Veterans Law

Veterans may be eligible for various benefits as a result of their service to our Nation. Bedell PLLC assists Veterans and other eligible beneficiaries in obtaining the benefits they are entitled to. We assist primarily with obtaining disability and pension benefits although we also works with Veterans seeking additional benefits. If you have been denied benefits, contact us for a no-obligation consultation about your case.

The information provided on this website is for informational purposes only.

Disability Benefits are available for Veterans who have a current disability that is the result of an injury, disease, or event that occurred in military service. The amount of the benefit is based on the severity of the current disability.

Information on the application and appeals processes for Disability benefits is available below.

Pension Benefits are available for Veterans who meet all of the following criteria:

Age 65 or older or are permanently and totally disabled;
Served on active duty with at least one day during a period of war;
Income and net worth does not exceed certain limits as shown on the VA’s website.
Pension benefits are also available in some cases for the surviving spouse and children of a Veteran who was entitled to a pension.

The amount of benefits paid for pension is dependent on the Veterans income and net worth.

Additional pension benefits are available for Veterans who require assistance in their home or at an assisted living facility.

The application and appeals processes for Pension Benefits are substantially the same as filing for Disability Benefits.

Obtaining Your Benefits
Applying for Veterans benefits is designed to be a “non-adversarial” process wherein the Veteran is given the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately, in many cases the intent of the process falls short and the Veteran is subjected to a frustrating and drawn out process.

Omission of materials or mistakes in the application process can lead to unnecessary delays in receiving your benefits. Failure to submit documents or forms on time can void your entire application and require you to resubmit your application. Carl B. Bedell assists Veterans throughout this process and ensures that they receive all the benefits they are entitled as quickly as possible. If you have been denied benefits, contact Carl for a no-obligation consultation about your case.

The Information Provided is Not Legal Advice.

Filing for benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office using VA Form 21-526

This filing initiates the benefits process. At this stage, the Veteran should ensure that the VA has a copy of his or her Military Service Record (DD Form 214), all pertinent medical opinions that address the disability for which the Veteran seeks compensation, and dependency records such as marriage certificate, birth certificates for children.

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The Veterans medical records should indicate that the Veteran suffered some injury while in-service and that that injury is at least as likely as not to have been the cause of the Veterans current injury or disability.

Veterans and beneficiaries should apply for benefits as soon as possible. Once the Veteran is deemed to have a service-connected disability, the disability benefits usually revert back to the date the Veteran first applied for the benefits.

Completed applications for benefits should be submitted to the Veteran’s nearest Regional Office. A list of the VA’s regional offices is available on the VA’s website.

Links to selected VA forms are available below.

Alternatively, Veterans can also complete the application for VA benefits online through the VA’s Veterans Online Application System (VONAPP).

Depending on his availability, Carl assists Veterans with their applications for benefits or pension on a pro bono basis. Contact Carl if you are in need of assistance in filing your application for Veterans Benefits.

Decision at the Regional Office (RO) regarding the application

Once the RO receives a Veterans application, the RO begins to develop the Veteran’s Claims File (the C-File). In addition to the information the Veteran submits, the VA will attempt to obtain copies of medical records and other information to substantiate the claim. The VA may also order that the Veteran undergo a free medical examination.
Based on the completed C-File, the RO will make a Ratings Decision. This decision will indicate whether the Veteran’s current injury or disability is service-related, and if it is service-related, the RO will assign a rating for the injury or disability. Ratings range from zero to 100 percent. Service-connected disabilities that are rated at zero percent do not produce a monetary benefit for the Veteran.
The Veteran can appeal the decision if the RO denies the Veteran’s claim for disability of pension or assigns a rating that the Veteran disagrees with. To appeal the decision, the Veteran must file a Notice of Disagreement within one year of the Rating Decision.

Carl represents Veterans in their appeals at the VA level on a contingency basis. Carl only is paid for his service if you do.

After A Notice of Disagreement
A Veteran has two options to pursue an appeal after filing a Notice of Disagreement. The Veteran can either request a personal hearing at the Regional Office with a Decision Review Officer or the Veteran can appeal their case directly to the Board of Veterans Appeals.

Personal Hearings at the Regional Office
A Veteran may request a personal hearing and a second review of their case by a Decision Review Officer at the Regional Office. A personal hearing at the Regional Office allows the Veteran to provide additional information and argue their case to the Decision Review Officer. After the hearing and review is complete, the Decision Review Officer issues a Statement of the Case (SOC). The SOC may award or deny the Veteran benefits.
If a Veteran is unsatisfied with the SOC, they may appeal the decision to the Board of Veterans Appeals.
Carl assists Veterans in preparing for the hearing and accompanies the Veteran to the hearing.

Appeals to the Board of Veterans Appeals
A Veteran can appeal their Rating Decision or their Statement of the Case to the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA). Appeals to the Board of Veterans Appeals must be filed within 60 days from the Statement of the Case or one year from the Ratings Decision.
The BVA may return the claim to the RO for further development, may assign benefits for the Veteran, or may deny the claim.
If the BVA denies the Veteran’s claim, the Veteran may appeal the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

Carl assists Veterans in preparing their appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeals. He is an accredited attorney by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
If the Board of Veteran Appeals denied the Veteran’s claim or if the Veteran is unsatisfied with the rating decision, the Veteran may appeal the Board’s decision to the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (US CAVC). Appeals to the US CAVC must be filed within 120 days of the BVA decision.
The US CAVC decides cases based on the record from Board of Veteran Appeals (Record before the Agency or RBA). The court will not allow new evidence or information to be submitted.
The CAVC may decide to remand the case back to the BVA, may deny the appeal and the claim, or may, in rare cases, award benefits to the Veteran.
Carl is admitted to practice before the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and has successfully represented Veterans in this stage of their appeals process.
Appeals to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court
If the CAVC denies the Veteran’s appeal, the Veteran can continue to appeal the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and then to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Costs

Filing Your Application for Veterans Benefits
Do not pay for assistance prior to NOD.

Depending on his availability, Carl may be able to provide pro bono assistance in completing your application for Veterans Benefits. Otherwise, he can provide you with contacts of Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) who can also assist in completing the application for benefits or pension. Veterans and their beneficiaries should never pay for assistance in completing or filing their application for Veterans benefits.
Appeals at the Department of Veterans Appeals – Carl represents Veterans in their appeals of Rating Decisions at the Regional Offices and at the Board of Veterans Appeals on a contingency-fee basis. He does not get paid unless you do. Although the Department of Veterans Affairs does not limit the amount attorneys can charge, Carl charges reasonable fees dependent on the case. The actual amount charged will be agreed upon before Carl agrees to provide representation.
Appeals at the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims – Carl represents Veterans in their appeals at the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on a pro bono basis. If the case is successful, Carl is paid by the VA through an application for Equal Access to Justice Funds. This is at no cost to the Veteran.
Other Legal Services – Contact Carl if you require other legal services. Carl is licensed in the State of Virginia and may be able to provide those services. If not, he will attempt to refer you to an attorney who can assist you.