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How to Find the Best Veterans Disability Lawyers in Alpharetta, GA
Finding a lawyer can be an intimidating experience, especially if you’ve never had to hire one before. If you’re having difficulty finding veterans disability lawyers in Alpharetta, GA, Morgan & Morgan can help. We want to make sure you know what to look for when hiring a lawyer. We will also provide you with some additional information about veterans' disability claims in Georgia. At Morgan & Morgan, we realize how important it is that you receive your veterans' disability payments. These payments are designed to help servicemen and women when they return home from duty.
Unfortunately, many of these claims are often denied, and it becomes necessary to hire an experienced lawyer to help you get what you’re entitled to. Morgan & Morgan will do whatever it takes to ensure you get the payments you deserve. We have helped countless people with cases relating to disability benefits. If you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out. Contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free and confidential case evaluation.
When You Need a Disability Lawyer
Veterans’ disability payments are the benefits that are paid out to veterans who have certain disabilities that resulted from or were made worse through active duty, active duty for training, or certain inactive duty training as well. In some cases, you might be entitled to additional benefits aside from monetary payments, including:
- Medical care
- Clothing allowance
- Funds for specially adapted housing
- Grants and funds for adaptive equipment – such as automobile adaptations
The amount of care and benefits you receive depends on how seriously disabled you are considered to be and whether or not you have dependents. In the case of severe disabilities, such as loss of limbs, you may be entitled to additional benefits and funds. Veterans disability lawyers in Alpharetta, GA can help you get everything you deserve.
An important thing to note is that in 2007, a law was passed that allows veterans to hire an attorney of their choosing to assist them in applying for their veterans’ disability benefits. Hiring an experienced attorney is helpful because your lawyer knows exactly how to navigate the often confusing disability system. They can help you with your initial claim, or they can assist you if your claim has been denied. Hiring an attorney is something you should take advantage of. Unfortunately, there is a huge backlog of cases, making a complicated and frustrating system even more challenging. When you hire the right lawyer, they can help you navigate this system and ensure you get everything you’re entitled to. The last thing you want is to have your claim denied because you simply filled out paperwork the wrong way or didn’t know everything that was necessary to include in your claim.
How to Find the Best Veterans’ Disability Lawyers in Alpharetta, GA
If you’ve made the decision to hire a veterans’ disability lawyer but aren’t quite sure who to hire, it can seem like a daunting task. This section aims to share information with you so you can find the best lawyer for your case.
1. Know What You Want
Before you decide which lawyer to hire, you should figure out what you want. Do you need a lawyer to help you with your initial claim? Are you going to file the claim on your own, and you just want to find a lawyer who can help you if the claim is denied? Are you looking for a large firm or a small firm? One that only handles these specific types of claims or others as well? It’s a good idea to make a list of what you’re looking for in a firm or a lawyer so you can ensure that you hire the right attorney for you.
2. Do Your Research
Hiring a lawyer for something so important as a veteran’s disability claim is a big deal. You want to make sure that you hire an experienced lawyer who knows what they’re doing and who will do everything it takes to help you. Before you do your hiring, do some research. You don’t want to just hire the first lawyer you come across. You can look online at attorney websites, as well as searching for reviews that former clients have left for lawyers they have worked with. If you know people who have used lawyers in a similar situation, you can also ask them who they hired, and what they thought about the quality of the work they did. Make sure you properly vet any potential veterans disability lawyers in Alpharetta, GA.
3. Set Up Free Consultations
One of the most valuable tools that many attorneys offer is a free consultation. Here, you can meet with the attorney and other members of their firm in person to discuss your case. The lawyer will speak with you and hopefully let you know what they think about your claim – whether it’s complex or challenging, if they think they can win, and whether they are willing to take the case on or not. You should set up multiple free evaluations so you can compare and contrast the firms you’ve met with and decide who the best choice is for you.
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What Are the Types of VA Disability Claims in Georgia?
Veterans Affairs identifies five different types of claims:
- Pre-Discharge Claim. Once a service member is within 6 months of retirement or separation from active duty, or from full-time national guard duty, they can file a claim for disability compensation.
- Pre-Service Disability Claims. Many service members enter the military and already have disabilities of some kind. If the disability was worsened by service, this is known as aggravation. Compensation would be based on the level of aggravation. In order to seek this type of compensation, you must be suffering from an increased disability rating that is a result of your service.
