How much does a VA disability attorney cost?

By / March 3, 2016 / Veterans Disability / 238 Comments

Most VA disability attorneys work on a contingency basis, so they only get paid if you win on appeal. Learn about free consultations and what questions to ask to find the right attorney for you.

The use of a VA disability attorney is regulated by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. All attorneys who assist veterans with disability claims must be accredited by the VA, and the VA reviews all fee agreements. The VA has the authority to regulate conduct of attorneys who represent veterans, to provide the veteran some assurance that s/he will not be taken advantage of.

You may have heard about the old law, which only allowed an attorney or agent to work for hire after the Board of Veterans’ Appeals issued a first final decision on a claim. The law has since been changed to give veterans the right to hire attorneys anytime after they file a Notice of Disagreement on the case.

Payment made on contingency
A VA disability attorney does not charge hourly rates to represent veterans on appeal. Most cases are taken on a contingency basis, which means they only get paid on the contingency that you win on appeal. If you get an award for back pay, which includes an award for higher benefits, the attorney receives a percentage of that award as their fee.

If you lose your appeal, the lawyers do not get paid. That is the risk they run when taking cases on a contingency basis.

Copies of fee agreements to be filed with the VA
A copy of every fee agreement between a VA claimant and an accredited attorney must be filed with the Office of the General Counsel within 30 days of its execution. This is because the DVA is authorized to review the expenses and fees that are charged in connection with claims for disability benefits.

Federal rules give the DVA authority to order a reduction in attorney fees charged to veterans if they are found to be “excessive or unreasonable.” The rule further states that “a fee that does not exceed 20 percent of the past due amount of benefits awarded on the claim will be presumed to be reasonable;” consequently, most attorneys experienced in this area will charge close to 20%.

You may be asked to pay some small out-of-pocket expenses, for items such as costs to obtain copies of records. You can discuss these fees with your lawyer.

How do I find an attorney
All attorneys who represent veterans in their disability appeals are required to be accredited by the VA. According to the VA, “Accreditation means the authority granted by VA to assist claimants in the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims for benefits.”

Accreditation is not required for a general consultation about what benefits a veteran might be eligible for. If you know an attorney who is trying to help you out for free, with general advice, that’s one thing. But when you actually go to file your appeal, the attorney must be accredited. This is not only a requirement of the DVA, but it also ensures that your money is spent on someone qualified to practice in this area.

Accredited attorneys are approved to practice before the Department of Veterans Affairs. The DVA checks that they are authorized to practice law and in good standing with their state bar. The DVA can regulate the conduct of accredited attorneys, and does require them to keep abreast of developments in the law and procedures by taking annual education courses.

While at a minimum you must hire an attorney who is accredited, you also want to find an attorney who is well experienced in handling veterans’ disability appeals. You will want to do your own investigation into the attorneys’ background. Most attorneys will provide a free consultation, and during that time, you may want to ask questions like:

  • “How much of your practice is devoted to work with veterans disability?”
  • “Can you tell me some examples of cases you’ve handled for vets similar to mine?”
  • “What other involvement does your firm have with veterans’ issues – are you members of any associations in this area?”

Be leery of anyone who makes you grand promises. Each case is unique and no one can predict exactly the outcome of your appeal. Select someone you feel will give your case the personal attention it needs. The bottom line anytime you hire an attorney should be to find someone you feel comfortable with.

How much does a VA disability attorney cost?
1.9 (38.82%) 17 votes

  • Dear Dancwalden,

    A veteran can always file a new claim alleging that an existing medical condition has gotten worse. Any new claim is not retroactive. If benefits are granted, the award is measured from the date the claim is filed with the VA. So if you filed the claim today, for example, any award is payable to the date of the claim filing, which would be today.

    Sincerely,
    Craig L. Ames
    Accredited VA Attorney

  • Dear William,

    Again I suggest that you consult with an attorney who practices in military law.

    Sincerely,
    Craig L. Ames
    Accredited VA Attorney

  • Dear William,

    Thank you for clarifying your question. The Disability Advisor website does not deal with military law. It deals with VA law and benefits. Your question will need to be reviewed by an attorney versed in military law.

    There are major distinctions between military pay benefits and VA compensation &and related benefits. There is a distinction between an issue about active service and in-service benefit as compared to benefits available to a person who is not serving but who meets the definition of a veteran. In other words, a military member and a veteran are distinguished in the law and are covered by different United States Code Sections. Title 10 of the United States Code applies to military law. Title 10 does not have anything to do with VA compensation benefits.

    You are correct that military pay benefits are coordinated with veterans benefits under the VA law. As you rightly state, this coordination of benefits provision is technically known as concurrent disability compensation pay. The VA law addresses the situation when VA compensation benefits are payable, if at all, when a person is already receiving a military benefit. The issue is can a person receive an added benefit from the federal government for a VA compensation claim when that same person is already being compensated with a stream of monthly income for military retired pay? The VA law addresses this question specifically. As you know, the VA law has set forth provisions for handling those situations where a veteran can receive both benefits in some circumstances.

    Sincerely,
    Craig L. Ames
    Accredited VA Attorney

  • Dear William,

    There is a federal law dealing with what is known as “coordination of benefits.” Coordination of benefits occurs when one receives military retirement pay as a retired service member and has been paid VA compensation benefits as well. The federal government, via Congress, has placed limitations on collection of dual benefits for disabilities.

    In your situation it appears that this matter had been reviewed by the federal government many years ago, as far back as the 1990s. It appears the government has issued you a ruling on how benefits were coordinated in your situation.

    Unless you filed a formal appeal within the appeals period offered after the benefit denial, this may mean you may be beyond any period of time to seek a legal remedy to your inquiry. If you have taken affirmative steps and have filed a formal appeal, which was timely, the government will allow you an opportunity for further review. Otherwise, the government has closed its file. If you think you have filed an appropriate appeal and if the government has yet to rule of this matter, you might want to seek the assistance of a VA-accredited attorney to review this matter to determine what rights, if any, you have available to you.

    Sincerely,
    Craig L. Ames
    Accredited VA Attorney

  • Dear Phyllis,

    Any document which comes from the federal government, and in particular a branch of the military, has weight when it comes to proving a VA compensation claim. But the DD 214 in itself does not prove all the elements for eligibility to receive a VA compensation rating. His medical status at the time of his military discharge is one of the four elements needed for proof of a claim. I suggest you contact a not-for-profit veterans organization such as the American Legion or Disabled American Veterans for assistance in filing for VA benefits.

    Sincerely,
    Craig L. Ames
    Accredited VA Attorney

  • Gary Carlson

    I recently had my appeal denied. I need assistance moving this process through the next step. Can you put me in contact with a VA accredited attorney?

    Thanks,
    Gary

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Gary,

      You can find an accredited VA attorney in your city by checking the Department of Veterans Affairs website. Accredited attorneys are listed by zip code.

      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Dee

    I left active duty almost 3 decades ago and was not made aware of a disability claim until recently. After seeing my out processing physical I realize that many of the pains I’ve been suffering were noted on that physical. The question I have is since I’ve moved many times and have had many doctors over that period of time, how can I prove that my current problems began while on active duty and have continued to present. Many of the doctors have since retired or destroyed records. Some of them treated me so long ago that I don’t remember their names/locations.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dee,

      A veteran cannot be successful in a VA benefit award unless he or she can prove a medical event occured while serving in the military.A contention, i.e. a statement from the veteran, is not sufficient in and of itself. Such a contention must be verified by an independent military record or evidence obtained from an eye witness when the alleged medical event occurred.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

    • Colleen

      Get your c file. It has all your medical visits in it. Go through every single page and keep a record of it guard the c file with your life. Make paper copies, then file the claim

  • Joe

    I separated from the military in early 2015. I was rated at 30% mainly for my back and R. Knee. My conditions have worsened over the last year and a half so I saw my VA Rep. After we looked through my active duty records and previous C&P Exam, and I explained how my conditions have worsened, he agreed that I should go for a reassessment of my conditions. I went to the exam, the gentleman that saw me seemed nice and treated me like a patient and that he actually cared (which differed from the horror stories I have heard form others). While waiting for my claim to be processed just out of curiosity I went over the notes in my VA record and found that the person who did my reassessment pretty much stated that all of my conditions were previously mis-diagnosed or they blamed it on my weight (which i have gained some since i have been separated), even when i told him my conditions were still present even when i lost a lot of weight on multiple occasions throughout my military career. I have a clear consensus of multiple doctors and physical therapists over my 8 year AD career and even my original VA C&P examiner that diagnosed me with these issues stating the same thing. Then this person says that they are all wrong, and now i look like I’m lying? He didn’t even put down some of the things I had told him about my conditions including the limitations it has caused me, and the work i have missed because of them. Has anyone had this issue and if so how did you handle it? Also, are those C&P Exams recorded or video monitored at all, because I never signed a consent? But if they do, I would like to get that tape or recording for evidence for my case if they do. Thanks!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Joe,

      When VA benefits are awarded, one of the conditions for continuation of benefits is your ongoing cooperation to submit to C & P examinations. Many disabilities may improve with medical treatment or the mere passage of time, so the C & P exam is a method for the VA to track the extent of change in one’s medical conditions. These exams are not tape recorded. The examiners use notes which are added to your case file.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Dorothea Evans

    My husband is an Air Force Vietnam Veteran. He filed a claim and we expect to be denied shortly. Apparently because in 1965 the war was not a war and all documents said SEA… south east Asia and not Vietnam to hide the efforts from the public, at that time, we can’t prove he was boots on the ground. Photos and buddy letters are proving inadequate. Records have been destroyed apparently as we are finding out by doing searches of military records. DD214 says SEA with Vietnam Medals listed. They do not accept any of that. Very unfair treatment by the VA so far. Any suggestions as to what he can do?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dorothea,

      You should consider engaging the services of a VA accredited attorney. That attorney can evaluate the merits of your husband’s claim. Proof of the contentions raised in his claim must be reviewed in light of the federal statutes covering VA compensation benefits. This is a complex medical-legal issue requiring the services of a skilled attorney.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

    • George

      All he needs is a medical paperwork while in Vietnam that is proof that he was there in a combat zone. the VA told me that I was never in Vietnam and I got my medical records and showed them that I was in Cam Ran Bay hospital, then they cannot denied my claim. although I am still fighting the VA I am in the system. That’s what he needs to do.

