You filed your VA claim. VA denied it. You filed your appeal. VA denied it again. What do you do now? There are several options, one of which is to submit your claim to Lawyers Serving Warriors®.
Lawyers Serving Warriors® is a program of the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP). The NVLSP is a non-profit organization. Founded in 1980, its objective is to assist servicemembers and veterans in obtaining their due disability compensation. NVLSP carries this out through individual representation, class action lawsuits, and training and mentoring for lawyers and other veteran representatives, such as veterans services officers, in the field of veteran law.
Originally designed to help Post-9/11 veterans with their disability claims, med board, and administration separations, Lawyers Serving Warriors® now helps veterans, and surviving spouses, of all eras with their disability claims. The services are provided on a pro bono (free) basis by lawyers, recruited from a network of approximately 100 law firms, who volunteer their time and are then trained on the laws governing military and veterans disability benefits. They are currently placing particular focus on:
- Combat Related Special Compensation: This is for medically retired veterans who receive VA disability and who believe one or more of their VA-designated service-connected disabilities are combat-related and are not currently receiving the special compensation for these disabilities.
- Physical Disability Board of Review: This is specific to those veterans who were medically separated between 9/11/2001 and 12/31/2009, who believe their ratings of 0%, 10%, or 20% were too low.
- PTSD from Military Sexual Trauma: This is a pilot program to help those whose claim for PTSD due to MST was denied, regardless of when the claim was originally filed.
Application for assistance initially requires only name, e-mail, phone number, and answers to three or four yes/no questions. If your answers meet the minimum requirements, you will be required to complete a longer application, as well as submit a copy of your DD-214, for consideration.
Even if you are satisfied with your disability rating or you have a separate issue with your disability claim, I suggest reading their newsletters. Not only does it provide examples of the issues other veterans have faced with their claims, it also provides information on new claims-related rules or laws that can impact past, current, or future claims, updates on class action lawsuits, and other useful disability-related information. You can find more information here or on their Facebook page.
© 2014, Sarah Maples. All rights reserved.