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I will talk about VA Compensation benefits for Florida veterans who are disabled due to their service-connected disability. I will include information on VA lawyers for FL veterans. I will talk about when you can hire an attorney for your VA compensation claim and how a VA lawyer can help get your VA disability benefits. I will also explain how and where you can apply for VA compensation in Florida. I will also explain what to do if you receive a denial from the FL Regional Office or if you have been denied by the Board of Veterans Appeals also called the BVA. Most of the information I will explain on this page is the same for Florida veterans as it is for veterans and other states. However, I will also include information and links to benefits from the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs (FDVA) that are available to veterans in Florida. 

Free VA Disability Evaluation by Lawyer

Or call me at 1-877-527-5529

FL VA Compensation Lawyer or Attorney in Florida 

The first thing you need to know is what are the new laws on VA lawyers that was passed in 2007. These new rules make it possible for veterans to hire lawyers for their VA compensation or pension claims. If you follow the previous link it will take you to a detailed explanation of the new rule. But in general, you cannot hire a lawyer when you first apply. You can in most cases, hire a lawyer in Florida and every other state, when you receive a decision on your application for VA compensation also called a ratings decision (RD). So if you receive a decision from the VA and you are denied service connection for one or many of your disabilities, or you are not happy with the rating you received and think you should have received a higher rating, you can now hire an attorney to help you with your VA compensation claim. Many of you who have received a decision from the board of veterans appeals (BVA) may also be able to hire a lawyer to help you with this claim as well. Many of you may also be at the point were the BVA has remanded the case back to the Florida regional office. In this situation, you may or may not be able to get a lawyer's help. Whether or not you can get a lawyer to help you with your FL BVA remand is explained in detail in the earlier link. If you are not sure, you are free to give me a call at 1-877-527-5529 and I would be happy to look over your case to see if you can hire a lawyer. If you have been denied at the Florida regional office and at the BVA, then you can hire a lawyer for your case that will now be at the court of veterans claims (CAVC). The next question you may have is: do you need a lawyer for your FL VA compensation claim and if you hire an attorney what can they do to help you win your VA disability benefits? A good VA disability lawyer will make sure to review your claim completely, which will include getting a copy of your claims file and service medical records. Whether the attorney gets that from you, or has to get it from the VA it is extremely important tha lawyer has this to help you. A FL VA compensation lawyer or VA attorney from another state, when reviewing your file will look to see why you are being denied and figure out what else is needed to improve your claim. This may include getting additional medical evidence or doctor's opinions. It sometimes requires a great deal of research from various sources which includes speaking to you about the case so that you know what has to be shown to win.  Many times you may have information or resources available to you that you did not know would help your case and your attorney can use that information to help you win. A veterans disability lawyer will also review your file to make sure that you have made all possible claims to make sure you get the highest amount of possible VA compensation benefits that you deserve. Most good VA lawyers will also write briefs on your behalf at each stage of the process. Attorneys will also be extremely helpful when you have a VA hearing at your FL regional office at the DRO stage, or a hearing by video or in person in Florida before a BVA judge. You may also want to know how a lawyer is paid in a VA compensation case. Most lawyers including myself charge 20% of past due benefits. Some lawyers do charge more but the amount has to be approved by the VA. You do not have to have a lawyer for your Florida VA compensation claim, but if you are reading this chances are you have experienced the difficulties in dealing with the FL regional office or at least have heard from other veterans how difficult it can be to get VA compensation benefits in FL.

How to Appeal a VA Denial in FL 

 After you apply, you will receive what is called a ratings decision (RD) from the Florida regional office that will explain the decision the FL regional office has made and somewhat explain how they came to their conclusion. If you did not get everything you think you deserved in the decision you then appeal by filing what is called a notice of disagreement (NOD) to the regional office that decided your claim. This will probably be the St. Petersburg Florida RO. If you hire a lawyer, the attorney can write your notice of disagreement for you. If you are handling your claim on your own you need to specify which issues you are appealing. You have one year from the date of the ratings decision to file your NOD. In Florida and every other state, you have two choices when filing your NOD. You can request a decision review officer also called a DRO or you can request the traditional review process. In most situations, it makes sense to request a DRO since it not only will give you another chance at the Florida regional office, but also normally you will get a decision faster than you do using the traditional review process. With the traditional review process, you file a VA 9 form and your case is sent to the BVA for a decision. You can request a decision without a hearing or you can request a hearing at your Florida regional office or at the BVA in Washington DC. If you request the DRO process and you do not get the results you hoped for, you can still at this point file a VA 9 form and your case will go to the BVA as explained above. You have one year from the date of your FL rating decision or two months from the date of your Florida DRO decision to file your VA 9. The VA 9 form is your formal appeal to the BVA and you must state what and why you are appealing. The BVA can find in your favor fully, find some issues favorable to you and deny others, remand the case back to the Florida regional office for more development and a new decision, or deny your whole claim. If any part of your claim is denied that you still wish to pursue, you can then appeal to the Court of Veterans Claims also called the CAVC. Filing an appeal with the CAVC can be a bit more complex. You may want to strongly consider getting a VA lawyer at this point or at the very least a representative from a veterans service organization. If you are denied at the CAVC you can still appeal to the US District Court. If you have read this section and the following link then you can see how long it can take to get the VA compensation benefits you deserve. In my opinion, it would be a good idea to get the help of at least a veterans service organization but to have the best chance to win in my mind it would be a better idea to have a paid lawyer in the process as soon as possible.  To get a full description and better understanding of the VA process simply read my page on the topic. I hope Florida veterans who have read this page and other pages on this site find it helpful in understanding how to get VA compensation benefits in Florida.