  • Nelson

    I began receiving VA disability in 2010 more or less. In 2012 the military began working on my medical retirement and I submitted my award letter from the VA to the case manager working on my medical retirement. Soon after I was medically retired. The very next month I began receiving my retirement check until two months ago. I received information that because I receive VA disability I am not entitled to collect my retirement until age 70. Today I received a letter that I must repay over $90,000. I’m 90% and the letter stated that they will garnish my disability how are we suppose to survive? This isn’t my fault. No one told me that I couldn’t collect both. I submitted the VA award letter and it is stated in my retirement award. How am I going to support my family? We have already been stripped over $2,000 monthly. I did my job for 24 years and this is how I am going to end up. Lose my home and everything because they made a mistake. I thought medical retirement is yours regardless. No one explains anything but they are quick to take every dime you have.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nelson,

      There are complex federal statutory provisions dealing with benefit offset rules when there are both military retired pay benefits and VA compensation versus VA pension benefits being awarded. You will need to seek professional legal counsel since this is a federal law and the VA and the Armed Forces do not exercise discretion as to this law. Just because the federal government has only just now audited your claim and found an overpayment does not mean the government will forgive the debt.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Mike B

    I left active service in 2008 and currently rejoined Guard (drilling) sep 15. During Active duty i had fallen and broken my nose, i now have a deaviated septum from the injury. I also have many reported sleep/ breathing issues while in korea After serving in Iraq. Fast forward 7 years. 29 Yrs old healthy however i am on a Cpap. I went to the dr with anxiety also noted in medical records morning headaches, and tiredness. What if any chance do i have with filing a claim with the Va. Would a VA atourney look over my medical history and see.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mike,

      You do have a plausible claim. A plausible claim does not mean that the VA will award you compensation benefits; but, it is the starting point for a claim submission. You can check with a local not-for-profit veterans association such as the American Legion or Disabled American Veterans, which can help you complete the initial claim application forms.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Justin D. Porter

    I just received notice of a decision for “Tarsal Tunnel” in both of my feet totaling 30%. I have had surgery through the VA for the issue on my left foot.

    A couple questions.
    1. Can I claim the scar from the surgery?
    2. Can I claim temporary total disability for the time I was unable to do anything after my surgery?

    Thanks.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Justin,

      The first issue deals with how the scar causes you a disability or not. A scar on a foot in and of itself is not relevant. The question is how is this scar impacting the quality of your life. The second issue is not relevant to a VA claim. A VA claim must involve a disabling condition which has lasted more than 6 months. You need to prove that or have the VA develop that proof for you.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L.Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Craig Williams

    I filed a claim in 2010 and receiver 10% for my right knee. The other items listed were denied and appealed. I went before a VLJ in May of 2015. Since that time the VA has sent no correspondence. My Senator has even inquired and no response. The eBenefits page only show the case referral to the VLJ. I’m at a loss where to go next.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Craig,

      There is no further action you can reasonably take other than waiging for the decision. The judge has wide discretion as to when to schedule the case for review. But, note that there is a huge backlog of similar cases each waiting its turn.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Daniel Ordonez

    In December 2015, I had deviated septum surgery at a VA hospital . This was my third, first in 1999, second in 2001. The doctors performed the surgery wrong by opening the right side more than the left. When I needed the opposite done, therefore they increase my problem. I now have more problems breathing and I am constantly bother by it. I filed a complain and was given a form 95 filled out. I need helped an some questions answer before I file this.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Daniel,

      The Disability Advisor is not able to answer questions about medical malpractice issues. We primarily deal with VA compensation and pension benefits. I suggest that you consult with a medical malpractice attorney.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Roger

        Had him mids for over 20 years now he is having a lot goingon

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Roger,

          I do not understand your post. If you would like to repost, I will forward any question you have to a VA attorney for response.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Michelle T

    Good afternoon,

    I had back pain on and off while active duty, got physical therapy for out, transferred from active duty to Guard (drilling only). While in the guard, I had a severe episode with my back which caused me to go to the ER due to no Primary Care civilian doctor yet as we had recently moved to the area. Since then, I’ve been using my private insurance for referrals, etc. In the midst, I filed a VA Disability claim and was awarded 10% for this issue. Am I able to get reimbursed for my out of pocket costs for an in-service related medical issue that I’ve had to use my insurance for until now? (Also, I have received no notifications that I should be seeing a VA doctor for this medical condition). The VA used both my military and civilian medical records to determine the issue was in-service related. Thanks!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Michelle,

      Your VA compensation benefit is in effect a monthly disability income benefit. Since it is income to compensate you for pain and suffering incurred in the military, it does not include medical expense reimbursement. Your out-of-pocket expenses are just that–a non-reimbursable expense you are responsible for.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

      • Jay

        Doesnt the VA cover/reimburse back to the effective date of the award? There is a form you need to submit to the accounting department for reembursement. I am not certain if that is available at your 10%, but it does exist at 100%.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Jay,

          The effective date of benefits is typically the date the application was submitted and accepted by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

          Sincerely,
          Craig L. Ames
          Accredited VA Attorney

  • lucas blayer

    I am only 21 and I can’t find any help due to my age. I suffer from cronic migraines. Its in my medical record and i have signed and dated logs from my doctor for 6 months back, showing i have 10 to 15 migraines a month and that they are disabling when i have them lasting for over 24 hours at times. I also have prescriptions signed and dated. There service connected caused by sleep problems, which i also have medical documents to prove this all started in the navy. I am getting out of the navy with an honorable discharge and i want to file a claim. But due to my ago I cant seem to get help.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lucas,

      Your age has nothing to do with a VA compensation claim. What is important is your current medical condition and whether or not you have a diagnosis from a licensed physician as to a disability. You need to visit a non-profit veteran group such as the American Legion or Disabled American Veterans who can provide you with free assistance.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Tim

    I recently filed a claim and quickly received a 20% compensation. When I had my exam at the VA, the doctor indicated that it was unusually that my exit physical showed a positive exam for my condition. She indicated that I should try to get back pay but it has been a long time since I left the service. Should I pursue the back pay or am I out of luck?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tim,

      Back pay does not apply. Your benefit entitlement date is based upon the date the VA receives and processes your new claim application. Back pay is dated from that filing date.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Philip

    I am considering filing a disability claim with the va. I would very much like some advice. During my deployment my wife gave birth to my baby girl. I was unable to come home for the birth. Well my wife never forgave me for that and when I got home she told me she wanted a divorce. I was devastated! I became severely depressed, and turned to alcohol. Now, I am homeless and can’t get a job due to my depression. If I would have never went on deployment my life would not be so messed up right now. Can anyone guide me or give me any directions? Is this a legit reason to file a claim? Thank you!!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Philip,

      I am sorrry to learn about your circumstances. Unfortunately, this life altering event is not compensable. It is the nature of volunteering for duty in the armed forces that the service member will be away from home even in case of the death or other major event in the life of a loved one. VA compensation benefits are not designed for this type of situation because what happened in your personal life does not directly connect to an in-service medical event and your medical issues did not occur from an in-service event on military duty.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • B.J.

    Hello. I recently received a decision from the VA on one of the claims I submitted prior to retirement from the Navy. What the decision states was that the issue I claimed (plantar faciatis) at retirement existed prior to entry into the service. I looked through my record and there is something there from my entry exam where it says “feet” and the “abnormal” box is checked. Fast forward 23 years and I cannot recall why that box would have been checked “abnormal”. The problem I have is that whoever wrote on the exam report wrote the abnormality so inelligible I cannot make out what it says. In the VA’s explanation, it states that “After a review of your service medical records,the examiner opined that the claimed condition, which clearly and unmistakably existed prior to service, was clearly and unmistakably not aggravated beyond its natural progression by an in-service injury, event, or illness.”
    Now correct me if I’m wrong but if I cannot read the writing explaining this “abnormality”, how can anyone else for that matter and how did illegible handwriting become “clear and unmistakable”. All I know is that during the onset of this foot pain in 2010, (18 years after my entry exam) had nothing to do with an abnormality from 1992.
    The only documentation I have is from that initial medical visit in 2010 and the Dr. stated that there was nothing she could do about it. So, I let it go because she said there was nothing that could be done, and also, I didn’t want to lose my job and get transferred off the ship in fear of not advancing in paygrade. Is there anyone I can talk with who might be able to help me figure out if there is any basis for an appeal to the VA? Thank you for your time.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear B.J.,

      You can always file an appeal from a benefit denial. However, the issue is whether that appeal would have merit. Some persons biologically are prone to have certain medical predispositions. For example, if one’s ancestors die prematurely due to heart conditions, it is likely that a decedent will be prone to the same hereditary condition. Even if that condition does not appear until military service, just because the condition first appears in service, this does not make that condition grounds for a later veteran benefit.

      In your situation, you do have a military medical record stating you had pre-existing abnormalities in your feet. That is enough evidence to deny an “in-service” condition. That specific condition of plantar faciatis can be congenital which constitutes a denial based on a pre-disposition of medical condition or a congenital condition. For an appeal, you will need evidence that the condition is not pre-existing, which would appear to be a difficult thing to show given your medical record of abnormal feet. That said, you may want to seek out the opinion of an accredited VA attorney to review all your medical records to see if you might have an actionable appeal.

      Note that individuals with limited income and assets who are totally and permanently disabled or are receiving Social Security or SSI disability may qualify for VA pension benefits for a non-service-connected disability.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Greg

    What does it mean when a claim comes back, “Has not been clinically proven.” I have repetitive active duty appointments with doctors providing medicine to me to care for said condition and I have a ICD number relating to the condition.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Greg,

      I suggest you contact your private medical physician, who can put your medical report in context and explain if you have a diagnosis of a medical disorder. Just because treatment has been rendered for a medical condition, it does not necessarily follow that you have a confirmed diagnosis without clinical testing of that suspected condition.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Andrea

    I have 50%PTSD rating for a few attempts of sexual assaults while on active duty. I also have 10% for my back. I have been in VA in patient mental health hospital twice for suicide attempts. I want to get better but as we know VA health system is not great. I would like to get 100% so I can see a civilian Dr. I need money for that. I currently don’t work. I have tried over and over again but always freak out. I am terrified of losing the 60% I currently have. It is all I have to support my daughter and myself. Is it worth it? I was also stationed at Ft McClellan and have many symptoms of agent orange such as hypothyroidism and such. I would like to file a claim for that as well. What would you recommend? Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Andrea,

      The Disability Advisor cannot render an opinion on whether a claim should be filed. That is an individual decision to be made by the veteran. You may want to seek advice from a professional such as an accredited VA attorney for an analysis of your situation. You can research an attorney by checking via your zipcode at the VA website, http://www.va.gov/ogc/apps/accreditation/.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Misty

    My husband was put on Temporary disability list , he went up for a review and we waited for the results .. We never hear anything so we assumed that nothing changed. We renewed our ID cards once, and last we tried to renew again. We were told we were no long eligible for tri-care or commissary benefits. We desperately need medical coverage, I am recovering from cancer and our 10-year-old child has a rare genetic disorder where his heart and liver function is affected. His military specialist on bass have been vital to his health and well-being. Is there anything we can do.. I do even know where to start!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Misty,

      From what you have posted it appears that your husband is still in the military. If this is the case, your husband’s situation is not a VA issue. He needs to consult with a military legal officer.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Thomas Ferguson

    I have ischemia at 60%, PTSD at 30%, and Afib at 30% for a combined VA disability rating of 80%. I had a heart ablation to try to correct the Afib in December 2015. All of this has occurred in the past 12 months. I was recently denied an unemployability claim.

