VA Benefits for Sleep Apnea

as a service

connection to PTSD
Brett Valette, Ph.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist

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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 the effective 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

Get Legal Help With Your VA Veterans Disability Claim​​

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.

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. VA lawyers 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.

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Things You'll Need

Mail your forms, documents
and evidence here...
Department of Veterans Affairs
Claims Intake Center
PO Box 5235
Janesville, WI 53547-5235

Toll Free Fax: 844-822-5246

We recommend that you mail a copy
and then fax a copy!  Yes, it's twice the
work but maybe VA will only lose one
and the other will be processed.
Remember: Use Certified Mail!

Forms to File Claims

VA Form 21-526EZ
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


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 Schedule For Rating Disabilities

Many VA Benefits aren't.

Read why and what you

should do about

Permanent & Total (P & T)