Additional Help from a Lawyer
For guaranteed professionalism, hiring a lawyer could be beneficial—especially if a claim is denied and appealing is an option. There is large number of lawyers who specialize in VA claims available if hiring one is affordable. To find a state bar visit the white pages of a local phone book or inquire with the state’s bar association for attorneys focusing on veterans legal issues.
Another option if finding a lawyer is the route desired is to visit www.romingerlegal.com/natbar.htm for a listing of all state bar associations.
An alternative option for cheaper legal advice would be to contact the veterans’ service organization (VSO). Staff personnel can represent veterans free of charge but because the service is free the representatives are often times unavailable because many veterans take this route. But VSO’s like the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), American Legion, and Disables Veterans of America (DVA) have staff who are able to guide veterans by examining their claims and providing guidance even if unable to represent them.
You can find a list of VSOs that staff experiences representatives and their contact information in Chapter 17. Appendix A provides a list of state veterans’ offices that have representatives able to support you from your state with VA claims and appeals.
Having a representative accredited with the VA General Counsel’s Office is important if the motion is made to utilize a VSO or state veterans’ office because these individuals have the training and credentials to deal with VA claims and appeals through the VA itself. A surefire way to know if your particular representative is accredited is if they carry an ID card issued by a VA regional office and a care signed by the VA general counsel.
Veterans can also employ duty to assist to acquire help from a VA regional office or vet center in organizing a claim. Check out Appendixes B and D for more details.