    Since all the above has occurred I developed a rapid heart rate of 130-144 and was diagnosed as Aflutter. The meds to control the rapid heart caused the heart rate to go too low. Thus I had to have a pacemaker installed May 5, 2016 to regulate my heart when the heart rate goes too low. Should I file a new claim for the pacemaker and Aflutter or should I appeal the previous decision. Is having to have a pacemaker warrant a new claim?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Thomas,

      In order to evaluate the merits of your claim, it would be necessary to review your complete medical file and VA claim submission documents. A VA claim is complex. It involves both medical issues and legal issues. I would suggest you have a professional review your claim in its entirety. You can seek the services of a non-profit veterans agency or seek the assistance of a VA accredited attorney for a claims evaluation. A list of attorney by geographic area can be found at http://www.va.gov/ogc/apps/accreditation.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA attorney

    • Sam

      I am a Gulf War vet. and continue to have problems with my claim..I would like help from an attorney in the Austin, TX area. Please Help

  • K Anthony

    Hello,

    I currently have a 60% SC with multiple conditions. I have three appeals in the system. One of the appeals has been seating at the very initial stage for over a year. One of the appeals is for Sleep Apnea. I was diagnosed with mild sleep apnea a couple of years ago and never got a rating. When I submitted a new claim for sleep apnea, it was denied stating that I didn’t have a diagnosis. A couple of months after that I received the diagnosis and was issued a CPAP machine. Therefore, I submitted an appeal and it has been seating for over a year. Another claim that was denied was the one for my back. They denied this claim stating that there was nothing in my record related to that condition. However, I worked in the Air Force pushing 10K lbs pallets and heavy equipment for over 10 years and now I am suffering the effects. How can I prove that? I am seriously thinking about hiring a Veteran Attorney.

    Thanks in advance!
    Very respectfully

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear K Anthony,

      You need to check the Department of Veterans Affairs website to find an attorney to review your case. That website contains a listing of accredited VA attorneys in your zip code area.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Robert Dougan

    I am a veteran who is currently rated at 80% service connected. I have had a heart attack and open heart surgery on Dec. 17, 2015. I have applied for 100% and have been denied three times by the VA. I also have diabetes and very serious diabetic neuropathy. The VA is also refusing to pay for a lot of the surgery expenses which is creating a very stressful mental situation. I have a veteran’s disability group supposedly handling my case, but so far I’ve done all the paperwork and research. What should I do?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Robert,

      It depends upon which stage in the claim application process you are at.

      If you are represented by a not-for-profit vet group and you have filed a new claim which is pending, you probably will need to wait several years for a determination. A non-profit primarily only helps direct you to complete the proper forms. There are simply too many claims pending for a non-profit to provide more robust services.

      If your claim has received a VA determination letter to which you have filed a response, you may want to have a professional accredited VA attorney review the claim. A VA accredited attorney is paid for the services rendered if you receive a VA compensation award.

      Since you have been denied three times and you essentially have handled the claim yourself with a non-profit, you probably will be denied benefits since you are either not eligible for a service related disability or you are making material errors in the evidence gathering and production steps. It really takes an attorney who is knowledgeable in medical-legal issues to effectively advocate for a veteran.

      The statistics on a claim for an increased rating are against you since 70% of these increased claims are denied. And, there are more than 4 million claims filed annually and that number is growing.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

      • S. Dawson

        This a load of crap, I have been working on my claims for 10 years and I finally hired an attorney and he reviewed my information and he stated that my claims should have had a decision because I did everything right and he is a former VA Administrative Law Judge. 10 years is a long time and every time I submit documents within 60 days that VA request it takes and it takes VA 335 days.to respond to me.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear S.,

          If you have a question, please send it and I will forward it to a VA accredited attorney to respond.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

        • to s. dawson
          I desperately need a lawyer. My husband is dying from advanced
          Agent orange, he is 100 % military connected disabled. I feel the social workers only want the patient out of the hospital, no consideration for family, I was told
          Tuesday he needed a nursing home. Originally from VT, I took Thursday to view rehab facilities that would accept him. only one excepted him, has very little for rehab equiptment, everything is under construction. My husband had a stroke Mar. 30th. He is now in James Haley veterans hospital, and social worker insisted yesterday that he be moved today. I am 66 and had spinal fracture surgery in November. I also told her that my husband and I were discussing returning to VT, he has lost almost 70 lbs, had blood on the brain, both sides, total kidney failure, and is receiving dialysis every other day plus chemo treatment. I am very upset because his doctor backs her up. Social worker called me Thursday afternoon, I’d called early in the morning, but she was finalyzing paperwork for his transfer. She returned my call while I was driving to James Haley, in 5 lanes of tractor, and insisted on an answer.’
          I told her I wasn’t able to talk on cell in all the trafic, I would be there by 2:00pm. When she came in to she me, paperwork was all done. Whie I was driving she said, “who do you think is going to pay to transfer him to VT. (Wounded vet, Purple Heart, Military-connected 100% disability. She said the VA wouldn’t pay for it, I told her I had MASA INSURANCE, THAT THEY WOULD FLY HIM HOME.

          NO CHANCE, SHE CONTINUED TO STATE IT WOULD TAKE DAYS AND THEY HAD GIVEN ME NOTICE.

          WHAT’S NEXT? VA NOT ABLE TO TREAT THE FEW REMAINING VIETNam vets any better than that? It appears he’ll not live too long becaused of the advanced condition
          anyway.

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Susan,

            You may want to engage the services of an agency which finds placement in a nursing home. For example there are a number of national agencies such as a Place for Mom. Check the internet for this agency and others.

            Sincerely,
            Craig L. Ames
            Accredited VA Attorney

  • James Boddie

    I really need advice. To make a long story short.I got out in 2007 due to recurrent blood clots and a few other issues. All service connected. Since then I have been on blood thinners (Coumadin for life). Due to work school and kids. it was hard goin back and forth to the hospital for blood draws, meds and what not. As an alternative med I was placed on xarelto summer of 2015. About a month later I ended up in the ER with migranes. By Christmas I had multiple mini strokes. The VA I went to didn’t have a neurologist on site so they transferred me via ambulance to a private hospital. Now I have a few bills in the mail from the civilian hospital. Not sure why the VA hasn’t taken care of it. I thought I could submit my fully developed claim on my own with the medical record given to me by the private hospital. Of course I got denied due to a history of smoking and recently discovered high cholesterol. They completely and knowingly neglected my history of blood clots (DVTs).

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear James,

      If you have a question and would like to post it, I will forward the question to an accredited VA attorney.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • i caught hepatitis b in the military my last week during basic training i was hospitolized my last week in basic my last week of basic I was hospitolized with 105 temperature my stool was yellow my eyes was yellow I aalmost died . 4 days later i was released from the hospitol still sick i watched my platoon graduate I wasnt allowed to because the 4 days I spent in the hospitol I missed the testing on what I trained in for 5 weeks. very unfair… It takes 6 months to get rid of the symptoms from hep. there was no way I was going to be in any condition to endure the hell of basic training again I was still very sick. I was discharged Honorably and sent home very unfair. I did everything that every man in my platoon did and better than most I made Expert Rifleman I caught the hepatitis working in the chow hall i cut myself… didnt report it…i really loved the army I have alot of respect for the army. theres no telling where I would be in my life by now if I wasnt so unfairly discharged even though I discharged HonardblyI diserve to have my benefits, it was not my fault I got sick with hep.. please take into consideration what I am telling you and award me my Benefits. Thank You, and God Bless Ron Bailey

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Ron,

          You can consider filing a new VA compensation claim. You have a plausible case to argue you incurred an in-service medical condition. You will need medical documentation that you have a current diagnosis which relates back to your military service. You may want to consider visiting a not-for-profit veterans group such as the Disabled American Veterans or the American Legion, who can assist with the filing of a claim.

          Sincerely,
          Craig L. Ames
          Accredited VA Attorney

  • Amber Mitchell

    My husband was given a 60% disability rate about 6 years ago. He has been on pain meds since then. Everytime he has a doctor’s appointment or has to refill his medication his doctor is either on vacation or sick. He received a phone call today from the doctor’s assistant stating that she will be taking him off his meds. She claims he hasn’t had an appointment in over a year, but was there two weeks ago and she did not show. He is not supposed to lift more than 5 pounds and without the meds has to walk with a cane. We tried getting his percentage raised and he was denied. He is unable to find a job due to his limitations and soon will be able to do even less when he’s off his meds. I don’t what our next step should be? How does he switch doctors? Or is there something else we should be doing?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Amber,

      If the doctor is on vacation or sick each time your husband has an appointment, you may want to consider changing doctors or asking for a different doctor if it is a group practice. Most physicians will require the patient to be seen periodically before refilling a prescription. That is a normal practice. If a new physician and regular treatment including prescriptions refills do not improve your husband’s medical situation, then he should consider filing a new VA compensation claim.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

      Also, you need to consider documenting from the employer why he ceased working in his last job. For example, was your husband terminated due to medical reasons or absenteeism due to poor health. He should attempt to find alternate employment and document each attempt to return to work.

  • bryan barnes

    how much does going to group PTSD sessions count towards a raters decision

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Bryan,

      My response is to all three of your posts.

      Your claim rests upon medical evidence primarily and substantiation of a disability. Once a diagnosis is proven, then the VA examines if you are disabled. And, if so, then the VA will determine the degree, if any of the disability. For example, the VA will review how the disabling condition impacts your activities of daily living. In the final analysis, you must prove that you have the inability to work due to medical conditions, not due to behavioral matters.

      If a veteran is grossly negligent in contributing to an in-service medical condition, that irresponsibility can be a consideration in the determination of whether a current disability in due to the “fault” of the veteran. It can be grounds to disqualify the medical condition as occurring while in-service. A good example is a service member getting drunk and then getting into a fight at a bar while off-duty while serving in the armed forces when the event occurs. Another example is getting shot during the commission of a crime while off-duty while serving in the military. If alcohol or substance abuse is not a major issue, then the VA tends to find that the drug and alcohol abuse may be a negligent action, but it may not rise to being grossly negligent and, thus, can be grounds for disqualification of benefits.

