Combat Support for Veterans & Their
in the Battle for VA Disability & Survivors' Benefits
• Do you have a denial or bad decision from the
• Do service-connected disabilities keep you from working?
• Did you lose a spouse due to a service-connected condition?
• Do you have questions about your claims or appeals?
• Don’t give up. Call someone who can fight for you.
Qualifying disabled veterans can receive both
Social Security disability benefits as well as VA
disability benefits. If you have a valid claim for
VA disability or survivor’s benefits, don’t give up.
The VA doesn’t always make it easy. Sometimes it
helps to have someone with experience on your side.
Do You Need an Attorney?
It depends. Generally, veterans or their surviving spouses may not hire legal representation until after a claim is filed and a decision is made. Attorneys can usually step in at any time in the process after a VA Regional Office decision as long as it is (or can be) appealed within one year. If you receive a Regional Office decision called a “Statement of the Case,” you generally only have 60 days to file your appeal. Do not let that deadline pass. Don't miss any deadlines if you want to keep your earliest possible effective date. If you do, you will probably need to start over. If you have a denial from the Board of Veterans’ Appeals in Washington, D.C., you have only 120 days to appeal to the Court of Appeals for Veterans’ Claims. (Representation at the Court level is highly recommended.) If you would like a free review of your Regional Office or Board decision, please send or fax a copy of it to the attention of our VA department as soon as possible.
What is the Cost?
For Regional Office and Board of Veterans’ Appeals cases, usually 20% of any back benefits awarded, plus expenses. If we lose, you owe nothing. For Court cases, the government pays the attorney’s fees and expenses if we win, and you owe nothing. Representation at the Court level is always at no cost to you.
What Issues Can You Appeal?
You can appeal not only denials of service connection, but also other findings you do not agree with, such as the disability percentage rating or the effective date for back benefits.
If you are a veteran with service-connected disabilities, you may want to make sure the VA is compensating you appropriately. Whether you are working or not, planning to file a claim, or are dissatisfied with your VA rating (or lack thereof), don’t give up. Please feel free to call or e-mail us with any questions. We know the VA isn’t always easy to deal with. We’re here to help.
For help with VA issues, including claims and appeals for survivors’ benefits, please call Heard & Smith at 1-877-435-3737 or complete the contact us form on this website.
Heard & Smith, and other law firms we work with on VA cases, can help you if you qualify.
Heard & Smith maintains its primary office in San Antonio, Texas. Heard & Smith associates with co-counsel to serve as lead counsel depending upon the nature of the case and the jurisdiction, at no additional cost to the client.