BROWN & CURRY HELPS VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES FIGHT FOR COMPENSATION // CALL 877.838.7946

FAQs

The VA tracks how long it says it takes on average to make an initial decision, which you can access here. The VA currently states it takes more than 100 days to reach the initial decision. The truth is that it frequently takes much longer than that, usually because a veteran will need to appeal the VA’s initial decisions several times before obtaining the optimum rating. The number of claims and appeals and their complexity can also lead to delays, as can the VA’s commission of processing errors and innumerable other mistakes. The law does not give the VA a deadline to make a decision, so frequently the veteran must simply wait for the VA to issue a decision.

Brown & Curry employs a value-focused approach to VA disability claims. We triage a veteran’s claims and assist the veteran in focusing first on claims that will result in the highest ratings. This results in the veteran receiving an optimal overall rating faster.

Brown & Curry also helps speed the process up by putting together the best evidence and argument for appeals as early as possible, increasing the odds that the VA makes the right decision the first time.

Many veterans have to rely on the VA to use what it calls the “duty to assist” to find evidence to “help” the veteran process the claim. But often the VA’s assistance is counterproductive and drags the process out. Brown & Curry develops the evidence whenever reasonably possible so that the veteran does not have to wait and gamble on the VA’s “duty to assist.”

The veteran can assist in speeding up the process by helping to gather relevant medical evidence and other evidence of an event or injury or illness in service. Brown & Curry works with the veteran to help guide those efforts so that the veteran does not have to waste time chasing down irrelevant or unhelpful evidence.

Call Brown & Curry, LLC for assistance on your appeal.

There are two main ways to get to the full 100% VA rating, which results in substantially more compensation for the veteran than any lower level.  

The first way to reach this rating is to obtain it through the VA’s schedule of ratings. Each time a veteran wins service-connection for a diagnosed illness, the VA will typically assess the disability that results from the illness and assign it a rating, from 10 to 100%, based on the VA’s schedule. Each medical condition has different variables and scales, so the rating the VA actually assigns a condition involves complex application of the VA’s schedule, and frequently results in mistakes. Once the VA has assigned a rating to each disability, the VA will then combine the ratings for each disability into an overall total rating. It gets complicated because the VA does not combine each rating by using simple addition (that would be too easy, right?)  This is what veterans refer to as “VA math.” With “VA math,” the closer a veteran gets to 100% the harder it is to get to the next highest rating. For example, if a veteran has 60% rating and a 20% rating, the overall total rating the VA would assign would be 70%, using “VA math,” not the expected 80%. To obtain a 100% rating using the VA’s schedule, a veteran would need to collect enough high ratings that they finally reach the 100% using the “VA math.” On rare occasions, a single disability can warrant a 100% rating through the schedule. On even rarer occasions, the VA will provide what it calls an “extra-schedular rating,” where the VA will provide a rating higher than what the schedule calls for. 

Getting to 100% through the VA schedule is not easy. Brown & Curry helps the veteran navigate “VA math” by focusing on the disabilities that will actually give the veteran a chance at a higher overall rating. Our office scours the VA’s decisions to see which of the veteran’s ratings should be higher, with the goal of achieving the reasonable maximum level of benefits. 

The second way to reach a 100% rating is through a benefit called Individual Unemployability, or “TDIU.”

Brown & Curry also helps speed the process up by putting together the best evidence and argument for appeals as early as possible, increasing the odds that the VA makes the right decision the first time.

Many veterans have to rely on the VA to use what it calls the “duty to assist” to find evidence to “help” the veteran process the claim. But often the VA’s assistance is counterproductive and drags the process out. Brown & Curry develops the evidence whenever reasonably possible so that the veteran does not have to wait and gamble on the VA’s “duty to assist.”

The veteran can assist in speeding up the process by helping to gather relevant medical evidence and other evidence of an event or injury or illness in service. Brown & Curry works with the veteran to help guide those efforts so that the veteran does not have to waste time chasing down irrelevant or unhelpful evidence.