      Going to group sessions is a sign of being compliant with your doctor’s recommendation to modify behavior. It is only of value in that you are following the advice of your doctor. It does not add any value to the weighing of a disability rating.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • bryan barnes

    I just thought for some reason that might be a reason for denial I suffer from PTSD and actually was a VA employee that got fired twice from the same VA hospital once in 2011 the second time 2014 eeo let me get my job back in 2011 but I still filled for tdiu in 2014 I took a disability retirement thats paying me 68.00 dollars a month because I get SSDI I hope everything goes alright I shouldnt be messed over for seeking help with problems

  • bryan barnes

    I recently got wind from my senators office that my claim has went to the rating board. Im 70% SC and receive SSDI thank God I hear so many vets having problems my concern is will my TDIU claim be denied if in my records I sought help from VA for substance abuse

  • ushekia

    I recently transitioned from the military and submitted my claim. I have had at least 3 three surgeries that I never fully recovered from, meaning gaining full mobility in certain areas. The VA canceled appointments twice for the claims physical I assume. They automated awarded me 10% without an evaluation. This percentage I definitely do not agree with. What should my next steps be?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ushekia,

      You have various choices. One is to abandon the claim or, in the alternative, you can file a response to the claim denial. There are multiple ways to challenge a claim. These choices are complex since each method of challenge has different consequences. You may want to have an accredited VA attorney review the claim determination to render a legal opinion as to the viability of a claim appeal. You can attempt to appeal the claim on your own, but without knowledge of the federal law and VA regulations you may not have the technical knowledge to properly submit a substantive appeal. Or, you could check with a local veterans organization such as Disabled Veterans of America or the American Legion to see if you can obtain some free and helpful advice, but those organizations’ advice is typically limited.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Kenneth Deschamps

    While in the Navy I had a hatch fall on mt head. I was a kid and didnt think much of it. I took some aspirin I had for the headache and when on. Now years later I started having siezuers, and when the dr’s at the VA took a CAT scan they found a tear in my brain and a dent in my skull . I explained what had happened and they could see how it could happpen by the shape of the injuries. How would not reporting this affect my chances at a VA claim.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kenneth,

      Not getting medical treatment when you had the accident has a detrimental impact because a veteran needs to provide proof that an in-service medical event (accident) occurred. Absent any medical record of the accident, you will need to obtain administrative, personnel, service, or other records to substantiate your contention of the accident. The VA does not consider a statement from a veteran as substantiating evidence of the in-service event. Your statement, it itself, is considered an allegation or contention.The event must be independently established via a third party report.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Chris

    I am currently rated 100% from the va with there findings on the website i am only receiving 70% i have tried several times to see why and get the response to google it… I am un sure if i should seek a lawyer or if its some weird “new math”

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Chris,

      I suggest you make an appointment for a consultation at your VA Regional Center or local branch office and meet with a VA agent to determine how your rating is calculated. The rating is not a straight line arithmetic calculation. The ratings are a weighting by type of medical condition.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Charles Swanson

    I was recently denied TDIU because my former employer noted on the form they filled out that I was receiving long term disability. This was the only reason I was denied, VA said, ” cannot receive TDIU and LTD at same time, LTD indicates you are still technically employed. I was terminated on 7-28-15, have copy of separation notice, waited until 7-31-15 to file TDIU. Even DAV in Nashville is telling me same thing as VA, they say it is double dipping. I am mistaken in thinking their is really no major difference in LTD and SSDI, except one is paid by insurance carrier and the other by the government. I know you can get SSDI and TDIU at same time. Also part of LTD agreement is, I had to file for SSDI and carrier gets back pay from SSDI. I have read several blogs of people saying the got TDIU while on LTD, am I missing something?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Charles,

      If your employment has ended, you should be able to apply for TDIU beginning with the date employment terminated. YOu porbably would not be double dipping because your LTD plan probably reduces LTD benefits for an VA compensation. I suggest that when you appeal the denial that you submit a copy of your termination notice. Also check your LTD payment stubs to see if Social Security or Medicare tax was withheld from some of the earlier payments. This would be the case if any were paid in the first six months after you ceased work and if your employer paid all or part of the premium for the LTD. If so, also submit a copy of your LTD statements and/or a statement from your employer that the payments were not wages for work performed. You also need to prove that you are not on an open leave of absence. I suggest that you get assistance from an accredited VA attorney or veterans assistance organization such as the American Legion or Disabled Veterans of America to help you decide the correct type of appeal to file.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Charles swanson

        No taxes at all were taken out of my LTD. I have asked my former employer about a letter and they have declined. The separation notice I have clearly states, “Terminated- per policy, unable to return after end of short term disability.” I explained this to VA in my statement in support of case. The separation notice I have is the same official one that is sent to unemployment office when ones employment ends.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Charles,

          You would probably be best served by consulting with an accredited VA attorney to look at all the details of your situation.

          Sincerely,
          Craig L. Ames
          Accredited VA Attorney

  • Aaron fulcher

    I was rated at 100% Disability by the VA. I retired and filed my claim in Dec 2011. The VA owes me back pay or retroactive pay dating back to December 2011. It has been 5 years now and the VA agrees I am due backpay but always say they are working on it….. They tell my congressman and the VSO the same company line. “We are working on it”. Isn’t there some legal action that I can take to get my backpay with interest at this point?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Aaron,

      No. You need to work through the VA process so long as the claim is open and being processed. If benefits are denied then you must file a timely response such as a formal appeal. But in the absence of a denial, there is no action to take.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • dennis zanowick

    need help with a medical issue performed at the phx va that has been
    going on over 6 years. operation on both knees that has left one with atrophy, dropped foot and no feeling in my left leg, 4 emgs neurologist exams 3 and the doctor who performed the operation stating no more operations you have all these issues. I need help, an attorney here to represent me thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dennis,

      I suggest that you contact the VA and/or your local bar association to find a VA Accredited Attorney in your area to assist you with your claim.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Brett elek

    I currently get 60% disability for ptsd and my shoulder injury. I recently received a letter from the VA saying they over paid me 8,840.00 no explanation or outline of anything. I called spoke to a rep, explained that when I was deployed 4 years ago I shouldn’t of been getting my disability at that time I was getting 300, a month from disability. They also said, I was paid to much for my back pay. I shouldn’t of got that much, and with my drill pays. I’m very confused. I got that back pay two years ago. Now they are saying they paid to much, how is it I can just be ok with this, they make a mistake and we have to suffer from it. That’s taking all my money because they messed up. I don’t even know where to start, I have begin to fill out financial report. I also don’t know if I can trust when this paid, taking any ting from them again, for them to say you owe us again because we made a mistake.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brett,

      You have several choices. First, if you do nothing about the reduction in benefit determination or back payment issue, you will be abandoning your rights to appeal an adverse decision. Your wages, bank account and assets can be seized by the federal government. Or you can make arrangements to pay back the overpayment in a lump sum or in installment payments. In the further alternative, you can file a written claim appeal. Since you do not understand your rights and obligations in this situation, you may want to engage the paid services of an attorney to assist in defendsing this claim.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Charles chinn

    I receive 40% VA income now .
    I filed for 100% in 2011 I was denied so I hired a lawyer for my appeal . The lawyer contacted me Dec.15 2015 and told me they got paid for my appeal and said the VA board in Washington is reviewing my case now and they don’t know how long it will take for them to contact me .. If my lawyer got paid for my case how long will it take for me to get paid ? And they also had to go back to my claim and add PTSD and agent orange .. How long will this process take ? And when will I receive my back pay and current pay ?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Charles,

      Since you have engaged a lawyer, you undoubtedly executed a client-lawyer fee agreement. You have agreed to pay the attorney for his services via from your benefits via the VA. The issue of when you receive a VA benefit is a matter best discussed with your lawyer. Is there any reason that you have not asked your hired lawyer about this issue? This is a straight forward issue which any accredited VA lawyer will be glad to answer.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Pandora

    Can someone please help me!!

    I am a Operation Enduring Freedom war vet. I am seeking an Attorney to help me with my disability claim. I haven’t had much success in obtaining one. No one seems to handle va disability in GA for Depression.

    I am seeking benefits specifically for my Major Depression that has plagued me since I left war early due to a suicide attempt. I have been struggling with depression since, and it has ruined my life. I’ve been in and out of hospitals and I currently treat with a psychiatrist and counselor. Before the Army I was a fun loving and optimistic young lady. The VA said they would pay for my depression only but says my condition isn’t service connected…this last denial I was not given a rating or explanation for denial. I am unsure as to why they did not provide this information. I have had my first Sgt. and Doctors write letters on top of my medical records with another denial. I am desperate because when I have a crisis I am usually out of work for 30+ days. I have two children and I just really need help. If you can help me or point me in the right direction it would be very appreciated. Thank you.

    P.Rhodes

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Pandora,

      To be an actionable claim, there are a number of provable facts needed. One element, among many, is that you have a current medical illness which is “chronic.” “Chronic” means you are not able to perform activities of daily living such as working, after having been treated by the physician who, in your situation, prescribed medications which have not resulted in a return to functionality for at least six months.

      To state this principle differently, if one has the flu which lasts for at least six months and the person can’t function normally for that time period, then the VA will likely render a decision of a disability rating since there is a chronic condition of sufficient lasting duration.

      Based on your comments, it appears you recover from your PTSD or anxieties within a month which negates a finding a chronic condition. However, my VA law practice, which is located in Jacksonville, Florida, extends into Southeast Georgia. If I am within a reasonable driving distance for follow up, you can send me your last claim denial letter from the VA. I can review it for you, and let you know if I would be willing to accept a client engagement. If you would like to do this, you can mail the letter to

      Craig L. Ames
      13400 Sutton Park Drive South,
      Suite 1501,
      Jacksonville, FL 32224-0236

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Thomas Reece

    I served in the first gulf war in the marines. I have severe sleep apnea which the VA has given me a cpap machine. I put in for disability and was denied, I was told it wasn’t in my medical records. As a reservist the paperwork and medical evaluation were rushed and we weren’t told anything. We were in contact with depleted uranium and dead body’s and lots of smoke for the oil fires we were next to. I do have photos to prove it. Do I need a lawyer to help me fight for disability?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Thomas,

      You should have an accredited VA attorney review your claim denial to render an opinion as to the merits of your claim.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Marcus

    I have a knee injury that I’m currently getting 10% rating for, and kidney stones that I’m receiving 10% for. The knee I’m looking for a increase for b/c I didn’t understand the evaluation. I also recicved a hideous bump on my face from shaving and another bump on my shoulder as well. The bumps are called keloids but I was denied compensation for both.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Marcus,

      If you have a question, let us know and I will forward it to a VA attorney for response.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • MarineVet

    I feel that I probably have PTSD, but I have never sought help for ptsd.

