Veterans come to us to assist them for their service connected disability appeals for various reasons. They have the option of working with a few different types of advocates (link). However, typically – they have worked with one or more of them in the past and it didn’t work out. Quite often because, the advocate expected the Veteran to do most/all of the work and did not set up the two way communication necessary to maintain a two year long relationship with the Veteran. Two years being a rough estimate of the time it takes to process a claim completely. What I’m getting to, the first and most important thing you can do to be involved in your claim is communicate.
The best thing you can do to be involved in your claim is communicate.I’ve heard from Veterans over and over that their previous representative got frustrated with them and told them, “don’t call me, I’ll call you.” This kind of makes sense to many Veterans at first. As part of our culture is to adhere to an authority figure – and a service connected disability claim and/or appeal is something that most of us lack authority in, especially the first time around. It makes sense to the advocate because they are probably working on 50 other cases at the same time. But frankly it makes NO SENSE to me.
It is my staunch belief that though I/we represent you in your claim, it continues to be your claim. In fact, should you have a question once or twice a week, I’d love for you to call me, email me, or even text me. So many claims questions can be answered through a quick text message, by the way. If I’m to be successful in representing you, I need to know your claim, this is how I get to know it, I get to know you. As long as we have an understanding that I might not be available the minute or day of your call, but you know that I will get back to you on this, it’s a great system.
The key to all of this is communication. Your representative is working through strategy, bringing a great deal of experience and specific knowledge to the table, but the one thing they don’t know about is your specific claim, and through that you. Do not ever feel concerned, worried, judged, or nervous to check-in on your claim(s). If you do, you may want to reconsider who you’re working with to represent you.
Always feel free to reach out to me about your claim or questions about representation.
Dennis Harmon specializes in malpractice and personal injury law in Alabama and Mississippi, concerning social security and disability benefits, personal injury, car accidents, wrongful death, truck accidents and criminal trials.