Veteran Disability Attorney in St. Louis200 N. Broadway, Suite 720
St. Louis, MO 63102
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Veterans Benefits Lawyer in St. Louis
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As a veteran who devoted a portion of your life to defending your country through military service, you expect the VA to help you financially when you have a disability.
However, applying for and receiving long-term VA benefits is no easy task. You must prepare an application and supporting evidence that leaves no room for misinterpretation.
Sometimes, the VA denies claims for benefits if it feels that you don’t have enough proof to document your disability or illness. If the VA turns down your claim, you’ll need to go through the appeals process, which can be confusing and lengthy.
A veterans benefits lawyer in St. Louis can assist you with your VA claim, whether you’re beginning the process or appealing a denied claim. To learn more about legal assistance for veterans benefits, fill out Morgan & Morgan’s online contact form. All of our initial consultations are free.
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The Fee Is Free™. Only pay if we win.
Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.
With a free case evaluation, submitting your case is easy with Morgan & Morgan.
Our dedicated team gets to work investigating your claim.
If we take on the case, our team fights to get you the results you deserve.
Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.
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Why Do You Need a Veterans Benefits Lawyer?
There are several options available for veterans seeking help in obtaining benefits. VSOs are typically free of charge and can assist you with the initial claims process.
However, when you seek help from a qualified veterans benefits lawyer in St. Louis, your lawyer will give you personalized attention in the application or appeals process. They’ll get to know you and learn about the injuries or disabilities you’ve suffered due to your military service.
Hiring a lawyer is best when you’re facing particular challenges, like:
A Claim Denial
If the VA denies your initial claim for benefits, you’ll need help from someone who understands the VA’s appeals process. This process can be complex, especially if you seek a higher-level review or need a board appeal.
If you’re serious about obtaining benefits, you don’t want to leave your appeal to chance. A further denial can result in the VA holding up your benefits for years—or, in the worst case, a final rejection. A veterans benefits lawyer can aid you in the appeals process and represent you in a board appeal before a judge.
A Complex Claim
If you have a complex claim, you’ll want assistance from a lawyer. A complicated claim may involve any of the following:
- You suffer from multiple conditions
- You need total disability individual unemployability (TDIU) benefits
- You are having difficulty proving your condition or disability
- You have a discharge from the military that’s something other than honorable
- You need to prove your military service aggravated a preexisting condition
A veterans benefits lawyer in St. Louis will examine your case and help you prepare your application and any supplementary details you need.
You Are Discouraged
Applying for veterans benefits isn’t easy. You’ll need to make sure that your application is accurate and that you have the supporting information you need for approval. Sometimes, veterans become overwhelmed by the process.
If you’re frustrated with the VA, you can hire a lawyer to handle your claim. Your attorney will handle all of the communication with the VA, so you don’t have to worry about it. They’ll also advise you of the steps necessary to provide the appropriate supporting details.
The VSOs Aren’t Helping
Most veterans choose to work with a VSO immediately following separation from the military. A VSO helps service members with their applications and works free of charge.
However, many VSOs are assisting numerous other individuals simultaneously. Getting adequate attention for your claim may be challenging, especially if it involves complexities.
Working directly with a veterans benefits lawyer ensures that you get the attention you need. You won’t have to worry about mistakes or errors in the application process, and if your claim needs an appeal, you’ll have someone skilled in VA law.
You’re Unhappy With the Results of Your Initial Claim
Sometimes, veterans receive approval for benefits from their initial claim, but their disability rating doesn’t reflect the severity of their condition. A low disability rating will dramatically reduce the amount of money you receive each month.
If you disagree with your disability rating, it’s essential to get help quickly. You’ll need to file an appeal and provide the requisite information to support your claim. A veterans disability lawyer can help you determine what you need to be successful.
What Do Veterans Benefits Lawyers in St. Louis Do?
A veterans benefits lawyer works as your appointed representative. They assist you in the initial application process or support you throughout an appeal.
Veterans benefits attorneys handle the following aspects of your case:
- File paperwork, appeals, and briefs
- Seek advice from professional experts
- Assist in the preparation of your initial claim for benefits
- Review all communication between you and the VA
- Advise you of proof that can help substantiate your claim for benefits
- Communicate with your medical team to document your disability or illness
- Review VA benefits laws and prior cases similar to yours
- Support you throughout your entire claim until it resolves
A veterans benefits lawyer can save you time and reduce your chances of a denial. If the VA has denied your benefits, your attorney will determine the appropriate appeals process to take and help you develop an effective strategy.