    I served as a Marine rifleman during the mid 90s when hazing was pretty bad in the Marines. We never saw combat and nobody still ever talks about the routine abuse they allowed to go on back then. They never left paper trails. I tried to forget it, but I still have flashbacks and waking up from nightmares. My teeth are pretty much shot from the nightmares. Do the VA recognize ptsd for Marines of our generation, or is it as simple as no combat action, no ptsd. Thanks..

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Marinevet,

      Without combat and a medical evaluation while in-service, it will be difficult to prove your current medical issues link back to your military service. You should obtain a legal consultation of the merits of your claim contentions.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

      • I HAVE A ATTORNEY THAT I HIRED IN SEPT. 2013 AND MY CASE IS SIX YEARS OLD WITH THE VA CAN THE ATTORNEY GET PAID FOR SOMETHING HE DID NOT DO

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Willie,

          It seems unlikely that your case is six years old. Each filing of a VA application is treated as a separate claim whether or not it is a contention that you have previously raised with the VA. If your single application (claim) is still pending after six years, the claim remains active and if benefits are awarded, the lawyer may be entitled to a fee for his efforts in representing you. You should be directly able to discuss this issue openly with the lawyer to determine or clarify the status of your claim, meaning whether or not the claim is active.

          Sincerely,
          Craig L. Ames
          Accredited VA Attorney

  • Ash

    My claim was closed before I was sent to any appointments!

    I claimed over 20 conditions; PTSD, Sleep Apnea, Arthritus, Hearing Loss, ect, only two were recognized, the rest were denied service connection. I have 7 combat deployments, purple heart and injuries to match.
    I retired June 2015, my claim was closed August 10, 2014, I recieved appointment slips for appointments Aug 22-26…
    Unsure what to do next.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ash,

      You should consider a consultation with an accredited VA attorney to determine if you can file a meritorious appeal.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Raul G. Alvarez

    Applied for an increase in disability rating that was at 60% in 2014. Was told that my spine has improved and wanted to decrease spine disability of 40% to 20%. This will give me a combined disability rating of 40%. I don’t understand how me getting worse can result in a decrease in my disability rating. Can you have someone contact me to help me with an appeal?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Raul,

      When you file a new claim to review a rating, you are, of course, seeking a rating increase. But, as you have found out, the VA conducts a “de novo” review. This means the entire rating is reviewed as if it never existed. Thus, the rating can be increased, reduced, or eliminated by the VA’s review. You will need to contact the VA’s General Counsel to obtain a list of accredited VA lawyers where you live.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Sean

    I am currently undergoing a Medical Evaluation Board with the Air Force. I will soon, be presented disability ratings from both the DOD and VA. If they are unsatisfactory I will definitely appeal them. But, at what point should I seek legal counsel? Or would it be necessary? I know that surgery is in my near future; but not available now, due to the MEB. I just want enough %, to know that I’ll be taken care of. Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sean,

      I suggest that you wait till you receive the decisions. Then, if you are unsatisfied with outcome, contact an attorney as soon as the VA Regional Office right away.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Donald Williams

    While on active duty in Hanau, Germany in 1956, I fractured my hip.
    I filed a claim in Sep 2010. VA claims they have no records of my hospital stay due to a fire in 1973, which burned all my records……including all morning reports.They have denied my claim. I feel I am being left out because my VA records burned. In essence, they are discrediting my honesty.
    What can I or you do.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Donald,

      You will need to contact an accredited organization or VA attorney who knows how to order military records other than those which have been destroyed.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • TD Clark

    I filed claims for neck/back injuries. I have undergone multiple surgeries under workers comp as a result of a minor on the job MVA. I filed with the V.A. And submitted letters from two of my doctors claiming that my condition is more likely than not a “combination” of service actions(special warfare small boat operator) and the work related incident. The MVA was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. I also submitted 4 “buddy statements” two from family members and two from immediate military supervisors all stating I had been seen by medical for my back/neck pain many times throughout my career. I also submitted a Naval Medical Study showing the increase of spine injuries with my military job assignment. My service medical records were lost.My claim was listed “not service connected”.
    I did receive 70% for PTSD. I am in a wheelchair and unable to work. Will the attorney’s % come from the “total” or the increase I deserve?? Next Step?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear TD,

      Based on the context of your inquiry, it appears that you have engaged the services of an attorney. If this is so, you need to seek counsel from your attorney as to how the legal fee, if any is due, is to be determined and paid.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Terry

    In 1982 I was injured in boot camp and received an ELS discharge after 5 weeks. I live in Charlotte NC and i’m in need of an attorney.

    Regards,

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Terry,

      I suggest that you visit the VA website for listing of accredited attorneys in your locale.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Ruben Berren

    I have 60 percent disability and still having problems with PTSD, I filed a second claim but haven’t heard anything for 2yrs, could you give me the name of a disability attorney in Fort Worth, Texas that I could talk to, thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ruben,

      I suggest that you visit VA’s website for a list of accredited VA attorneys in your area.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Ben Groff

    Would appreciate a referral to an attorney in or near Salem (Rockingham County), New Hampshire for an appeal of the denial of VA disability compensation benefits based on active duty in the USAF from 1966 to 1970. Medical issues incurred as a result of active duty service are PTSD, diabetes and a knee injury. Thank you for your time.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ben,

      I suggest that you go to the VA website for a list of accredited VA attorneys.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • John Boyd

    I served as a Military Policeman in the Army from 1975-1978. During the hearing test at my Separation Physical the person administering the test said “Uh oh, we’ve got big problems here.” I told him not to worry about it, I just wanted out. I then finished the physical.

    I had noticed ringing in my ears before, but it was only in that soundproof room that it really got loud. I have it 24/7, sometimes a lot louder than others. I haven’t noticed any further loss in hearing, but the tinnitus is worse.

    Should I get a new hearing test, or will the VA pull my medical report and accept a statement? I am really only concerned with the tinnitus.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear John,

      Yes, you need to visit a private physician to get testing and evaluation. Provide your medical history including tinnitus. Include the report from the private physicianin a new claim for compensation benefits. File the new claim on your own since there is no cost to do so. If your claim is denied, contact me at the number below and I will consider filing an appeal for you. I am an accredited VA attorney and represent veterans throughout the USA.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney
      (904)374-2136

  • Vernon Frazier

    I had two cp exam one for skin condition and foot condition. The skin condition doctor write it was service connect per c file doctor statement and being discharge under medical condition. Now the foot doctor gave two opinion concerning the foot. He stated it is less likely as not that the current HV condition were caused by the result of active military service. Second opinion with regard to aggravation of the veteran EPTS bilateral foot condition by active military service. He stated it is at least as likely as not that the current bilateral painful bunion were aggravated by active military service. I had surgery on booths foot after discharge from the service. Plus, just had surgery on my left foot and waiting for it to heal before the VA doctor do surgery on my right foot. Two question. Will I receive rating on two condition or just one? I live in the Arlington Texas area how can I contract a VA disability attorney in this area. Thank you for any help you may offer. This claim was filed in 2007 be denied and I appeal and BVA remand it back as I stated just did my CP exam on 26th of June 2015.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Vernon,

      I am an accredited attorney who represents claimants nationwide for VA denials. When your claim reaches the decision point, the VA Regional Office will issue a written decision which either will deny your claim for benefits or it will result in a VA disability rating. If you claim is denied, then contact me at the number below and I can evaluate your claim for a formal appeal.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney
      (904) 374-2136

  • Mike

    Good afternoon. I was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver in 2011 and went to the VA for treatment. They asked me when I first started drinking and I told them when I was 18 in the Marines my sergeant gave me some moonshine and I was off to the races drinking heavily for many years. I have not been able to hold a job due to this illness. Do I have I rights to receive va disability. I know I suffer from ptsd also. Thank you. I live in Florida

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mike,

      A claim is not actionable (approvable)if it is not service related. You need to prove that your medical condition is due to an in-service medical condition. There is a difference between some drinking while in service compared to alcoholism in service, which may be considered misconduct that occurred while performing military service. Your current medical condition due to drinking may be challenging to prove as linking to a medical condition which existed in-service. You may want to seek help from an accredited VA claimant representative to analyze the merits of a possible claim.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Jennifer

    My husband is currently with a VA disability lawyer. They submitted appeal in October, and haven’t submitted the final paper work because they have had his doctor’s office rewrite a letter four times even though they wrote what was requested. We think they want 20% of more back pay by dragging their heels to get more money. What should we do, or is there anything we can do to get things moving?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jennifer,

      Since your husband is represented by an attorney, I cannot add value to your claim. Your husband should ask his attorney for advice since you have a fee agreement with the attorney to do so. There is a special relationship between your husband and the attorney.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Stephen Regonini

    I have recently received my claim from the V.A. and i the (19) items that i had listed for medical concerns, (1) has been granted a %, (1) has been denied and the rest have been listed as “deferred for the following information: V.A. Medical Opinion” so my question is if this is normal and is there anything i need to do on my part? Should i be concerned or is this something that they (the V.A) has already requested from the V.A. Doctors in order to finalize my claim? and if so why would they award me a certain percentage with a back pay from when i ritired last March. Thank You for your time.

    Respectfully:
    Stephen Regonini

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Stephen,

      When you file a VA claim application, the duty to develop and prove the claim rests with the VA. Most veterans are not proactive in proving their own claims and defer to the VA. In part, this is because the veteran does not understand the law and legal proof or have knowledge about the statutes involved. So when you ask, is there anything the vet needs to do, the answer is either sit back and let the government handle the claim in its entirety, which will probably result in a disappointing result or, in the alternative, be proactive and prove the claim yourself or with professional help.