Call Brown & Curry, LLC for assistance on your appeal.

Regardless of a veteran’s true schedular rating, the VA will also grant a veteran a 100% rating if the veteran can demonstrate that his or her service-connected conditions deny the veteran the ability to find and maintain substantial gainful employment.  This is called “Individual Unemployability” or “TDIU” benefits.

To qualify for TDIU benefits, the veteran must first already be rated at 70% overall, or possess a single rating that is at least 60%. Next, usually the veteran must not be working. Finally, the veteran must demonstrate that it is the service-connected conditions that are causing him to be unable to obtain and hold on to substantial employment.

There are exceptions to the not-working requirement, but be forewarned, the VA pushes back hard on the exceptions. If a veteran is working, but the pay is minimal or the work is infrequent, then the veteran can still qualify for TDIU.  Similarly, if the veteran has a job, but the job is a special situation, such as working at a sheltered workshop, or in some cases, working for a family-owned business, Brown & Curry has been able to still obtain TDIU benefits for the veteran.

Veteran service officers can be great. Brown & Curry has referred hundreds of veterans to VSOs when that appears to be the best fit. But VA law can be complicated, and when a veteran needs to appeal a decision, then hiring a lawyer can be a good idea. Brown & Curry, LLC, has taken appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, and even above that court, to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in pursuit of a just outcome for clients.

Brown & Curry has been winning appeals for veterans for a decade. The firm started in Kansas City, Mo., representing veterans in Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas. Slowly the firm expanded representation to veterans in nearly every state in America, as well as veterans overseas. Our firm brings Midwestern values to our service – we typically charge 20% for representation before the VA, and when you call us, you’re going to talk to a human being in our Kansas City office.  Our staff has expertise on winning VA disability compensation – our office regularly puts on training programs for advocates. Finally, our law firm is an actual law firm. Our lawyers take trials to court and argue appeals in Courts of Appeals. We know the VA, and we also know how to win cases. Every veteran we accept as a client gets a battle plan for how to maximize their VA compensation.

Free Initial Consultation. It does not cost anything for the initial consultation – we will evaluate your case at no charge. There’s nothing to lose in contacting us, so call us or contact us through the form.

No Fee for Help on New Claims. If you have not yet filed a claim with the VA and you’re thinking about it, or if you have filed one but the VA has not denied you yet, then Brown & Curry, LLC can offer free guidance on the application process. We never charge a fee for this help at the onset of a claim. Our firm only represents veterans on claims after they have been denied.

No Fees Unless You Win. If we take on a veteran’s appeal, then Brown & Curry typically charges a 20% fee from a veteran’s “back pay” award. The “back pay” award is the amount of money the VA pays the veteran for what it owes the veteran after a win, not the money the veteran will receive in the future. We only get paid these fees if you win.  If you do not win, you don’t owe us any fees. That is what is called a “contingency fee” agreement.

Case Expenses. Brown & Curry is transparent about expenses. You will never be charged for case expenses unless we alert you to the need for a specific expense and you agree to it. There’s never any surprises or hidden fees at Brown & Curry.

Feel free to contact us at any time, whether you’re just getting started or you’ve been fighting the VA for years.

There are some important deadlines to know about.

If you have received a Rating Decision that denied your claim, or did not give you everything you wanted, you have one year from the date of the decision to file a form to ask the VA to review the decision. 

If you have received a document called a Statement of Case of Supplemental Statement of Case, then will have a much shorter deadline to seek review of the document, possibly as short as 30 days. It is important act fast if you have received one of these documents from the VA

If you have received a Board of Veteran Appeals decision, you have 120 days from the date of the Board decision to file an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

These are just some of the various deadlines the VA imposes on veterans. If you have any question about whether you can still appeal a decision, contact our office. The initial consultation is free, and we can tell you whether you still have time to appeal.

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