Veteran's widow receiving US flag at funeral

Case Spotlight – August 2022

One of the main reasons the founding Partners of Disability Law Group started their own firm is because we wanted to create a law firm that gave back to the community. One of the ways the partners can do this is through Pro-Bono Cases. The VA has limitations on what stage an attorney can enter into a fee contract with a Veteran or a substituted party. Most of the time, this limitation will limit when an attorney can assist with obtaining benefits, but there are times when the injustice seems too much. The attorneys at Disability Law Group know they need to help even if they cannot receive a fee.

Attorney Mandy Kelly Wins Pro-Bono Case for Veteran’s Widow

In August of 2020, Partner Mandy Kelly decided to take a pro-bono case to assist a widow of a disabled veteran get the survivor benefits she was entitled to. The Veteran’s widow came to Mandy Kelly for advice on filing a cause of death claim before the Department of Veteran Affairs. Her deceased husband struggled with mental health and substance abuse issues for a long time.  Unfortunately, this substance abuse led to his death. With a disabled child to take care of, the widow knew she needed an experienced attorney’s help to get the survivor benefits she was entitled to. Mandy Kelly prepared the widow’s “cause of death” claim by gathering the appropriate medical records, obtaining a medical opinion, and submitting the fully developed claim to the VA. Unfortunately, the VA ordered an unnecessary medical opinion and denied the claim even though the record was clear that the Veteran’s service-connected mental health issues led to the veteran’s death.

Attorney Mandy Kelly quickly filed a Higher Level Review appeal and conducted an informal conference. She pointed out that the record was clear that the Veteran’s mental health condition led him to substance abuse issues that ultimately caused his death. The Decision Review Officer agreed with Mandy Kelly, and the widow was finally able to receive the benefits she was entitled to.

The lawyers at Disability Law Group understand how complicated this area of law can be. If you, or someone you know, suffers from mental health issues due to VA care or time in the service, contact Disability Law Group today for your free consultation. Our attorneys and staff specialize strictly in disability benefits, and we will fight to help you win every benefit you deserve. Whether you were already denied or if you would like advice from the very start, contact us today and speak with one of our attorneys to understand your rights and get the representation that you need.

Author: Jason Pearson

A veteran himself, Jason Pearson served in the United States Army from August 1998 until November 2001. His experience – both as a veteran himself as an infantry soldier and as an attorney – places him at a unique advantage to serve and advocate for his veteran clients. Mr. Pearson knows the fight, and he leverages his knowledge and passion to provide the highest quality of service and representation to his clients.