      There are many elements which must be proven in a claim submission. There is no specific percentage of benefits, if awarded. The rating is dependent upon the extent of your disability which is has to be proved. Also, the VA medical opinion is important because it goes to the nature and degree, if any, of a disability or a combination of disabilities.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • LARRY

    I have been rated 10% for ring in my ears, i get that. I have recently went in fo evaluation for thumb, shoulder and hand numbness. All was denied, when all of these are service connected. Live in Caldwell, Idaho. Need advice before i send my appeal.
    Larry

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Larry,

      You need to consider all the three major elements needed to prove a VA disability compensation claim: (1) that you have a current medical condition which actually results in a current chronic (long-term) disability, (2) that you incurred that disability as the result of an in-service medical event and (3) that the current disability links back to the in-service event. It is insufficient for you to merely tell your story to the VA. You need to prove your claim via medical records and medical opinions.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Jeremy

    I was rated 100% disabled veteran and after 10 years of receiving compensation the VA is refusing me medical attention and treatments for my disabilities. I have been physically hurt by VA doctors in front of my wife and children and called a pussy. They have withheld medications for about one year now, and they have taken away my benefits. When I go to the ER I’m told that I am a drug addict and given field subriety tests before I can leave and after being given absolutely no medications. Dr. Osterberg and Dr. Paul Paddi are highly guilty of medical malpractice, and the Chief of Staff over medicine Dr. E.O. thinks this is all funny. I NEED HELP BAD and I refuse to live to much longer while I stand by while the VA slowly kills me.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jeremy,

      A VA disability rating results in the payment of a VA disability compensation benefit to you. That process is separate and distinct from a healthcare benefit claim of VA medical benefits. There are multiple classes of military service members who are classified by type of benefit recipients. You need to determine your VA medical care classification since there is a priority system of who is entitled to medical benefits. Some classifications are closed for benefits and some classifications change as budgetary resources are available. This is not a cut & dry determination of who receives treatment and when versus who does not receive treatment.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

    • Phil Davidson

      I am currently at 80% VA disability for prostate cancer caused by exposure to Agent Orange while in Vietnam in 1966 – 67. Three years ago I had a hearing test at a VA hearing clinic at the Lakewood VA in Lakewood, Washington. My hearing loss was deemed sufficient enough for VA to fit me for hearing aids. Additionally, my tinnitus has increased since the last hearing test was performed to where it is a constant distraction and loud.
      Question. Am I eligible for a 10% hearing loss to add to my 80% for prostate cancer to bring it to 90%?
      Thanks in advance
      Phil

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Phil,

        The maximum rating possible for tinnitus is 10%. The VA rules do not make any provision for an increase in rating for this medical condition. If you have a provable hearing loss (which is a different diagnosis from tinnitus) you should consider filing a new claim.

        Also, you need to understand that ratings for combined conditions are not the sum of the individual ratings. In other words, a 10% rating for one condition plus an 80% rating for an unrelated condition do not equal a 90% rating. Different medical conditions are rated in combination under a weighting of conditions by body part.

        Sincerely,
        Craig L. Ames
        Accredited VA Attorney.

  • Leo

    I have recently been denied 100% disability for heart problems due to agent orange. Stent plus bypass. I served in Vietnam 65-66. I’m presently at 80%.(70%PTSD and 10% heart). Can you recommend a certified lawyer to help with my case. I’m close to Santa Barbara, Ca.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Leo,

      Obtain an Accredited VA attorney. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Chris

    I recently received my compensation after it was denied once. They back paid me 40%, but only rated me at 20%. They said from the visit I had with the VA doctor after I requested my claim to be reopen said I showed “improvement” from my original claim filed and therefore rated me at 20%. But that was the first time I was seen by a VA doctor, so how could I have shown improvement if that was the only time being evaluated. And if they back paid me at 40% then why wasn’t I just awarded that to begin with and instead denied??

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Chris,

      One of the consequences of a VA medicalCompensation and Pension (C & P) evaluation is that the physician will evaluate your current condition as related to your prior medical condition. By reviewing prior records, the doctor can match and compare your old medical condition to your current medical condition. In your case, the doctor rendered a professional opinion that your condition has improved. You can attempt to counter that information by obtaining an independent medical evaluation at your own expense.

      A possible outcome of requesting reopening of a prior claim or filing a new claim is that the VA can downgrade a prior disability rating. A claim submission can have one of three outcomes: benefits can remain as is or benefits may be increased or they may be decreased or eliminated.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Kyle Blann

    I am a Gulf war Veteran Who has been denied a claim for disability benefits, I have sent 2 FOIA requests to VA Regional Office in Cleveland Requesting My Claim File, one in November and another in February and have yet to even receive acknowledgement of receipt. I am sure I may Have to seek help from the Federal court system. Can anyone please advise?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kyle,

      You do not provide sufficient context for me to comment. Please tell me the date of your latest claim denial.

      Thank you,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Bart Eichhorst

    I was in the Army from 1976 to 1979 and got out (ETS) I rejoined in 1981 and stayed in until 1993 (16 Years). During which time I had a profile for Hearing Loss (Tinitus) and also had a permanent profile for not being able to breath well enough to run any kind of distance. Was was diagnosed with Broncial Pulminary Disfunction. I applied for disability with the VA in approx. 2000 an was approved for 10% disability with VA. Since that time, my hearing has gotten worse and I have developed Vertigo problems. I applied for the Vertigo issue and had a letter from my ENT to verify that it was due to my hearing loss and VA denied it. I also later filed a claim for my breathing problems and they again denied my claim saying there was insufficient proof or records. The Vertigo was denied about 7 years ago and the breathing about two years ago. I had since also found some more of my medical documents at Ft. Ben Harrison substantiating the breathing claim.
    I live in the Huntsville, Al area and would like to know where I might be able to find an attorney that handles VA claims.

    Thanks Bart Eichhorst ike@cwd-al.com

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Bart,

      I suggest you seek counsel of an accredited VA attorney who can file a formal appeal of your claim denial.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • David Kidd

    I was recently denied for ptsd. I served in Vietnam in 1970. The things that I saw and experienced while there got me to lost it mentally. I need a lawyer to help me with my case. By the way this is the second time I’ve been denied. The first time was in 2003. Can someone please help me. Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear David,

      You are likely to need legal assistance to formulate your appeal. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Seth

    I just recently had my claim denied for ptsd. I was constantly bullied and was sexually harassed and have documented evidence of a sexual assault (the stressor) that happened while in basic training, yet was denied for not having enough evidence, identifying the stressor, and not linking the evidence to service. In addition I had 3 separate doctors confirm my condition. I have yet to send my appeal form because of lack of information. I will be sending one very soon. I’m based in Kansas city kansas.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Seth,

      Do you have a question or are you looking for a VA attorney?

      Thanks,
      Kay

      • Seth

        I apologize, I got caught up in explaining my situation that I forgot to list why I stated it.

        I’m looking for an attorney in Kansas City to help with my appeal. Is there anyone in Kansas City that you recommend?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Seth,

          You will be contacted via email by an accredited VA attorney.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • antonio madrigal

    Pleace call me at
    the phone I listed
    above if you believe
    you can help me.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Antonio,

      I do not see any phone number or other post from you with a question or information about your claim. If you would like assistance please repost with your question or request.

      Thank you,
      Kay

  • Tom Bowman

    I am a gulf war vet looking for help filing a claim with the VA. i tried to do it myself but only get the runaround. An accredited Lawyers contact info in the Chicago area would be greatly appreciated.

    thanks in advance,

    Tom

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tom,

      An accredited VA attorney will contact you via email.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • I served in the US Army from 1992 to 1995. I filed a disability claim a year or two ago, and was denied. I filed for a few conditions; ringing in my ears, sleep apnea, and joint deteriation in both knees. I was only evaluated for ringing in my ears, but since then I have had to have both of my knees replaced. I never once was evaluated for this condition and I feel that my time served was cause for the excelerated condition. I would like to discuss this with a VA accredited disability attorney. Please advise.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Leeland,

      You can discuss you claim with a VA accredited attorney.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Stuart Childers

    I am looking for an accredited VA attorney in the Daytona – Melbourne area to work with me on a 30 year claim. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

    Stuart Childers

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Stuart,

      You can reach an accredited VA attorney.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Eric Rakestraw

    I live in the metro Atlanta. I was in the service from 1970-1972. I am having a great deal of trouble dealing with VA. First I have hearing loss that has been determined by VA but are not wanting to pay any disabitily. Second I am having trouble with my medical benefits. They recently sent me back all paper work I have sent them (that they have asked for) and told me to send it some where else. I need to speak with a lawyer in my area. Any great recommendations would be appreciated. Thank You. Eric Rakestraw

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Eric,

      An accredited VA attorney has sent you an email so that you can make contact and have your paperwork reviewed.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Stephen Weber

    I am looking for a good VA attorney in South Carolina. I recently received my VA rating and am looking to appeal the findings. I am also looking for an attorney experienced in IU filings.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Stephen,

      To find a local attorney, visit the the VA website. Alternatively many accredited VA attorneys have a national practice that represents veterans regardless of the state in which they live in.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • FOR THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS I HAVE BEEN RECIEVING 70% DISABILITY. I AM A VIETNAM VET.
    I SPENT 16 MONTHS IN COUNTRY.MY MEDICAL PROBLEMS ARE IHD,DEGENERATIVE BONE DISEASE,PTSD,TINNITUS AND CAROTID ARTERY DISEASE.I CAN ONLY WALK ABOUT 50 YARDS BEFORE MY HIPS AND LEGS ARE IN TREMENDOUS PAIN.MY BACK IS SO BAD THAT I GET AN EPIDURAL ABOUT EVERY THREE MONTHS. THE DOCTORS AT THE VA WILL NOT GIVE ME A LETTER STATING ANYYTHING ABOUT MY DISABILITIES.MY FAMILY DOCTOR HAS WRITEN LETTERS TO THE VA STATING THAT I CAN NOT WORK.MY DAV. ADVISOR STATES THERE IS NO REASON THAT I SHOULD NOT BE LISTED AS 100%.BUT THE VA HAS TURNED MY CLAIM DOWN REPEATEDLY.WHAT DO I DO NOW,I NEED HELP

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Albert,

      You have been contacted by a VA attorney from Disability Advisor. I am removing your phone number from your post to protect your privacy.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • William E. Green

    I served a combination of 25 years with US Army, Ohio National Guard and Army Reserves.
    In 2001 I was discharged from Ohio National due to unable to pass the Fitness Test due to my back.
    I did receive my 15 year retirement eligibility letter.(60 years old in 2015)
    In 1991 (Iraq) I received injury to my spine. I filed comp claims for various conditions. I am at 50% service connection. Due this condition I have not worked since Feb 2003.
    In 2004 State of Ohio Voc Rehab paid for my College BS degree, received in 2007.
    I applied to several hundred jobs from 2003 to 2012 with not one interview.
    Several surgeries, fused cervical spine(April 2013) and now have chin to chest deformity due to fusion. My head just flops down (no support) causing a high level of pain., so I force my head up all day which strains my neck muscles. I also had most of my top teeth removed due to my jaw alignment. I have difficulty breathing due to my head putting pressure against my throat. I have very little range of motion with my neck.
    VA tried several procedures to correct with no luck. VA sent me to another neurosurgeon. They said I need a 3 day surgery to fix the previous fusion. This is a very high risk procedure. This procedure will leave me with no range of motion, but my head will be upright and pain level will be reduced.

