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One lawyer is on a mission to help elderly veteran clients claim benefits at their most vulnerable points. And while you might think that helping elderly veterans can't build a law practice, pairing a compassionate veterans benefits practice with estate planning certainly can.
Basically, the scheme works like this: You lure clients in because you can help them get the benefits they wouldn't know how to obtain on their own. Then, after you've shown that you can produce results in the clutch, you'll be a shoe in for future estate planning legal needs, of which elderly veterans have plenty. In short, the benefits work is your marketing strategy.
Good Guy Marketing Can Pay Off
Attorney James Stiles is proof positive that affordably serving those in need is a marketing method that can really pay off. Stiles has a thriving practice that begins with helping vets claim the rarely claimed Veteran Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit. After he helps with that, he makes it known that he can help with other matters as well.
The VAAPB program can allow vets to get up to $24K per year, tax free, to supplement their pensions and other benefits. While qualifying for the program only requires meeting a few threshold factors, such as having served in combat, frequently, vets will need an attorney's help with getting their paperwork pushed through the notoriously slow and backlogged VA. If you can get your client $24K per year, they'll probably be singing your praises to everyone they know.
Getting Paid for Benefits Work
Yes, you got to get paid. And expecting a client living on social security and/or veterans benefits to pay your retainer upfront might be near impossible sometimes, but can sometimes be the only way you get paid for that work. Stiles is able to do so by setting reasonable flat fee rates for his work. Flat fee services are often easier for vets and elderly clients to agree to as often fixed incomes make it difficult for them to agree to services that don't have a definite cost.
Oftentimes, family members will be interested in footing the bill, or they might even be the ones contacting you, particularly if it can help reduce or eliminate the costs they shoulder. Additionally, you may be able to develop relationships with assisted care facilities, which might be willing to pay your bill to help their residents qualify for benefits to pay the facility's bill.