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 Veterans Finally Able To Hire Lawyers for Veteran's Disability Claims

By Karl Kazmierczak, Esq. 



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After June 20, 2007, disabled veterans will be able to hire an attorney much earlier in the VA disability process. This new law will change the way veteran’s disability cases are handled and by whom. It is my belief that this is one of the most important disability laws passed in recent history.

Unlike disabled persons seeking disability benefits from the Social Security Administration, the Veterans Administration does not permit veterans to hire attorneys at the administrative level for a veteran disability claim. This is an interesting dichotomy between two government agencies that both provide disability benefits. The Social Security Administration permits the hiring of an attorney from the very beginning however the Veterans Administrations allows representation only AFTER the veteran receives his or her first final decision from the Board of Veterans Appeals.

 Because the present legislation does not permit an attorney to be hired until after “first final decision” by the Board of Veterans Appeals, a disabled veteran may not be able to hire an attorney for years as he or she is going through the process. This is shocking and disappointing but I am not here to get into the politics of how this is possible or how it stayed this way for so long.

This new law goes into affect on June 20, 2007, and will be a vast improvement to the present however, it is far from perfect. Although the new law allows for legal representation AFTER filing the Notice of Disagreement (or NOD) a much earlier time in the veteran disability process, it is still does not permit a veteran to hire an attorney right from the beginning. Thus, the veteran must still file their application without representation. Even so, this is much earlier in the process and should provide some relief to these disabled veterans. Despite its flaws, this new law will be significant benefit to veterans. For more information on this new law and veterans disability see www.veteransdisabilitylawyersite.com 



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