    In 2010 VA Voc Rehab issued letter stating I will never be able to gain employment.
    In 2011 I made claim for PTSD, COPD, Depression and unemployable)(diagnosed by VA doctors and receiving treatment at VA). I just received my denial letter last month.
    I spend most of my day on couch or bed due to a high level of pain and discomfort.

    I really need a very good attorney to help me. I appreciate any suggestions.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear William,

      A VA attorney from Disability Advisor has contacted you via email.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • gabe

    I need help ?? Is this letter proper to apply for an compensation increase? ?

    DEAR Sir or MADAM:

    I am currently rated for (lumbosacral strain, bulging disc at L5-S1) at 20%

    My condition has severely decrease and getting worse since it was first awarded. My back injury has kept bothering me over the past couple months, preventing me from physical therapy sessions and has forced me to stop working as of November 25,2014. I am no longer working due to the fact that my pain has dramatically increase and my range of motion has been severely affected, since I went from a bulging disc to herniated discs on L4-L5 and S5-L1 and some wear and tear around the same area has been discovered, as you will see in my new MRI reading. My pain fluctuates from ” 8 to 9 ” on a daily basis it completely affects my range of motion and daily chores. At times I need help getting out of bed and with daily chores since I cannot bend foward more than 30 degrees. I have also experienced small lost of bladder and bowel control and sharp pains going through my right leg and hip with some numbness and tingling sensation. Since my right leg is weak at times, it forces me to put more pressure on my left leg hurting my left knee sprain again in a few occasions. I have taken all kinds of medications that the VA doctors gave me for inflammation and pain and nothing helps. All I can do for now is to continue to go to my appointments at the VA hospital and explore the back surgery options in my future, since the doctors say that it seems to be the next step in my case. I have compare my current condition to that listed in the schedule for rating disabilities and I see that It would be more appropriate that I would now be rated at 40% .

    I am applying for that rating increase.

    Thank you for your time and consideration of my request.

    Respectfully,
    My name

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Gabe,

      To receive an adequate answer you need a consultation with an attorney.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames

  • Cas

    Hello can you tell me if VA disability is exempt from former spouse. They already get 1/2 my retirement and just found out that they are/were getting 100% of my disability payment deposited directly into their acct. Now they want pay it back to me. Said they were entitled to it. No disability at time of divorce. From what I have heard they are not entitled to ANY of my disability. Need a good lawyer. I live in GA

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cas,

      A divorce case is a matter of state law and not federal law. Each state has specific statutes controlling how types of income are treated when it comes to what is included as alimony and child support payments. You may want to call the GA Bar Association for a referral to a Family Law attorney.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • Harry Murdock

    Hello. My name is Harry and I was diagnosed with PTSD a few years ago. I’ve done all required tasks and etc along my process. A file was claimed in june of 2011 that has yet to be approved. I’ve also been denied for SSD along the way. This has been a greuling journey and I can not survive on my own without a steady income. I feel helpless with no where to turn. I served over 12 years in the coast guard and sometimes feel that people discount what I’ve been through. I feel I need a lawyer but do not know where to begin to help get my claim approved.
    Do you have any advice? Or someone I can turn to??
    Please help.
    Signed, a lost veteran
    harry Murdock
    Phone number XXX-XXX-XXXX please leave a message if no answer. I will call you back asap

    • Harry Murdock

      PS I live in ocean county new jersey

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Harry,

      An accredited VA attorney from Disability Advisor has contacted you. I have removed your telephone number from your post to protect your privacy.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Tristan

    Hi Kay,

    I served as an infantryman in the army from 2007-2011. I would like a lawyer to represent me to make a disability claim. Do you have any suggestions for the Seattle area?

    Thanks,
    Tristan

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tristan,

      I suggest you seek counsel of an accredited VA attorney.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • John E Penn

    I am looking for help with my VA claim, I live in nw Louisiana.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear John,

      If you do not already have legal assistance, it could be helpful to obtain the services of an attorney knowledgeable in Veterans Law.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jerome Lewis

    I am looking for an attorney to help me with a VA Parkinsons Case

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jerome,

      I suggest that you contact the bar association of your state to locate a VA attorney.

      Sincerely,
      Craig L. Ames
      Accredited VA Attorney

  • J. Coakley

    I have been denied my service connection and benefits. I have several documented diagnosis. Im looking for a lawyer to help me with my appeal. I live in Los Angeles.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear J.,

      A VA attorney from Disability Advisor has contacted you via email to discuss possible representation.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • m.van

    Army from 1980-1985, had a MST looking to see if I can have advise on making a claim. St. Pete Tampa area ,

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear M. Van,

      An attorney from Disability Advisor has contacted you to discuss representation.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Carl Luebbert

    I joined usmc in 96 had knee problems in boot camp and fleet did reabiltation exercises. Got out in 2000 and joined army got out in 04. Did knee claim and they denied me cause they said i was just getting old at the ripe age of 34. Ive tried to reopen claim cause i dont think they even had my usmc medical file just us army one. Ive waited 8 months with no respond and i can even get my both medical rec. In deland fl. Should i get lawer.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Carl,

      A VA attorney has contacted you by now.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Hi
    I served in the U.S Army fom may 1984 to Dec 1999 as a M1A1 tank Crewman. During this time I was deployed to Iraq for Desert Storm, I was with the advanced guard for 1st Armor Division. When I got out of the service in Dec 1999 I stayed in South Korea and worked as a contractor teaching soldiers Battle Simulation. In 2002 I was in Japan doing an exercise called Ulchi Focus Lense or UFL . I had a stroke and had to be med evac to south Korea. I had very high blood pressure it was then determined that I had Polysystic Kidney Disease. I went on to have 4 more strokes. To make a long story short I am on dialysis 10 hours a day and my left side is impaired from the strokes. A doctor told me from the Wyoming Kidney Center that Kidney disease dosent happen overnight and that I had to have it in the service. My claim was denied and I am totaly unable to work. What should I do now can somebody help me. Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ronald,

      Were you in the military when you had the stroke or working for the contractor? If working for the contractor you may be entitled to workers’ compensation for Federal Workers’ compensation. You also have to appeal the denial of military benefits. You have a complicated case and probably need an attorney. I will be contacting you via private email.

      Sincerely,
      James Mitchell Brown
      Attorney at Law

  • Thomas Jefferson Cook

    I am seeking an attorney to help me appeal my claim for hearing loss. I have been deined 4 times. I have researched my claim and feel there are several precedents that apply to my claim. I am in the Phoenix, AZ area.

    Appreciate any help you can give me.

    Thomas J Cook

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Thomas,

      You have been contacted via email by a Disability Advisor VA attorney.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • floyd bennett

    Who do you recommend for a VA attorney to handle an appeal in the Tampa, Florida area? Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Floyd,

      You have been contacted via email by a Disability Advisor VA attorney.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Travis Fritz

    If you could please refer me to an attorney in the Fort Walton Beach Florida area that is qualified to assist me with my disability rating. My case is in the predetermined phase but I am considering my options, I am currently rated at 40 percent for my back problems, but during a C&P exam performed at the Pensacola VA clinic the PA noted my back improved from the original filing date and are now considering dropping that condition to 20 percent……but I see my pain management provider much more than I did previously, and my hardware and spinal structures are failing, I feel far from improve by any stretch of the meaning. If you could please refer me to an attorney that is qualified to represent VA cases that could assist me with my situation it would be much appreciated.

    V/R,

    Travis Fritz

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Travis,

      An attorney from Disability Advisor has emailed you to arrange a consultation.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Richard Grudin

    I filed claim back Feb 2011 for service connected injuries for 8 all were denied except for one saying non military related. Then I then asked them to reconsider and supplied them copies of my medical records and was approved for 3 of 8 injuries at a very low rating. I now in need of an attorney that is good and willing to getting my rating what they should be that rated 20% for back when I have six steel rod holding back together. I think it should have been higher and the back pay going back Feb 2011.

    thank you
    Richard

  • Timothy Lockhart

    Hello, I am a veteran who could use advice and also an attorney. I have had my disability since 1988 and have been denied several times in the past but I have claim in appeals now awaiting an answer. Since 2011. I can’t focus, work or move without high pain all the time.. Can someone please put me in touch with someone who can help, severe neck and shoulder pain, fibromyalga, and just had neck fusion done. I need more care for an injury sustained in navy on ship…thank you…

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Timothy,

      A Disability Advisor VA attorney has sent you can email to arrange a consultation.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • kenneth

    Looking for lawyer based in st.louis, Missouri to handle disability appeal for sleep apnea, again, high blood pressure. I am a Viet Nan vet and was exposed to agent orange. Turned down because disabilities were not noted in my records.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kenneth,

      An attorney from Disability Advisor has sent you an email to arrange a consultation.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Rc

    I initiated [2012] compensation claim benefits to a California VA representative for service connected injury/surgical operation. VA scheduled me for 1st compensation medical appointment [Oct 2013] in Sacramento. The physician improperly diagnosed [mis-diagnosed] my service connected injury and VA issued a non compensation award. I resubmitted [2014 2nd submission] for compensation benefits through a different California VA service representative [San Francisco scheduling] listing my original issue claim for service connect compensation and seven other service connected issues. I recently received a decision from VA assigning 10% evaluation for two of my eight issues. The original issue of service connect injury [nerve paralysis] was disallowed compensation. The original issue is a serious issue involving a medical operation performed while on active duty overseas. VA claims that I only have a moderate paralysis to my nerve caused by the military surgical operation, but is not warranted for compensation. I’m under lifetime medical treatment for chronic nerve pain which cannot be corrected due to additional surgical procedures could worsen my condition. I must receive lifetime local steroid injection to minimize the chronic pain to my nerves every 3-5 months. Unfortunately my service connect surgical issue causes chronic daily paralyzing episodes in which I cannot function at all [zero capacity movement]. But VA claims I have a moderate incomplete paralysis. Please Assist! I need better representation to elaborate my acute medical condition caused by service connect injury/surgical operation.. Is there a VA medical attorney in the Sacramento area that can assist me in my appeal?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear RC,

      As requested, an attorney has contacted you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kenric Smith

    I am looking for a VA Attorney in the Fayetteville, North Carolina area to handle my va appeal.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kenric,

      An attorney has contacted you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • James hoppe

    Hello
    I need a disability adviser in tampa area ,could you please help me out ASAP thank you so much

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear James,

      Please send me your phone number (which I will not publish) and a Disability Advisor VA attorney will contact you.

