At this time, Mrs. Bedford-Rank is only accepting cases in which a recent Board of Veteran Appeals decision has been issued. This means that within a 1-year period you have received a Board decision on the issue(s) you would like to appeal.
Mrs. Bedford-Rank may take exceptional cases that have been denied in a recent rating decision and will charge the standard 20 percent retroactive fee amount.
What does this mean?
For example, in a standard hearing loss case, the VA rating chart for rating percentages is written in such a way that there must be significant hearing loss traceable to active service for a service connection rating to be granted. Let's use the example in a case where VA grants a 10% service connection for bilateral hearing loss, with an effective date of 2 years earlier, the resulting retroactive award for this claim may only be $2400. This retroactive award would be paid in one lump sum, but the veteran would continue to receive monthly payments (conceivably for life) of approximately $110.
In this example, Ms. Bedford's 20% fee for work on this bilateral hearing loss claim would be a one-time payment of $480 that VA would take from the $2400 retroactive award.
What about if the claim continues to be denied by the VA regional office?
If the claim is denied by the VA RO, the initial fee agreement covers continuation of the representation to the Board of Veteran Appeals (Board) and will include any work done in the appeal before the Board.
What about if the claim is denied at the Board?
If the claim is denied, there is no fee charged to the veteran and no payment paid to Mrs. Bedford-Rank. If the veteran decides to continue the appeal to the Court of Appeals for Veteran Claims (CAVC), there is still no charge to the veteran. In cases before the CAVC with a favorable outcome, Mrs. Bedford-Rank is able to charge court fees to the Veterans Administration under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA).
EAJA allows attorneys like Mrs. Bedford-Rank to represent veterans before the CAVC without charge to the veteran or payment from veteran benefits. In this case, the attorney will submit hours worked to the CAVC and under the provision of "reasonable fees" the Court will order the Veterans Administration (VA) to pay the attorney fees. In this case the veteran does not pay any attorney fees.
An agreement to allow Ms. Bedford to participate in EAJA fees is arranged prior to representation and is incorporated within the initial attorney representation forms.
Click Here for a further explanation of fee guidelines by the National Organization of Veteran Advocates (NOVA).
Reine R. Law Practice, P.L.L.C.
Mail only address: 19309 Winmeade Dr. Ste. 218, Leesburg, VA 20176
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