If you need to file an initial claim for benefits; file for an increase in evaluation because your disability, or disabilities, have gotten worse; or file a supplemental claim to have VA look at a previously denied claim, I will let you know what VA needs regarding your claim based on your current evidence. I will always be upfront with you regarding your claim, even if that means telling you that you may not have a valid claim at times. As I previously stated there is no fee for me representing you because this is not allowed under Federal law! The only cost that you have in these matters is the reimbursement of costs I incur for expenses, such as postage for mailing your application and any evidence to VA, or phone calls/facsimiles made in conjunction with prosecuting your claim for benefits. Essentially, you will be reimbursing me for the costs that you would have anyways if you were to handle your claim yourself!
A word on how the reimbursement of expenses I incur works;
Because I am not a Veterans Service Office (VSO) affiliated with one of the veterans organization or a Country Veterans Service Officer (CVSO) where either the respective organization or County has funding through membership dues or tax payer money to pay for the expenses associated with representing a veteran before VA (postage, phone calls etc...), Federal Law allows for claims agents accredited by VA to be reimbursed by their claimant they represent for such expenses under 38 C.F.R. §14.637. Remember, I volunteer my time when I represent veterans and do not earn any money by doing so to cover such expenses. I simply cannot finance these expenses for every veteran I represent myself. Therefore, when I represent a veteran before VA, that veteran advances me a nominal €20,- deposit up front (if you're a veteran residing in a country other than any of the countries which use the Euro, arrangements can be made to use another currency), or called an advanced fee in this case, to use for expenses while their claim is being processed, such as postage or sending VA a facsimile, or phone calls. Then once the claim is settled, I either return whatever is not used from the advanced fee back to the veteran, or it is kept credited to the veteran's expenses account. This is dependent on the veteran's/claimant's wishes.
Even though there is no fee payable for my services, we must, however, enter into a fee agreement to regulate the previously mentioned reimbursement of expenses. The VA's Office of the General Counsel requires this as a protection to the veteran/claimant from being charged 'unreasonable' expenses. Once the veteran and I enter into a fee agreement, I must submit a copy of that fee agreement within 30 days to the Office of the General Counsel.