Unaccredited private companies charging fees to help veterans file disability benefit claims are a cause for concern among accredited veteran’s organizations, as they may mislead veterans into paying hundreds of thousands of dollars and sign them away in advance to a portion of the benefits, they are due.
Veterans who have a disability related to their military service can apply for tax-free monthly disability payments in various ways. They can apply on their own, use an accredited representative, or opt for unaccredited private companies that offer fee-based services. However, veterans who use accredited assisters can’t be charged for helping to file the initial claim. The same rule does not apply to unaccredited companies, and some may mislead veterans into paying hundreds of thousands of dollars. These companies, sometimes called “medical consultants” or “coaches,” may offer quick turnaround times and higher benefit checks, but they may sign veterans away in advance to a portion of the benefits they are due. Some veterans are unhappy with the services of unaccredited companies like Trajector Medical, which charged one veteran more than $2,800 for assistance in obtaining a new disability rating, while it had done virtually nothing to help. Accredited veteran’s organizations are concerned about predatory companies that charge outrageous amounts to veterans to access their benefits. Veterans Guardian VA Claim Consulting, another unaccredited company, supports changes that would allow unaccredited companies to charge for services at any point in the process, as well as place caps on fees and prohibitions on having doctors on the payroll or charging upfront fees.