lawyer or VSO

Discussion in 'Appeals' started by mjames, May 6, 2009.

  1. mjames

    mjames New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I was wondering if it is any more beneficial to have a lawyer to help file an appeal or stay with VSO. Do lawyers do anything more than a VSO could? Any advise would be appreciated. Thank you
  2. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Personally, I can't see how an attorney can be helpful in any claim with the VA below the level of an appeal to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claoms. Lawyers are trained to argue the law to Judges and Juries. VA decision makers aren't Judges and while they follow the statutes and regulations, they are told how they will do that. They don't have any discretion to interpret law. Lawyers trying to argue the law find themselves at a disadvantage and generally succeed in causing a simple decision to become complex.

    If you have an appeal at the CAVC, hire an attorney otherwise find a good VSO or learn the process and file your own claim.

    FWIW, there are three things every successful claim has:

    1. Military Service
    2. A diagnosis of a compensable disease or condition
    3. A nexus or connection between 1 & 2

    It is the veterans responsibility to prove each of them.

    1 is satisfied by your DD-214
    2 is satisfied by either a physician or C&P examiners statement that you have the compensable condition.
    3 is satisfied by either a physician or C&P examiners statement that he has examined you and your Service Medical Records and your Service Personnel Record and finds "at least as likely as not" that your condition is a result of your service.

    He must support his claim by a rationale that is scientifically acceptable and supported by the evidence of record. IOW, he can't just make it up and he can't rely on your testimony exclusively to support his opinion.

    Also, PTSD claims require a "stressor" letter if the stress didn't originate in a combat situation or PTSD was not diagnosed in service.

    If you don't have 1, 2 and 3; don't waste your time.
  3. mjames

    mjames New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I do appreciate your advice, and your knowledge. Thank you. I will stick with my VSO to help me file my appeal. I have what i thought was needed as far as the 1, 2, 3. But was still denied, based on what the C&P examiner had said, which conflicted with 2 of my VA doctors... go figure. But anyway...Thanks again TinCanMan
  4. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    When the different doctors disagree, it will become important as to how they come to their opinions. That's called a rationale and it will be up to the decision maker to decide which opinion is most effectively supported by medical facts and evidence of record.

    Read the 'Reasons and Bases' section of your decision which should explain how the decision maker came to the decision and what evidence he needs to make a decision in your favor.

Share This Page