Kerry L. Baker

Kerry, a service-connected, combat-disabled veteran of the United States Marine Corps, joined CCK in January of 2012.  He advocates for his fellow veterans as a non-attorney VA appellate practitioner at the firm.

Prior to joining CCK, Kerry had already established himself as one of the Nation’s most respected experts in the field of Veterans Benefits.  Kerry began his career in VA benefits in 1998 working for the Disabled American Veterans (DAV).  After years of success in supervisory positions at various field locations, Kerry relocated to DAV’s Headquarters in Washington D.C., as a Non-Attorney Practitioner for DAV’s Judicial Appeals Office.  There, he provided legal representation to veterans and their dependents before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims in appeals from the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.  He was later promoted to the position of an Assistant National Legislative Director for the DAV where he provided support and assistance in promoting and advancing legislative, policy, and regulatory goals of DAV in the field of Veteran’s benefits.

Immediately prior to joining CCK, Kerry worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs as the Chief of the Legislative and Policy Staff in the Veterans Benefits Administration’s Compensation Service.  As such, Kerry managed all legislative issues between the Senate and House Veterans Affairs Committees and VA’s Compensation Service.  He also managed special projects focused on establishing Veteran-friendly policy on a wide-ranging number of issues.  For example, Kerry worked to improve numerous policy issues on compensation benefits arising out of the Vietnam War, Gulf War, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.  His work has helped thousands of veterans access the benefits they deserve including those suffering from conditions such as posttraumatic stress disorder; disabilities arising out of environmental exposures, such as Agent Orange exposure, burn pit and other exposures from Iraq and Afghanistan; Persian Gulf War exposures; and military sexual trauma, just to name just a few.  Notably, Kerry supervised all policy evolution relating to the adjudication of over 150,000 Vietnam Agent-Orange related Nehmer claims-the largest and most successful Nehmer project in its 25-year history.

Prior to leaving the VA, Kerry supervised a one-year long project title “Changing the Game: Disability Claims Process 2012,” which consisted of 28 proposals ranging from legislative/regulatory changes to internal policy changes.  Congress has enacted many of the recommendations, and VA has internally enacted others.Kerry is accredited by VA to represent veterans and their dependents before VA, including the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.  He is also licensed to practice at the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, and is a member of the National Organization of Veteran Advocates.

Kerry is a combat-disabled Veteran of the United States Marines in which he served from 1987 to 1998 and was awarded multiple valorous combat awards.  He was deployed all over the world, including conflicts in Panama and Somalia, as well as the Persian Gulf War in which he served in both Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.  Some, but not all, of his military awards and honors are listed below.

MILITARY AWARDS AND HONORS

  • Recipient of Three Combat Air Medals, with Combat “V” for Valor in Combat, USMC
  • Recipient of Three Navy Achievement Medals with Combat “V” for Valor in Combat, USMC
  • Recipient of Combat Aircrew Insignia, USMC
  • Recipient of numerous unit awards, certificates of Appreciation, physical fitness awards, etc., USMC
  • Nominated, Marine Corps Aviation Association, Air Crewman of the Year (USMC), 1991
  • Nominated, National Helicopter Association Air Crewman of the Year (USMC), 1991
  • Nominated, Plane Captain of the Year (USMC), 1991
  • Nominated for Combat Meritorious Promotion to Sergeant, 1991

 

AREAS OF PRACTICE

  • Veterans Benefits

ADMISSIONS AND ACCREDITATION

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, January 2006
  • Accredited Department of Veterans Affairs Claims Agent, February 2013