      Thank you,
      Kay

      • Jame W.

        I am looking for a lawyer in San Leandro ca 94578.
        Thank you so so much.
        I have ptsd and was turned down for secondary cpap ,Which I use every day .

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Jame,

          You can look for an accredited VA attorney on the VA website. All VA accredited attorneys are listed by zip code.

          Sincerely,
          Craig L. Ames
          Accredited VA Attorney

  • James Pierce

    Need help with my appeal.. Located in Mississippi.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear James,

      I forwarded your request Social Security attorney at Disability Advisor. He will contact you via email to arrange a telephone consultation.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • edgar l. moses

    Hello,
    I was a helicopter pilot and served 18 months in Viet Nam. I am looking for an attorney to help with my appeal for the denial for hearing loss and other conditions. I am located in Palm Beach County, Fl. I would appreciate your help.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Edgar,

      Your request has been forwarded to a VA attorney associated with Disability Advisor. He will contact you via email to arrange a consultation.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Fred

    I was recently denied claims by the VA. I have a service connected disability in which I’ve had two surgeries to correct. The second surgery agitated and worsened a condition I was not aware of prior to surgery. I now am in constant pain with insomnia. I received my denial letter yesterday.

    Could you refer an attorney that will take this on and get my ratings increased and the other claims approved?

    Thanks,

    Fred

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Fred,

      Thank you for your inquiry. I will forward your request to a VA attorney at Disability Advisor. He will email you to arrange a conversation about your claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • James Robinson

    Hello, I am looking for a good VA attorney to handle my appeal in the Tampa, Florida area. My claim was denied twice already, stating not enough evidence or cant locate my Military records.

    Sincerely, James

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear James,

      A VA attorney from Disability Adivsors will contact you via email to arrange talking with you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Steven Gardner

    My husband hired a accredited attorney in 2009 for appeals, recently we received a bill from them for fees, which to me seem quite large, he has won no appeal for anything but was awarded 3 months home bound pay for new surgery, so it was a new claim, this attorney is trying to get 20% of this amount. Also do they have to send this bill to the VA for approval, am I reading that correctly. I feel we should not have to pay them anything until my husband wins an appeal, we are located in Florida can you help?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Laura,

      Ask the attorney to see a copy of the contract your husband signed. Does it say he can charge this?

      Sincerely,

      James Mitchell Brown
      Attorney at Law

  • Kay Derochie

    Dear Richard,

    I am forwarding your request for assistance to a VA attorney who will contact you. I am not posting your request because it has your personal contact information in it.

    Sincerely,

    Kay

  • Frank

    Hello, I am looking for a good attorney to appeal a ruling of denial from the Phoenix VA on hearing loss associated to my military time while working as a O5H, morse operator.

    Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Frank,

      Please provide your telephone number so that I can have a Phoenix VA attorney contact you. Your number will not be visible to the public.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Mort Banks

    I am looking for a VA Attorney in the Medford ,Oregon area to handle my va appeal

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mort,

      I have sent your request for an attorney to our attorney liaison department. It would be helpful to have your phone number. If you will please send it to me, I will give it to them, so the appropriate attorney can more readily contact you. Of course, your number will not be published on the public forum.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  • Leo boles

    Served army 73 too 79 got out on chapter 8.durg & all abuse program.received two honorable discharges.served Korea ,germany.have a appeal for my back,phenomenon, heron, ect.recevied 10% for ringing in the ear.filed my appeal 2012 with DAV.havent heard anything since.Im located in nashville, Tn.Need some help w,/appeal

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Leo,

      Thank you for your request for assistance with your VA appeal. I believe that you have been contacted by a Disability Advisor attorney.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Jimmy Fogle

    I’m looking for help on a case that has been going on for three years. I’ve had five VA doctors tell me im unemployable and disabled. I’m in South Carolina.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jimmy,

      Thank you for your inquiry about representation for your VA claim. I believe a Disability Advisor attorney has contacted you.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Tim

    Station at Camp Lejuene 1975 to 1977, have Parkinson’s, Renal Problem, high Blood Pressure, rashes, back problems and Crohn’s Disease. Was notified in 2010 of the problem with water. Filled claim with VA. It was denial. Looking for Lawyer in St. Louis area, to help me with appeal. I live in Illinois 10 miles from St. Louis.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tim,

      Call me to discuss your claim.

      Jim Brown
      Attorney at Law
      226-622-2022

      • Donna Padilla

        Hello,
        I am looking for someone in the St Louis area. My husband was stationed at Camp Lejeune for three years in the early 70s. Water contamination in all the wells and it is now a superfund clean up site. I found a study that shows 15 listed associated medical condition; another report shows that prostate cancer is most likely associated with the contaminated wells. In addition, my husband has had severe coronary disease since mid 40s; no known history of either of these conditions and he’s never smoked. I would like to file a claim but after reading everything, feel it may just be pointless. Any thoughts??

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Donna,

          Any plausible contention can be submitted as a claim filing. A few conditions can be treated as presumptive eligibility for a VA award, but Camp Lejeune water claims most often must be directly proven. You should seek out professional advice from a VA attorney on proceeding with a claim.

          Sincerely,
          Craig L. Ames
          Accredited VA Attorney

  • Elizabeth Johnson

    I’m looking for a good lawyer in the TX area the help me with my claim. Please contact me with any information you can provide.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Elizabeth,

      I am referring your inquiry to Disability Advisor so a VA attorney can contact you.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Dennis

    Hi I am looking for VA lawyer to help me file my initial claim. any help would be greatly apperciated. Thanks!

    Dennis
    Dennissommo@yahoo.com

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dennis,

      I will forward your request to James Mitchell Brown, an experience VA attorney.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Paul Petre

    I might get this straight this time : My email address is melaniepetre98@gmail.com. I used a wrong email address for my original message sent/posted on April 23, 2014 3:32 PM

  • Paul Petre

    email address correction for original message sent/posted on April 23, 2014 3:32 pm

  • Paul Petre

    I am a retired Air Force Veteran. I recently received notice on April 17, 2014 that my disability claim dated July 5, 2013 was denied. The claim was for reevaluation of Spondylosis L5-S1 with degenerative disc disease currently evaluated as 40% disabling. Their reasoning: On September 23, 2002 & September 26 2003 , there was a change in law regarding the rating criteria for the spine. As you filed your claim for increased evaluation after those dates, consideration for a higher evaluation could only be made under the new criteria. I was awarded this original 40% back in 2004 when I submitted a claim for my back due to a spinal fusion. At that time the VA used their current 38c.f.r. rules to award me this 40% which in compassed the Sep 2002 and Sep 2003 dates of revisions for spinal injuries. My denial states that my disc disease would not warrant the currently assigned rating. If that’s the case then my combined rating of 60% should have been only 20% since their decision back in 2004 was the wrong one but yet the y been paying me since 2004 for a wrong decision. My evaluation conducted on April 3 2014 by an independent doctor showed that their was on going problems that had manifested through the years. I feel that they treated part of my claim as first time for submission when it suited them. They evaluated my current condition at 40% using the old raring schedule criteria since evidence of record does not establish sustained improvement. They gave me an evaluation for scare tissue at 0%. I didn’t list this as secondary condition . My main reason for submitting my proposal was for my arthritis worsening and my Sciatic condition . so they end up removing the original 40% stating in didn’t meet current criteria and yet I was evaluated for it using their current rating system back in 2004. My overall combined rating is still 60% because they gave me 40% rating . Additionally, they stated : VA regulations specify that a readjustment to the Schedule for Raring disabilities shall not be grounds for a reduction of a disability rating in effect on the date of the readjustment unless medical evidence establishes that the disability to be evaluated has actually increased. My current secondary medical conditions vs my primary showed an additional 40% increase. The took it away in one hand and gave it back in the other. I’m going to submit a NOD with them . I know this will lead to the Form 9 Appeals process which means I will need a lawyer. So, in turn could you give thoughts about their decision process and a lawyer or law firm for the state of Utah ,Salt Lake city area. who are well versed in VA compensation claims process. thank you for your time and consideration in regards to this subject matter — Paul Petre

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Paul,

      I am forwarding your message and email contact information to James Mitchell Brown, an attorney well-versed in VA law.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Vincent Garcia

        I’ve been denied twice for numerous body ailments…knees, back & flat feet…I’m in the dc metro and I need a lawyer.

        Vincent garcia

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Vincent,

          I suggest that you contact the Washington D.C. Bar Association for a referral to a qualified attorney.

          Sincerely,
          Craig L. Ames
          Accredited VA Attorney

  • Greetings, I left the U.S.M.C. in 1975 around 1980 I started to develpe a ringing in my ear , throws off my focus, In 1998 I went to the V.A. hospital for chest pains, it was noted again that I had high blood pressure as was noted in 1975 when I was dischrged from the corp, in 2010 I had a hemorrhagic stroke caused bt high blood pressure, motor functions on left side, arm, hand, fingers, leg, ankle, toes, disabled,I am amblitory… those issues plus more my primary from the V.A. hospital insisted I claim, good !!! … claim filed on march 5 2011, denied by August 2011, appealed August 2011, recieved by DRO in Sept has been pending ever since I am no longer working as a computer technician, declaired by primary as unemployable can not lift computers can not hear well enough to work on helpdesk, can someone help me please I am 58 years of age.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Al,

      I need more information. Did you serve in Vietnam? If so, your chest pains and stroke may have been caused by Agent Orange. You would need to apply differently for this type of disability and address your conditions in a specific way to get this approved. What were you denied for and what is pending?

      Sincerely,

      Jim Brown
      VA Moderator

  • B.T.

    I am looking for a good lawyer in the DC area. Please contact me with any information you can provide. Thanks!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear B.T.

      I have forwarded your request to our attorney response department.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  • Charles Wilder

    Hello:

    I was just researching some companies that can assist me in Va disability denial claim
    I’m retired US Air Force Special Operation Logistic Manager
    I have been denied three times for Sleep Apnea and Hypertension
    Due to classified deployment locations in Asia over 20 years those two claims were not in my medical records, we carried are own doctors and med techs any ailments were kept in house due to the locations.
    Please contact me for further information
    Sincerely
    Charles Wilder
    704-749-4340

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mr. Wilder,

      I forwarded your inquiry to Disability Advisor’s administrative office. Someone will be in touch with you soon.

      Best regards,

      Kay

      • lydia papapadopoulos

        I am searching for a accredited attorney re: retroactive disability claims. If you know of such attornies please contact me.

        Best Regards,

        Lydia

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Lydia,

          I suggest you seek counsel of an accredited VA attorney. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits.

          Sincerely,
          Craig L. Ames
          Accredited VA Attorney

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