One of the unfortunate facts of life for veterans of all branches of America’s Armed Forces is that those who submit claims for disability benefits are all too often met with denials of their claims. After having served your country willingly, this can feel like a slap in the face. It’s important not to get disheartened, and to remember that though the VA has a fairly high denial rate, they also have a high error rate and in many cases reopening a denied veteran disability claim results in the original decision being overturned.
One of the most frustrating aspects of receiving a denial of your claim is a little-known law prohibiting veterans from paying an attorney to work on their appeal, or even to submit their original claim. The law was first established more than one hundred fifty years ago during the Civil War as a way to protect veterans from unethical attorneys who might try to take advantage of them, but its effect today has been to leave veterans who have been denied without an easy route to rebutting the denials of their claims.
So what is a veteran who has been turned down for the benefits that they need and deserve to do? There are several advocacy centers that are there to provide them with assistance. These include the Disabled Veterans of America and the American Legion. Some law schools have also started to provide access to their students. This solution has offered a true win-win for all involved, as the students are able to get valuable real world experience as well as a strong sense of providing help to somebody in need, and the veterans are able to be represented by people who truly do know the law.
One law school that has decided to formalize this process is the Stetson University College of Law. As Florida’s first law school, Stetson has distinguished itself, and has been ranked first in the nation for trial advocacy and third in the nation for legal writing education by U.S. News. The school has used the power of its program to establish the Stetson College of Law Veterans Advocacy Clinic specifically to provide legal representation for those who whose denials are too complicated for a simple approach. In many cases these denials have been issued as a result of a lack of apparent evidence or a need for more specialized legal expertise.
The success that the Stetson Clinic has achieved has attracted the attention of veterans groups, as well as other law schools, many of whom have begun the groundwork to start similar initiatives of their own. For those whose veterans’ disability claims have been denied, it is a real ray of hope. If you need more information on reopening a veterans’ disability claim or any other type of disability claim, you can also contact Malamut & Associates LLC to set up a convenient appointment.