Harrisburg Veterans Affairs and Disability Attorney
Veterans Disability Claims
Our office offers aggressive advocacy to represent veterans and their dependants before the Department of Veterans Affairs. Many of the services we offer are on a contingent fee basis- meaning we don’t get paid unless we are successful in obtaining benefits for you.
An appeal for veteran benefits can be a complex and frustrating process due to the rules and regulations involved as well as the severe backlog of cases. Our experienced attorneys are well equipped to handle the complexity of these issues.
Representation before the Regional Office
For most veterans living in the central Pennsylvania area, the regional office with jurisdiction over your claim will be the Philadelphia office. After you have submitted your initial claim for benefits, or asked that an old claim be reopened, the Regional Office will mail its decision to you. Within a year of receiving this initial decision, if you disagree, you must file a notice of disagreement. Then, you have two options: you may request that a Decision Review Officer review the Regional Office’s decision, or you may appeal the decision to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.
Representation before the Board of Veterans’ Appeals
The Board is comprised of judges, staff attorneys and other support staff. Once a claim is appealed, the veteran has the option of requesting a hearing before the board in Washington, DC, before the Board in a video teleconference hearing, or a hearing before the traveling Board of Veterans’ Appeals. The Board of Veterans’ Appeals reviews the case de novo, meaning they are not bound by any findings of the Regional Office and may even consider additional evidence. After a hearing and consideration of any legal briefs submitted, along with all evidence contained in the veteran’s file, the Board of Veterans’ Appeals will either issue a decision, or remand to the Regional Office for additional development.
Representation before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
If the veteran received an adverse decision from the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, he or she may appeal a final decision to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. The veteran must file the notice of appeal within 120 days of the mailing of the decision of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. The Court will only review documents that were part of the record at the Board level, and its decision is based on legal briefs submitted by each party. In rare occasions the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims may ask for oral argument, but generally the Court’s decision rests on the arguments made in each party’s legal brief. If the veteran is dissatisfied with the Court’s decision, the veteran has limited options in which he or she may appeal to the Federal Circuit Courts.
Don’t just take Any Advice, Talk with a Lawyer. Call 717-236-9391.
Often veterans try to navigate the claims process on their own, or with the help of non-attorney service representatives. The problem with this approach is that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is staffed with attorneys and judges who understand the law and the complex appeals process.
At Foreman & Caraciolo, we help our clients understand the law so that they can feel confident that they understand what is going on and can make informed decisions about their disability claims. We want to alleviate the stress of this process by clearly explaining all of your options. If you are a veteran and have applied for benefits, but been denied, please contact our office for the resources, expertise, patience and care needed to handle your claim.