What Are Potential Appeals You Can File?
Following a denial of benefits or a disability rating you don’t agree with, you must file an appeal with the VA. There are three potential appeal routes: a supplemental claim, a higher-level review, or a board appeal.
If you file a supplemental claim, you provide additional evidence to support your initial claim. Your supplemental claim can provide new documentation, like other statements from your doctor or test results.
Supplemental claims are best for veterans who didn’t provide enough proof in their first application.
The VA claims reviewer will consider the new evidence alongside your initial claim if you submit a supplemental claim. They’ll also look at the reason for the denial or your reduced disability rating. If the evidence you provide is convincing, the VA will approve your claim or increase your disability rating.
If you appeal for a higher-level review, you believe that the initial claims reviewer made an error in your decision. A senior claims reviewer will review your initial claim to determine whether the initial reviewer made a mistake.
Veterans who ask for a higher-level review cannot add documentation to their claims. However, they can request a meeting with a senior reviewer to explain their case and why they believe the VA made an error in their decision.
A veterans benefits lawyer in St. Louis can represent you in any communication with senior claims reviewers and decide whether a higher-level review is appropriate for your case.
A board appeal is the highest level of appeal the VA offers. Board appeals can take several years to resolve, so it’s essential to have all of your supporting documentation and evidence available.
There are three options for a board appeal: requesting a direct review, submitting new evidence, or requesting a hearing.
In a direct review, you don’t submit any additional information. A VA judge will inspect your claim, its supporting evidence, and communication from prior claims reviewers. Usually, a direct review takes up to one year to conclude.
If you decide to submit new evidence, you’ll provide the documentation, and the VA judge will review it along with your previous evidence and application. The board will likely take up to 18 months to finalize its decision.
A hearing is the most serious type of board appeal. You and your attorney will meet with a VA law judge to discuss your case. You can appear at the appeal virtually or at an in-person hearing in Washington, D.C. Individuals who request a hearing can expect the VA to take up to two years to conclude its case.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Apply for Veterans Benefits?
No, you do not need a lawyer if you have a relatively straightforward application to obtain veterans benefits. You can work with a VSO or handle the application process independently.
However, if your case is complex or you believe you are fully disabled, working with a lawyer may be beneficial. A lawyer can ensure that your application is accurate and contains the appropriate support to prove your claim.
Individuals who try to obtain benefits on their own may be unaware of the bureaucracy in the VA. You must provide specific evidence to support each disability that you have. The VA may deny your claim if you don’t give the appropriate information.
A claim denial can make it harder to obtain the benefits you need since you’ll need to go through the appeals process.
What Can I Do if a VA Law Judge Denies My Claim in a Board Appeal?
You have two options if your claim fails to receive approval through the board appeal process. You can submit a supplementary claim or file an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
A supplementary claim may be appropriate if you can present additional evidence concerning your disability. If you don’t have further proof, you’ll need to file a case with the U.S. Court of Appeals.
A veterans benefits lawyer in St. Louis can review your case and determine which path is appropriate for you.
Is Hiring a Veterans Benefits Lawyer Expensive?
Morgan and Morgan offers free consultations for all of our prospective clients. In addition, we have a contingency fee policy, which means there are no fees for our services unless we win your case. During your consultation, we’ll discuss the specifics of our contingency fee arrangement.
Remember that it’s usually best to seek assistance from a lawyer in appeals cases. It will be hard to convince the VA you are due benefits if the VA denies your claim. An attorney can assist you with your appeal to ensure that you have the best chance of recovering the money you need.
Who Is Eligible to Obtain VA Disability Benefits?
Basic eligibility requirements for obtaining VA disability benefits include prior or current military service and an illness or injury you can attribute to your time in the service. Common disabilities exhibited by service members include tinnitus, back injuries, breathing issues, and traumatic brain injuries.
A veterans benefits lawyer in St. Louis can figure out if your disability may qualify for VA benefits.
Veterans Benefits Lawyer in St. Louis
If you’re concerned about the VA benefits process and want to make sure that your claim receives the attention it deserves, contact Morgan & Morgan. A veterans benefits lawyer will represent you throughout the claims process, from assisting you with your application to representing you in the appeals process.
Schedule a free, confidential consultation with our legal team today.