- In-Service Disability Claims. If you’re a service member who suffered from an injury, disease, or disability that occurred in the line of duty, you can consider this type of claim.
- Post-Service Disability Claim. If you are a service member who suffered an injury or disability that wasn’t apparent until after your service ended, you can file this type of claim. Many injuries aren’t immediately apparent, and it could be years later before you realize that you are suffering from something that occurred as a result of your service.
- Claims Based on Special Circumstances. Sometimes, a disability could be the result of two things, such as an injury that happened during service and a poor surgical outcome. If that’s the case, you can try to file this type of claim.
What Are the Most Common Benefits a Veteran Receives?
The most common benefits you can receive when you get the help of veterans disability lawyers in Alpharetta, GA, include the following:
- Disability Compensation — This is compensation that is paid to a veteran who has a disability that was caused by a disease or injury as a direct result of their military service. This can also be paid out when a disease or disability was already present but was aggravated during military service. The amount of compensation you’re entitled to is determined based on your disability, which is rated on a scale from 10 percent to 100 percent.
- Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) — These are benefits that are paid out to surviving family members of the veterans who were killed during active duty, active duty training, or inactive duty training.
- Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) — This is a higher rate of compensation that is paid out based on special circumstances, such as needing assistance with a particularly serious disability, such as the loss of a limb.
Why Would My Claim Get Denied?
Some common reasons that claims get denied include the following:
- The VA believes that you failed to prove that your disabling condition was caused by your time in the service
- The VA believes you failed to prove that your disabling injury began during active duty
- The VA believes you failed to prove that your disability is at all related to your service
- The VA believes that you failed to prove that you have any type of disability
How Do I File an Appeal?
If your claim has been denied, you’re probably feeling very defeated and frustrated. This is normal. The good news is that there are avenues to use so you are able to continue fighting for your claim. One of your options is to appeal the claim. In order to appeal a VA claim in Georgia, you must take the following steps:
1. Initiate the Appeals Process
In order to initiate the appeals process, you must complete and submit the Notice of Disagreement form (NOD). This starts the appeals process. This form is intended to notify the VA that you are appealing their denial of your claim and to ensure that you preserve all of your relevant claims. It is not the place to go into full detail about all of the specific issues you’re facing and will plan to raise on appeal.
Once you submit the NOD form, the VA will review your claim again. The best-case scenario is that once this second review is completed, the VA will change its ruling and offer you full benefits. Unfortunately, this isn’t always how it works. Sometimes your claim is denied a second time. You will receive a Statement of the Case (SOC) that will explain the basic reasons behind why your appeal has again been denied.
2. If You Are Denied Again, Seek Review
If you’re denied a second time, this isn’t necessarily the end of the road. At this point, you are entitled to seek an in-depth review of your appeal. This review is done by the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA). In order to initiate this process, you must submit VA Form 9. It’s more complicated than the NOD, so if you end up needing to go this route, it’s definitely a good idea to find experienced veterans' disability lawyers in Alpharetta, GA.
How Long Do I Have to File an Appeal
Filing your claim on time is crucial, otherwise, you could be barred from appealing at all. There are two critical deadlines that you should be aware of. First, you must initiate the initial appeals process by submitting the NOD within one year of the date that your claim was denied. Second, if that review does not change the VA’s decision, you must submit VA Form 9 within 60 days of receiving the SOC from the VA.
Morgan & Morgan Is Here for You
If you served your country and are entitled to disability benefits as a result, it can be enraging and confusing if your veterans’ disability benefits are denied. Unfortunately, this happens often, and many people need to hire veterans' disability lawyers in Alpharetta, GA to help them get the payments and benefits they’re entitled to. If this is the situation you are finding yourself in, Morgan & Morgan is always here to help.
We have lawyers throughout the United States and all across the state of Georgia. Our lawyers have recovered more than ten billion dollars for our clients. Additionally, we take all of our cases on a contingency fee basis. This means you never pay us anything up front or out of your own pocket. Since we don’t get paid until we win or settle your case, you can be certain that we will work as hard as possible to get you the best possible outcome. Whether you want an attorney to help you file your initial benefits claim, or you simply need an attorney to help because your claim was denied, Morgan & Morgan is always here for you. Contact us today for a free and confidential case evaluation.