Use an attorney when appealing a denial of benefits.

Jim,

Im a Vietnam Vet currently rated at 50% for ptsd . My claim for unemployability was denied so i filed a NOD. Im also on Social secuity disability since Dec 09. I got a letter yesterday that has me scheduled for a meeting with DRO on Dec.7 in Indy.

Guess im a little nervous and was wondering if u have any good advice. Should i take my wife with me or a rep. Im represented by a Veterans Service Organization. will appreciate any advice

Reply:

If you're represented by a VSO they should have already notified you that they will provide a representative at your personal hearing. It's unfortunate that many Veterans Service Organizations aren't doing a very good job of counseling the veterans that they represent. I strongly recommend that veterans who wish to appeal denied claims use the services of a veterans attorney.

You can learn more about that by clicking here http://www.vawatchdogtoday.org/How_To_Hire_An_Attorney.html

If the 50% rating is the only rating you have, you do not meet the requirements to be eligible for the TDIU benefit https://www.vawatchdog.org/tdiu-unemployability.html Your VSO should have explained this to you.

The standard is that you must have one rating of 60 percent for a single disability or a combined 70 percent evaluation with at least one 40 percent disability. There are ways to have this requirement waived but they're not usually offered. Regional Offices may refer cases that fail to meet the minimum combined evaluation criteria to the Director of the Compensation and Pension Service for consideration of an IU rating.

That you are eligible for the SSDI benefit is a help but the Social Security Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs use different methods for rating your disabling conditions. Having one benefit doesn't assure that the other benefit will be awarded.

Were I you I'd interview a couple of veterans attorneys as soon as possible. There are many available if you will look through the pages of my web sites. you may also use Google search to help you find an attorney. It isn't too late to seek and retain professional counsel for this important event.