Albert L. Thombs Jr., The VA Disability Advocate, is a member of the Office of General Council #45147, Disability Agent Certified by the Department of Veterans. The VA Disability Advocate is a consortium of non-attorney agents accredited by the VA to represent claimants. The VA requires accredited claims agents to complete continuing legal education courses to maintain our accreditation. 38 USC §§ 5901-5902, 5904; 38 CFR § 14.629.
Congress intended the VA benefits system to be "non-adversarial" and friendly to veterans seeking assistance for hardships resulting from their service to the country. The VA's "duty to assist," "benefit of the doubt rule," and the ability to re-file denied claims are examples of a "veteran-friendly" process. For many veterans and dependents, the VA process has worked and continues to work well. For others, the process has proven to be complex and confusing. It's not a secrete that the VA is overwhelmed with applications and that they rarely, if ever, respond to calls or letters. Lost documents and errors are frequently made in haste to make decisions. The VA process also has "gotchas" that can trip up even the most experienced advocate. Even if VA grants an award, an experienced agent should always check the decision for errors in the rating or effective date assigned. More often than not, a successful claim will require that a claimant have at least some knowledge of the specific benefit sought, an understanding of applicable laws, regulations, and VA policies, and familiarity with the evidence that is necessary to support a claim if only to detect the most apparent VA errors.
What We Do For You
We initiate a development process to investigate the status of your various cases with the VA to determine what has and has not been done to get grounded in your case.
Once grounded in your case, I will help you identify the weaknesses in your case and make recommendations on how to overcome them.
We analyze and develop a strategy to win your benefits in the shortest amount of time.
We challenge the VA's adversarial conclusions that obstruct your benefits.
We gather all your Military and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Records, including records from your private doctors. (This is a shared responsibility between us, the VA, and you)
We find and correct errors in an earlier decision to get you the earliest possible effective date of your compensation award.
The VA's Responsibility To You
Retrieving relevant records from another Federal agency or a Federal facility, such as a VA medical center or military treatment facility, that you adequately identify and authorize VA to obtain.
Providing a medical examination for you, or getting a medical opinion, if they determine it is necessary to decide your claim.
Make every reasonable effort to obtain relevant records not held by a Federal facility that you adequately identify and authorize VA to obtain. These may include records from State or local governments and privately held evidence and information you tell us about, such as private doctors or hospital records or records from current or former employers. (Do not depend on anyone to gather this information for you, you must be vigilant in collecting this information on your own)
The VA Disability Advocate Staff:
Albert Thombs, The Advocate, VSOREN – Phone and Text: 702-209-5722
Andrea Jelks, US Navy – New Claims and Appeals, VSO Phone and Text: 702-879-4603 Email: Andrea.Jelks@VADisabiliyAdvocate.com
Lakisha Adems, US Army – New Claims Department, Phone and Text: 725-248-2075 Email: Lakisha.Adems@VADisabilityAdvocate.com
Rolland Lawson, US Airforce - Veterans Outreach, Phone and Text: 480-222-1914
Vangie Thombs, US Navy – Administrative Services, Phone and Text: 702-608-9965
The VA Disability Advocates Main Office is Located in Las Vegas, NV. We Represent Veterans throughout the United States. 702-992-4883