Can I Get Back Pay For My Veteran’s Disability?

You may have already applied for your VA disability payments. You may already be receiving your benefit payments. But are you getting what you’re entitled to? You might be eligible for back pay.

Can I Get Back Pay For My Veteran’s Disability?

Disability benefits are paid from the date of application. But because it takes a long time to receive benefits, the VA begins benefit payments from the date of application. Since it takes so long before monthly benefits start, accumulated benefit amounts from the waiting period are usually paid in one lump sum. The VA even calls it “back pay.” You may receive a substantial amount of money at one time as a result of your waiting period.

Establishing The Service Connection

Injuries and illnesses that are deemed “service connected” are eligible for VA disability benefits. This includes a pre-existing condition that was exacerbated by your military service.

To be eligible, you must have served in the US military, active or inactive duty for training, received a discharge that was not dishonorable and incurred a disease or injury while in or was aggravated by your military service.

You’ll not only need medical evidence of the service connection (records, etc.), you’ll need evidence to show the relationship between your military service and your illness or injury.

The VA also presumes that certain veterans have a “presumptive disability” by nature of their service record, even if there is no direct evidence of a service connection.

Application Date

It’s important to note that when you apply directly relates to when your benefits start, and when you’ll receive back pay.

Ideally, you should submit your application within one year of your discharge from the military so that your application date is the same as your date of separation.

If you apply one year or more after your date of separation (even one day), the application date is the first day of the month after the VA receives your claim. Most veterans are not aware of this and have the potential to lose a year’s worth of benefit payments.

If your “effective date” is incorrect, the VA may owe you back pay. Many veterans and their families have been given incorrect application and effective dates, and don’t realize they could be owed money.

Re-opening Your Claim

If your original claim was denied, but you have new evidence to support your claim, this could lead to “back pay” when the claim is finally processed. If a medical condition is not noted in your service record, but a later medical exam offers evidence that it was, your claim may be re-opened and re-evaluated. Back pay would result from the original application date to current day.

Pre-Discharge Claims

If you’re now on active duty or in the National Guard and have a discharge date, the VA suggests applying within the period 180 to 90 days before you leave. Formally known as “Benefits Delivery At Discharge,” your claim can be processed much faster, and all medical records can be expedited. Should you be found to be medically unfit for duty, you’ll be given a proposed VA disability rating and a separation date. Use these to file your pre-discharge claim, and avoid losing any time or benefit money.

Are You Owed VA Back Pay?

If you believe the VA has underpaid you, unfairly denied your claim or you need help filing an appeal, The Herren Law Firm is ready to help. We’ve helped over 4,000 Houstonians get the veteran’s benefits they deserve, Call us at (713) 682-8194 or (800) 529-7707 for a free consultation for help with a VA claim. Our contingency fee arrangement means you won’t owe us anything unless we win your case.

How Much Will a Houston Social Security Disability Lawyer Charge?

Getting Social Security disability benefits is more than just filing paperwork; you’ll need to file a claim proving to the Social Security Administration (SSA) that you should be getting benefits. While an attorney is not mandatory, whether to help you file the claim or represent an appeal at a hearing, getting an experienced and professional Social Security disability attorney in Houston can provide many benefits.

How Much Will a Houston Social Security Disability Lawyer Charge? | Herren Law

From making sure that you understand the SSA’s processes to having a leading attorney who’ll diligently fight for your benefits, Houston Social Security disability attorney William Herren will carefully listen to your case and, if we take you on as a client, we’ll work with you, one-on-one, until you’re able to receive your SSD benefits. In fact, all work is done on a contingency basis, and we don’t get paid unless we win your case. For a free, no-obligation consultation regarding your SSD claim, call Herren Law in Houston today at (713) 682-8194.

In the meantime, continue reading to learn more about how much a Social Security disability lawyer might charge.

What is a Contingency Fee Agreement

Social Security attorneys, including us at Herren Law in Houston, work “on contingency.” This means that we’ll only collect a fee if we win your disability claim. No matter if you are applying for SSDI benefits or SSI disability benefits, the fee for legal representation is regulated by the Social Security Administration and by Congress.

In essence, once you hire a Social Security disability attorney, you will sign a fee agreement that allows the Social Security Administration (SSA) to pay your attorney if your claim is approved. Therefore, if you and your SSD lawyer win your case, the SSA will pay your attorney (with money taken from your benefits) based on the specifics detailed in the fee agreement.

Fee Agreements and Fee Petitions

Remember, fees for Social Security disability attorneys are set by the government, and you do not pay attorney fees unless we recover compensation for you. By law, the Social Security disability fees are limited to 25% of the past-due benefits you are awarded, up to a maximum of $6,000. Whether before filing the claim or after getting benefits, your Social Security lawyer must submit the attorney fees and costs to the SSA for approval. When you choose an attorney, you may be asked to sign an SSA-1696 form, which designates the attorney as your chosen representative. You may also be asked to sign a medical release form and a fee agreement.

After the case, you don’t have to worry about paying the attorney, as in most cases, the SSA takes the entire lawyer’s fee (up to $6,000) from your first disability check before the agency sends the check to you.

How is Disability Backpay Calculated

The fees paid to the attorney come out of the applicant’s past-due benefits, also known as “backpay.” The SSA calculates the actual amount of backpay awarded after you are approved for benefits, and this backpay includes retroactive benefits owed from the date you were approved back to the month after you applied for benefits (for a maximum of 12 months back from the date of your application).

For instance, imagine the SSA calculates a backpay of $10,000. Now, remember, the maximum your attorney can receive is 25% up to $6,000. In this example, your attorney will be paid $2,500 and you will receive $7,500 of backpay.

It is important to also note that, during the course of representation, there may be some out-of-pocket costs. For example, to win your case, the attorney may need to acquire the claimant’s medical, school, work records, and occasionally medical or psychological examinations; these can be expensive. The client may have to pay these costs out-of-pocket (i.e., separate from the attorney’s fee), but it would be unusual in most instances for these costs to exceed two hundred dollars per case.

Contact SSD Attorney William Herren Today

When injured or suffering an illness that prevents you from working, the Social Security Administration’s disability benefits can be critical to keeping your bills paid and keeping your health maintained. As such, when considering disability benefits with the SSA, you can highly benefit from having an experienced and expert SSD and SSI attorney at your side. For a free, no-obligation consultation with attorney William Herren in Houston, call Herren Law today at (713) 682-8194.