Board of Veterans Appeals, Accredited Attorney
If you are a veteran and received a VA Ratings Decision, you have 2 choices — give up, or appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeals (the BVA).
The VA Regional Offices frequently deny even the most clear-cut claims for Veterans and Veterans' Survivor Benefits.
Typically, the VA Regional Offices deny claims because they are missing (or missed) factual proof of one of the following essential elements of a claim:
- Proof that the Veteran meets the service eligibility requirements
- Proof that an event occurred in service
- Proof that the Veteran has a current diagnosis of a disability
- Proof that #2 and #3 are related (this element is commonly called nexus, and the Veteran need only prove that their current disability is "at least as likely as not" related to the in-service event)
- Proof of the degree of limitation of the current disability
- Proof of entitlement to the correct effective date
When your benefits claim is denied by a VA Regional Office, working with an accredited VA attorney can help you not only to understand the reasons the VA denied your claim, but also to more efficiently navigate the BVA appeals process.
Contact us as soon as you receive your VA Ratings Decision denying your claim by clicking here to tell us about your case.
Frequently Asked Questions.
QUESTION: How long do I have to appeal a VA Ratings Decision?
ANSWER: If you received a VA Ratings Decision dated after February 19, 2019 (the effective date of the VA's Modernized AMA appeal process), then you have one year to challenge errors in that rating decision.
You can challenge the ratings decision in a variety of ways - there are pros and cons to each type of appeal, and you should discuss your choice with an accredited veterans attorney:
- Supplemental Claim - requires the veteran to provide new and relevant evidence in their claim
- Higher Level Review - a terse and often meaningless review of a VA Ratings Decision by a different VA rater than originally decided your claim. A higher level review will not consider new facts or evidence.
- Appeal to the BVA - There are 3 ways to appeal to the BVA: direct, evidence-only, and evidence with hearing. Which avenue you choose has consequences that can echo into your claim for years, so it is important to consider the pros and cons of each option in your specific appeal.
QUESTION: How does Attig | Curran | Steel evaluate my case for representation?
ANSWER: We will typically ask you for some specific information about your claim, initially by email. If we think we can help, we will set a telephone consult to get to know you better and understand your case. Phone consultations are free of charge.
This process can take several days or weeks. To be efficient and effective, we must be thorough and thoughtful. Our attorneys review the information you share at every stage of the process, and we are evaluating a lot of factors to determine if you and Attig | Curran | Steel will be a good pairing of attorney and client.
Second, we may conduct a lengthy and thorough review of your file. If we determine that your case is a good match for our firm, we will make an offer of representation.
QUESTION: What happens if you don't offer to represent me?
ANSWER: It's a simple matter of logistics: we cannot help every veteran.
Our attorneys have been helping veterans since 2007, and has developed relationships with many veterans advocates. If we think another firm or attorney might be a better fit, then we will work with you to see if that firm or attorney can help.
QUESTION: Do you handle cases around the U.S.?
ANSWER: Yes. The VA no longer handles cases in your local VA Regional Office.
Because the VA uses a "National Work Queue" to assign your case to the least busy Regional Office, Attig | Curran | Steel handles cases before all VA Regional Offices in the Continental U.S.
QUESTION: What fees do you charge for representation?
ANSWER: For claims before the VA Regional Office and the BVA where a VA Ratings Decision is dated on/after June 20, 2007, our fee is contingency.
Our standard fee is between 20 and 33% of any past-due benefits that we recover, depending on the complexity and anticipated time needed to handle your appeal, as well as other factors.
You are also responsible for reimbursing any costs/expenses that we incur while prosecuting your claim.
This is general information. If Attig | Curran | Steel offers to represent you, we will thoroughly explain how our contingency fee is calculated and what expenses you will and won't be responsible for (and when).
We do not charge any fee on future benefits — if you find a firm or advocate that engages in that practice, they may be violating the law.
QUESTION: Do you guarantee you will win my case?
ANSWER: No. If anyone guarantees you that they will win your VA claim for you, run away.
Attig | Curran | Steel does guarantee you will get zealous advocacy before the VA Regional Office and BVA. Attig | Curran | Steel is "Veteran Owned", so you have a trusted advocate in your corner.