Caring. Effective. Efficient.

Board of Veterans Appeals, Accredited Attorney

If you are a veteran and received a VA Ratings Decision, you have 2 choices — give up, or appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeals (the BVA).

The VA Regional Offices frequently deny even the most clear-cut claims for Veterans and Veterans' Survivor Benefits.

Typically, the VA Regional Offices deny claims because they are missing (or missed) factual proof of one of the following essential elements of a claim:

  1. Proof that the Veteran meets the service eligibility requirements
  2. Proof that an event occurred in service
  3. Proof that the Veteran has a current diagnosis of a disability
  4. Proof that #2 and #3 are related (this element is commonly called nexus, and the Veteran need only prove that their current disability is "at least as likely as not" related to the in-service event)
  5. Proof of the degree of limitation of the current disability
  6. Proof of entitlement to the correct effective date

When your benefits claim is denied by a VA Regional Office, working with an accredited VA attorney can help you not only to understand the reasons the VA denied your claim, but also to more efficiently navigate the BVA appeals process.

Contact us as soon as you receive your VA Ratings Decision denying your claim by clicking here to tell us about your case.

Frequently Asked Questions.


QUESTION: How long do I have to appeal a VA Ratings Decision?

ANSWER: As of 2017, you have one (1) year from the date of the letter delivering the VA Ratings Decision to file your Notice of Disagreement.

In August 2017, the Congress passed an "appeals reform package". While CAVC attorney Chris Attig assisted advocacy organizations who were negotiating this bill with the VA, and assisted in drafting witness testimony on this bill to Congress, the details of the new appellate process — and when it will begin — are still largely unknown.


QUESTION: How does Attig | Steel evaluate my case for representation?

ANSWER: We will typically ask you for some specific information about your claim, initially by email. If we think we can help, we will set a telephone consult to get to know you better and understand your case. Phone consultations are free of charge.

This process can take several days or weeks. To be efficient and effective, we must be thorough and thoughtful. Our attorneys review the information you share at every stage of the process, and we are evaluating a lot of factors to determine if you and Attig | Steel will be a good pairing of attorney and client.

Second, we will conduct a lengthy and thorough review of your file. If we determine that your case is a good match for our firm, we will make an offer of representation.

Even if we decline to offer representation, we will send you a copy of your C-File, free of charge. We will strive to give you a referral to other attorneys who may be able to assist in your claim.


QUESTION: What happens if you don't offer to represent me?

ANSWER: It's a simple matter of logistics: we cannot help every veteran.

Mr. Attig has been helping veterans since 2007, and has developed relationships with many veterans' advocates. If we think another firm or attorney might be a better fit, then we will work with you to see if that firm or attorney can help.


QUESTION: Do you handle cases around the U.S.?

ANSWER: Yes. The VA no longer handles cases in your local VA Regional Office.

Because the VA uses a "National Work Queue" to assign your case to the least busy Regional Office, Attig | Steel handles cases before all VA Regional Offices in the Continental U.S.


QUESTION: What fees do you charge for representation?

ANSWER: For claims before the VA Regional Office and the BVA where a VA Ratings Decision is dated on/after June 20, 2007, our fee is contingency.

Our standard fee is between 20 and 33% of any past-due benefits that we recover, depending on the complexity and anticipated time needed to handle your appeal.

You are also responsible for reimbursing any costs/expenses that we incur while prosecuting your claim.

This is general information. If Attig | Steel offers to represent you, we will thoroughly explain how our contingency fee is calculated and what expenses you will and won't be responsible for (and when).

We do not charge any fee on future benefits — if you find a firm or advocate that engages in that practice, they may be violating the law.


QUESTION: Do you guarantee you will win my case?

ANSWER: No. If anyone guarantees you that they will win your VA claim for you, run away.

Attig | Steel does guarantee you will get zealous advocacy before the VA Regional Office and BVA. Attig | Steel is "Veteran Owned", so you have a trusted advocate in your corner.

Recent Cases

(April 18, 2018) The law firm of Hill and Ponton approached Attig | Steel after the BVA judge denied their veteran a higher 70 percent PTSD rating. They had put a lot of work and energy into helping a veteran, and the BVA decision seemed to gloss ove… Read More
(April 6, 2018) The veteran in this case served in the Navy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, including deployment to Kuwait. Upon his return stateside, after attempts to reintegrate to civilian life, he began to have family and other problems.… Read More
(February 14, 2018) Attorney Chris Attig has been working with this veteran’s survivor for half a decade to get her DIC and survivor’s accrued benefits properly awarded.  The veteran was a 3 decade military veteran, who fought not only i… Read More

See More Appellate Results

VA Form 21 Blog

What is the Deep Issue in the Case? 38 U.S.C. §7107(b) (2012) requires “[t]he Board shall decide any appeal only after affording the appellant an opportunity for a hearing.”  On remand from the Veterans Court, the veteran asked for a new BVA he… Read More
  Coffee w/ Chris: (Monday, November 5, 2018) The Supreme Court takes on Agent Orange. It is not often that the Supreme Court takes up a veterans disability claim. This past Friday, SCOTUS granted cert in a case called Gray v. Wilkie. The qu… Read More

Read the VA Form 21 Blog