Should I hire a lawyer to file or appeal a VA disability claim?


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There are countless Veterans that have had bad experiences dealing with the Department of Veterans Affairs for a disability claim. In fact, some have been fighting since Vietnam. It also took until 2021 for Vietnam Vets to get positive word for presumptive conditions, or, conditions that are presumed to link to their time in service. So as you can see, dealing with the VA can be a nightmare.

Can a Veteran lawyer help a VA claim?​

In all honesty, yes. A knowledgeable lawyer that can navigate the system can be helpful in two ways: Kickstarting a claim as they know the ins and outs of the system and relieving the Veteran's stress by carrying their weight to the finish line.

Should a Veteran hire a lawyer when dealing with the VA?​

This is subjective and is all personal preference.

You really should only look into hiring a lawyer if you feel that they can give you something that you can't get on your own or if you don't want to take on a mentally challenging task that this process can turn out to be.
Personally, I didn't hire a lawyer (or use a Veterans Service Organizations [VSO]). This was not because I didn't think that they couldn't do more for me, quite the opposite. I knew they could do wonders for my case and probably have it done right the first time around. However, I have some trust issues and didn't want to hand out my medical records or other personal documents for just about anyone across the country to peek at. Instead, I took my time to learn 38 CFR and to represent myself in my initial claim and three appeals to get to where I am today all by myself.

Where can I find a good VA lawyer?​

While our list of VA lawyers is curated, they come from real Veterans with positive anecdotal stories. We have nothing to gain by recommending any of these attorneys to you. In fact, if you find a different lawyer, we would like to hear about them to add to our list too!

Red flags for VA lawyers​

All lawyers should be accredited by the Veterans Affairs. Finding this out about the lawyer or firm should be your very first quest and an immediate dealbreaker if they're not. Next, you should get to know more about the lawyer or team and their background/s. You want to make sure that they have a solid law foundation and have been practicing veteran law in the recent present as well as having kept up on veteran law training.

How much will this cost me?​

A lot. Or nothing. Though you should be hopeful for a lot, and generally speaking, here's why:
  • If you lose your case, you pay nothing. This is because you will be in contract with the lawyer to only be paid if they win.
  • With a favorable finding, a lot will be owed. It can be anywhere from 20% to 33% in a lump sum. Don't let that second part scare you though, the VA will get their cut separately from yours. Let's say that you win $50,000 in retroactive pay: A payment of $33k-40k will hit your bank account while the rest will be automatically disbursed to the firm's account.