Q: How much is this going to cost? What are your fees?
A: Our office works on a contingency fee basis, which means that we don’t get paid until you get paid. There is no upfront cost and if we are not successful we would not be compensated. If you win a retroactive award of benefits, our fee would be a percentage of that award.
Q: What is the percentage you will charge me?
A: It would be no more than 30% of the retroactive benefits awarded. “Retroactive benefits” refers to the compensation awarded from the effective date assigned by the VA to the date of the award.
Q: What does clause #4 mean on the Fee Agreement? What do you mean by outside experts?
A: After receiving and reviewing your claims file from the VA, the team working on your case will assess whether any additional development is needed to strengthen your case. Many times we will recommend getting an independent medical opinion to help win your claim.
If a medical opinion is needed, we would pay for the medical opinion up front and would only ask you to pay us back for that cost if we are successful in getting you a retroactive award of benefits.
We would consult you and get your authorization before obtaining any opinions for your case. The cost of any expert opinion would be in addition to the contingency fee (see the first question in this series). Our firm has learned from over 25 years of representing veterans and their dependents that these expert opinions are very usually the key to winning cases before the VA.
Q: How much does the outside expert cost?
A: The costs vary depending on what kind of expert opinion we would need to get for your case. If an expert opinion is needed for your case, the team assigned to represent you would discuss the costs of an expert opinion with you before obtaining the opinion. We will always obtain authorization from you before any expert is consulted with regarding your case.