The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) doesn’t always give disabled vets their rightfully owed VA disability benefits. Unfortunately, it happens more often than you might realize, leaving VA disability appeals as the only option for many disabled vets. The Department of Veterans Affairs has mistakenly withheld millions of dollars in disability benefits from eligible disabled veterans. In fact, the VA mistakenly paid $44.3 million meant for housebound veterans to the wrong beneficiary in recent years.
Lawyers Improve Outcomes In Nearly 82% of VA Disability Appeals Cases
But there’s a ray of hope for disabled vets currently held up in the system or wrongly denied their benefits. The Chairman of the Board of Veterans Appeals’ annual report shows that vets with legal representation had much better luck. In 2018, attorneys had some of the lowest denial rates for VA disability appeals cases. At just 14%, the attorney denial rate is comparable to that of advocacy group, Vietnam Veterans of America (also 14%). However, attorneys handled nearly 7,000 VA disability appeals cases that year. Vietnam Veterans of America helped just 342 disabled vets nationwide fight the VA in 2018.
Vets with attorneys representing their cases have a significant advantage during the VA disability appeals process. In fact, attorneys get nearly 82% of appealed VA disability claims approved or remanded. Remanded cases often include errors the Regional Office must fix, and nearly always reverse prior denials or award partial benefits. According to the VA’s officer training materials, “The good news is that BVA usually remands a case because they are looking for evidence that will give them a basis to change the prior decision.” But nearly 1 in 3 veterans with no representation lose their VA disability appeals, with a denial rate of 29%.
When it comes to winning VA disability appeals, an attorney is your best bet for contingency-based representation.
Why Legal Representation Matters for Winning VA Disability Appeals
Getting an attorney to appeal your denied claim costs nothing unless you win benefits during the VA disability appeals process. In 2018, attorneys won nearly half the VA disability appeals cases they represented in court (45%). No other agent or advocacy group for vets could even come close to that win rate in court! Yet almost 1 in 3 disabled vets without representation lost their VA appeals during that same period.
But experienced attorney representation doesn’t just improve your chances of winning benefits during the VA disability appeals process. Legal representation can maximize any compensation you’re entitled to, based on your VA disability rating and back pay status. Thanks to recent improvements like the Rapid Appeals Modernization Program (RAMP), case processing times are faster now than ever before. In FY2019, the BVA report shows a goal to resolve most VA disability appeals cases within 365 days.
Another reason veterans should secure legal representation during the VA disability appeals process is the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA). This means if your attorney prevails upon appeal, the government must pay your legal fees. In other words, you keep 100% of your back pay, and your attorney won’t deduct any legal fees from the lump-sum payment. For attorneys, the EAJA rule ensures they’ll get paid for their work without financially impacting clients who served our country.
How Attorneys Can Get Highly Qualified VA Disability Leads
Want to take advantage of guaranteed EAJA fee payments in prevailing VA disability cases? The best way to ensure you only take on the best possible VA disability clients is by pre-qualifying your leads. Many law firms are now operating at razor-thin margins, so hiring additional staff to handle pre-screening isn’t always an option. If you want a steady monthly supply of VA disability leads filtered by geo-location, age and condition, partner with LeadingResponse. We use an array digital marketing channels to attract only the best possible prospects (email, branded websites, paid search and display advertising, social media). Then, we pre-screen leads to ensure they meet your firm’s exacting standards before delivering them to you in real-time.
For complete transparency during lead intake, opt into using our free Lead Management System (LMS) software. It’s completely optional, but also 100% secure and free to use. In fact, we also provide a dedicated account manager and personalized customer service to clients using our free LMS software. Its built-in optimization features and customized reporting can help your firm spot growth opportunities and significantly increase client retention rates.
Optional Service Helps Streamline Lead Intake for Solo Practitioners
If you’re a solo practitioner, lead intake can be the biggest hurdle in maintaining your monthly caseload. Want an easy, no-hassle way to streamline your lead intake process? Our U.S.-based call center staff currently boasts a 70% contact rate and is available to work for you 24/7. When you outsource your lead generation needs through LeadingResponse, simply tell us which option you’d prefer:
- Real-time lead delivery, with live monitoring available directly through the LMS software (which is compatible with all major CMS software platforms)
- Live transfers from our call center staff to your firm during your preferred business hours
- Another delivery method that meets your exact terms and timeline
With qualified prospects delivered annually to hundreds of law firms nationwide, staying flexible helps us meet each client’s unique lead generation needs.