You know that applying for VA disability benefits will be a long and frustrating process, but there’s no way around it. Getting approved for benefits means putting up with the paperwork, information requests, and doctor’s visits; it’s just the way the system works. The VA services you have been using to help you through the process are far from perfect, but they’re the only option you can afford—or are they?

Why Should I Hire an Attorney?

We hear a lot of veterans ask the question, “Why should I hire a VA disability attorney when I can apply for benefits for free?” The best answer is, of course, that you get what you pay for. Much like the VA benefits system, most free organizations available to veterans are understaffed and overrun, forcing them to sacrifice personalized service in favor of processing as many people as they can in a day.

In contrast, an accredited VA disability attorney works directly for you. You can spend as long as you like explaining the problems you’ve been having, getting your questions answered, and completing the requirements to get your application processed as quickly as possible. You also have a direct line to the person handling your case, saving you the hassle of retelling your story to a claim officer each time you call. In addition, both the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) treat an application differently when the claimant is represented by counsel.

Which Attorney Should I Hire?

Your attorney must be both qualified to represent your case and competent in the field of veterans’ law. Before you hire an attorney, you should determine whether he or she is:

  • VA-Accredited. Only attorneys who have been accredited by the VA can represent veterans in disability cases.
  • Experienced. Your attorney should be able to clearly explain the possibilities of your disability rating, how to establish when your disability began, and what is expected of you throughout the process.
  • Dedicated. Your attorney should be willing to represent you throughout the life of your case, including the highest levels of appeal.

When Can I Hire an Attorney?

An attorney may not be compensated for representing you until after a notice of disagreement has been filed, so many veterans choose to apply for benefits first and wait for the rating decision . If you have been denied VA benefits, have received incorrect information that can hurt your claim,  or wish to file an appeal, you should seek the help of an accredited VA attorney. Call us today to find out how Cuddigan Law attorneys can help you with your benefit claim, or click here to read through a free copy of The Essential Guide to VA Disability Claims.


Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska
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