There are a few questions I get repeatedly from veterans that I wanted to answer here.
You may be wondering if I represent veterans at the onset of their case or if I work on a contingent fee basis, etc. Click on the corresponding question to see my answer below.
Most Frequently Asked Questions From Veterans
I divided this section into the things I do and how you can hire me first. Then, I explain what my law firm does and does not do when it comes to representation. Finally, I created a section that provides a little more information about me and my approach to Veterans Rights.
Click on any question you like. The answer will drop down for you to read.
Want To Hire Me?
How can I hire you?
Prospective clients who want to hire me need to first request a consultation by selecting the “Consultation” button on the top right-hand menu and filling it out.
This will help me more quickly learn about your situation and whether I can help. If I cannot help, I will let you know after I have an opportunity to consider your answers within the form submission.
You can also click on the top menu button to learn more about my practice areas.
Do you represent veterans in Voc Rehab cases?
I love working on Voc Rehab cases and yes you can hire me if I think you have a good case. Having used Voc Rehab for years including funding for my law school, I have developed a unique perspective about the program and how its counselors can and do sometimes violate the rights of veterans.
The first step is to fill out the consultation request form.
Will you take on VA for my disability compensation appeal?
I have no problem taking on VA over someone’s disability compensation appeal; however, I am selective about the cases I take. To initiate the process, you will need to see if I will take the case by clicking on the “consultation” button in the upper right-hand corner.
Do you work with the press a lot?
Yes, I work with the press a great deal. I generally represent veterans or families who are willing to make their story public. I do this so that our country can better appreciate the problems veterans face after they take of the military uniform.
Here is an example of some of the stories I participated in. I also provided some examples of other things I have been involved in:
- Exposed 25k veterans traumatic brain injury scandal
- Exposed ‘crow flies’ Veterans Choice hypocrisy
- Winner of prestigious Veterans’ Voice Award
- Testified before Democratic Platform Committee on veterans’ hardships
- Topic expert for Bloomberg TV, Pioneer Press, CBS, POGO, Star Tribune, Military.com
What I Do And Do Not Do
Will you help with our class action lawsuit?
The short answer to this frequent question is, “No.” I work in a solo practice and represent veterans seeking access to benefits or who were injured by VA malpractice. These are two areas of legal practice that generally do not allow class actions lawsuits.
Additionally, class action lawsuits are very expensive, require an enormous staff, and take a long time to resolve. While they sound sexy because of TV, they are not realistic in many areas of law. Further, numerous organizations have attempted class action lawsuits against VA and lost.
Instead, I aim to provide a more tactical approach on a case by case basis rather than using the big hammer of a class action lawsuit. There are some firms that will take this on but mine is not one of them.
Are you currently taking pro bono cases?
I do handle pro bono cases from time to time. Usually, these are unique instances where a severely disabled veteran has been wrongly denied access to Vocational Rehabilitation benefits or instances where VA wrongly placed a veteran into the Fiduciary program.
At the present time, however, I am not taking any more pro bono cases.
Will you represent me when I first start my benefits claim?
When it comes to benefits, I represent veterans after the agency has denied them in writing. The laws prohibit me from representing veterans in the traditional sense until after they are denied due to fee restrictions imposed by Congress. While the rest of America can hire an attorney whenever they choose, Congress decided veterans do not deserve the same opportunity.
As a result of the restriction, I limit my benefits practice only to veterans who have been wrongly denied. I will also represent some severely disabled veterans pro bono if they run into problems getting Vocational benefits for self-employment type services.
If I cannot hire you, what other options are there?
Despite the representation restriction, I do offer numerous educational tools that help instruct veterans in the methods and strategies I used to receive my benefits from VA.
For example, I received a “high cost” degree from Northwestern University through Vocational Rehabilitation (Chapter 31). The program also paid for my legal education and provided start-up equipment for my Veterans Rights law firm.
Can you believe that? VA paid for me to attend law school knowing I wanted to represent veterans against the agency and even paid for my start-up costs. It is an amazing program.
So even though I do not represent veterans when they file for Vocational Rehabilitation, I did write a book that veterans can purchase to learn more about the program called the Voc Rehab Survival Guide. I also hold educational seminars to teach veterans about more in-depth approaches to that program and others.
More Specifics About Me
And in case you want to know more about my own personal story regarding VA benefits and how I got into this racket, some of the questions below should help explain this in more detail.
There is also a fair amount of detail about me and what I do on the “about” page that you can read about once you click on the top menu button.
Are you a disabled veteran?
At the core of this question is something more basic, do I get what you are going through when VA screws with you? The simple answer is, “Yes.” I have likely been through some kind of problem with VA that is similar to what you are experiencing.
I am a disabled veteran who was initially lowballed by VA in 2001. It took me almost 15 years and a legal education to get the rating sorted out, and I am still fighting to get the backpay to which I am entitled.
It is vital that all veterans push for every inch of benefits they are entitled so that America gets a full appreciation for the long-term cost of our war machine. I encourage all veterans to follow my example and push for what is theirs.
Did you use Voc Rehab for law school?
Yes, Voc Rehab paid for me to attend law school. It also purchased over $25,000 worth of start-up equipment.
How much did you receive for Voc Rehab?
I can only give an approximation, but the dollar amount was around $350,000 all in. The cost for my law firm was around $32,000. The rest was for law school and my undergraduate degrees. Both of these degrees were from “high cost” institutions.
When did you start working with the press?
My first go with the press was in 2009 when I was contacted by the team from CBS News with Katie Couric about a scandal they wanted to expose within Voc Rehab.
Do you own DisabledVeterans.org?
DisabledVeterans.org is my website. This is where I write about veteran-centric news, problems with benefits, and various scandals.
I bought the website somewhere between 2009 and 2010 after winning a disability compensation claim. I used some of the money to pay the $1,300 for the URL via GoDaddy.
After writing on the site for over half a decade, we see around 50,000 visitors each month and growing. Washington DC took notice of my work there 4 years ago and I have been involved in DC politics on behalf of the veteran community ever since.