"ATTORNEYS FOR VETERANS" LAW PASSES CONGRESS --
Sun Dec 10, 2006 08:11

http://www.Vawatchdog.org
"ATTORNEYS FOR VETERANS" LAW PASSES CONGRESS --

But, reports differ on exact provisions of legislation.
As the 109th Congress hurried to leave town, the Veterans' Choice of
Representation Act was included in an omnibus bill.
So, we know that veterans will now have the right to hire an attorney to help
them with the claims process.
But, because the Daily Record hasn't been posted, we don't know exactly what
was in the provision that was passed.

One report, in the Air Force Times said: "...includes a controversial
provision allowing attorneys to be hired to help veterans with all stages of filing
disability claims." That story here...
http://www.airforcetimes.com/story.php?f=1-292925-2412613.php

At about the same time, Rep. Steve Buyer (R-IN), outgoing Chairman of the
House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, issued a press release that said: "The
bill includes an historic provision allowing veterans to hire an agent or
attorney to represent them after a notice of disagreement has been filed." Full
press release here...
http://www.vawatchdog.org/housecvanews/housecvanews12-08-06.htm

So, can veterans hire an attorney at the very beginning of the claims
process? Or, do they have to file by themselves, or with Service Officer help, and
then can only hire an attorney when they get a denial of the claim from the VA
and then go to file a notice of disagreement? We'll have to wait and see on
this.

Some other questions arise. Does this law take effect now, or does it begin
in six months as one version stipulated?
And, will Service Officers be held to the same rules as attorneys when it
comes to filing frivolous claims?
We'll try to sort this out for you as soon as possible.
However this goes, this is a great improvement for veterans.
The VA claims process is so difficult and adversarial that it only makes
sense to have an attorney on your side.
Here's some background on the issue...
http://www.vawatchdog.org/senatecvanews/senatecvanews06-08-06.htm  and here...
http://www.vawatchdog.org/housecvademsnews/housecvademsnews03-09-06.htm

And, here's some pro-and-con on the issue from the DAV (opposed) and from an
attorney who represents veterans...
http://www.vawatchdog.org/old%20newsflashes%20JUN%2006/newsflash06-08-2006-8.htm

More coming up on this issue...........
Stay tuned...............
---------------

Larry Scott

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