires

(DBQ's)


How To Apply For A Disability Rating


How To Apply For An Increase

to an existing rating


How To Retrieve Your

Military Personnel Records


Research Your Claim

The M21-1MR
The CFR
TDIU
SMC

The Schedule For Rating Disabilities



Claim Denied Appeal
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

VAWatchdog​

America's Leading Resource For
Military Veterans News & Benefits Information 

Over Ten Years of Service to America's Military Veterans

Since 2005 This Is The Site VA Reads When They

Want To Learn What They've Been Doing

Welcome Aboard!

Veterans Law Attorney
Veterans Law Attorney


What Now?

OK Jim, I get it. Hiring a veterans law attorney isn't difficult and won't cost me any money

up front or out of my pocket, I understand all that now.

But...how do I hire a lawyer who is right for me?


Veterans Law Attorney
Veterans Disability Attorney
Veterans Law Attorney


What Are You Waiting For?

Get started right now.


The lawyer can't help you if you don't make contact right now.

All it will cost you is a little of your time.


Go for it! Find your lawyer now.



Contact


You have to make the first move. Attorneys are there for you but

they can't help if you don't reach out to them.


Look around on the pages of the VAWatchdog and you'll see a select group of veterans law attorneys

who are featured here. By clicking on those banners you'll be taken to that lawyers web site

where you can learn more about the attorneys in that aoofice and who they are.


Many offices will ask you to complete a contact form. Those forms send priority messages to the

attorney so they can get right back to you. Using the contact forms helps to

prevent spam emails and such getting to the lawyer...your message goes to the top.

Others publish toll free phone numbers or email address for you to use.


No matter HOW you contact the attorney, it's important

that you proceed now and get the process started.


Click the banners you see. Study the details about that attorney. Make contact.

Repeat as you think is necessary until you find the attorney who is right for you.


Speaking with these attorneys is always free. Nobody will ask you for money.


Veterans Medical Malpractice Attoreny
Veterans Clinical Psychologist


What will your attorney do for you?

A lot but you may not see most of it.


There isn't much hand holding in VA appeals. The lawyer won't call and update you regularly

and you aren't encouraged to call in and check frequently.


Once you and the lawyer agree that he or she will take your case, you have more papers

to complete and sign. The lawyer will need a fee agreement, a POA (power of attorney)

and other documents that will be filed with VA. Once the papers are filed and your appeal

is in the process, you and the lawyer have nothing else to talk about until VA acts.


There is nothing your lawyer can do to speed up the process. While retaining an attorney

means that your appeal is being done by a professional, it doesn't mean the lawyer

can get it done any faster than the VA will allow. There is no reason for you and your

chosen lawyer to maintain regular contact untill VA makes a move.


Be patient, once the process begins, patience really is a virtue.



This Isn't A Spectator Sport

You have to be intelligently engaged.


This means that you must be able to provide the lawyer with details of your claim that

was denied. You should have copies of all the correspondence you've had with VA.

You should know dates of claims and denials. You are responsible for getting your

attorney the evidence and supporting documents to use when appealing your case.


The bottom line is that if you can't convince the lawyer that you have a well grounded

case for appeal, how can that lawyer convince the VA?


Be involved from the beginning.



What will your attorney NOT do for you?

These are lawyers, not magicians.


The lawyer can't help you if you don't have a well grounded claim or appeal.


The lawyer won't fabricate evidence or stretch the truth. Veterans law attorneys are

perhaps the most regulated professionals there are and they have any number

of professionals licenses and certifications required to practice their trade. Your

lawyer won't jeapordize all that by putting forth anything that is less than accurate.


The lawyer you've chosen can't help you with other problems that you may encounter

while you wait for your claim. Your veterans law attorney is accredited by VA to

represent you for that claim or appeal only. Other life problems you may run

into won't be addressed by your veterans law attorney while you wait for your appeal.


The veterans law attorney you retain will guide your VA case,

anything else is up to you.


Veterans Medical Opinion Doctor
Veterans Medical Malpractice Attorney


Attorney Fees

The most common type of fee is the percentage or contingency fee, which is the most favorable

fee structure for most veterans in most veterans benefits cases.  This is because the attorney is

only paid if (1) an award is made and (2) there is an amount owed to the veteran at the time

of the award.  The attorney is then paid a percentage (usually between 20% and 33%) of the amount

owed to the veteran when an award is approved.  This amount, also known as a “retroactive” award,

is the amount of due to the veteran from the effective date of the award up to the date of the award.

 If the award was made following an appeal to the Board and theeffective date is the date the claim

was originally filed (as it is in most cases), the retroactive amount could be 3 or 4 years of benefits.

 If the case goes up to the Veterans Court and back, the retroactive period could be ten years or more.

As an example, assume a veteran filed a claim on January 1, 2004, and enters into a 20%

contingency fee agreement with an attorney.  On January 1, 2008, the veteran is awarded a

100% disability rating.  The retroactive amount is the 100% monthly payment for the period

between January 1, 2004, and January 1, 2008 (four years), which is approximately $120,000

at current rates.  The attorney’s fee would be 20% of the $120,000 or $24,000.



How To Hire A Veterans Law Attorney




When do you call a lawyer?

To hire or "retain" an attorney to guide you through a VA disability benefits appeal, you must first

have a denial of an application that you submitted. The lawyer usually can't help you before that

happens. About 70% of original claims are denied. It's very likely you'll have something denied so

you can start thinking about an attorney now. Hiring a lawyer isn't difficult.


The first thing you need to know is that you probably won't find a lawyer who is local to you. Veterans law attorneys work at the federal level so as long as they are certified by VA to represent veterans,

you can choose a lawyer who lives anywhere else away from you. You may never meet your lawyer

face to face. He or she will do all the work for you by mail, electronic mail and filings and on the phone.


There isn't much hand holding to be done in VA cases, the evidence and the law will take care of

itself with your lawyer guiding things. To find the lawyer who is right for you will require that you

pick up the phone or send some emails. The attorneys who are featured on this web site are

known  to be reliable and committed to winning for veterans. I urge you to talk to at least 2 or 3

prior to signing up with any attorney. Look for an attorney who is prompt in getting back to you to

discuss your case. If you are shuffled from one "paralegal" to the next and you aren't able to

speak with the lawyer, move on to someone else. The lawyer should seem interested in your

case and spend enough time with you that you believe that he or she understands all the

issues. If you are rushed or if the conversation is interrupted by other calls or people barging

into their office, you'll want to move on to the next person on your list. Next up...the expense of

hiring a lawyer. I hear it a lot, "Jim. I don't have any money. I can't afford a lawyer!"


You're about to be pleasantly surprised when I tell you that

even if you're dead broke, you can afford a great lawyer.​



Reasons to Consider Hiring An Attorney

First things first.  The only reason for a veteran to hire an attorney is because the veteran

believes that an attorney can help achieve a more favorable result than the veteran alone

would otherwise obtain. That’s it. There is no other good reason.