Federal law was recently changed to allow veterans to hire att ys for assistance with
any VA claim at the Regional Office or Board of Veterans’ Appeals if a Notice of Disagreement
was filed after June 20, 2007.

Traditionally, attorneys were barred from representing veterans until after case went to
the Veterans Court. County Service Officers and Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs)
were veterans’ only options for legal service prior to this change in Federal Law.
With the change in law, veterans and their families now have the option of hiring
an attorney to represent them in their claims, in addition to the services of County
Service Officers and VSOs.

There are some situations where hiring an attorney may be an advantage to going
with a County Service Officer or VSO. Lawyers are ethically required to limit their
caseload to only the number of cases they can handle, while County Service Officers
in some States are required to take every case.  Because of this, your lawyer will be able to personally review
the case and be very familiar with it as your case goes forward, which is sometimes not the case with a

Lawyers are also ethically permitted to front money to their clients to pay for
medical opinions and case development that are often required to win a case.
County Service Officers and VSOs usually do not have funds to spend on their
client’s case developing evidence.  If your case is in need of additional development,
consider contacting a lawyer to help.


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