Law Firm Working with Disabled Veterans
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Thomas Fields is a Vietnam War veteran, who hails from Douglasville and is 63 years of age, who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and a heart condition. Fields claims that he suffered the injuries in Vietnam when he was exposed to Agent Orange. Fields is a former U.S. Army radio operator who is attempting to get the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to approve disability benefits for a back injury Fields suffered after he was hit with shrapnel.

Fields is not alone. He is one of only thousands of veterans who are fighting the government for benefits to aid in the treatment of injuries since returning from war, no matter the conflict.


“I’ve been turned down so many times,” said Fields.

Fields does receive disability payments for his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and his heart condition but he claims he should also be receiving a disability benefit check for the back injury he suffered while in Vietnam.

The Disabled American Veterans say that there is a backlog of claims for disability compensation with the government right now. This backlog is as large as 863,628 pending claims in the system as of November 7, 2011. What makes matters worse is that roughly 529,000 of those claims have been in the system for more than 125 days.

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Fields has been receiving some very important help from an Atlanta law firm’s special program. The firm, the Finnegan Law Firm, offers pro bono work handling claims filed by veterans that have reached the appellate levels of the country’s court systems.

“Most of these guys have been working for quite a while trying to get benefits,” said Lori-Ann Johnson, a partner with the firm. “It’s kind of frustrating for them in many cases.”

The program for the veterans began in 2008 and has aided hundreds of veterans across the country. Johnson said the firm has dealt with cases regarding Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, muscular injuries, skeletal injuries and traumatic brain injury. Compensation for disability is paid to veterans as a result of an injury or disease suffered by the veteran while on active duty or worsened by service.

The Finnegan Law Firm sends all of the money it makes from these claims to veterans’ charities across the country. The money they are donating has been paid to them by the government aas attorney’s fees.

The DAV received a donation, only one of at least $500,000 in donations made by the Finnegan Law Firm. Recently, the firm donated $25,000 to the Shepherd Center’s SHARE Military Initiative, which was founded back in 2008. This charity provides care to soldiers who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or any other mild traumatic brain injuries while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. The Finnegan Law Firm continues to work with injured veterans from all across the country.



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