Within the last hours of the 109th Congress’s session a bill was passed that will allow Veterans applying for disability benefits to hire attorney representatives or “agents”.   Section 101 of the
Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006, S. 3421 amends the former law that didn’t allow attornies to charge a fee for assisting claimants during their administrative appeal for benefits in front of the Veterans Administration (VA).  After the “notice of disagreement” is issued Veterans will now be permitted to hire an attorney.  The bill mandates that only a reasonable fee be recovered by the attorney representative that shall not exceed 20% of past due benefits. 
Effective date.  The new provision for fees will apply to services
provided in cases where the VA Notice of Disagreement is filed on or after 180 days after enactment.  The date of enactment is the date that the President signs S. 3421 into law.