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Predatory Practices of Unaccredited VA Consultants | VetLaw

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  • Hiring an unaccredited VA consultant deprives veterans of key protections.
  • Using unaccredited VA consultants for veterans disability claims is risky because they can charge massive fees while employing dubious methods.
  • If a consultant or coach is not recognized by the VA, they do not have the authority to assist you with your veterans disability claim. They can abandon you if the case goes poorly.
  • Unaccredited VA consultants prey on veterans who are desperate to access their disability benefits. They often promise unrealistic results on an infeasible timeline.

You may be tempted to hire an unaccredited VA consultant to help you file a VA disability claim for a service-related injury. Too often, these so-called experts are not qualified to offer you the kind of assistance you need. They may also engage in unethical practices that undermine the integrity of your VA disability claim.

If you need help filing a claim with the VA to secure disability benefits or appealing a VA disability claim, your best bet is to get in touch with a reputable veterans disability claim lawyer. At VetLaw, we have used our considerable knowledge of the VA claims process to represent veterans for nearly a decade.

We encourage you to give us a call at (855) 434-2492 or use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation, where a VetLaw veterans disability claim attorney can show you our credentials and track record, detail the benefits of our services, and answer any questions you may have.

Beware of VA Consultants or Coaches Looking to Exploit Veterans

If you have developed an illness or injury related to your military service, that can put an enormous strain on your life. The VA provides benefits that may offset the costs of your injury, such as Total Disability Individual Unemployability benefits for vets who are unable to work due to a mental or physical service-related disability. 

Unfortunately, the VA claims process is notoriously slow. It is understandable that veterans want their claims resolved in a timely manner. In the meantime, they have to wait on the compensation they need for medical care, housing, education, and other expenses. 

Anything from a simple paperwork error to a failure to demonstrate a service connection can result in your claim being denied. Even if you have the time and motivation to appeal a VA decision, there is no guarantee you will succeed.

Veterans in this position are vulnerable to arrangements suggested by persuasive but unaccredited VA consultants and coaches. They will have no qualms about taking advantage of your frustration with the VA claim process to convince you that you need their help, such as it is.

With the expansions made by the PACT Act of 2022, we are seeing more unaccredited VA consultants who engage in predatory practices to capitalize on veterans seeking disability benefits. 

VA Coaches Often Make Promises They Can’t Keep to Lure in Clients

The old adage “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” applies to hiring a VA consultant. One of the most common tactics unaccredited VA consultants use is offering to speed up the process significantly. They may suggest shortcuts that are questionable at best or insinuate that they have the inside scoop from sources within the VA who will help resolve your claim.

If your VA consultant or coach says that you don’t have to abide by the VA’s deadlines when you’re working with their company, it may be tempting to hire them, but in most cases, their services aren’t actually more effective.

Shady VA Consultants May Use Untrustworthy Medical Providers to Support Your Case

In addition to submitting to a C&P exam, veterans can offer medical evidence of their service-connected disability from other sources. If the VA denied your disability claim due to lack of diagnosis or inadequate evidence service connection, or you are still preparing your initial claim, a VA consultant may recommend that you be seen by another medical provider with whom they have a standing relationship.

On the surface, this seems reasonable enough. However, this relationship may actually be a situation where the VA consultant funnels business to the doctor, who then signs off on whatever they ask for.

Using false information to corroborate your VA disability claim can destroy your chances of ever receiving benefits. There are no guaranteed consequences for your VA coach.

Unaccredited VA Coaches and Consultants Can Offer Contracts Designed to Make You Forfeit Your Rights

VA accreditation provides a layer of legal protection for veterans. With a VA-accredited representative, you can’t be charged ridiculous fees. If they behave unethically or do a poor job advocating for you, you have methods of recourse. 

Unaccredited companies don’t have to abide by the same standards. They may push you to sign a contract that puts you on the hook for a hefty fee. Also, you will likely be left on your own to deal with the fallout if your unaccredited VA consultant or coach uses fraudulent tactics to build your VA disability benefits claim. 

You can report accredited representatives, like veterans disability claim lawyers, to their state’s Bar Association for legal malpractice. In that case, you could potentially appeal your claim denial with a different attorney.

Unaccredited VA Consultants Trap Vets Into Arrangements Where They Overcharge For Their Services

No matter what rate they quote you, you’re likely overpaying your unaccredited VA consultant. Basically, you’re paying for someone who has less access, less knowledge, and less credibility to perform a service that a legitimate VA disability claims attorney offers.

It is illegal for accredited VA consultants or attorneys to charge a fee for helping a veteran with filing their initial disability benefits claim. Unaccredited VA consultants, however, are hiding behind their titles. They argue they get to charge their clients as they see fit. 

Reach Out to VetLaw About Your VA Disability Claim Today

As a VA-accredited law firm founded by a veteran, our team at VetLaw is fiercely committed to serving our clients with integrity and competency. We take pride in our work and constantly try to exceed expectations for our clients.

Not only has this led to a strong record of results, but it has also garnered us a loyal client base who often refer their friends and family to us for help.

Don’t risk your rights or access to VA disability benefits by becoming entangled with an unaccredited VA consultant or coach. Our trustworthy team offers outstanding legal support to veterans in their time of need. You can call us at (855) 434-2492 or use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do VA consultants and coaches need a license to practice?

No. Unlike VA disability claims attorneys, these for-profit agents do not need a license to work with you. That means you have no way of knowing if they have the necessary qualifications and knowledge to help you.

The lack of regulation also means that you don’t know if they have a history of unethical behavior. Their questionable actions could jeopardize your case.

How much does it cost to hire a lawyer to handle my VA veterans disability claim or appeal?

Vets who use VA-accredited representatives to file their disability claims don’t pay an upfront fee. Most veterans disability claim lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis where they receive around 20% of retroactive benefits if they successfully resolve your claim. Their fee is capped by the VA at 33.33%.

If your veterans disability claim attorney is can’t help you secure disability benefits, you don’t have to pay their fee. On the other hand, many unaccredited VA consulting firms demand deals where you pay no matter what.

What does it mean to be VA Accredited?

A representative who is VA-accredited has been evaluated and authorized by the Department of Veterans Affairs to help veterans prepare their disability benefits claims.

The VA offers this official designation to attorneys, certain non-profit groups, and claims agents who meet their qualifications. These groups are also bound by certain rules, and their status can be revoked if they violate these terms. 

Can a VA-accredited veterans disability benefits claim attorney help me appeal a denied claim?

Likely, yes. Veterans disability claim lawyers often have the skill set needed to appeal denied VA disability claims, as well as file them in the first place. At VetLaw, we specialize in both. Our team understands that there are many reasons the VA may deny a claim. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean the claim has no merit.