How to apply for VA compensation benefits in Florida

You can seek the help of a veterans service organization in Florida to help you apply. You can also go down to the St. Petersburg regional office and apply on your own, or with one of the service organizations that are in the building. You can also visit the VA website and apply their. Because many veterans in FL and other states will lose or not be completely happy with their decision at application, it is extremely important that you at least try and make sure you are putting in all the possible service-connected disability claims you may be eligible for. I say this for a couple of reasons. I can't tell you how many times a veteran has come to me with their rating decision, and when I read the veterans file I come across many claims that were not applied for. Even though you can file new claims any time, you can only be paid in most cases from the date you apply, or the date you left service if you applied within one year of leaving service. Also when you have one of more new claims at application at the FL RO, and a claim that you are filing a notice of disagreement on it can make the case quite a bit more difficult to handle. The VA as of this date, is still using paper and have to pass your file around to the different people making decisions at different levels of the process which I believe can slowdown your case quite a bit. Below you will find the VA offices in Florida were you can apply for VA Compensation benefits for your service connected disabilities or for VA Pension.

To see what Florida VA state benefits may be available to you as a FL veteran you will find more information on the linked page earlier in this sentence.  These are benefits from the Florida Department of Veteran Affairs and can be in addition to any Federal VA compensation or Pension benefits.

FL VA Regional Office with Address and Phone

Here you will find the Florida Regional Office address and phone number.  I have also included other offices of the FL VA system such as benefits and assistants offices and the different VA medical offices.  The Departments Field Service Offices at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers in Bay Pines, Gainesville, Lake City, Miami, West Palm Beach and Tampa maintain qualified staffs of Veterans Claims Examiners to assist veterans in obtaining specific benefits for which the veteran may be eligible and assist the veteran and family members in applying for and securing such benefits.  The Departments Claims Service Office in the VA Regional Office, St. Petersburg, maintains a qualified staff of Veterans Claims Examiners to, among other things, facilitate the processing of claims for entitlements submitted by veterans or their survivors. The Bay Pines FDVA office responds to veterans inquiries pertaining to pending or established claims as well as concentrating on reviewing of VA decisions and represents veterans in the preparation and prosecution of appealed claims.

U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs
Website http://www.benefits.va.gov/stpetersburg/
9500 Bay Pines Blvd, St. Petersburg, FL, 33708
Local (727)-319-7400
Statewide 1-800-827-1000
Fax (727) 319-7780.

Benefits & Assistance Offices

Fort Myers
3033 Winkler Ave
Extension Suite 746, 33916
(239) 939-3939 ext 6331

Jacksonville
1833 Boulevard
Rm. 3109
32206
(904)232-2751 Ext 3005

Viera
2900 Veterans Way
Suite A-700
Viera, FL 32940
Toll Free 1-877-878-8387 (407) 637-3788 ext 3693

Sunrise
5599 W. Commercial Blvd
Sunrise, FL 33351
(954) 475-5500

Orlando
5201 Raymond St
Orlando, FL 32806
(407) 599-1386

Pensacola
790 Veterans' Way
Pensacola, FL 32503-7492
(850) 912-2051

Port Richey
9912 Little Road
Room D116
Port Richey, FL 34668
(727) 869-4227

Tallahassee
1607 St. James Ct
Tallahassee, FL 32308
(850) 878-0191

Daytona Beach
551 National Health Care Drive
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
(386) 323-7500 Ext 30122

Eglin AFB
100 Veterans' Way
Eglin AFB, FL 32542
(850) 609-2740

Medical Offices

VAMC Bay Pines
10000 Bay Pine Blvd
Bldg. 22, Room 117
Bay Pines, FL 33504
(727)398-6661, X5489

VAMC Miami
1201 NW 16th St
Room A-213
Miami, FL 33125
(305)323-3325

VAMC Tampa
13000 Bruce B. Downs Blvd
Bldg. #19
Tampa, FL 33612
(813)972-2000, X6589

VAMC Gainesville
1601 Southwest Archer Rd
Room D-162
Gainesville, FL 32601
(352)374-6029

VAMC Lake City
801 South Marion St
Room A272
Lake City, FL 32025-5808
(904)755-3016, X2070

VAMC West Palm Beach
Building 10, Room 113
7305 N. Military Trail
West Palm Beach, FL 33420
(561) 442-8204

 

If you need help or have questions about you Florida VA Compensation claim for disability benefits we are lawyers for veterans who can help.  Call me at 1-877-527-5529.  All consultations are free and confidential.  If you would like more information about our firm call or e-mail us or visit my Disability law firm website.

We have attempted to provide up to date and accurate information, however the information in this site is not guaranteed. No attorney client relationship exist. The information in this site is not a substitute for consultation with a qualified attorney.
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